How to measure for countertops, and price your own job
When anyone comes to your home to price work that you want (or need!) done, it's often a muddy mix of pressure and confusion, right? How do you size up the individual; are they doing an up-sell, or pricing by the size of your house and what's in your driveway? They always (hopefully) know more about the labor and materials involved than you do. So, how do you make sure that you're getting the straight scoop and the whole story? How can you know if the quote is legit; that you won't wind up with a job half done, or pay more to get it completed?
We have a simple solution: Price that stone-counter project yourself.
Step 1. Get yourself a tape measure . . . you knows there's one in that junk drawer, or out in the garage, or you can borrow one from uncle Bob. Otherwise, 5 bucks at the hardware store.
Step 2. Measure the width (AKA length, end-to-end, side-to-side), and the depth (front to back, AKA wall-to-front edge) of each countertop "Area". An Area is a counter-section that forms a square or rectangle. So, if a counter is L-shaped, one leg is Area "1", and the other is Area 2. Measure to the 1/4 inch. Measure angled-cuts as rectangles.
Step 3. Use that good ol' calculator on your cell phone to multiply width x depth of each Area to get square inches (don't we all wish we'd paid more attention in math class?). HINT - On a calculator 1/4" = .25, 1/2" = .50, 3/4" = .75 - so easy, isn't it? After you've calculated square inches for an Area, divide by 144 to get square feet, which is how countertop labor and materials are priced. NOTE - Most stone fabricators round up to the square foot on each Area. But, if you're thinking of working with Oklahoma Granite and Stone, we round up to the 1/4 ft. Save it where you can!
Here's an example:
A kitchen island measures 84-1/4" wide by 36" deep. 84.25 x 36 = 3,033 sq in, divided by 144, = 21.06 sq ft. We would probably just round that down to 21 SF, since it's so close.
Step 4. Add up the square-footage of all Areas measured, and multiply by our labor price of $28 per SF. We believe that's the best price in NE OK and surrounding areas. Then look at stones from the Verona link on our materials page.*
Note that nearly all stone fabricators price jobs in round numbers, which include both labor and materials. That gives them the opportunity to "down-sell" until they arrive at a price which gets them the job. We price labor by the square foot (to the 1/4 ft), and the material at our wholesale. Our Designer pays for the slab(s) when chosen, and the supplier gives you a duplicate copy of our payment receipt. No hanky-panky! No deposit "up front". You pay us for labor and materials after the project is completed. Demo (countertop removal) is charged by the SF, and at our cost. Sink-cutout prices are probably the lowest around. First drop-in sink cutout is free. 4 free edges (including chiseled edge) included.
Some Useful Notes:
When measuring counter depth, measure to the actual wall surface, not to a tile backsplash. If you can't get around the tile, just add 1/4" to the depth, which is a common tile thickness.
When you measure depth from the wall to a countertop's edge, look down towards the floor to make sure that the new counter will stick out far enough beyond the tops of cabinet doors and drawers to allow any spills to fall to the floor, instead of onto cabinet wood. If it looks too close, just add a little extra to the measured depth. Again, always to the 1/4". Measurements don't have to be exact; you're just trying to figure what this job should cost.
If a stove goes back to the wall behind it, with no narrow strip of counter material behind it, we only charge for the left and right sides of the stove. If the stove has that strip of counter-material behind, we have to fabricate and edge the "cavity", so that width-of-stove is included in total square footage.
Once you have a rough idea of your countertop square-footage, please call and let us give you a quote? There's never any charge for coming out to draw and measure, and we can help with some affordable stone options.
A great price for stone-counter fabrication and installation, and we price any stone that you choose at our cost.
*Stone prices start at $7.95 per square foot with 15+ beautiful choices. 90% of our Clients choose stone under $12. Use 65 SF as a typical slab size.
Oklahoma Granite and Stone