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 cannot be trimmed on-site in the way that wood can, so it’s essential that your measurements are reliable. If you’ve decided to follow 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 fixing this could be costly.
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.
If you decide to make the investment in tools that can cut Granite, it’s unlikely that you’ll require the tools again, this is because Granite is a durable material and worktops made from it can often last longer than the house they’re in! So before you wipe out your savings by purchasing the relevant equipment, consider if it’s a good investment.
How will you transport and lift it?
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. A professional will understand what is needed and be able to spot any issues that could arise over time.
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 could be!