You've finally decided to take the plunge and remodel your outdated kitchen, or maybe you've begun construction on your dream home. So now that the big moment is here, how do you choose a marble or granite company that will exceed your expectations and give your home that wow factor you're looking for?
With so many options, choosing the company that is right for you can be an overwhelming task. Though it may seem impossible to wade through the endless sea of different products, pricing and labor options, there are a few key questions to ask that will help you make an educated decision.
There are a few things that your marble and granite company must have, otherwise they aren't even worth considering. This includes a California State Contractor's license (you can check a contractor's license here https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx) , worker's compensation insurance, liability insurance and a sufficient bond. Along with verifying the State contractor's license, you should always ask for copies of their insurance policies and bond.
The proof as they say, is in the pudding, and there are a few necessary sources to check in order to verify a proven track record of good work. First, ask the company for pictures of their best completed work and ask if you may speak to a few of their clients as a reference. If at all possible, ask if you may see the work in person. This will allow you to personally inspect the quality of the job.
Secondly, ask the company how many years they have been in business, and if they have a rating with the Better Business Bureau. Though this may give a good indication of the company's reputation, these days the BBB isn't the only source for service reviews. You may also want to check review sites such as Yelp.com and Angieslist.com for further verification and client feedback.
Quality vs. Price
Now that you've verified that your prospective marble and granite companies all have a stellar reputation among their past clients, it's all about price right? The simple answer is a big "NO".
Everyone wants to get a good deal, but unfortunately when it comes to highly skilled artisan work like marble and granite fabrication, a lower price can sometimes mean a highly inferior and inconsistent product. There are a few simple questions to ask to make sure you receive the quality craftsmanship you are looking for.
First, make sure to visit the company's fabrication facility and ask what kind of equipment is being used. Often times a cheaper company may try to cut their overhead by doing fabrication out of a garage and/or by hand. While this will lower your bottom line, marble and granite that is fabricated by hand is much more likely to have imperfections such as edges that are not straight and a finish that is wavy and inconsistent.
A quality fabrication facility will have state-of-the-art C.A.D. equipment that guarantees the best fabrication quality and craftsmanship every time. While an established company with the best equipment may not be the absolute lowest in price, it is often times worth a paying a slightly higher price for superior craftsmanship.
Ultimately, after considering all of these factors you should also choose a company you like and feel comfortable with. They should always be able to address your questions and concerns directly and be willing to work within your needs. Remember if it comes down to price, don't be afraid to tell the more expensive company what you've been quoted by others. They may be able to identify an issue of quality that you had overlooked.