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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Garden Decor and Installation of Outdoor Water Fountains, Statues and Planters

Why should I choose cast stone products for my garden?
Cast Stone is produced with a set of Quality Standards that result in several features which create valuable benefits for the gardener and landscape designer. The strict observance of quality standards ensures that the customer will receive the highest quality Cast Stone products. Other types of materials used for planters and fountains, such as regular concrete, ceramic, fiberglass, and plastic do not follow these Quality Standards and may result in immediate and long term defects. Some unique qualities of Cast Stone are listed here:

Low Thermal Conductivity-Keeps plant roots from getting too hot promoting healthy plant growth. This is especially important if you wish to grow flowering shrub such as roses. Ceramic, metal, plastic, and fiberglass allow soil temperatures to elevate well beyond what most plants can tolerate.

Highest Compressive and Tensile Strength- Prevents cracking due to freeze thaw and root growth in planters.

Mold Conformity-Ensures that your garden fountain or garden planter matches the intended Frank Lloyd Wright reproduction design or other selected designs.

Color Standards-Ensures adherence color finishes that will last the test of time.

Low Air Entrapment-Prevents cracks and other deformities that occur with other concrete products not made with Quality Standards.

Shrinkage Prevention-Shrinkage will not exceed 0.065%. This ensures your design will be preserved with the dimensions and shape the designer intended. 

Weight-The weight of Cast Stone products is a strong deterrent to theft.

What is the difference between cast stone and concrete?
The primary difference in Cast Stone and regular concrete garden products is that Cast Stone follows strict professional standards set by The Cast Stone Institute, The Portland Cement Society, The American Society for Testing & Materials and others. These professional organizations set standards for both the process and all of the raw materials used to create cast stone products. The manufacturer of our Cast Stone products also holds certifications from various professional organizations. The technology of the cast stone process produces a much more durable architectural concrete product. 

When will my cast stone fountain or planter be delivered?
Concrete garden fountains and garden planters are made to order. There is usually about a 4 week production time and a delivery time of about 5-6 business days. Depending on the size of your order you may receive your products in about 4-5 weeks. Fountains require extra production time and may be delivered in 4-6 weeks. You will be notified in advance when the order is shipped and you will receive a call from the freight delivery representative the day before arrival.

Are custom colors available?
Custom colors are available. A sample of the color desired is of great help when creating custom colors. Please contact us if you desire a custom color.

What is Freight Delivery?
Freight delivery is a commercial delivery method that provides specialized equipment to properly secure and deliver your cast stone products safely. Freight deliveries also have the equipment needed to safely unload your crate products to your residence or commercial building.

Why must my Outdoor Water Fountain or planter be delivered by freight?
The size and weight of Cast Stone garden planters and fountains necessitate these items be crated to protect them during shipping and delivery. This special crating process protects the products from sustaining damage during shipment. Freight deliverers also have the appropriate equipment to unload the product safely to your residence or commercial loading dock. For more information, please see the Shipping Rules.

What are the Quality Standards used to create cast stone products from The Garden Fountain Store?
The following are elements of the Quality Standards for our Cast stone products:

1) A properly proportioned mixture of cement, natural or manufactured sands, carefully selected crushed stone or graded natural gravel, and mineral pigments. The type and quality of the raw materials used are clearly described in the quality standards. These raw materials are:

a. Portland Cement-Type I or Type II white or grey in compliance with the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM).

b. Coarse aggregates-Granite, quartz or limestone (ASTM C 33).

c. Fine Aggregates-Manufactured or natural sands (ASTM C 33).

d. Colors-Inorganic iron oxide pigments (ASTM C 979).

e. Admixtures for air-entraining, water repellents. (ASTM C 260, C 494, C495M).

f. Reinforcing bars- Grade 40 or 60 steel galvanized or epoxy coated. (ASTM A 615/A, 615M.

g. Color and Finish Standards.

2) Vibrant Dry Tamp method-vibrating moist mixture of zero-slump concrete against a rigid mold until it is densely consolidated. This method is used for fountains, planters and large statues.

