We have all seen the plastic lawn signs by the side of the road advertising unrealistically low price for granite countertops. How can some contractors make granite countertops so cheap?
Sometimes they can't and will try and bait and switch you to a higher price when you meet them.
Some do not have proper insurance. Liability insurance is expensive, but it protects the customer if something goes wrong. The law requires workmens' compensation insurance. If the contractor does not have the insurance, the homeowner can get stuck if there is a problem.
Not all granite is the same quality even if it has the same name. Commercial grade granite can be duller and less attractive or have more defects and carbon spots
Some contractors use mismatched slab. This happens when there are leftover slabs (orphans) from a particular block of slabs. They might have the same name but can be far different – see pictures. The only way to avoid this is to approve all slabs that will be used in your top and make sure the slabs are number consecutively. This is particularly important on slabs with a lot of graining or colors.
Installers working on the cheapest countertops also do not have the time to install proper bracing or finish seams and edges properly.