Does this sound reasonable for Bianco Antico?

drewemSeptember 7, 2012

After I complained to the builder about not being able to get Bianco Antico granite, and being given the run around, they have decided to allow me (sarcasm) to get what I want. But the price they quoted is $8250.00. They have to get it from a different place, since they don't 'have it'. I asked for an Ogee edge on the island only, to help make up for that cost. No go.

They will not give me the square footage of the countertops. They will not confirm if it really is BA, or a similiar name granite. They will not tell me where they are getting it from, so I can see a sample.

I have verbal quotes for that granite, one is 3999 for 55 sq ft, then 99 a foot after that. Even Home Depot charges 65 a sq ft. But I don't know how much the builder is ripping me off, since they won't give me the sq ft needed.

My DH says suck it up and accecpt the charges. It will be easier to have it installed before the gas cooktop, and the apron front sink. Also, then we don't have to waste the standard granite that comes with the kitchen.

I know if we don't do it now, it will be 5-10 years before we change it. It just seems high to me.

What do you think?

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I think 3 years ago our BA was about $70 sq foot. (might have been less, really can't 100% recall).

But the thing that most concerns me is that you cannot pick your slabs. This is a granite that varies slab to slab. You need to pick your slabs. End of discussion.

Glad they are "allowing" you to pick this.

Another option is to find a fabricator that has it, and ask your builder if they can use that fabricator for this job. I was able to do this with our granite and our kitchen cabinets. The builder just had them fill out some paperwork proving they had insurance, etc. And voila, they were ok to use.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Can you pick out and purchase the granite and then have the builder have it fabricated and installed? Granite slabs can be so different, I would not want someone else picking out my granite (plus it's so much fun looking at all the slabs. Kind of like going to an art museum.)
You may be in for a big surprise come installation day if your builder is doing the choosing. That's a big investment to have no control over.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Without knowing your square footage, it's hard to say. My BA quote was almost as much as my 4cm Carrara. Price aside, not being able to pick your slabs is a HUGE red flag. BA varies very widely. Like a lot. Huge. There are some ugly slabs out there. Don't let someone else pick your counters.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:49PM
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No way that you can't pick your granite! If it were a type of slab with very little variation, I could deal with it (when we were building, the choices that they had for granite were ones that were pretty much standard/not a ton of variation from slab to slab...which is probably what is going on with your builder), but there's a significant amount of variation with BA.

What about asking the builder just to give you a credit for what they were going to put in and you'll go to the trouble of finding and coordinating with your own fabricator?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Why don't you know your sf of counter? Do you have a diagram of your kitchen? Measure it out yourself then compare to their numbers. Demand they give they give your the info.

I am having white diamond aka bianco antico installed in about 3 weeks. I have about 54 sf with just a standard edge, 3 mm. The cost is about $3975. This is from a reputable place in business a long time.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Thank you for your responses! I've sent the sales person an e-mail (again) with my concerns. I did not even mention that I want to pick out my own slab, just that I want to see them. Completely forgot about that, so thanks for the reminder!

Bee- Thanks for the price, that helps. It's in the range of the verbal quotes I have so far, so knowing it's a real price is helpful.

Camp- That is a wonderful idea. I've already asked if I can have another fabricator come and do the job instead of their people, and was told no, under no circumstances. So this may be an alternative. I will ask.

Breezy- Funny you mention Carrara. In the e-mail to the sales lady, I had a snarky comment about it only being BA, not Carrara. But I took that part out. lol.

Andreak- Yes that is exactly it. We ended up choosing Santa Cecilia (an upgrade, big shock) at the design appointment, and it doesn't have much variation. All the 'standard' granites are the same. New Caladonia, Ubatuba, etc. Only 5 to choose from. Then each level had 6 other choices, all pretty safe. I've asked for a credit to just put in laminate, they said no. I asked for no counters, they said no. I asked to have my own people come in, again they said no.

Let me tell you, I am so sick and tired of this! I've grown to dispise the Santa Cecilia, because it's not what I want. I've given the builders fabricator all the different names of BA, (first of all they didn't even know what BA was...) and they don't have any. ugh.

