Top 15 Kitchen Countertops Costs and Pros & Cons 2019

If you’re looking to install new countertops in your kitchen, you’re not alone – 95% of homeowners looking to renovate say that “kitchen countertops are their top priority this year”

This consumer buying guide covers top 15 countertop options, along with each material’s pros and cons, and the average cost to install.

  1. Granite countertops

What it is: You probably already know! Granite is a natural stone countertop material which has been highly prized in the kitchen for many years. It is available in a wide variety of colors and blends well with many different flooring and wall designs.

Granite countertops are becoming more and more common thanks to their increased availability and affordability.

What it costs: Granite can be expensive. Prices between $100 and $250 per square foot installed are not uncommon, depending on the color of the granite, the manufacturer, and where you live.

Pros: Because granite is highly sought after and considered beautiful, the countertops will add non-depreciating value to your home. It is non-porous and sanitary, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. It does not get scratched easily.

Cons: Granite is very difficult to remove, and should be considered a “forever” upgrade, because you may have to rip out the entire counter if you get sick of it. It is expensive when compared to other common countertop materials.

It is also labor-intensive because it is so heavy, which means that it may require additional structural support than what your counters already offer. It must be sealed roughly every 10 years or so to prevent staining, and it can crack if hit by a large, heavy object.

  1. Quartzite countertops

What it is:

Not to be confused with countertops labeled “quartz” – which are actually a kind of manmade composite, consisting of about 90% quartz and 10% resin – quartzite is a relatively new solid-stone alternative to granite or engineered quartz countertops.

Quartzite is a naturally occurring rock that starts its life as a kind of sandstone and evolves into quartzite when subjected to heat and pressure. The resulting white or gray rock tends to have beautiful streaks of color, giving it the look of marble while maintaining the toughness of granite.

A word of caution, however – the term tends to be used somewhat loosely by manufacturers, so it is important to check with your supplier to find out if your quartzite is “hard” or “soft” quartzite, which will affect how durable the material is, and how often routine sealing must be done to care for it.

What it costs: $85 to $200 per square foot installed, depending on the type of quartzite you choose and where you live.

Pros: The neutral colors of quartzite look nice against almost any kitchen color scheme. Its natural swirl patterns lend a clean, modern, organic look. It is somewhat heat resistant (although protection should be used if you intend to leave a hot pot sitting for awhile).

Did you know? Quartzite is also harder than granite, making it a little more durable.

Cons: Depending on the type of quartzite, periodic sealing must be done (as with any stone surface) to avoid staining. Also, because it is a heavy stone, it requires professional installation.

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Cost & Benefits of Ribbed Metal Roofing: Pros & Cons

Ribbed metal roofing is in the same family as Corrugated metal roofing. It is made in a similar fashion (at a metal mill), attached to the roof in the same way, and installation costs are about the same.

The key difference is in the appearance. Ribbed metal can be mistaken for Standing Seam, which is on the upper echelon of metal roofing.

Cost

Based on the price of materials alone, Ribbed metal paneling is certainly in the same ball park as Corrugated metal paneling.

The pricing does depend a bit on who you are purchasing the materials from, but a price range of $1.00 to $3.00 per linear foot is what you’ll routinely find. — This assumes you are going with a coated steel (i.e. galvanized or Galvalume), stainless steel or aluminum product. Then add a minimum of $2.50 to $4.00 per sq. ft. for professional installation, and you’ll get a base rate of $4.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft. of ribbed metal paneling installed.

Note: Labor costs may be higher than $3 per sq. ft. Total cost ought to be below $7.00 to $9 per sq. ft. installed, which means the cost of warrantied labor could go as high as $4.00 to $6.00 per sq. ft., in some cases.

Why would installation costs ever be that much higher higher? Well location is part of it, along with complexity of your roof, slope, or pitch, of the roof, and amount of custom metal flashing required for the job.

If your existing roof is to be torn off and disposed of, that would be a separate line item cost. Same goes with possible repairs to the roof. The good news is that Ribbed metal roofing can be installed over the existing roof.

For an average sized roof (say 1,600 sq.ft.), the total installation cost is likely to fall within $5,500 to $9,000.

A very large roof, say 3,000 sq. ft. would then be double, right? Not necessarily. If it is a non-complex roof, it could be significantly less than double as the more product you order and the more work being provided to the contractor, the less of an overall charge per sq. ft. the project could result in.

ROI: With all metal roofing, the return (value to cost) on your investment will be excellent. It starts at around 86% and, again, depending on your location may be higher.

