Granite worktops are often an investment, and we can understand the impulse to lower the cost by doing some or all of the work yourself. As professional stoneworkers, we’re regularly impressed by the passion, skill and energy that DIY-ers put into their projects. Britain is a DIY haven, with homeowners from Aldershot to Aberdeen tackling complex jobs to transform their living space. However, working with stone is completely different from handling wood, lino and other commonly used materials. Here are a few factors to consider as you decide whether to go it alone or call in the experts.
Are your measurements reliable?
Granite worktops can’t be trimmed on site in the way that wood can, so it’s essential that your measurements are reliable. If you’re going the DIY route, then even a few millimetres of error could result in a worktop that doesn’t fit or has an unsightly gap. It could also mean appliances that don’t fit or don’t align with their plumbing and the cost of making good will be on you.
How will you cut the stone?
Granite is one of the toughest substances in the world and the cutting tools used by professional granite worktop manufacturers simply won’t be available on the shelves of a DIY store in Aldershot.
Will you need to buy new tools?
Buying new kit can often wipe out any potential savings. Granite worktops can last longer than the house they’re in, so unless you’re planning on granite throughout you may not use the tools again.
How will you transport and lift it?
Granite is as heavy as, well, a large rock. Granite worktops are typically too heavy to transport in ordinary cars (even if they do fit) and in many vans. Likewise, once you’re on site you may need several assistants to safely lift your granite worktop into place. Lifting is one of the riskiest elements of the process, where your chance of injury is highest.
Do you fully understand how to prepare your kitchen?
As granite worktops are heavier than wood or lino, kitchen units need to be assessed and, in some cases, strengthened before a stone worktop is installed.
Could you use granite tiles instead?
Granite tiles are lighter and thinner, making them easier to transport and to cut. You’ll still need to consider load weights and lift boxes carefully, but you’ll save yourself a number of other problems. For backsplashes and floors, granite tiles can be an excellent alternative for the avid DIY-er.
How much will you really save?
Now you’ve figured out which elements of the labour you could do yourself, how much would you save by doing it? At Surrey Marble and Granite, our kitchen worktop packages include templating, cutting and fitting as well as the cost of the stone. By controlling this process from end to end, we’re able to offer a lower price than if we dealt with each element individually. Get in touch today and you may be surprised at how affordable your new granite worktop can be.