So how do you find a competent fabricator?
In recent years, demand for stone counters has increased dramatically which has attracted contractors and granite suppliers with limited experience and poor business skills all in search of profits. And the variation in product source, machinery/equipment and skilled labor in the industry accounts for the huge discrepancy in countertop pricing. That´s why you need to be even more careful choosing the right fabricator.
There are too many different types of companies selling countertops; fabricators, contractors, online companies, brokers, some retail businesses and even some people who literally operate out of a garage and build countertops in your driveway. But with a little bit of research you will find an all-in-one fabricator that does everything from supplying the material to fabricating and installing. Once you find a potential fabricator, make sure you visit and look at their operation, fabrication equipment and inventory. Then ask specific questions so that you can compare apples to apples and make a better decision.
What questions should you ask?
If a fabricator can answer all of the following questions to your satisfaction, you will end up with a beautiful kitchen or bathroom countertop, one that will last as long as your home. (You may find the printable summary of this qualification questions at the end of this section.)
1- What kind of Certifications does the fabricator have?
Fabrication and installation certification programs ensure the technical competence of fabrication and installation professionals. They go beyond training by providing a tangible measurement of fabricator´s / installer´s knowledge of a process and/or product. Certification programs establish standards for fabricator/installer training and play an important role in developing a qualified workforce. SARE Granite & Tile is Authorized and Certified by Silestone, Cambria, Zodiaq and Caesarstone.
2- What kind of fabrication equipment do they use?
Even the best human fabricator will have variations between finished results, whereas an automated machine will produce exactly the same result each and every time it is run. This is very important in stone fabrication, where a single wrong cut or a wavy edge profile can take away a lot from the beauty of your new countertops. At SARE Granite & Tile, we use the most advanced stone cutting and profiling machinery. Our state-of-the-art, laser guided and computerized equipment cuts and profiles the stones consistently with precision.
3- How well are they established, number of locations?
Doing business with a solid company is very important due to the fact that you will need pre and post installation support and service on resolving issues under warranty. SARE Granite & Tile is a well-established natural & engineered stone importer, fabricator and installer. With years of experience, SARE Granite & Tile operates 2 location at Asheville & Arden NC. Charlotte location is coming soon..
4- Material variety? How many colors do they offer?
Keeping inventory at the proper level is very important to a business. The amount of inventory also shows the strength of the company. Low or no inventory leaves a company too vulnerable to shocks. If the fabricator is using another company's inventory or buys the slabs when an order is placed the necessary purchases may not be available "in time" to meet the customer´s demand. In the event of a fabrication accident or a mistake your project may be delayed or may not be finished at all, and that is why here at SARE Granite & Tile we stock over 50 colors, making it very easy to meet the customer´s demand in a timely manner. SARE & Granite & Tile also deals with local dealer in case you like something else then what we have in stock.
5- How do they template?
No matter what, if a job is not measured right it will not be fabricated right and if it is not fabricated right it cannot not be installed right. Since the walls are never square, an accurate kitchen measurement cannot be done by an unexperienced technicians. At SARE Granite & Tile our technicians are college graduated and expericiend in the field of accurete measuring. The accurate measurement is digitilized after templating is done.
We know that our clients expect the very best for their homes and projects! That is why we place our emphasis on accuracy that ensures a secure measurement. With the accuracy and error reduction of digital measuring process, you will be enjoying a better fitting tops that doesn´t need to be reworked and can be installed with minimal on-site modifications.
6- Will they provide a copy of your countertop's layout for your records?
This is an important piece of paper work to hang on to. This will show you all of your countertop measurements ensuring that you have been properly charged. It will also help if you choose to go with a tile for a back splash or do any additions to your project at a later time. SARE Granite & Tile will proudly offer you a copy of your template upon signing your contract.
7- Do they offer a written Limited Lifetime Warranty?
When making any kind of purchase, it is nice to know that you will have a Limited Lifetime warranty to cover any kind of defects or problems that may later occur. One of our main goals here at SARE Granite & Tile is service after the sale and that is why SARE Granite & Tile offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty to all of its customers. Making it headache free if something should later occur.
8- Will you be able to pick out your actual slab?
This is something that we highly recommend especially if you are going to use a natural stone. As you are probably already aware there are no two Granite slabs alike and that is why you should pick out the actual slab that you will be using for your project. You should never pick by a small sample.
9- Do they offer the option of doing a lay-out?
Doing a layout means that you would be able to come in and work with one of our highly skilled technicians to layout your slab. This option will let you see how it will all come together as far as the seams, the flow of the vein and where each piece of stone will lay in your kitchen. This will also let you have the opportunity of taking out areas of the stone that doesn´t meet your expectations. This is a very important option to offer especially if you are going with a natural stone. At SARE Granite & Tile we encourage our customers to participate in their project
10- Do they offer a Reference list of past customers; are they respected by other trades?
It is very important to hear feed backs from other customers on how their experience was with their project. SARE Granite & Tile offers an updated reference list of residential and commercial jobs that we have completed. We work with numerous different companies that would tell you that we are a well respected company and that they are very happy with coming in behind us to finish their work.
Weather you are building a home or just replacing your countertops it should be as hassle free as possible and that is why here at SARE Granite & Tile we believe in educating the customer up front so they know what to expect before they make their purchase.
11- Are they competitive?
Don't just rely on the old headline "per square foot price". This often leaves out basic and essential costs to actually fabricate and install your countertop. There are some basics like edging, cut-outs for sinks, cook-tops, faucet holes and electrical outlets that will all affect your over all price. Each fabricator has different charges for these items, so it is best to look at the bottom line price versus just the square foot price.
Here at SARE Granite & Tile we import our slabs directly from quarries which results in reduction of costs and consequently enables us to be more competitive in prices for the benefit of our costumers. While we meet or beat any competitors written offer, we do not try to compete purely on price with the "driveway" fabricators. We offer the best overall Value for the customer by providing quality materials, outstanding customer service and expertise at a great price.
12- Do they offer Pre and Post installation support?
Knowing what to expect is an important part in building a good business relationship. At SARE Granite & Tile we are committed to customer education and the philosophy of "no surprises." In order to implement your project smoothly we provide you with a free "Planning Guide" which helps you understand and be prepared for every phase of your project. After your project is completed our "Care and Maintenance Guide" will give you information on how to properly care for your natural and engineered stone and if at any time you should have any questions or concerns our staff will be happy to assist you. We proudly stand behind our word when we say service after the sale.