HEADING TO HEATH: TAKING GRANITE FOR GRANTED – LESSON 3
Lots of Lessons to Learn When Building
I need to let you know something. I may be the one who is telling you all about this build, but I’m not the driving force behind it. I’d like to hear a round of applause for my husband.
When it came to finding the lot in Heath, I think I can honestly say I was the one making things happen. Once Bill said we were going to move, I devoted all my time to finding the right property and then to getting our house on Squaw Valley sold. Then I handed the baton to Bill.
He’s been the one who has made the design come together, negotiated the contract for the build and then he’s really been the one managing the build. Whittle & Johnson has been building homes for a long time, but custom building homes for individuals has not been something they’ve done a lot of. They specialize in building spec homes for the Whittle Development Co. Of course, after going through our build, they may be ready for anything. Then again, they may just go back to building spec homes. It’s been rough.
Back to the Granite Grind
So, once the cabinets were scheduled for installation, we had to find some countertops or the whole build was going to get behind schedule. Bill had been watching for slabs online, he’d been calling around and he’d been talking about getting out there to look around again.
The day came for looking, albeit a chilly one. Verona didn’t have anything new, so we started at a place called IMC. The good news was that their marble was inside. The bad news was that they kept the doors open, so it was just as cold inside as it was out.
Their version of the price game was L,M,H,H+ and E. The E was for exotic – or don’t EVEN think about it. As I mentioned before, Bill is magnetically attracted to exotic marble. He gave up on so many loves that morning that you had to feel sorry for him. Every other slab he loved was E, the rest were H+, as in HIGH PLUS!!
Next door was Levantina. They played another version of the price game. You go pick stuff out and then they will tell you if it is low, medium or high. That was marginally better than MSI, but not by much.
Can We Move Something for You?
Here’s something else you hear a lot of at slab yards. Slabs are displayed in one of two ways. One way lets you see an entire slab of granite or marble. The other way is more like books on a shelf with some strategically placed spaces for you to peer down the length of the slab. Needless to say, seeing the whole slab is much to be preferred. So the slab employees are constantly asking, “Can we move something for you?”
Our friends at Verona used a mixture of the two methods. To MSI’s credit, they show the full slabs, with a plaque which shows the name of the type of stone and the country of origin. IMC goes one better – showing slab and type as well as the price game designation. Levantina uses the library book method.
No matter what method is used, most people need more than one slab and they like to see all the slabs they are going to get. That’s why, even when you can see whole slabs, you might need some slabs moved. When slabs are displayed with the library book method, that’s the only way you’re going to get an idea of what you’re looking at. Don’t worry though. They have really cool machines to move the slabs with and I think they actually enjoy doing it. Beats having a real job, I guess.
In Love With Blue Fire
We spent the day going back and forth between IMC and Levantina. There were dramas and frustrations, but we found what we thought we wanted. Blue Fire Granite is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. It was categorized as an H, which concerned us, but the salesperson told us it was reasonable. In fact, it was at the lowest level of the H category. That couldn’t be too bad could it? Find out next week.