This means that if you were to spend say $10,000 for a ribbed metal roof and sell your home while the roof is still in great condition, you can plan to recoup $8,600 of that value just from this part of your home.

Residential homes along the east coast of the U.S. tend to fetch better than 86% ROI.

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New Gas Furnace Prices and Installation Costs

Controlling the climate of your home during chilly months requires a heating source and way to distribute that energy. A modern gas furnace can be your best option for a home heating source. Selecting the ideal furnace for your home can be had with a few steps that we’ll guide you through.

Gas Furnace Installation Cost Information

For a fully installed furnace, plan to spend between $2000 and $6000. The furnace units themselves are usually under $1500. But professional installation is in your best interest, for reasons we’ll explain below. The current national average is about $4200 for a new furnace installation.

HVAC contractors typically charge $50 to $75 per hour for their work, and may include an assistant, or team of three, to complete the job. Their helpers often earn $50 an hour as well. Installation generally requires 10 man hours at minimum, but can easily go up due to many reasons, usually related to adjusting or updating the forced air system.

If significant updates are needed to your ductwork, this can add up to $15,000 to the cost. Typically, it is under $10,000 and often these additional charges are only steep if converting from say an electric furnace to a gas one.

Other costs that may be included include paying for a permit and inspection services (check with your local municipality), removal and disposal of an older furnace, and miscellaneous materials needed to complete the installation.

Gas Furnace Prices for Top Brands

If you look just at the Energy Star list, which shows the many models on the market that have their stamp of approval (for being high in energy efficiency), you’ll see a good 30 brands. At least one of our top recommendations is not on their list, even though their models obtain a 98 AFUE. Go figure!

Another thing you may not realize is that many popular manufacturers normally make more than one brand of gas furnaces, with each brand typically falling into either the basic, mid-range, or premium product category.

The makers of Carrier, for instance, are United Technologies and they also make Bryant, Day & Night, Payne and Tempstar.

Carrier is considered a premium brand with reputation for reliability, while Payne is considered “budget friendly.” The technology among the devices is nearly identical. 😉

Here are the Top Five Gas Furnace Brands:

1 – Goodman – these are made by the same company that manufactures the more popular Amana brand. Goodman has basic models that come in at 80 AFUE and high efficiency models with up to 98 AFUE.

Warranties range from 20 years (for basic models) to lifetime (for premium models). You may not find the latest and greatest features in their lineup, but the ones we’ve mentioned are available. And most importantly, they are affordable, ranging from as low as $400 (for their electric furnaces) to $2100 for the highest premium (gas) model.

You can reasonably plan to spend $700 to $1200 for a Goodman furnace, though this doesn’t include installation.

2 – Day & Night – again made by the same company that makes Carrier and Bryant brands. While the external structure looks different from the other brands made by the same manufacturer, the inner technology is nearly identical.

Similar to Goodman, these too achieve up to 98 AFUE, have 20 year warranty, and features that rival premium brands, such as modulating heat.

Like Goodman, they lack on reputation, but not on quality.  You can reasonably plan to spend $850 to $1250 for a Day & Night furnace, not including installation.

3 – York – this company also makes Coleman and Luxaire. York is a long established brand.

York warranties range from 5 years to lifetime depending on the model. They have multiple offerings in their furnace lineup ranging from the 80 to 95 AFUE.

York basic model is affordable at around $800, but their mid-grade and premium jump to $1400 or more.

York furnaces have a reputation for having noisier than average equipment, though their technology has evolved to include noise dampening features.

4 – Trane and American Standard are sister products. Both are on the premium side of brand names.

Trane is considered a top choice on the commercial product line of furnaces and thus their technological prowess is well known. For residential, they are pricier than our top two choices.

Trane AFUE goes up to 95, while they never skimp on features in their lineup. You can plan to pay $1300 and up for a Trane furnace, not including installation.

5 – Carrier rounds off our list based mostly on their reputation for reliability. They are another premium brand and arguably over priced considering what Day & Night is offering.

Carrier AFUE ranges from 80 to 98, and their features are essentially identical to the Day & Night offerings. Still, there are many thousands of satisfied Carrier customers who enjoy having a unit that will last 20+ years.

Plan to spend $1250 and up for Carrier furnaces, not including installation.

One final note, you can plan to spend more for installation on premium brands than the more affordable brands.

Part of this is the prestige factor that comes with being a ‘certified brand seller’ and the fact the market for premium furnaces allows for greater markup on those units.

Thus a Day & Night basic furnace may cost around $2000 installed, while the lowest you’ll likely find the Carrier basic model installed is $3000.

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