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Choosing a Fabricator

A few decades ago it was easy to choose a countertop. You just picked the color of the laminate.

Today's modern kitchens and baths there are exotic natural and man-made materials, sophisticated designs and amazing possibilities. Realizing them rests on an important first step: finding the right fabricator.

Here's help:
Start in your own backyard
Choosing a local fabricator, one who works in your area, is a good bet. Because they work and live in the community, chances are your local contractor must be good and reliable in order to stay in business. Ask how long they have been in business. Do they provide a warranty? Check for proper local and state licenses and insurance.

Insist on options
Countertops can be made of a dizzying array of materials. Some are more suited to providing a hard-working surface, others are ideal as a luxurious design element. No single fabricator offers them all. But some fabricators offer only one, which may not match your needs. So look for fabricators who give you a choice by carrying the top brands of the most popular materials: Solid Surface, Granite and Quartz. A professional countertop fabricator is well versed in many materials and can recommend which would best match your usage, traffic patterns, style and budget.

Check for remodeling expertise
Some fabricators specialize in new construction, and may not have the specialized knowledge that your kitchen or bath remodel requires. Remodeling pros often are members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Look for professional certification, membership
The top fabricators often are certified and members of professional associations such as the Marble Institute of America and the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association. Members of these organizations are the industry's top experts, professionals who meet high standards for fabrication and a high code of ethics.

Get references
Ask your fabricator for references and call those customers. Was the fabricator easy to deal with? How did they communicate and deal with any problems? Was the job finished on time? Ask to see the fabricator's finished projects, so you can verify the quality of the workmanship. (Customers usually are glad to show off their new kitchens and baths.)

Get a contract
The fabricator should provide you with a detailed, written contract. It should state the materials, colors and styles to be used.

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