New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Which is cheaper quartz or granite?

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 @ 07:07 AM

What's the cost difference between granite and quartz countertops?

Granite and quartz are both popular choices for countertops in custom home kitchens and master bathrooms.

Granite and quartz are both natural stone materials. But while granite is 100% stone, quartz can vary in composition: Quartz countertops are made of a manufactured stone, composed of crushed quartz that is mixed with pigment and resin.

Compare the pros and cons of granite and quartz -- with photos from Raleigh custom homes built by Stanton Homes. Contact us with your new home building questions, and we'll show you what it takes to build a custom home.


Which is more expensive, quartz or granite?

Granite and quartz countertops are purchased by size in square feet. Manufactuers often group stone countertops into levels. Each level indicates a price range.

Differences in price per square foot are based on the availability of a stone (how rare is it?), as well as its location (how far must it be shipped?), among other criteria.

In general, granite countertops are much less expensive than quartz, especially in recent years.  A granite countertop will generally start in the $45-50/sq ft range, while depending on the manufacturer and type, quartz can easily start $20-30/sq ft higher. 

Photos of Stanton Homes with granite countertops in the master bathroom:

1. Black Granite Countertops

Black granite - with hits of earthy tones - are popular in larger bathrooms, which can balance darker tones in wider spaces. 


How do I know if the counter tops I find in photos are granite?

A quick way to spot whether or not counter tops are made of granite (rather than composite materials) is the integration of an undermount sink.

Granite counter top installers cut holes for the sink and faucet, which are installed separately. Composite countertops often come as single pieces, with a built-in sink basin.

2. Tones of Red and Brown in Granite Countertops

This single his and hers vanity extends between the tile shower and tub. An archway accent keeps the space open, and serves as a useful shelf.


How long can a granite counter top extend?

The maximum length of a granite countertop before a seam is required varies, based on the length of the slab that the granite is to be cut from.  Many pieces are 6', 8', or 10' in length.  When a countertop is longer than that, it will generally have a seam.

3. Contemporary White Granite Countertops

Dark cabinets with light - often gray or white - countertops are popular contemporary home combinations for the granite bathroom.


Which is more cost effective, a single, long vanity or two short, separate vanities?

Cost per vanity depends on a lot more factors than just the countertop!  A standard size vanity, such as 30" or 48", is more cost effective than a custom vanity.  A shorter vanity (or pair of shorter vanities) also may be able to use "remnants" of granite rather than a full sheet, which many installers will offer a special price on.  A longer piece of granite is more likely to need to be cut from a full sheet.

4. Traditional White Granite Countertops

In this his and hers style bathroom, the "his" vanity (pictured below) is located on the opposite wall from the "her" vanity.



Here are answers to other common new home countertop questions:

Which is More Popular, Granite or Quartz Countertops?

While granite and quartz are both great choices for natural stone counter tops, more home buyers choose to include granite in the kitchen and bathroom

Which do you like better? When you build a custom home in the Raleigh North Carolina area, your selections are nearly endless. At Stanton Homes, your personal design consultant will meet you at vast showrooms and help with extensive selections. Learn more by contacting us here.

Aging in Place House Plans | Raleigh Aging in Place 



Tags: Custom Home Kitchen Design, Cost of Granite, Granite Counter Tops, granite vs quartz, Countertop Cost

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Aug 08, 2012 @ 16:08 PM

5 Things to think about for your kitchen

Kitchen design features you'll love

What’s cooking in today’s kitchens are designer details with everyday appeal. Here’s what’s causing excitement, when your North Carolina custom home builder creates the most popular room in your new home with everything just the way you want it.

1. Pot fillers - right at the stove, where you need it

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchenMake a splash without all the carrying, with a built-in pot filler that customizes your cookstove.

Pull it out when you want it. Tuck it back when you’re done.

Pot fillers tap a basic need with a luxury touch that adds charm and flexibility to any kitchen.

The style and finish of the pot filler can blend into your decor, or can be designed to make a stand-out statement.


2. Separate sink in the island - for too many cooks in the kitchen (and a great way to spread out all the culinary tasks)

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen

A separate “prep sink” in the island is perfect for chef hobbyists, as well as family and friends who gather to “help” and chat in the kitchen. 

Separate sinks set into a bar are becoming more of a regular feature in today’s custom homes, where casual living centers around the kitchen – and the extra space (and water source) is handy.

Whether you want a special place to wash vegetables and fruit, fill up water glasses, or wash hands between tasks, the flexibility and accessibility of a prep sink will be addictive!


3. Raised eating bars - when you don't want to deal with a meal at the table

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen

 This custom home kitchen design - a version of the Kelley- has a great approach to an on-the-go alternative to meals at the dinner table.

A raised eating/serving bar built into the island is a top-requested kitchen feature in custom homes.

Kitchens with raised eating/serving bars are often designed to supplement alternative casual eating areas – in addition to more formal dining choices. For example, in this design, the nook area has a built-in brunch table.


4. Built-in wine racks - right in reach for your evening entertaining

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen

Built-in wine racks can be designed as a bold centerpiece of the kitchen, or as discrete private collection space.

In this custom designed, green certified kitchen, the choice of a large built-in wine rack designed to display select vintages serves as a connoisseur’s focal point.  

