Granite worktops (and quartz worktops for that matter) cost money to deliver. It may be obvious, but then we also live in an age of “free delivery”, where delivery costs are included in the price of the product or where people pay extra for the “Prime” delivery service. How and why do we cost in our delivery and extra-distance charges?
Two of our fitters carrying a Blue Pearl Granite Worktop
The issue is not simply the price of diesel – though it does keep rising! Granite worktops are no ordinary product. With some black slabs weighing in at 95 kg per square metre (30mm thickness), a single long worktop run can weigh 179 kg/394lbs. Two of our fitters will handle that from a van into your house, but at 197 lbs each to carry, it is obvious that this is not a job that “normal people” can take on. And islands can be far bigger and heavier than that. The guys have sets of wheels and special carrying gear, but all the same, sometimes I just don’t know how they achieve what they do!
Add in the fact that many natural stones are fairly fragile, especially once there are cutouts for sinks and hobs, and the specialist nature of granite worktops is all the more obvious. It needs to be carried by people who know it. Even many of our regular building and kitchen clients, people who are strong and able to handle all kinds of materials, tend to steer clear of the stone and leave it all to us.
For anything but the very smallest deliveries we need to send two fitters.
A big Kashmir Gold Granite island in Horsham
In my work in quartz and granite worktop sales, I work out delivery like this:
- Look up the customer’s address on Google Maps
- Get directions from RH6 0EB (our address)
- Look at the time the guys will take from us to you.
- Double it (they need to come back!)
- Add 15 minutes for the actual delivery
- Multiply the whole thing by the number of men needed to deliver
- Multiply the result by £45 to cover pay, fuel, van wear and tear and insurances etc.
Obviously, there will come a point at which delivery costs just aren’t economical, and where a third-party carrier would be better. Generally, this is at around £220 for delivery. It makes sense – our fitters are not simply delivery men; they are all trained granite worktop fitters. If they spend three hours in a van, they could have fitted a small kitchen in Horley or Crawley.
Bear in mind, though, that because the delivery people with a third-party carrier will NOT be specialists, we have to put more effort into packing the product so that breakage risk is minimised. That costs too.
Here is a worked example. Suppose a rectangular table top is to be taken to a garden of a couple living in Nevill Avenue, Hove, BN3 7NH. If the top is 2.2 metres by 1 metre in Zimbabwe Black granite it will weigh 460 lbs. (I do hope the table support is good!) Two men will be required to deliver that.
So – from Google maps we are looking at just over 40 minutes journey time – 0.68 of an hour.
Two journeys make it 1.36 hours.
Add 0.25 hours to actually bring the stone through into your garden and you have 1.61 hours.
Double that for 2 men and you have 3.22 man hours.
Multiple by £45 and you have £145 to deliver the table top.
Our full template and installation charge covers travel to and from installations in a wide area, as described on our home page. Once distances start to stretch longer, though, we have to add some extra. We have some notes on areas where we fit here.
All of this makes sense; if we have two fitters sitting in a van on the way to Norwich, say, their total travel time for the day will be around 6 hours. They will only do one installation. Unless it is a BIG installation, enough to make sense of dedicating the guys for a whole day, it is a waste of their time, when we have a lot of work on in our immediate area. The additional charge is a nod in the direction of covering the cost of that wastage.
The extra charge varies with a number of factors:
Large installations are obviously more worthwhile doing at a distance than small ones.
Not all distances are equal – the village of Cornish Hall End in Essex is exactly the same distance from us as the crow flies as Milton Keynes, but in terms of time on the road it is far further.
Where an installation involves a big island that requires extra labour to handle, the impact of distance will be even greater – think of the cost of getting four men (and therefore two vans) to the site, even if two of them are only to be present for a short unloading process.
We love our work and are proud of doing a good job at every phase. That includes being open and honest with you as a potential customer right from the quotation stage. We would rather tell you straight up when we can’t quote, than blag the sale and try to squeeze the travel money in somewhere along the line. Overall, we have found that a straightforward approach has worked for us and built us to where we are today. Thank you for your understanding!