Fabricator recommendations in Northern VA or DC area?

techedFebruary 2, 2008

I've been working with the fabricator that my GC and KD recommend, and she is very knowledgeable about the industry. However, I also find her somewhat intimidating, and I keep worrying that she is "selling" me on her choice--not mine. I really want to go back to the drawing board and look at other color choices, but she keeps calling me to make a decision about what we have already looked at. Mind you, I do not even have a date set with my GC, I still need to sign the final cabinet papers, and no money has changed hands yet.

Anyway, I REALLY want to look at some other places, but this woman has me totally freaked out that no one can do the work they do. She doesn't want to bring in slabs I pick someplace else unless she "personally approves them," because she knows more than I do (I'm a geologist, and, duh, I'm paying for them....?). No other fabricator in the world has the perfect seams they will be giving me. Other granite yards will sell me stone from 3rd world countries where the stone will not be the same thickness throughout the slab. Well, you get the picture.

Please tell me someone out there has used a fabricator in Northern Virginia that you are thrilled with. I need to at least do a reality check.

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These folks rock!!!

Mercedes Villavicencio

Capital Marble &Granite Co.

1419 A Kenilworth Ave NE

Washington DC 20019

202-290-1306 * 202-290-1303 Fax

Cell phone: 703-675-1511

e-mail mercedes@capitalmarblegranite.com

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:36PM
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We used Thomas Marble and Granite in Gaithersburg MD - they are a small mom/popp shop (literally) and we learned about them after a disaster with Stone Surfaces in Rockville (don't use them). We got our stone from Avanti in Frederick after the great granite search - they told us about Thomas although they don't usually recommend but we got in a bind after Stone Surfaces didn't hold our stone and they thought they sold it all but luckily had two pieces left. We also liked the stone at ARC (but they are really big and busy) and Marva.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:40PM
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I used A&S Sales in Alexandria and I thought they were fantastic! Family owned business and easy to work with. Great job on the fabrication and installation.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Kevin, check out the guys at Avanti Granite for Granite if you ever get a chance:


They are absolutely wonderful if you are highlighting recommendations. We went to almost every stone yard in MD/DC/VA (some 2-3 times). We went to them 4 times (once they were closed) as they wanted to make sure we got the right stone (Gold and Silver - their favorite) - they spent so much time with us and after the first installer screwed everything up, they made sure they pulled the stone for me after holding it for someone for a week and helped us find an installer. They went above and beyond at every visit (We went twice to look and they wanted us to come back the 3rd time to double check after the first ones were lost/sold - not at all their fault). They have great stones, great sales staff and even better floor guys (who tried not to show bias toward our stone but could not help themselves).

Marva was equally nice and helpful, but their lot of Gold and Silver was not as white or nice (nice stone, but not exactly what I wanted) as Avaniti or we would have bought from them. What I didn't like is they really didn't let us walk around and see everything - they asked us what we were looking for and we wanted to browse to make sure something different didn't catch our eye and they didn't encourage that (it may have been a saftey issue).

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 9:05AM
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Thank you all for these recommendations! And thank you too Kevin for reminding me whose money it is. My husband mused that maybe she was trying to get a commission check or something by the end of January? I don't know a lot about the business. I used remnants from another fabricator to do my three bathrooms. I decided this morning that I will go back and check out that fabricator as well as those you have mentioned here. I have also let m KD and GC know that I am feeling pressured by the granite lady.

Thanks again for the support! If anyone else wants to recommend their fabricator, I am willing to traipse through some more places for the "one."

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 11:34AM
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We gave up and became our own KD and found it so much better to go directly to the suppliers for all our needs for anything we do from granite to windows. Don't feel pressured and remember you are probably paying a huge mark up going through your KD vs. dealing with the granite fabricator directly. I loved going to pick out our own granite and there are tons of suppliers (the three I listed were the biggest/best but we probably went to about 20) to find our perfect stone. And, shop around for the best price - I forget how much we paid but we were told ours was a really $$$ one and we only paid in the 60's at Thomas and their other charges were very reasonable (they don't have the fancy machines but do a great job and our seam is amazing). Other places wanted 2 times that much. They also only charged us $250 for our Blanco sink - 1/2 the price from any store and still much cheaper from the best price online. I also liked dealing directly with the actual owners/installers/fabricators vs. dealing with a third party. They are also helpful on picking stones since they deal with the cutting every day.

