The concept of stone columns has a wide range of applications, from mailbox post, railing to fence posts. They can be made or rocks, stones, cast stone, cultured stone, stone veneer, faux stone, stone panels, cinder blocks and more.
Each of these materials has its own intrinsic characteristics.
If one absorbs water, the other repels it quite well. One may have its colors fade under the sun but the other could be sold with UV-rated finishes.
One has to pay attention to these properties in order to obtain a long-term benefit from the application of these faux stone columns. Cast stone is usually affordable but it is both heavy and requires a considerable amount of man-hour to get it installed, grouted and sealed. If one takes into consideration a faux stone veneer product he or she can quickly find some major difference.
If comparing real stone veneer to stone veneer panels one can easily see how they do not stack up against each other. Real stone veneer is both heavy and expensive to install. Faux stone veneer is light and quick to install.
Many of the cast or real stones have an issue with maintenance. The fact they absorb water is the leading cause of dark streaks and mold growing on them.
Faux stone columns should be pretty easy to install, particularly if it is a homeowner or a small contractor taking care of it. Here are some instructions: http://www.anticoelements.com/blog/installation-instructions-post-wraps/
Using materials that are heavy, difficult to cut to size, expensive to ship, that are not waterproof and that absorb water, is really not a good way to create a stone post.
Always take a look at faux stone to make sure you understand the difference between old materials and innovative ones.