Granite sticker shock

karlsmomAugust 21, 2013

We live in southern IN, just north of Louisville, KY, not a high COLA. A granite fabricator quoted me $82 a square foot, installed, for basic price level A granite (Venetian Gold). For 50 square feet, it will be $4,100. No special edges or rounded corners. Is this out of line? I'm really kind of shocked. Thanks -

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That's unbelievably high for level A granite. Ditch that fabricator.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:29PM
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This is the first time I have posted....but have been reading the forum now for several months. I am getting ready to do a complete kitchen renovation....all except new appliances...for now the ones I already have will do. I have just went to a granite yard in Nashville TN about a 100 miles from where I live ( that is where my granite fabricator gets his granite from). I looked at countless slabs and I got so confused that I am going back. The one I have chose for now is Venetian Ice. The same level A as you were quoted on the Venetian Gold. I was quoted $49.99 per sq foot plus $250 for under sink cut and $100 for template fee. So my Quote is considerably lower, but perhaps it is the area? I m anxious to hear what others tell you.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:43PM
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I paid about $86 for Level 4 in the DC metro area, so I think this is way too high...look elsewhere.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Sounds like MIGA* pricing from a busy fabricator. Shopping around is in order.

*MIGA- Make It Go Away

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Thanks folks - now I'm going to two more fabricators. One in a small town north of us, one in Louisville.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:31PM
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I paid $29.99 per sq ft installed for an A category granite in St. Louis, MO. The color is called creme caramel. Venetian gold was another A category option. That included 3cm thick granite, sink and faucet cutout, template and installation. I will admit that there were several other colors that I liked better, but for the price my countertops look amazing.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:44PM
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You really do need to shop around, but also make sure you get a recommended fabricator. My quotes for the same material ranged by nearly 2x. I went with one of my KD's fabricators and they did a very good job, with a price that was 40% less than the highest bid.

I've noticed, though, that some of the best pricing reported here is often the biggest metro areas, versus rural locations. The competition drives down the price, even in high COLA areas like California.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 5:12PM
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That does seem high. Definitely shop around if you can. Lowest price isn't always the winner when it comes to granite - reputation is quite important, but still, that seems a bit steep for a common granite.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It depends on how the granite place operates. Smaller yards tend to have to charge you for the entire slabs rather than just the square feet that you actually use from those slabs. Granite slabs are around 45 square feet, so you're in two slab territory. You've got a whole lot left over that you still have to pay for that you can do something with later. 2 whole slabs, plus a standard undermount sink fee, and a standard free edge, you're only paying around $44 a square foot.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:35PM
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My slabs were unique, so I bought 3 slabs. Even though it looked like my utilization was high (I did paper dolls on photos of the slabs), it was really something like 65%. The fabricator got me his price on the granite.

My overall installed cost was about $77/sq ft including 2 under mount sinks. This is in CA, where we get 2cm granite. The slightly lower cost vs 3cm is more than offset by the expense of laminating the edge. In fact, my fabricator doesn't charge per square foot for the fabrication -- he charges for the number of feet that he has to laminate ($50-60, depending on edge profile). For the straight cuts, like by the range and all the back edges along the wall, he doesn't charge anything for cutting. I think undermount sinks were about $200 each, and holes for faucets, soaps, disposer air switches (7 total holes) were not charged.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Hi Karlsmom,
I live in Ohio, not far from Indy & IMO you are being told too high of price for your granite. I recall looking at what felt like hundreds of slabs when I picked out my granite & remember Venetian Gold being one of them. I ended up going with Madura Gold (picture below of my granite) & paid around $50 a sq ft & got 52 sq ft, so, it cost around $3000.00 that price incl template, labor & installation costs, it incl everything but the sink, which I bought separately, they just did the cutouts for it. Everyone's right, you really have to shop around at several fabricators, because, although, they all get their slabs for the same slab yard or two, they, themselves are very different on their price quotes, I found that out also when I was shopping around for a fabricator. The same slab went anywhere from $50 to almost $90 a sq ft, depending on the fabricator. Angie's list is a good place to check out how long they've been in the business & how well people feel they do their work. Good luck, I would think your granite would be around the same as mine, based on the category I remember it being in. I know the Venetian Gold granite was really nice, so, I hope you can find a fabricator that will do it for a decent price, I know you'll love it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Mine ended up being 82 per sq ft = 3850. Granite is yellow river, they had 17 levels, it was "11". I don't remember, but when we were looking, I didn't think Venetian gold was super cheap. Still, that sounds quite high...ours came in around expectations.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:57AM
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I live in a midwest metropolitan area. I used a "stock" or level one granite and paid $64 a sq.ft. installed. That price included electronic templating, all cutouts and some pretty fancy curves.
Early in the remodel process, the fabricator printed off at no charge a full size template of my island from our kitchen plan, so that I could see how the island would work in my space before we committed to it. He even offered to make that template up in a thin sheet of plywood.
I think the price you have been quoted is too high. I hope you have some other fabricators that you can go to to get additional estimates from.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Lots of smaller town fabricators don't have the luxury of being able to sell just by the square foot. They have to sell whole slabs, and then sell the labor for the install separate. NVG is around $8-12 a square foot for wholesale slabs in my area. Labor for the install is usually around $30 -$40 (higher in rural areas) a square foot here. So for 50 square feet, you buy 90 square feet of slabs at (middle of the road) $10 a square, that's $900. Add in the labor of $2000. Add in the undermount sink charge (average) of $300, and you're at $3200. Your quote is $900 higher, which could come if they charge for edges, radius corners, unpolished cutouts, or other add ons. It's within the realm of possibility that it's NOT "too high" given your location, and if you have a really stellar fabricator. Low price isn't always the best price if you get schmucks who screw it up.

Find the best fabricator first. Then find out if you have to buy whole slabs or just the square footage. It will make a difference in the price of your job. And strive to not get caught up so much in finding the "cheapest". You want value, not "cheapness".

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:47AM
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The fabricator is going to "redo" the bid, with "entry level stone" they actually have at her location. She had sent me to two stone yards, previously, not mentioning we could use the granite in her warehouse. Interesting. I don't know what to think.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:02AM
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sorry, duplicate post -

This post was edited by karlsmom on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 11:08

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Ben1980, I am in St Louis and currently looking for St Louis Granite fabricators, can you let me know which fabricator you were using in St. Louis and if you were happy with the installation, etc? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I'm in Indianapolis. We got ours from Just For Granite. AMAZING work!! We have Portofino, it's also level 1, and we had 52 sq ft. We paid $3200 TOTAL with tax and everything.... with a crescent edge & lifetime seal. We couldn't be happier with it. We also got to select the slab at our choice of 4 granite yards, and they took care of the rest.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Teachertile, that sounds a lot more reasonable.

Thanks to you all for your responses!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 3:49PM
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New bid from fabricator on her "entry level" granite: $3,350. Better, but I'm going to two other fabricators tomorrow. I know that cheaper is not always better; I'm willing to pay a reasonable price.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:51PM
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