Let's get started on your showpieces
There are steps between deciding what you would like for your project from Natural stone, Engineered stone, or solid surface. To having the pieces installed, delivered, or pickup for the do-it-yourselfer. Below serve as a guide and covers points to consider. They also cover general information to help schedule your project.
Supplying us with a set of blueprints and or scaled plan & elevation drawings work best. You can drop them off at our showroom or email DWG, DXF to [email protected] If you do not have a plan or blueprints, you can also just send us a hand sketch drawing with dimensions. Regardless of which method you use please indicate your contact info (phone, email, etc.), material choice, color name, edge detail, number of and model number of sinks (under-mount or top-mount [aka drop-in]), style of stove top(cook-top, free-standing, slide-in, etc.), and back-splash height (4" to full height) if applicable. Any missing information will result in an inaccurate or the inability to provide a quote to you. Our quotes are all inclusive, based on the information received, and will include all aspects from material to installation. Things that are generally part of a job (and part of our quote) include material, fabrication, template, all cut-outs, delivery, installation, sealing, and tax.
Or you would like to schedule a field estimate. Please note, that availability of personnel to do field estimates will vary depending on current jobs in progress. Even though field estimates require all the information to insure a accurate quote. You can get more than one quote with different material, color, and or edge choices.
Beginning a Project
Take a quick note on timing: you should finalize your countertop details about when you order your new cabinets. While orders for your countertops may be placed before or after, the timing can be affected. If the order is placed too early, the customer may have forgotten exactly what material they selected looks like or may make changes to the spec that are not properly communicated resulting in complications at template or install. On the other hand, the later the tops are ordered (after cabinets arrive or even after they are installed), the more of a time crunch the project is in for countertops and the tighter it is to schedule to everyone's satisfaction and availability. Also please note this is a general guideline as lead time for cabinets will vary from manufacture to manufacture. In the end each project will have its own flow (including but not limited to countertops) based on many other factors.
- Research natural stone, engineered stone, or solid surface countertops and their use & care, to decide which one of these best fits your project.
- Select an edge for your material. Edge details will vary from material thickness to material type. There are standard edges and upgraded edge that will very in pricing.
- Sink or Tub selection (as well as faucets & accessories - i.e. soap dispenser, air switch, etc.) - you will need to have your sink and or tub & faucet (and any additional items that require access holes to be drilled through your material) on-site and available at time of template. A farm style (apron sink) or under mount tub will require an extra trip to check for template accuracy and must be fastened securely to the cabinet or floor with no movement.
- Select other appliances (stove or cooktop / downdraft, etc.) - cooktop (and downdraft if applicable) or stove needs to be onsite at time of tinplating for proper and accurate templates.
- Decide on a backsplash? (4" to full splash, tile, and or other material or none) - knowing this beforehand will enable a more accurate quote as well as a better material usage estimation.
- If this is a remodel using existing cabinets, removal of the existing countertops is the responsibility of the home owner. A1 Quality Stone can quote this service to you as part of your countertop quote upon request.
- Sub-tops is a sheet or strips of material (usually plywood) three-quarter inch or thicker. For the stone material to install on raising it up to allow for the height of lamination or miter edge. Stone material without lamination or miter edge will not require sub-tops. Solid surface in most cases will not require sub-tops. We include sub-tops in our quote if necessary (and it will be so stated in the quote) or in the rare occasion that they are necessary but not included it will be indicated in the quote, by phone, or in person. If having sub-tops provided and installed by a third party, please contact A1 Quality Stone first regarding any requirements (for sub-tops) we may have for the given job.
We use a laser template method and plotter with clear vinyl. In some cases we will make hard templates for rock walls. The templates will take place after a complete cabinet installation. Area to be template must be clean and free of obstacles and obstructions. This includes any appliances or dishes that may be on any existing or temporary surfaces. Incomplete cabinet installation and/or no sinks or appliances on site at template are the primary reasons for delay and increased costs for additional site visits. It is important for you or your agent to be present to go over the details of your project. These include, but are not limited to, joint (seam) location, overhang, and drill hole placement. Once the template is completed a shop drawing will be made. The shop drawing will show the material, color, edge detail, the joint location(s), sinks, faucet locations, overhangs, and any other special notes. Please note that joint location(s) will yield to the size of the slab and/or material size and additional seams and/or seam location may change. So that it may be safely transported and installed at your locations (i.e. freight elevator, tight staircase or hallway, etc.). Please consult your shop drawing for joint location(s). Incomplete cabinet installation may include (but is not limited too) the following:
- Unleveled cabinets - cabinets must be level to properly support the material.
- Cabinets not permanently secured in final location - moving of cabinets after template can result in poor fit and will not be the responsibility of A1 Quality Stone.
- Having installed upper cabinets that are to sit on top of the countertops - these cabinets must be installed after the countertops are in place.
Fabrication will start after the completed shop drawings have been approved and we have the sink before we start fabrication. An additional (but optional) step is that the customer, home owner, and/or designer may come to our shop and layout the templates on the stone slabs to be cut (this step is not necessary for engineered stone or solid surface material). This is more of an issue with natural stone with a lot of movement as opposed to materials with a consistent pattern. Actual fabrication will start with the cutting of the slab(s) on our bridge saw. After the cutting of the slabs, not all of the pieces will follow the same process. But all of the pieces of a job will be cared through every process of fabrication. Fabrication will take approximately one to four (1-4) weeks depending on the size and complexity of the job as well as additional jobs currently in production in our shop at the time.
Installation will be scheduled when the fabrication process of your job is nearing completion. In most cases a kitchen can be installed in just one (1) day. However, larger jobs or tear-out of existing countertops may require additional time.
On your scheduled install date please have all areas receiving counters clear and accessible. The sink, faucet, and stove top must be disconnected and removed prior to the installation of the new countertops. A1 Quality Stone is not responsible for removing your stove, sink, or upper cabinets that may interfere with installation. If appliances and/or cabinetry/trim are not removed as requested, A1 Quality Stone will not take responsibility for any damage to those items. Please note, these issues will be addressed if applicable at time of template if necessary.
Additionally, we will be happy to discuss the specifics of your job site at any time prior to installation. If this is natural stone your new countertops will be sealed with a [impregnating] stone sealer at the end of the installation. You will need to fill out the sign off paperwork and receive your final invoice either at the time of install or in the mail shortly thereafter. Please remember final payment is due upon receipt of invoice. Finally, the end is here and now you can enjoy your new countertops for years to come.
Contact us for questions and a free quote.
A1 Quality Stone specialize in fabricating and installing kitchen counters, vanity tops, tub decks, shower walls, wall cap, threshold, stair treads and risers, fireplace hearths & surrounds, outdoor kitchens, barbeques and more.