The first thing is what type of granite countertop do you want? There are granite slabs or granite tiles. Each type of granite comes in with different prices, where you find that the granite slab is more expensive than the granite tiles. Granite slabs are the most expensive usually because its heavy, thicker and gives an original look with less seams. The granite tiles will save you money compared to the granite slabs because they are lighter and easy to install but you will have to deal with the seams that appear at the point where they join one another.
When deciding on the type of granite you need to keep in mind that the type of edge treatment you want will influence the price. For instance granite a simple bullnose edge will be a lower price compared to a customized edge treatment like the ogee edge.
When setting your budget you need to know that granite has three quality groupings that influence the price. You will find the premium grade granite is very expensive but on the other hand it has beautiful colors and patterns plus its thicker than the lower grade granite. It's advisable to go for the medium grade or the premium grade for it offers the best appearance. Granite is also grouped in tiers and the rarest pattern is the most expensive so if you want a blue granite for example then you will have to spend more because it is a rare color. When setting your budget you also need to choose the thickness you want since it will affect the price. There are two granite thickness the 2cm also known as 3/4 of an inch and the 3 cm also known as 1 1/4 inches. The 3 cm is the popular with most people for it does not require plywood reinforcement.
After you have decided on the type of granite you want the next step is deciding how much granite you need. Most suppliers sell granite in square foot and it will range usually between $20-$100 per square foot depending on the supplier. This stage will require you to take actual measurements of the area to be covered with the granite. When taking the measurement you need to be careful and make sure your measurement are accurate. If you have an existing countertop then all you need to do is create a template of the countertop. When creating the template do not forget to mark the openings correctly like the under mount sinks.
Another consideration is labor, if you have decided to do it yourself then you do not have to worry about labor especially if you are installing the granite tiles. If you are installing the granite slabs that require intensive labor then you will need the service of a professional installer. Additional labor like cutting out holes and fabrication will add a few dollars to your budget. When setting the budget you need to have a certain price range depending on the type of granite you have selected. By having a price range you can minimize the overhead charges and also you have a chance to do price comparison from different dealers. Different granite suppliers offers different competitive charges so by visiting different suppliers you will be able to get price estimates. You also need to be aware that depending on your installer there may be other charges like the sealer and the waste disposal fee.