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nless_dream
06-22-2009, 08:33 AM
ok, so i'm in the market for new granite countertops and was wonder if anyone knows the difference between purchasing from homedepot type of store then other companies. The price is almost half if purchased from other companies. I see fliers for granite from $34 sq/ft. Just wanted to know what its all about. Reference if anyone knows someone locally would be great :)

skhermsmeyer
06-22-2009, 09:00 AM
Not from your area, but had our counters installed last wednesday. We saved almost 2500 by using an independent company instead of home depot or lowes. We were able to pick out our own slab and they were really friendly. They answered all of our questions and were great to work with. My DH did research on the companies in the ATL area and we were surprised how many there were. We ended up getting ours for 38 a sq/ft and they wanted almost 72 for almost the exact same thing at lowes. The home depot and lowes people were slow to return our calls and the guy from HD showed up almost 3 hours late.

We're happy with what we got and it looks great. I'd look around in your area and check kudzu for references. Good luck! :)

ChrisinNJ
06-22-2009, 09:11 AM
When you get the sale flyer for $xx.xx per square foot, that is not the total price. If you see a price that is really low, it probably does not include any edge, or cutouts. By they time you include those into the price, it jacks wayyyy up.

One local place wanted $60.00 sq.ft. Another advertised $40.00 for the same granite. The cheaper granite company ended up with a total price of $350.00 more for the same job.

Price it at Lowe's & HD, but price it at other retailers too. That is the only way to really compare the prices.

cndij
06-22-2009, 09:43 AM
Also be sure to check into Quartz. I thought I wanted Granite, but my sister told me Quartz was better (she's a big fan of those home improvement shows)
No need to be sealed etc., I have had it about 3 years now and it still looks like the day it was installed.

nless_dream
06-22-2009, 09:43 AM
Not from your area, but had our counters installed last wednesday. We saved almost 2500 by using an independent company instead of home depot or lowes. We were able to pick out our own slab and they were really friendly. They answered all of our questions and were great to work with. My DH did research on the companies in the ATL area and we were surprised how many there were. We ended up getting ours for 38 a sq/ft and they wanted almost 72 for almost the exact same thing at lowes. The home depot and lowes people were slow to return our calls and the guy from HD showed up almost 3 hours late.

We're happy with what we got and it looks great. I'd look around in your area and check kudzu for references. Good luck! :)




When you get the sale flyer for $xx.xx per square foot, that is not the total price. If you see a price that is really low, it probably does not include any edge, or cutouts. By they time you include those into the price, it jacks wayyyy up.

One local place wanted $60.00 sq.ft. Another advertised $40.00 for the same granite. The cheaper granite company ended up with a total price of $350.00 more for the same job.

Price it at Lowe's & HD, but price it at other retailers too. That is the only way to really compare the prices.


we just first got it estimated at HomeDepot to get a price range but i'm thinking lowes will be similar. I just don't like calling people to comeover to do estimates because I hate it when they call you over and over and over.

HomeDepot said it comes with 15 years warranty

nless_dream
06-22-2009, 09:44 AM
Also be sure to check into Quartz. I thought I wanted Granite, but my sister told me Quartz was better (she's a big fan of those home improvement shows)
No need to be sealed etc., I have had it about 3 years now and it still looks like the day it was installed.

thanks for the suggestion. i'll have to look into that.

Southern Disney Bell
06-22-2009, 09:54 AM
My husband and I just built a home ourselves (subcontracted everything) and it was an eye opening experience....

Regarding granite....be sure to ask them the thickness of the granite..the majority of them quoted us 2 cm. Also, they will charge you for each cut out (sink, drop in cook top, etc...)My installer charged me $150.00 for each of my sink sut outs (kitchen and baths). I ended up spending approx $7,000 for all my granite (kitchen, 3 bathrooms and laundry) this does not include my sinks - I bought those from a plumbing company. We went with a standard granite (giallo napolean $50.00 per sq. foot) in the bathrooms and I upgraded a bit in the kitchen to approx ($60.00 square foot).

Hope this helps! I would be leary of those companies advertisng with $34 per sq foot.

*KeepMovingForward*
06-22-2009, 10:18 AM
Thickness can be different. Some look like they are thick on the edge, but if you cup your hand under the edge you'll notice the slab is thinner. We went with an indepent granite dealer and saved a bundle. The price we were given included our custom edge, sink and faucet cut outs and a 20 year warranty. We were able to choose all our slabs. Getting a cheaper price does not always mean that you are getting lesser quality. My DH is a contractor (electrical) and I can tell you that in these hard economic times, many are coming back to reality with their prices just so they have some work lined up. DH gets lots of work from a local independent kitchen designer/installer and with the economy the way it is, they have been giving 50% off their normal prices. Their quality and product have not changed. So sometimes you CAN get a good deal and not be sacrificing anything. Just do your homework and compare apples to apples with what you are offered.

spare+a_pair
06-22-2009, 11:00 AM
We sub-contracted our house too - and we went with granite countertops

Getting quotes is really the only way to get the best deal for your area. You really could save a bundle - make sure you get the quotes with labor too.

Also - regarding cutouts for sinks, cooktops, etc. Make sure that you ask for those pieces back. My granite installer made me 2 cutting boards out of the cutout from my sink. Our tile installer took the cooktop cutout, cut it into squares and used it as accent pieces in the backsplash throughout the kitchen.

Just a heads up on that since you may not have known :thumbsup2

nless_dream
06-22-2009, 11:06 AM
We sub-contracted our house too - and we went with granite countertops

Getting quotes is really the only way to get the best deal for your area. You really could save a bundle - make sure you get the quotes with labor too.

