Home improvement materials, as well as skilled labor, have continually increased in cost. With the average home owner still experiencing tightened purse strings, home improvement projects and remodeling may have been put on hold. For those home owners and individuals whom are not encumbered by severely limited funds will probably still want to save as much money as possible on any remodel. In order to save money on a remodel, such as granite countertops, vanities and fireplaces, it is highly recommended not to buy from the large brick-and-mortar home improvement superstores.
There are several reasons not to patronize these home improvement retail warehouses. These cookie cutter stores have a specific formula for pricing marble, granite and other stone countertops and it does not allow room for any negotiating or flexibility in pricing. The reason for being so rigid and set in stone is because of the overhead involved. The inflated prices are set in order to pay for sales associates, commissions, large amounts of product inventory, product transportation costs, insurance, electricity, several middlemen… The list goes on and on.
While many stone fabricators also have similar costs regarding staffing, insurance and transportation costs, often times there are no middlemen involved. The fabricators can purchase slabs directly from the quarries and therefore eliminate the need for charging a high premium. In addition, there can be several more advantages and room for flexibility in the pricing.
Whenever the home owner is prepared to begin selecting the particular stone for their home improvement kitchen or bathroom remodel, asking for pricing discounts is always a good idea. Fabricators may give price breaks for straight cash payments instead of using a credit card for making the purchase. Paying by cash or check will eliminate the fees banks charge to vendors when a customer pays using a credit card. These fees vary, but often range from about 3% to 9% of the total purchase price. These 3% to 9% savings can easily be passed on to the customer and can mean hundreds of dollars in savings.
Another way to save big bucks can be based on the square footage of the granite or other stone area. Looking at the remnants can also be a great way to save some expense. If the countertop, vanity, shelving or fireplace upgrade is a small area, remnants may be a perfect opportunity and a win-win situation for both the customer and the stone fabricator. Conversely, if the expanse of the project will be covering multiple areas such as a mantle, hearth and fireplace, a kitchen countertop and island, and a bar countertop, an overall quantity discount may be available.
Another likely method of saving money will be choosing a fabricator which also installs the stone materials. Some stone fabricators may just produce the size and shape of a countertop, but will not perform the actual installation. If this is the case, a separate installer will likely end up costing the home owner a good amount more than a “complete solution” fabricator.