Another favorite location for a built-in wine rack and/or wine refrigerator is a butler's pantry.

 5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen








5. Built-in storage designed with versatility for everything you put away - from recycling centers to open shelving to pot and pan organizers

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen


Convenient storage solutions are a top request in new home kitchens. 

There’s no need for clutter on your counters when there are so many choices for your cupboards.

And when you ask your builder to extend the existing space in your floor plan, you can get even more places to store, underneath the serving bar, eating bar area, or island.

5 Things to think about for your NC new home kitchen

Tuck it away – in choices you can hide inside

Special features like pot and pan organizers, lazy Susans, recycling centers, roll-out tray dividers, cutlery dividers, and plastic bag storage units – the choices are endless when you design a kitchen with everything just the way you want it.

Ask your builder what he can do for you – and cook up a creative kitchen. 

See more custom home kitchen design features

Find more kitchen design trends in these articles and photo galleries, all about customizing your kitchen to your lifestyle:

Stanton Homes kitchens on Pinterest.

Kitchen photo tours - tons of designs in one place.

Are bronze appliances a new trend in custom kitchen design?

How to Choose between a wall oven and range

Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina.

Tags: Custom Home Kitchen Design, kitchen design ideas, custom kitchen photos, Raleigh kitchen trends

New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 @ 14:04 PM

New Home Kitchen Oven Styles

Types of Ovens to Choose from for your Raleigh New Home - How to Make the Decision


With endless kitchen oven options - single wall, double wall, gas range, electric range, double range, convection - you probably need some help choosing the right one.

Here are answers to some of the most important questions you should ask before choosing an oven for your custom home kitchen - learn what oven best suits your needs, while adding aesthetic appeal to your favorite kitchen layout.

Wall Ovens - Double or Single

2012 New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!

What is a wall oven?

A wall oven is separated from the cooktop and installed within kitchen cabinets.

This separation provides two distinct work stations - making it easier for multiple cooks to move around the kitchen.

Should I choose a single or a double wall oven?

A single wall oven can certainly meet daily cooking needs, and can add even more convenience by ensuring both the microwave and oven are located together.

Double wall ovens are very popular in 2012 kitchen designs, however, as homebuyers are looking for space maximization in the kitchen and twice the baking, roasting, and prep space for large family gatherings and special occasion cooking. 

Read more about choosing between a wall oven and kitchen range.

Convection Ovens - Modern Oven Styles


2012 New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!Why are convection ovens gaining popularity?

A conventional oven is a traditional (and now less chosen) oven that relies of radiant heat - drawing heat from the bottom to the top of the oven.

A convection oven is preferred because it uses a fan to evenly circulate heat throughout the oven. Convection ovens cook food faster than conventional ovens.

The custom home pictured to the left, a version of the Carwile, features a convection oven with gas cooktop - designed specifically to compliment this "All American" farmhouse style kitchen. 

Kitchen Ranges - Oven/Cooktop Appliances

 2012 New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!

Should I choose a range, over a separated oven/cooktop?

Another common selection for new homes is a kitchen range - with the oven and cooktop as a single appliance (and, typically, microwave placed directly above).

This option can be less expensive than a wall oven/cooktop combination, and can be a better choice for families with one main cook or fewer occasions requiring multiple dishes.

The custom home pictured to the left, a version of the Beaufort, features a stainless steel gas range.

Double Ranges - Two Ovens in One Range

2012 New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!

When should I choose a double oven range?

Double oven ranges can be a great (possibly less expensive) alternative to double wall ovens.

Need to cook multiple dishes at the same time, such as a peach pie and a pot roast? This option may be best for you.

The custom home pictured to the left, a version of the Ellsworth, features a stainless steel double oven gas range.


Gas Ovens

2012 New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!Should I choose a gas oven? Or is  electric powered better?

Depending on the size, style, and complexity of your cooktop, a gas range is could cost more up-front.

But, many professionals swear by the benefits of a gas oven. Faster heat-up and cool-down time provides flexibility - especially when following complicated recipes that call for constant temperature adjustments.

More gas cooktops also use an overhead ventilation system, which can be more visually appealing.

The custom home pictured to the left, a version of the Worthington, features a gas range (oven and cooktop) - designed for professional-grade cooking.

Read more about the benefits (and costs) of gas versus electric cooktops.

Electric Ovens

2012 New Home Kitchen Oven Styles | Don't Choose the Wrong Oven!

Why choose an electric oven?

Electric ovens don't require open flames - which could be seen as a safety concern by some homebuyers.

Electric cooktops generally cost less up-front than gas cooktops.

Flat electric cooktops are easy to install and easy to clean. There is no need of an additional fuel source.

The custom home pictured to the right, a version of the Beaufort, features an electric range designed for ease-of-use with a "work triangle" kicthen layout.


Popular Custom home kitchen design trends:

Choosing between a wall oven and kitchen range - why the trend is moving towards wall ovens

Why choose a gas cooktop? Top reasons homebuyers think gas powered ranges are better

What is a kitchen "work triangle" - How to design a kitchen floor plan

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best?

Kitchen Design Trends - Is Stainless Steel on its Way Out?

Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina. 

Tags: kitchen layouts, Custom Home Kitchen Design, Raleigh kitchen trends, Types of Ovens