If you had good luck with the bathroom fabricator, go to them first and see what they can do for you. Then shop around.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 11:48AM
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A friend highly recommended the company Granite Outlet on Gravel Avenue, in Alexandria, VA, who he used a couple of years ago. He was very pleased with the service and the results, and said their price was better than any he found in central Virginia. I however did not use them since I felt it was too far away and I found someone local who I was happy with.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 1:13PM
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Here's someone I wouldn't recommend - Discover Granite and Marble, in Manassas. They did a terrible template job. The counters look beautiful, but only because our amazing GC was able to mitigate some of the problems. Don't use them.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Another YES for A&S Granite when they did the granite in our last. We used the store located in Frederick, MD. Great job, fast turnaround.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 2:54PM
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Thank you for the many recommendations! And thanks esp. to November for who NOT to use. How incredibly frustrating that must be! Kudos to your GC.

I don't believe my KD and GC are getting any kind of "incentive" for recommending this fabricator. I think they have worked with this firm for a long time. But who knows. Originally they said use whoever, but now they seem to be pushing her.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Spoke with granite lady today and she agreed to give me some space. Oddly, she now is saying not to rush the decision!

Meanwhile, I will check out these recommendations. Kevin, is your Capitol Marble and Granite the one lsandler mentioned in DC? I found another one in the Richmond area, but that's too far--2 hours away. I don't think they will come up here to install.

I also went to the consumers "Checkbook" site and checked out countertop recommendations. Although my fabricator got many high reviews, there was a recent serious problem discussed. It was a very eye-opening read.

I'll keep you posted!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 1:55PM
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Washington Checkbooks is very helpful. :) I use them all the time.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 2:09PM
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When I was doing my search, I spoke with Bramati, in Frederick. I had been to Marva and mentioned them to Christian Bramati. He told me that Bramati, NSI, out by BWI, and Marva, pretty much buy their stones from the same, and best supplier. The Marva store I went to was in MD; LOVED the stones but didn't like the salesman - could have been me though. Anyway, after having visited all of them a billion times, I found that those three actually had the better looking stones. Each had various selections though. I ended up going with ArcStone in Capital Heights, MD. My Fabricator - GranTops in Frederick was great. They have stones too but charged me extra to buy the stone at Arc. I went with it because I was just plain ole tired of this nonense. I worked very close to Arc and had been there probably 20 times (if not more). They knew me by my name. That day, I just got up from my desk and headed there. The stone I picked out just stood there looking at me. Arc has nice stones but every once in a while they have GREAT stones. Guess I was lucky that day - I love it, especially since it's installed.

I've been to most of the places mentioneed here and I don't think you'll go wrong with either of them. The stone that you pick out will stand up and salute you - trust me. Everyone here told me that, and sure 'nuf, after 6 months of looking, mine did.

Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:08PM
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Wasn't Bramati the one with the dogs roaming around and the dog poop in the wearhouse or am I getting them confused with another one. (If I am wrong about which place had the dog, sorry). Ick, ick, ick, no way were we going to buy from a place with dog poop on the floors.

Arc has the biggest selection around but don't go on a Saturday morning if you actually want help - it was always a mob scene the 3-4 times we went and impossible to get help (all the staff were busy so it wasn't like they weren't working).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:13PM
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Dog poop? Oh no. I cannot do that! I'm gonna try Marble Systems today. No dogs or poop there!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:01AM
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How about a recommendation for a place in MD ?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:16PM
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2 recommends for a fabricator in MD. We used Rocktops in Lansdowne(and so did my Stepmom- both jobs are flawless and they have good staff all around) very professional they know their business.No seams in my granite and seams were great in Stepmoms. We both highly recommend them.
They had slabs in their warehouse stock that we liked. Stepmother bought hers from a slab yard.
Friends used Classic Marble and Granite in Jessup/Columbia and highly recommend them. They probably would do work in DC and VA.
Another friend used a place in Frederick and loved it but I can't remember off hand.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:34PM
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