HEADING TO HEATH: TAKING GRANITE FOR GRANTED – LESSON 2
The Cold Bitter Truth
A slab yard in deep winter is a sad place. All the good stuff is gone. The folks at the slab yard were very nice and quite willing to stomp around the chilly yard with us as long as we wanted to, but the truth of the matter was, the yard was full of dogs – and I’m not talking the cute cuddly kind. Oh, they still had some pretty slabs, but every thing good was either reserved (something I’ll tell you more about) or lone orphans too small on their own to do us much good.
There’s Inventory and Then Again, There’s Inventory
Slab yards have a phrase I hate: “Keep an eye on our website.” Trying to fall in love with a piece of granite online is like trying to kiss through a screen. It just doesn’t do a thing for me. Bill, bless his heart, can spend hours comparing slabs online. I last about 90 seconds on a good day. I just can’t extrapolate a tiny rectangle on the screen into a kitchen counter. Let’s say that somehow you do manage to find a piece of granite you think you want. Try calling the granite yard and see what happens.
That’s on Reserve
What you’ll usually hear when you ask about a piece of granite, in person or online, is, “That’s on reserve.” Reserve is the magic thing you do between falling in love with a piece of granite and discovering you can’t afford it. The slab yard puts it on reserve so they can tell your fabricator how much it costs and he can, in turn, work up his quote and give you sticker shock. Before I was through with our granite procurement, I grew to hate “That’s on reserve.”
Reserve can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Take our second visit to the slab yard, for instance. We wandered around and found nothing that would work. Oh, we saw orphans we loved, pieces we couldn’t afford and a lot of reserved pieces, but nothing that we could have in our kitchen. In order to make us feel better they put some slabs on reserve for us. Not that we understood what they were doing, because weeks later we discovered the four slabs, none of which we wanted, were still reserved for us.
That’s in Tulsa
On our second trip to the slab yard we discovered some of the slabs we were looking at online weren’t even in that slab yard. Some of the slabs were actually pieces which had been purchased by the slab yard and were in transit. When were they supposed to arrive? Sometime in March? That wasn’t helping us. We needed our slabs in weeks, not months.
Big vendors, like Verona Marble, also put slabs out on consignment to other yards and those yards can be all over the place. Sometimes that’s at a place across town. Sometimes it’s far away. Slabs in Tulsa weren’t doing me much good since I’m extrapolation-challenged, but that didn’t stop them from showing me a picture of them.
Just Walk Away Renee
So, at the end of the day, we sadly left the slab yard. We were told to keep checking online. (Yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that.) They put slabs on reserve for us. Then we called the fabricator and got a list of other places to visit. Come back next week and you can visit these other yards with us.