The following is a true story.
"Your estimate looks great and I know your company would do
a good job, but your price is just too high.
I’ve got another estimate and I think we’re going to use them.”
I asked, "How far are we apart?”
"About $4,000.00,” he said.
I was stunned, "Please don’t get me wrong but that doesn’t
make sense. No one can fabricate and
install those tops that cheap.”
"Well,” he said, "I understand how you feel but I have a
written estimate.” All I could do was wish
him well and assure him of our commitment to his satisfaction. With that I watched the customer walk out the
I ran into that customer about nine months later in the
plumbing department of our local big box store.
We talked about the projects we were working on and I asked him how he
liked his new countertops. He groaned
and said, "You told me they couldn’t do it for the price they quoted. You were right. Their final price ended up being $150.00 less
than your estimate. Every time I turned
around I was being charged for things, they claimed weren’t covered in their
original estimate. Now, they’re fixing things
they didn’t install right. I’ve never
had such a frustrating experience in my life.”
I told him that I was sorry for the poor experience. He said, "You’ve got nothing to be sorry
about. You warned me. I wish we’d let you do the work.”
There’s wisdom in the saying, "If it’s too good to be true,
it’s too good to be true.” How can you
protect yourself from countertop estimates that are to-good-to-be-true? Number one, do your homework. Take time to thoroughly research the material
you want to use for your new countertops.
Different types of materials have different installation requirements. They also come in different slab sizes that
affect things like the location and placement of seams.
Check out stone suppliers’ and manufacturers’ websites for
colors and pattern options as well as technical information about their
products that can affect your installation. A great resource is available from the Marble
Institute of America’s, A Homeowner’s
Guide to Natural Stone Countertop Installation, (http://www.marble-institute.com/default/assets/File/consumers/homeownersconsumer_countertop.pdf).
Contact your local Home Builder’s Association and ask them for
a list of recommended countertop fabricators.
Talk to friends and neighbors who have had new countertops installed. Once you’ve compiled your list of fabricators
take the time to tour their facilities.
Ask questions. How long have they
been in business? How many projects have
they successfully completed? Are they
licensed and insured? Will they provide
a list of customer references? Have the
workers who will come to your home passed a criminal background check and a
regular drug screen? If you have
existing countertops, do they have to be removed prior to templating? What is the expected lead time from template
We all know how important price is. But you need to make certain you know what that quoted price actually includes. If you
don’t understand a line item or a charge don’t be afraid to ask. Some companies will add sales tax to your
install price, Solid Surface Designs does not.
Some companies will add credit card fees up to 3.8 percent, we don’t. One last piece of advice, before making a
payment find out if there any non-refundable fees you might incur if for any reason you
choose to cancel your project.
In 1993 Solid Surface Designs, Inc., began business as a factory certified fabricator-installer for DuPont Corian. Since then we have grown to become the region's largest fabricator and installer of Granite, Quartz and Solid Surface countertops.
Email your countertop questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help with an estimate give Trevor or Mitchell a call at (417)258-2787.