I got those names from my post months ago, this is a wonderful forum with so many helpful people!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Debrak- I just went back to the paperwork. I have a small diagram of the cabinet layouts. It looks like wall dimmensions are there. Can I use those to figure out the sq ft approximately?

The island is 36"x84" no prep sink.
The wall with the double oven and gas cooktop is 162", the sink wall is 156 1/2", including window and apron sink, then the last wall is 57". The wall with the fridge/pantry has a desk (I know..I know) and it's 79", but that's the entire wall. The counter is less than that, but not sure how much less. Half?

Does this help?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Yes that will help. Subtract out the estimated size of the ovens,sink, frige, panty, etc. Come up with approx sizes of granite. Usual is 25.5" deep. So multiple the wall inches (minus any non countertop areas) x 25.5. Then divide by 12.

OK GW math whizzes, can you help with this?

This may take you a little while but you should be able to get a good rough estimate. Are they charging extra for sink cutouts etc.?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:14PM
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I don't know what my square footage was, but I was told that they had to keep 2 slabs marked for me. I know I needed slightly over 1 slab. I was also told this was promotional granite because they had more of it. I was told they allowed $4500 for the granite, which the bianco antico was included in. I did pick out my slabs.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Can you have the builder put in a formica countertop at a reduced price from granite and then after you close, go out and get the granite you want? I have a friend that did this to save money. Let the builder know you will be removing it so that they install it for easy removal.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Debrak- Honetly I have no idea if the builder charges for sink/cooktop cutouts. I would guess that's included in the cost. They sure charged me an arm for the Kohler Dickinson sink! Thanks for the help with the approx size help.

Does approx 85 sq ft sound right, GW math wizzes?

Smud- Sounds like your builder had better choices! I bet it looks very beautiful!

Corgimum- I've asked, and been told no. But thanks for the helpful thought anyway. Due to other projects in the future, replacement of the granite would be 5-10 yrs. Finished basement 1st, pool/patio etc 2nd...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 3:12PM
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I know you feel the same and are fed up, but it gauls the living sh&t out of me that there is no reasonable way around this with your builder. No counters? No. Not my fabricator? No. Why do they *need* to put a counter in? Can't they leave plywood and let you do it? (I I don't get it. I'd be tempted to tell them to kiss my a$$. Rant over.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Around here Carerra is pretty inexpensive at about $50 square ft. Italy has started sending their big hunks of marble to China for the initial fabrication. Fabricators are saying they just cut it up and do not try to cut it in a way that would be the most beautiful and that is why you are seeing so much all gray or with little veining in it. They said that the Italians had it down to a real art form and it will take time to learn. In the meantime, fabricator after fabricator in Italy closes it's doors. Sad.

Bianco Antico let's figure 85 square feet of counter at roughly $70 so that's $5950 plus add for cut outs which it looks like you are going to have two at $150 = $300. Ogee edge not sure how much they charge for that but probably figuring high for the entire kitchen linear another $500, no removal so total:
$6400 plus tax

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Not sure where you live but I just had Bianco Antico installed in July. The price was $49 a sq ft. Another location it was $55. I live right outside of Atlanta.

I did find that BA can go by another name. One place called it Ecuador White. Are there granite yards close by that you can go and look for yourself?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:26PM
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I forgot to mention that there was an upcharge of $10.00 a sq ft for the Ogee edge.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Sometimes the builder is "stricter" if you have an "end loan" vs a "construction loan". If it's an end loan, then there is the chance that you will walk away and he will be stuck with the house. So, they might not want to allow you to choose to do plywood or laminate and take the credit. We had a construction loan and we owned the house and land from day 1.
Our fabricator charged for an ogee edge either $20 linear foot for regular ogee or $22 for the Long Ogee, which is just a bit larger than the regular ogee.

