Our Home Renovation: Thanksgiving, Countertops

By Thanksgiving Day, our home had been stuffed (with insulation). As you can see from the photo above, it looked just like the inside of a Teddy Bear. Also, both Jimmy and I thought that it smelled like baked cookies.

Finally, the house is beginning to look like a house! They completed about 2/3 of the drywall by day 44 (a dusty and noisy job). They used an electric drill, so our house sounded like a dentist's office. At least it looks better!





Around this time, we also started shopping for slabs of marble for our countertops. We knew that we wanted Honed Bianco Carrara; it was just a matter of finding the exact variety. It was raining cats and dogs, but we took off for Pietra Fina in Hayward, since they had a large selection of Carrara.

We were not disappointed. We actually saw four slabs that we liked. Pietra Fina suggested a fabricator too, and we met with him at our house the following Monday. Later in the week, we also looked at 3 slabs of Carrara from All Natural Stone. They recommended four additional fabricators. Jimmy is going to call to ask for a second opinion, at least.

We finally chose and purchased our two slabs of Carrera Blanco by day 51! Hooray! Yes, stones do differ, and pricing does too. My advice is to start shopping well before you need to. Think about it: each slice of stone is one of a kind. Also, the shipments from Italy only arrive a couple times a year. So if you happen to be selecting what remains at the end of the last shipping period, you are kind of getting the dregs.

It helps if you know what you want, then you can focus on stone suppliers and have lots of choices. Also, you can only “hold” a slab for a short period of time, UNLESS you have chosen your fabricator. If the fabricator is someone that the supplier knows and approves, you can hold for longer, and get a better discount.

Of course, Jimmy and I didn't know any of this, so once again, we worked it backwards. Would I have done it differently if I had known? Yes! We always knew the stone we wanted, and we may have been able to time it nearer to a new shipment, and have had better choice. I would have preferred a slab with less-pronounced “stripes”, but as it turns out, Jimmy likes the stripes. I am going to save my veto for the backsplash and the drawer pulls.

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