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We are starting a project which we thought involved repair and or replacement of limestone. However when our limestone supplier visited the site yesterday he said that he thinks this is terra cotta.
Can anyone advise me on terracotta restoration. How is it done? Is it very costly, would you advise just replacing with limestone? Current "stone" is painted and cracking. It is the sills and lintels (they are painted now - so they might be limestone). thanks.
 

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Other than expensive exotica, the only option I know is replacement, which is also very expensive for small batches of custom shapes. If it is going to be painted, it really doesn't matter what it is made of though does it?
 

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I would check into having some cast stone made. It is made to look like limestone but less expensive. The manufacturer should be able to make pieces to match what you have now. The lead time on the stones is usually long so if you need them soon check into this now. Post some pictures if you have them.
 

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I would check into having some cast stone made. It is made to look like limestone but less expensive.

Not to argue with you but, I found the opposite to be true, stone is more elegant, the quarries can get you any shape you want and it is less expensive than cast.

The biggest plus is you get the real thing with a 100 year lifetime expectancy.
 

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Regional price differences I guess. Around here cast is much cheaper. I would think it has to do with being closer to quarries that are plentiful with quality limestone. Even detailed pieces like bullnose and cornices are cheaper?

No arguements here that real limestone is a nicer/ longer lasting product for most applications. The only benefit I can think of off the top of my head (besides price here) to cast is that you can get cast made to a much higher PSI than limestone. If you have an application that needs it.
 

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It really depends on if the deterioration is small or large. Small stuff and clean cracks can be patched/repaired as long as the underlying steel is in good shape. if the pieces project out from the wall they need something to support them and its usually steel. Good repair materials are supplied by Jahn and Edison Chemicals, for both companies you need to be trained and certified to use the materials.

We use a lot of cast stone for replacement because you can get it faster that terra cotta. but it will weather differently. Also for projecting pieces you have to be careful with weight. Terra cotta is hollow and cast stone or even limestone will be too heavy for the supports. if you want new terra cotta Boston Valley and Gladden Mcbean are the only US suppliers. figure at least 5 to 6 months after molds are made to get pieces.
 

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get an angle grinder with a 4-7" diamond cupwheel and take off the paint. mcgill warehouse has cheap cupwheels that are more than sufficient and don't costs as much as the cupwheels i buy to do my granite work from my granite tooling companies. you will create a lot of dust so wear a resperator as far as the joints use 100% silicone and go to town. don't use a hard caulk for the joints as they will crack over time and the silicone allows flexability for swelling of the windows too.
 

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miromasonry

how much money do they have that will answer all your questions miromasonry
We are starting a project which we thought involved repair and or replacement of limestone. However when our limestone supplier visited the site yesterday he said that he thinks this is terra cotta.
Can anyone advise me on terracotta restoration. How is it done? Is it very costly, would you advise just replacing with limestone? Current "stone" is painted and cracking. It is the sills and lintels (they are painted now - so they might be limestone). thanks.
 
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