Can you cut my own granite? We are frequently asked if we are willing and able to cut stone which is the customer’s own property. This request comes for various reasons, and I guess our response varies a bit with the circumstances. But, as a general rule, the answer is a strong No, and for two reasons:
1) Our business model is one of selling stone, not simply the service of cutting or polishing the stone. Where the motivation for using second-hand stone is its bargain basement price, it is very hard to marry that price motivation with the costly skills and labour involved in making and installing granite worktops.
2) Where the customer already owns the stone, there is an issue of responsibility should any breakage occur – and from time to time breakages do occur. If the hob section, say, of a whole set of old worktops should break, it will be impossible to find a matching piece to replace it. We cannot undertake to replace stone which is by its nature irreplaceable because of colour-match issues. If we do agree to work with customers’ stone it is always on a disclaimer basis.
We totally understand the reasons for the question, of course. It is often economy, but we know that the issue isn’t always just price. Good use of natural resources, environmentalism, the desire to recycle and reuse – all a great motivation!
And having said all we have, there are a variety of different circumstances where the question “Can you cut my own granite?” comes up, and our response does vary. Here are some of the situations:
• Whole sets of granite worktops bought as a job lot on eBay, or being transferred from one kitchen to another. We NEVER do cutting or fitting in this kind of situation, and do not recommend trying to install worktops in this way. What may be a great idea when buying a second-hand dress for reworking does not work so happily with stone.
• Kitchen renovations where existing stone needs to be cut or modified and no stone is to be added. We don’t generally even countenance this type of work unless extremely close by, and even then only on a disclaimer basis. We are a little more favourable where the stone was purchased from us in the first place. In general, rather than doing the work ourselves, we would prefer to point customers in the direction of a fitter who can do the job on a private basis, under disclaimer, if such a fitter is known to be available. In general our own stonemasons have plenty of work on, and are loath to take on additional and possibly risky duties on their days off.
• Kitchen renovations where the customer’s own granite needs to be cut or modified, and further stone is to be added. As such jobs involve the sale of new stone, they fall more easily within our business plan, but the alteration to the existing stone would still be on a disclaimer basis. Furthermore, do remember that getting a perfect batch match may well be impossible. Some customers have got round this by installing a contrasting worktop in situations where the old and new stones do not butt up against each other.
• Trimming, repolishing and hole cutting of sections of their own granite that the customer themselves can bring into the workshop. Where a single sawcut is involved, or the drilling of a hole or suchlike, we are often happy to do such simple work on a disclaimer basis, sometimes while you wait. We do NOT undertake fabrication work using sections brought in – we have quite enough cut-price offcuts for vanity tops etc.!
Summing up: We want to be helpful and neighbourly, but we also have to safeguard and concentrate on our core kitchen worktop business. We sell our own granite and quartz and from it fabricate worktops, and occasionally vanity tops, bars, barbecue layouts and hearths. When we are selling stone, we remain responsible for any breakages or loss during the manufacturing process. That means that we will replace the section, very occasionally multiple times, in order to deliver our customer’s requirement. For peace of mind, let us do the worrying about granite worktop breakages – let us cut stone that we are supplying, not stone that you are bringing!!