After finding the countertop you’re spent much time looking for, the next challenge is finding the right contractors and installers to turn your dream into a reality. Properly installed, natural stone countertops offer decades of use and beauty, which means choosing a qualified installer is a very important decision.

To protect your investment and ensure that you have your countertops installed properly, the best thing to do is equip yourself with as much information as you can. Here are a few tips we recommend.

Make a List of Qualified Contractors to Choose From
The most obvious place to start in finding qualified professionals is to ask the people you know. If you’ve seen a friend or family member get a new countertop, ask them who they used and if they would recommend them. Use your social media networks to inquire about reputable contractors and installers as well. When you get responses, ask them about how it was to work with the professional, if there were any complications, and whether or not the job was finished in time and within the agreed upon budget.

You can also ask other professionals you may know who do similar work, like a plumber, electrician, or, of course, your natural stone supplier. If you can’t find recommendations that way, you can always simply do a search online. Once you’ve found three to five candidates, it’s time to continue the vetting process.

Explain the Project to the Contractors You’ve Selected
Because countertop installation is a complicated job, any reputable installation professional will be glad to offer a free estimate. Invite them over to the house, let them know what you plan to have done, and what type of material you want to use. Let them take their measurements and do the math. Use the opportunity to ask them as many questions as you need about their work history and experience, their work schedule, estimated finish times, and any samples or recommendations they may have to show.

Get Written Estimates
It’s okay to let contractors know that you’re interviewing other people for the job. This will let them know that they need to be competitive in their pricing. Keep an eye out for upcharges and special fees. Once you’ve collected a few estimates, compare and contrast to see what will work for your budget.

Check their Credentials
Once you’ve interviewed your potential candidates, do your due diligence and check their backgrounds. See which ones are members of any accredited associations, and see what sort of ratings they’ve received with the Better Business Bureau or any other online consumer ratings, like Angie’s List and Google.

Look at their Past Work
In this day and age, most professionals have a website or some sort of online portfolio to showcase the work they’ve done. Take the time to look through it and decide if you would be happy with that quality work in your home.

Make your Decision
There are three factors to making the final decision on who is going to be coming into your home to renovate it. Their experience, their price, and your gut. Don’t just go for the most cost-effective estimate, as those can sometimes prove to be costlier in the long run. Consider the quality of the work you’ve seen by them, but also don’t discount your first impression upon meeting them and how comfortable you’re going to feel with them in your house for the duration of the project. If you feel more strongly about one with a higher price, either ask them if they can match their competitor to see if you can get a better deal or accept the fact that with something like natural stone countertops, it’s sometimes best to pay more for the best installation possible.

We hope these tips help you to find the best contactor/installer for your project. Don’t forget to visit our warehouse for design ideas!