Granite countertops purchases involve selecting the right fabricator, which is the most important decision of the whole process. According to the stone and industry survey, homeowners spend a major part of the granite countertops purchase process in selecting their granite slabs. Yes, without a question selecting the right granite is very important.
Choosing the right granite fabricator to install your countertops is even more important because, the right fabricator can help you choose the best granite, and explain the pros and cons of using different kinds of stones that are most suitable for your project.
Like a tailor that stitches a custom-made suit can make you look better by stitching a suit to your particular body style and contours after taking careful measurements, a custom stone fabricator can make your kitchen look wonderful by measuring and fabricating with high quality standards. Conversely, an inexperienced fabricator can ruin the looks of the best looking granite slabs you selected. By no means is this an exaggeration!
The following are important guidelines for choosing the right granite fabricator for you!
1. How long has the company been in the granite fabrication business? Do they have a physical location that you can visit?
If they are shy about showing their location, they are either not true fabricators and just middlemen getting a job done elsewhere to get a commission, or they fabricate in their backyard or garage with primitive tools and methods. If they do not have a physical location, where can you go to address your future concerns, should they arise? Obviously they cannot produce the quality work you desire.
Arch City has been in business since 2005 in the same location at 1540 Page Industrial Blvd in St. Louis, Missouri. The 10,000 square foot building is owned and operated solely by Arch City Granite.
2. Does the fabricator use modern stone cutting technology like measuring your countertops with digital equipment and CNC stone profiling machines to offer high quality standards?
Reputed granite fabricators throughout the United States are switching to digital stone cutting technology. Arch City was the first granite countertop fabrication company in St. Louis to use a combination of digital measuring and CNC fabrication. We invite you to come see how we work!
3. Will they be able to provide references that you can check yourself?
A reputable granite fabricator will be able to provide you with references of their recent projects
4. Do they have in house installation teams?
In house teams tend to know the details of the project and understand the expectations of the customers better. Arch City does not use subcontractors to install any of our granite installations.
5. Is your granite fabricator adequately insured?
Granite fabrication companies with insurance coverage of workman’s compensation and business liability is important to the customer. This ensures that your property is protected in the unfortunate instance that the employee who is installing your countertops is injured or there is damage to your property. Arch City is covered with the complete insurance coverage to protect our employees and your property.
6. Does the fabricator affiliate with reputed stone industry associations? Are they a member of the Marble Institute of America?
MIA sets the quality standards of natural stone fabrication and installation. MIA also offers a continuous education in the latest techniques of stone fabrication. Don’t you think that a serious stone industry professional would like to associate with MIA to keep abreast of the newest stone cutting technology?
Arch City Granite is a member of MIA, and strictly follows the technical and ethical standards set by the organization.
We are also associated with ASID St. Louis chapter, NKBA of St. Louis, and Designspeak of St. Louis, in order to stay on top of the latest kitchen design trends.
7. Getting bids from 3 fabricators?
It is a good practice to get three bids from the local area granite fabricators before making a final decision. Email, fax, or bring your kitchen drawings or a rough sketch of your kitchen with measurements to the fabricator that you want bids from. When studying the bids, take care to compare the details of the offers made by different fabricators. The following items need to be consider while comparing different bids:
- Are the stone slabs used the same? This is important because some fabricators use unusual and funny sounding names that are not industry standards to confuse or disguise the reality from the customer. Reputed fabricators tend to use the industry standard names. This way you are comparing the same stone.
- If the name is the same, is it the same thickness? Saint Louis granite industry standards is 3cm (1 ¼”) thickness. Check to see if the fabricator is using 2 cm thick stones to cut the cost.
- Is the fabricator using full slabs of granite to custom cut your kitchen countertops? Some fabricators in the Saint Louis granite industry use prefabricated blanks