Dirty Little Secrets About Granite Prices
Remember what your parents taught you.....
You only get what you pay for, or, from the other viewpoint, you don't get what you don't pay for. Settling for cheapest will not give the best value. The best value comes from a combination of Quality, Service, Price, and Confidence based on a record of performance with independent reviews.
Fair and Clear Pricing Policy
First of all, don't get sucked-in by a low price-per-square-foot advertisement.
Heritage Stonecraft is committed to simple, clear and detailed cost estimates, which we explain in person. We do not use any bait-and-switch tactics or leave any probable costs undisclosed. We also offer to price-match but only for reputable and competent companies provided we see a complete and detailed proposal.
We offer top-ranked quality, service and reputation with prices lower than most.
Price per square foot
We often get phone calls simply asking for unit prices for our products. If all you are doing is trying to set up a budget, that may be adequate. However, we know that less scrupulous companies advertise an artificially low $/sq ft price to get people hooked, and all the "add-on's" only get revealed after the customer has invested a lot of time and energy.
Such tactics include:
- Extra charges for estimates, templates or fuel "surcharges";
- over-estimation of square feet (double counting corners in "L" shaped pieces);
- additional charges for several basic edge polishing options;
- charges for cooktop cutouts and faucets holes;
- charges for sealing the stone;
- charges for smoothing the underside of the front edge;
- charges for adding reinforcement or "rods" to cutout locations;
- surcharges for "L" shaped pieces;
- charges for firm installation dates................ etc etc.
Also, many base their square footage on the size of the slabs used, not the square footage of your kitchen or bath.
The bottom line - only a complete and itemized estimate for your particular kitchen or project can be used for genuine cost comparisons.
Stone & Fabrication Quality
Heritage Stonecraft uses only "first quality" stone slabs in 3 cm thickness (1 1/4") where available.
Others sometimes base their advertised prices on 2 cm (3/4") granite, "commercial grade", or pre-manufactured chinese"blanks" - which normally increase the number and placement of seams and result in larger color variations between pieces.
All our large machinery is "made-in-the-USA". The edge polish and cutout accuracy is the best that can be attained with CNC machines and line polishers that cost over $300,000 each. Many smaller companies perform most of the work using hand tools and even cut the stone inside the home.
Our templates are made using the latest laser technology and feed their digital data directly to our CNC machine. The old-fashioned method of wood or paper templates is still used by most other companies.
As Marble Institute members since 2003, all fabrication and installation is done according to their standards. Almost every week we are asked to review and provide expert opinion on sub-standard installations done by others which are improper including:
- seams over dishwashers
- no subtop with 2 cm granite counters
- no reinforcement at cutouts
- use of the wrong adhesives with undermount sinks
- failure to use mechanical support for undermount sinks
- inadequate support for large high-bars
- excessive and unsupported overhangs
- diagonal corner seams
- poorly polished edges (probably dry-polished versus wet polished)
- lippage at seams and inadequately bonded seams
- etc etc
Cheap bidders do not use MIA standards and have to cut corners to meet a cheap price. Many don't actually know that standards exist.
Layout and Cutting Options
Heritage Stonecraft works with the customer to minimize the number of seams. For granite with large patterns/veins, we invite the customer to participate in the layout process so they can make choices on how the slabs are cut and positioned in the project.
For many other companies you don't even get to see the slabs before they are cut, and have no say on how the pieces are cut and the number and position of seams. Estimates from some competing companies disclose this critical issue. Others do not mention the matter.
Warranty - What Warranty?
Heritage Stonecraft is extremely unusual in offering a 5 year warranty with our natural stone installations. Engineered Quartz usually comes with longer warranties. On over 5000 completed projects (since we started business in 2003) we have had only 2 warranty calls. Both were addressed immediately although one was as a result of foundation movement and repair which, strictly speaking, wasn't covered.
Heritage Stonecraft does not use subcontractors for any aspect of the granite or countertop fabrication or installation. All employees are thoroughly background-checked before employment and all are US citizens or legal residents. All are offered a heavily subsidized medical insurance benefit and paid fair wages and overtime in accordance with State and Federal regulations.
Most other fabricators do not perform background checks and turn a blind eye to the legal status of their employees. Many cheap fabricators "enjoy" a lower cost of labor by paying illegal immigrants a lower wage with no overtime.
We carry $2,000,000 liability coverage and all our employees are protected by Workers Compensation Insurance. Many other fabricators do not carry any insurance.
We are members of the Marble Institute of America , the authoritative source of information on standards of natural stone workmanship and practice. We are also authorized by all major engineered quartz and recycled glass manufacturers who have inspected and approved our fabrication facility and processes.
I invite all potential customers to come and visit our exceptional fabrication facility and showroom.