And They Said It Couldn’t Be Done, or How I Got New Kitchen Countertops for Less Than $2000

We’re getting our house ready for sale (hopefully next year)! Yes, we are now working with a timeline of putting the house on the market next spring, although if we don’t it’s no big deal to wait a bit longer. Either way, whether we sell next summer or wait another year, it still means projects galore around this joint.

Yesterday I stayed home from work because the project was new kitchen countertops. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that we now have granite countertops installed. It is glorious. And yes, I know we’re selling, and so it’s not like I’m going to be living with this granite forever – but I’ll be with it for a minimum of 9 months and I’m happy that the old countertops are gone and replaced with new, beautiful, less-troublesome granite.

I took pictures, but the difference isn’t that noticable in the pictures, but in person the change is dramatic. But let’s move on with the pictures anyway!

Here’s a picture of what we had before:

See what I mean? The counters looked good to us when we moved in five years ago, but then again, we had EVERGREEN countertops in our NJ house, so anything was a step up from there. In the time since, I’ve grown to dislike these counters for a variety of reasons, of which I won’t go into here. But let’s just go with just one reason: they are ugly. *lol* Brown and ugly, and food crumbs would hide SO EASILY on those counters it was ridiculous.

But look at them now:

Gorgeous!! That’s New Venetian Gold granite, which I think matches the pre-existing cabinets, walls and flooring quite nicely. I also like how it makes the kitchen look a bit brighter compared to the old, dark countertops. They removed our white sink and put in a free undermount stainless steel sink which will be better for resale even though I love our big white sink. In fact, we’re keeping that white sink (since it’s less than a year old) to put in the new house in the laundry/mud room as a rinse sink.

All in all, the kitchen feels refreshed and new. Over the past five years we’ve replaced the dishwasher, the fridge, the sink, the floors and now the counters. The only things that haven’t changed are the cabinets, stove, oven and wall color. But it still feels like a brand new kitchen!!

And the kicker? Those countertops only cost $1,900 and some change. I KNOW!! I set a really ridiculous goal when I told Denis I wanted to get new countertops. I set $2,000 as my limit (give or take $100 or so). When my first quote came in at $5,500 I had a moment of panic. Would I be able to get counters for the price I had in my head? It seemed impossible. But here we are – with granite counters for only $1,900 and the cost for the plumber to reconnect the sink plumbing and gas line to the stove.

So what was my trick? It was simple, really. First, I got about 6 quotes in total, and let each and every vendor know I was getting quotes from other vendors and that price WAS important. Secondly, I chose a granite that was easy to get – the rarer the granite, the more expensive. New Venetian Gold is plentiful, and therefore cheaper. Third, I went with pre-fab instead of custom. That means that rather than being picky about where they made the cuts on the slab, I let the fabricator make the decision as to which section of the slab I’d get. Since we’re moving in a year, I’m not concerned about having the perfect patterns on the countertops (although I have to say my fabricator gave us some really nice pieces). Fourth, I consulted Angie’s List to read reviews on the three lowest quotes I got. One vendor who was recommended by a neighbor and therefore top on my list ended up having HORRIBLE reviews online – so in this case I was glad I didn’t just go with the neighbor’s recommendation!

In the end, I chose the lowest quote because he also had good reviews online. Add in the fact he was also from New Jersey originally and he had me at “How YOU doin’?” (note: he doesn’t really talk like that, but I like to think everyone from Jersey does. GO JERSEY!)

I’m convinced those four things helped me get brand new, granite counter tops for $1,900, and helped my kitchen go from this:

To this:

My Signature

If you liked that post, read on...

Latest Mural Picture on October 10th, 2006

The Castle Is Done on October 11th, 2006

Finally Closed on Our Re-fi on August 2nd, 2003

Can I Go Back To Bed Now? on October 14th, 2006

6 comments

  1. Very nice and you got a better price for granite than we did for Corian (that we don’t like!). Good job!

  2. MBM: it’s only that clean because they had just finished and nothing was put back yet. We normally have a toaster, a microwave, our mixer, our knife block, a cake stand, our mail, the kids’ homework, stacks of coupons that need to be clipped, our dish drying pan and containers of salt, sugar and flour on the counters and island. So no need to feel shame. *lol*

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