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Chief outhouse engineer
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So you pour and then mark your grout lines with a pencil or something and then grind out with a grinder and diamond blade? I am guessing that you stain the different colors to achieve the look of cultured stone.

The real question is can you be competitive with cultured stone? Or even better, can you get more for the job?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have never used cultured stone before so I have no experience but I am guessing since they are a manufactured unit that have a system for going together.

I try to mimic real stone like cultured stone does. The grout lines created you can't get with cultured stone.

I am guessing cultured stone you lay dry on a packable base?

You can make a lot of profit this way since there is very little labor involved. I could be done in 2 days all carved and colored.

I can't speak against manufactured stone because I have never installed it before.

I don't like "systems" to follow or being stuck with a specific size, shape or style. The way I do it allows a lot more freedom. You can have very large flag stones, over 4-5' across in areas maybe for landings and small and very small ones in other areas. I am not sure if you can get such large variances with manufactured stone systems.

You can mark it with a pencil but I often just grind by eye. Marking the lines first do make it go by faster though
 

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Chief outhouse engineer
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I guess I should clarify that cultured stone would not be a great option for a walkway as I am not aware of manufactured stone that is durable enough for a walking surface.

It seems like a time consuming process to grind patterns and stain seperately to achieve some different colors.

What about the cracks and control joints?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can usually grind a whole patio or walkway in under 30 minutes and color 30-60 minutes.

The conctrol joints are placed within the grout lines and then filled with crack filler to hide them. We do this every 5 feet and eliminates the possibility of cracks.

We use wire mesh reinforcement within the concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The vertical concrete portion for the grill was stacked without forms and carved with trowels when the concrete was still wet.

I was trained from a guy locally. He has been doing it for years.
 
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