Friday, February 18, 2011

The Making of a Showcase Home: Part 1. Slab & Edge Selection

Ever since I started this blog I've wanted to show a job through the entire process.  I'm finally getting to it...
We were hired by BuilderFusion to do the countertops in a Showcase Home they are building right now.  The home will be featured in the Utah Valley Parade of Homes this year as well as a couple of Green Home Tours. 

I'll be posting a series showing each step of the template, fabrication and installation process on this job.

The first step of our process is to select your slabs and edge details.  Once these have been determined we can give the client a final price. 
This home is using Squak Mountain Stone in the Kitchen and Trinity Glass in the Bathrooms.

Squak Mountain Stone (samples pictured above) is an environmentally friendly, man made product that is made of recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly-ash and low-carbon cement.  The story behind Squak Mountain Stone is what makes it interesting to me.  You can read it here. 
I've been working with Squak Mountain Stone for over six years now and it's a unique and really cool product.  It does require a particular type of customer though.  It's not for everyone!  It does stain, etch, scratch and chip.  It's a living surface.  It will age, patina and change over time.  You have to be okay with that. 
The Squak Mountain Stone is a really soft looking surface, it has a matte finish.  A lot of people think it has the same look as Soapstone or Limestone.

Trinity Glass (pictured above) is made by the same company as the Squak.  Trinity is also an environmentally friendly composite surface.  It's made of recycled glass and low-carbon cement.  The colors coordinate perfectly with the Squak Mountain Stone but they are quite different when it comes to the texture.  The Trinity is more of a polished look similar to quartz.  The Trinity does etch and stain as well though. 
Just as I said about the Squak, this product is not for everyone. 
I have to underline it and repeat it over and over because in the years that I have been working with these products (as well as other "green" slabs by other manufacturers) I've had quite a few customers purchase these materials when they probably shouldn't have.  They quickly become disappointed with the etches and stains.  Even though we try really, really hard to educate these clients sometimes they have their minds set and then hate their countertops later.  I promise you, we never want to sell anything that our customer's would be unhappy with later.  It doesn't help anyone.

Anyway, this Showcase Home is a "green home" and the homeowner's selected these materials with the all the education and the right mindset.  I think they will be really happy with both surfaces.

The next step is selecting your edge detail.  Both the Squak Mountain Stone and the Trinity Glass are 3 cm (1 1/4") thick.  I highly recommend a simple square edge on these types of surfaces and that is what this customer wanted.  The edge in the photo above is what the edge on the Squak Mountain Stone will look like.  We can fill in those holes, but most customer's like to leave them exposed.

Once the materials and edges have been selected we can give you the final price.  We require a signed contract and 50% deposit to get on our template schedule. 

Stay tuned.  Next week I'll show this job's templates and the slab arrival.
Also, make sure to stop by on Monday.  There may or may not be a giveaway going on.  By that I mean there will be.  :)

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