Also - regarding cutouts for sinks, cooktops, etc. Make sure that you ask for those pieces back. My granite installer made me 2 cutting boards out of the cutout from my sink. Our tile installer took the cooktop cutout, cut it into squares and used it as accent pieces in the backsplash throughout the kitchen.

Just a heads up on that since you may not have known :thumbsup2



thanks for letting me know about getting your cutout from your sinks, etc. never realized it.


Thank You everyone for educating and giving me tips. If there are more tips, please don't hesitate to chime in :)

MineMail
06-22-2009, 11:20 AM
We found that specialty contractors were less expensive then Lowes/HD/Sam's Club/BJ's/Costco etc. You have to "manage" them more, however, since you have direct contact with the contractor. With the stores, there's a middleman who coordinates the work. Could be good (fixing errors), could be bad (communication issues). All depends on the players.

We started at Lowes/HD, found the contractor on our own, then he sent us to the stone place after he couldn't get the granite style we wanted. (HD had the sample, he said to pick "anything HD sells" then called three weeks later to say he couldn't get that style and we had to go pick out a slab at the stone place. Wasted over a month of time.)

The people at the stone place we visited to pick out a slab were "diplomatic" when talking about our contractor (who sent us to them, not vice versa) and tried to change the subject whenever he came up in conversation. It was foreshadowing: the contractor we had hired screwed up on every step of the job: scheduling, ordering, measuring, installation, and followup. I love my counters now, but we had a miserable time getting them installed correctly. It delayed our moving date twice.

If I had it to do over, I would have gone to the stone dealer's shop first and checked out their inventory. They have huge slabs of the different stones that are easier to imagine as counters than the 4" samples the stores have on hand or that you can order over the internet.

I would definitely ask the stone place about contractors, esp. one I was considering for hire. They know which contractors placed rush and replacement slab orders because of errors and mistakes.

The usual home improvement cautions about deposits, partial payments, etc. apply. Don't be too quick to pay the bulk of the bill until everything's done completely. In our case, he agreed to take almost $1000 off the final bill because of the screwups and delays he caused.

If you have a hard-and-fast deadline, add it to the contract. If you can, add in a $$ penalty in the event that they miss the deadline.

MineMail
06-22-2009, 11:26 AM
Also - regarding cutouts for sinks, cooktops, etc. Make sure that you ask for those pieces back.
thanks for letting me know about getting your cutout from your sinks, etc. never realized it.

Put it in the contract and make sure the measuring person writes it down in big letters. They conveniently "forgot" the piece from our double sink and it had already been "tossed out." It was a nice, big piece that I'm sure they used for another job. Now I'm getting angry again. Deep breaths, deep breaths... j/k

pixie921
06-22-2009, 12:01 PM
We are in the process of renovating our kitchen and dining room and are having our granite installed in two weeks. We looked at many places, including HD and Lowes, but ended up going with a local company. If you're picky at all, I cannot overemphasize the importance of actually being able to see the large slab that your countertops are going to come out of. Those little samples you see at the stores won't show you anything compared to looking at the entire piece. Even large slabs cut from the same section of rock can be drastically different from one another so it's important to be able to choose the exact one you want to use in your home.

With our slab, we were able to go up to the shop before they began cutting it and select which pieces would go where (we have 3 separate runs of countertop), and even have them leave out a section with a vein we found unattrative and not as colorful as the rest. :) If we'd gone with a "big box" store, we'd never have been able to do that and might have been disappointed with the results.

(We looked into quartz, too, but found it was much more expensive than the granite.)

tinkarooni
06-22-2009, 12:01 PM
When we were looking at our Lowes/Home depot it turned out that the slabs were thinner and the pieces were only 4 foot wide. So if you have an expanse of countertop you will have multiple seams as opposed to picking out a big slab that they custom cut for you. I have a vary large expanse on an insland and only have one seam on the entire thing which was done by a Kitchen Contractor. Lowes/ Home Depot couldn't do that. I would shop around with the kitchen stores, these days you can negotiate good prices on just about anything. Good Luck.

nless_dream
06-22-2009, 12:54 PM
thank you again everyone! great info and what to look out for.

Tampa Mousekeeter
06-22-2009, 01:31 PM
We also picked our own slab..and if you go that way the granite "yard" usually has a list of installers you can pick from.

deva
06-22-2009, 11:37 PM
We replaced with granite about a year ago. Most of the granite that is really cheap is much thinner than "standard" and has additional plywood underneath to give it the proper thickness. I ended up going with Home Depot simply because I found what I really wanted there. They also let you go to look at the slab prior to cutting. I got a granite that does not need to be sealed and is guaranteed not to stain for 15 years. It was mid-range in the price scale which goes from around $50 to $120+. Also as mentioned, fancier finished edges and cuts other than right angle square corners can cost extra. Our island has some diagonal cuts that cost extra. Also, if you have an overhang of more than a few inches you need to have extra support for the granite. We have an overhang of 12" with barstool seating off the island and needed 3 supports. HD wanted $900 to put them in. I had a local handyman install for $150.

Mermaid2sea
06-23-2009, 05:22 AM
Also be sure to check into Quartz. I thought I wanted Granite, but my sister told me Quartz was better (she's a big fan of those home improvement shows)
No need to be sealed etc., I have had it about 3 years now and it still looks like the day it was installed.

We've had Granite for nearly a year....we've never sealed it though...

StregaNona
06-23-2009, 10:21 AM
Thank you to the OP for posting this question and to everyone who answered. We are in the looking stages of remodeling our kitchen and are leaning towards granite. I appreciate all the input.