HEADING TO HEATH: GRANITE BEFORE THE STORM
Nothing on a building site happens in a vacuum. While we were shopping for the elusive granite slab of our dreams, we were also picking out brick and trying to find a vendor for the pre-finished cabinets we’d chosen for the kitchen. (Cabinets – another long story I won’t go into right now.)
On a Saturday in late December, after our disappointing return visit to the granite slab yard, we were on our way to a holiday event with the family in Flower Mound. Our fabricator had given us the names and addresses of some other slab yards to check out and one of them was sort of on the way to Flower Mound.
Now, what works for one person might not work for someone else and visa versa. So, if you’re looking for granite or marble, don’t let me stop you from going to MSI over on Valley Branch Lane, but we won’t be going back. Remember the price game I mentioned when I started talking about slabs. Well, MSI ain’t playing. Yes, the price game is irritating, but it’s better than a poke in the eye and that’s about all we got.
See, MSI won’t even tell you a price range, much less a price. No ABC. No 123. No Low, Medium, High. You just go in there, write down which slabs you like and they turn the list over to your fabricator. One thing we’ve learned is that Bill naturally gravitates to the most expensive slabs in any slab yard. Having him write down what he likes and then waiting to hear from a fabricator would just be an exercise in futility. You have to say, “Bill, you can only look at X.” Without that, we were wasting our time.
It Hit Us Like a Brick Wall
After wasting time at MSI, we continued the trek to Flower Mound. We were discussing the cabinets, which we planned to look into after our family event. The phone rang and it was the guy who is building next door to us in Heath. “Uh Bill, I thought you said you were having some sort of pattern in your brick.”
Come to find out the masons had finished up with the job they were working and started bricking our house. The only problem was that they’d never given us pricing for the work we wanted done. Standard brick-laying was included, but we had some special treatments we wanted done – if we could afford it. The whole issue of our cast stone was up in the air also. The masons were laying on straight brick as if no cast stone or brick patterns were involved. Our options were being walled-up you might say.
The next hour or so was filled with flurries of phone calls and text messages. We wanted to enjoy our family get-together, especially since this was one of the only times we’d see some of them in a year, but it was hard with all the building issues we were handling. Just about the time we were wrapping up the blind gift exchange a frantic Bill let me know we had to go – RIGHT THAT MINUTE.
By the time we got to the car, Bill was nearly hysterical. Basically, we had a choice of paying either $750 or $2200 and either way we went about it, we wouldn’t get exactly what we’d wanted in the first place. We also needed to get from Flower Mound to Grand Prairie for the cabinet appointment and we needed to get there fast. Of course, as we madly drove south, communicating unsatisfactorily with our builder, that’s when we discovered that all that new road construction out by the airport isn’t on our latest GPS update.
Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty and it didn’t get any prettier. To give our builder’s rep his due, he kept trying to convince us that everything was going to be OK. The
high point make that low point of the conversation was when he told me in order to make it right, if he had to, then he’d have them tear down every brick and start all over.
That was the wrong thing to say to me at that moment.The last thing I wanted was another delay and I was certain, whatever happened, I’d end up with another added expense. Their favorite increment of add-on was about $300. We were sitting at the desk of the cabinet vendor when I unloaded my angst on the builder’s rep. It was not my finest moment of the build.
By necessity, granite fell several slots on the priority table that day. A couple of weeks passed before we returned to the search for granite, but Lesson Three in Taking Granite for Granted will be next week.