As soon as you’ve begun shopping for stone you’ll want an estimate that’s as accurate as possible, as quickly as possible! The best way to achieve this is to make it easy on your fabricator to understand the scope of your project, and will first require a detailed and easy-to-interpret drawing of your countertops. Some fabricators (like us) offer free measures within some distance of their location, but for many reasons the onus may fall upon you to generate this drawing. Keep reading this blog to learn exactly what information is important to include, and in what format, as well as some things to avoid. Keep in mind it's best to visit us with all of these details so we can go over the multitude of options that change on the daily!!
Quick qualifier: If you're looking to learn how to measure your countertops IN PLACE of having us template your project, you should check out this blog post instead!
Here are the specifics about your project we'll need to generate an accurate estimate:
Layout with measurements of your countertops (not your cabinets), with which edges are finished, and with the location and size of any backsplash
Location and type of any cutouts, and whether or not they are polished
Custom features, large overhangs, etc.
Bonus information that may or may not matter (include for brownie points):
Style of cook-top/oven: Drop-In, Slide-in, or Stand-alone
Edge profile on both your countertops and backsplash
Not bad, right? We agree, but the format in which we receive this information is just as important to estimate-turnaround-time. Here is an example of a good drawing:
Is it pretty? No, I was nervous while drawing it… Do I have the handwriting of a 4 year old? Yes, but I’ll be 4 and a half in November. So what makes this any good? Note that all the information listed above is included and legible, without extra information cluttering the drawing. I’ve shown exactly where the sink is in relation to the nearest wall, marked any abnormal overhangs, and shown the locations of all finished edges. I’ve even included the location of my appliances and labeled the bar-top so these strangers can start relating to my awesome plans! All relevant notes are spelled out. It won’t take long for my fabricator to copy this into their system, nor for them to get me an estimate.
Here is an example of an acceptable, but not great drawing:
This computerized drawing is attractive, theoretically drawn to scale, and gives a good visual sense of the overall layout of the kitchen...but it requires an advanced algebra degree and masters in archaeological studies just to read. On top of that, it does not include much of the information listed above. It only includes cabinet sizes, not countertop sizes. We don’t know the width of the island, nor the amount of overhang. We don’t know if backsplash is included or not, and while we would eventually discover where the sink is, it will take us much longer than it needs to and we won’t know whether the cutout is polished or not. No notes about any other custom features are included. It’s so busy that we would spend twice as long re-creating the drawing in our system, and will still have questions left over that need answering before we can get you an estimate. This drawing is good for determining cabinet and appliance specifics, but not ideal for determining countertop specifics. This is passable, but won’t earn you a gold star or get you an estimate as quick you’d like.
And finally we have this...... I don’t even know how to introduce whatever this is:
I have nothing good to say about this or the people who send these to us. I don’t even have any snarky jokes about this. Don’t send anyone your entire house’s blueprints. It means nothing to anyone but the person who built your house. You might as well have sent out a copy of your 6th grade diploma. Sending this to anybody will lead to an awkward phone call where you insist we have all your information, and we have to politely tell you that we have none of your information...this will lead to headache on everyone's behalf and delays in getting you an accurate estimate!
The bottom line is that it’s all about legibility and relevant information. Aesthetics matter, but only little. Draw it with your off hand using a fistful of crayons for all I care! Follow the list above and make sure the information there is included, and your drawing will be ‘good.’ If you’ve been given a drawing like the one I included in my ‘acceptable’ example by a contractor or cabinet-maker, either redraw it or amend it to include any missing information before you give it to your natural stone countertop fabricator. If all you have is a full blueprint of your house, just burn it and start from scratch with a tape measure. Your fabricator will always have a question or two, but the more information you include in the drawing and the easier it is to read, the quicker they can get you what you're looking for! Remember, this information will get you an estimate or range, but your color choice will affect the final price almost as much as this information. To get a real quote, stop into our location and check out our amazing color selections. Don't forget to bring your drawing ;)