So, you have decided that you want new countertops, but you don’t know what to expect. In this post we will do our best to simplify the process for you. Step 1 – Get a quote The first step in getting new countertops is to get a quote. To get an accurate estimate someone needs to come to your home, get measurements and see what is going on. Every day we get asked, “Can you just give me a ballpark price.” NO, we cannot. I am going to be extremely blunt here – anyone that does is an idiot and someone I would be very skeptical of. This is like asking a doctor over the phone what is wrong with you and the doctor has not even seen you. There is no way the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis. Until someone has come out to see your space and understand your wants/needs, it is very hard to get a complete picture of what needs to be done. Here are just a few items we do not know when you ask for a ballpark quote: what material you want, what design you want, how many square feet you need, how many sheets or slabs of material you need, what edge you want, what type of sink you want, what overhangs do you have, do you have bump outs, do you need custom underlayment, does your design require steel support, what material will be torn out, what type of cooktop do you have, what type of range do you have, how many people will it take to carry in island, do we need to put in extra seams to get countertop into position (stairs, elevator, tight entry/hall). The list goes on. A reputable company will not give an estimate until they know what they are looking at. When a sales rep comes to your home to give a quote, they will spend time getting to know you, your needs, your goals, your design style and what is going on with your project. Only then can they begin to put together a quote that is custom tailored to your needs and project. Expect to spend an hour or two with the sales rep as they work to better understand your needs. Step 2 – Sign a contract Once you have made decision to buy you will sign a contract with your sales rep and give a deposit of 50% down. No work will be started until a contract has been signed and your deposit has cleared. The contract will clearly state the details of your project. There are also two document we provide that give you a solid overview of what to expect – in case you have not read this or watch the attached video. Transparency is extremely important to us and we spend a ton of time educating our customers, so they know what to expect. Once you have signed your agreements, paid your deposit (and it has cleared) we will send out someone to template your countertops. Depending on the complexity/design of your project the templater may actually make physical templates of your countertops, take more exact measurements or use a digital measuring device and make digital templates. YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TEMPLATING Someone must be home at the time of template that can sign off on all the final details. The final pricing is determined from the final details at template. Why would the price change after you have signed an agreement? Well, after 20 years in this industry it is amazing how much can change between the signing of the agreement and the final design at template. Rarely does this happen, but it does happen. Here are just a few things we have run into:

·     Decision to change material

·     Decision to change design

·     Decision to increase or decrease overhang

·     Decision to change edge detail

·     Decision to change sink

·     Change kitchen layout – yes one time a templater showed up and the ENTIRE kitchen layout had changed including the removal of a wall.

·     Change of cabinet sizes

·     Divorce – one time a templater showed up and the couple informed us they had decided to get a divorce the night before and were not moving forward – refund was given.

As you can see it is very, very important to have someone discuss all the final details with the template. Once the final template is done, we will calculate and price increases or decreases if there are any. If there are any price increases or decreases, you will need to sign a change order acknowledging acceptance of the change and the associated cost increase or decrease. Step 3 – Pick Slabs This applies to custom natural stone countertops only. If you are going with solid surface, quartz or a stocked natural stone color you will not choose your slabs. If you are hand picking your slabs you will visit your local stone distributor and make your choices. Stone Distributors we work with include: AZ Tile, IMC, Aria, MS Stone, Levantina, Stone Source and many more. Before you go to pick your slabs, you will be given the following information:

·     Location of stone distributor

·     Contact information if appointment is needed

·     Number of slabs needed for your project – estimated slab size based on

·     Whether or not book matched slabs are needed

·     Slab design chosen

·     Slab thickness – 3cm or 2cm

When you arrive, you can present this information to the distributor and they will work with you to make your selections. Please note, it is very easy to get distracted looking at all the incredible slabs. If you make a choice other than what was on your agreement your price could increase. Slabs can range from less than a $1000 each to 10’s of thousands of dollars each. It is ok to change your mind; you will just need to sign a change order and agree to any price changes before we can buy your slabs and get them delivered to begin fabrication. Step 4 – Fabrication Fabrication is the process of turning the raw slabs or material sheets into your dream kitchen. They get cut to their final shape and size, edges get put on, sinks get cut out and they are polished/sanded and ready to be installed. This was a very brief summary. The fabrication process is actually very exciting, and a lot goes into creating your dream kitchen (if you enjoy getting into the nuts and bolts.) YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT FABRICATION. Step 5 – Demo If you have existing countertops that need to be demoed before installation of your new countertops, this is the next step. 99% of the time this is done a day or two before or the day of install. If you have an involved project that will require structural modifications or cabinet changes, demo may be done even before template. It is extremely important to remove anything valuable or breakable from your cabinets before demo commences. While we strive to keep your home as clean as possible, demo is demo work and it is dusty no matter what we do. Any time materials are being broken apart and removed dust is created. After demoing our teams will dust and vacuum what they can see, but often dust continues to settle for days after demo is done. Step 6 – Install The big day is here. Your new countertops will arrive. The team will start installing your countertops one at a time. The installers will install your sink into your countertop and drill your faucet holes. They will not connect your faucet, sink plumbing or disposal though. The countertop installers are not plumbers and you do not want them doing plumbing. We are countertop experts – not plumbers. We recommend you schedule to have your plumber come out the DAY AFTER your countertop installation. The main reason for this that the countertop installers use silicone to seal your sink to the countertop. It takes a good 12 hours for silicone to fully cure. Too many times we have seen plumbers show up right after we leave and pull on your sink and mess up the seal. When plumbers are working in the tight cabinet space under your sink it is too easy to push your sink around installing a faucet or grab the sink to help you adjust in the tight quarters. It is not their fault – it is extremely tight under the sink! We have just found waiting one more day gives you the best chance for a great experience. Once the installers have finished, they will clean up and leave you to admire your new dream space. Do not pay the installers. Step 7 – Final Sign-off and Care and Maintenance Once your countertop has been installed your sales rep will stop by that day or the following day to go over everything. They will get a final sign-off, go over care and maintenance, answer any questions you have that may have come up and collect the final payment. This is when things get fun. Now you can start sharing incredible family memories around your kitchen countertops. And good design is good for the soul. There is something relaxing and satisfying about working in a well-designed space every day. We love “making life better,” and we hope you will enjoy your new countertops for years to come. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or email us. We love hearing from you and helping answer any questions you may have.

December 29, 2019

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