But the most important thing is You Must Be The One To Pick The Slabs!!!!! There are a lot of pink slabs out there now. It might not be what you want. There is a slab on display in front of our local has a big black blotch that looks like someone put a piece of paper on it and sprayed black paint around it. I would not be happy with that one. I know it's a natural stone, but eww, it looks terrible.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:37PM
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They "need" to put in a counter because you cannot get a CO without a washable countertop. And the builder is responsible for turning over a house with a valid CO. Raw plywood won't do. If you put a finish coat of urethane on the plywood, that should suffice, but you'll need to talk to the building inspector to make sure.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:51PM
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I had no idea carrara was so expensive in other parts of the country! we paid $10/sq.ft. for our stone. I wonder why there is such a huge discrepancy.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 7:43PM
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You have a large kitchen. Average square feet for counters in most kitchen is around 50, if you are not doing a 4" backsplash. Counting the overhang on your cabinets, I come up with 89 square feet. BA is $82 a square foot from my provider. (Price always depends on location, and those that have to transport it further from a port will be higher)

That's $7298 for the granite alone. Now add $250 for the undermount sink cutout, but you would get the cooktop cutout for free. You also have 57 linear feet for the edge, and ogee is a premium edge @ $22 a foot, so that's $1254 for the edge. You are now up to $8802 from my source, and that's actually higher than what your quote came in at.

So, there is a good possibility that you aren't being overcharged. But, if you've gotten quotes from other fabricators for less, then the factor of who may be this fabricator's wholesaler comes into the equation. As does the builder's markup and change order fees. That could easily be 2K right there, just for those fees. It's really tough when you are not building a custom home to be able to get choices that you want in the home without paying a really high fee to do so. In the end though, if you know it's not something that you would change out immediately, then it's probably worth it to go ahead and get what you want so you can live with that for the next 10 years rather than living with something you dislike. It's only money, right? :)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:09PM
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This is causing flashbacks to my builder. Our house is gray and white stucco and we wanted a white door, but their "color schemes" only had the option of black or green. Do you know they fought us tooth and nail over a stupid white door? It made no sense. Why would you pick a battle over something like that? It's not like I was asking for some custom high-end color.

Anyway, does your contract outline how things like this are handled? By your tone I assume this is not your only frustration. In the end we had to get a lawyer involved with our builder because they refused to follow the contract and their customer service was so bad. It was NOT fun!

The fact that they will not tell you anything is VERY suspicious. You need to research the contract and your rights to see what recourse you have.

You have been more than flexible and willing to compromise and turned down at every turn. Time to fight back.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Sounds like you are dealing with my builder! They say the offer zero allowances - so if you pick outside of their picks you pay full price and then some with no reduction in price. P*$$es me off.

But, I've managed to get much of what I want - I can be persistent when necessary. As for the granite - I picked it out here where I live (in CA) and then asked to have it shipped to AZ (where new build is). Then I did the "What? I can't believe you won't let me ship the granite I picked out to AZ. After all, I selected it from the local yard of the chain you use in AZ. And, (luckily for me) they don't have any in AZ, so whatever was I to do?" I paid (only) about $4,000 for 2 slabs of Alaska White, including shipping, so they did end up giving me some allowance but I don't know how much.

Just something else to keep in mind when dealing with a PITA builder... everything that can be easily changed out I will be changing out. Standard lights going in, standard faucets, no BS (you don't need one for CoO), standard paint, standard door hardware, you get the picture. I have all my lights sitting here in this house and will hire someone to switch them out after close. This is because they were going to charge me twice retail for the things I wanted. Nah. I'm not that dumb. Thanks guys. Cheaper to buy it and hire someone if necessary, although most I can do myself. But countertops I didn't want to mess with having to have them pulled out. I agree with you on that one.

I won't even go into the appliance or paint color issues! :) I will say I did learn you have to have a range/oven for a CoO. But all the appliances will be pulled after close. And the already out-dated stainless ;o) will be going in.

And I have a construction loan like Bee mentioned. Maybe that is helping me some? Not sure. Think it's more that the sales guy is trying to the best of his ability to help me achieve the look I want for the house. It's the builder who lacks some flexibility.

Good luck. As others have said - go look at your slabs. I got AW, which looks a lot like BA, because the BA out here was slightly pink. Delacatus looks similar too if the BA is pink where you are.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Again, I want to thank everyone for giving me helpful advice in this situation! I still don't know what we will do, it all depends on if I can see and pick my slabs. Maybe it would be best to stick with what's included and then switch it out later. It's just sooo fustrating.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:23AM
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