3) Wet casting method-made from measurable slump concrete and vibrated into a mold until it is densely compacted. This method is used for the garden art items.

4) Certification: Manufactured with the Cast Stone Institute Plant Certification which includes job site testing.

Will my Frank Lloyd Wright Reproduction display the Frank Lloyd Wright name?
Yes, all Frank Lloyd Wright reproductions contain a small plaque with the Frank Lloyd Wright signature.

Will I need help installing my fountain or planter?
Depending on your resources you may need assistance uncrating and placing your garden planter or fountain in your garden. The Cast Stone products are as heavy as natural cut stone. The extent of assistance required depends, of course, on the weight and size of the item. Most customers find they can move items that weigh up to 200-300 lbs. If your item is small you may not need any additional assistance other than a friend helping you to position your fountain in place. For large items and those weighing greater than 300 lbs, it is recommended that a professional installer assists in the installation. Installers are usually landscape companies that have a forklift and other tools that can safely and easily position large items in your garden. With a little planning, the installation process should only take a little time and go very smoothly. The Garden Fountain Store can assist you in determining what type of resources you will need to safely and easily install your cast stone garden features. We may also be contacted on the day of delivery to troubleshoot any issues.

How do I find installers in my city?
Landscape architects and pool companies are the usual installers for these products. You may contact some of these local companies or contact The Garden Fountain Store for assistance.

How do I prepare my garden for installation of planters?
There are two important things to complete for preparing your garden space for installation of planters.

First, you should decide on the most appropriate location for your planter. If your planter is large you may want to decide on a relatively permanent location. Large planters can be moved but will probably require more than one person to lift and relocate.

The other important preparation item is the surface. Planters should be set on a solid level surface. If you wish to place large planters directly on the ground, a solid cast stone base is recommended. (Please see the selection of bases offered in the Pedestals & Bases category). You may also make your own base by removing soil and adding bricks (or some other hard solid stone or masonry product.) Just be sure that the base you create is suitable for direct contact with soil and is appropriate for the weight of the planter. Use a leveling tool to ensure the surface is level.

How do I prepare my garden for installation of outdoor water fountains?
Fountains require a solid level surface for proper installation. You have probably already considered the location of your fountain before your purchase. However, here is a quick checklist :

1.    Electrical Source - Fountains require a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) at each outlet. These types of outlets are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. The GFCI senses any electrical contact with water or electrical current overload. If contact with water is observed, the GFCI immediately stops the electrical current. Contact a professional electrician to install GFCI circuits.
2.    Surface - A solid level surface is required.
3.    Pets - Pets will drink from fountains. Make sure your water level stays above the level of the pump.
4.    Falling Debris - Falling leaves will be collected in the fountain if place under trees. Debris should be regularly removed.
5.    Splashing - Some splashing is expected to the surrounding space.
6.    Viewing - The location should be one that you will enjoy the view the most.
7.    Seating - Seating in your garden should enhance the view of the fountain.
8.    Sound - Larger water flows are required for more sound.
9.    Lighting - Lighting can be set up inside the fountain or from an outside source. Submerged lighting must be specifically made for that purpose. Do not use any other lighting source other than that which is intended for fountain use.

What factors should I consider when choosing a concrete planter?
You have made a good choice in choosing a Cast Stone Garden Planter for your garden. The unique designs will accent your garden space and inspire the expansion of your garden creation. One important factor to consider is the appropriate size of your planter. The planter should enhance the garden, not overwhelm it. The size of the planters should be in proportion to the dimensions of your garden space. Small courtyards and enclosed gardens will accommodate small and medium planters best. Simply, small planters will be more appropriate for small spaces and large planters for large or open landscapes.

What factors should I consider when choosing a color?
Although color choices are essentially a matter of personal preference, the most popular color is limestone. If you have doubts about what color to choose, limestone is probably your best choice. Other colors are available and used primarily to match other garden ornaments already present or to coordinate the color of outside structures.

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