Before you embark on a house or landscaping project, think about it! Do your research. In the October 2007 issue of Home, the editorial tells about someone who had a flagstone patio installed (the pavers were cemented in), but it was on top of the septic tank opening. Oh, oh! That reminds me of when we put in the patio behind our mother's house. I planned to have it set well away from the house except for the path to the back door, but when I checked on it later, the forms went right up to the house! Yikes! I knew the concrete truck was on its way, and I really, really didn't want to tell the crew to redo it, but I had the future to think of, so I girded up my loins and asked them to change it. And they did--in time too. You really can't assume that the workmen know what is in your mind.
And I saw a bathroom countertop in the letter column. That beautiful Riverstone material (made from Carrara marble pebbles embedded in a polyester resin matrix) has to be sealed with a marble sealant that penetrates the subsurface. Then you must keep it free of acidic and staining substances; wipe up any water immediately; clean it only with a pH-neutral product; and occasionally buff it with marble wax. (See the editor's answer for the fine print.) [I almost always choose a low-maintenance product.]
Kitchen cabinets & countertops link from HGTVPro.com: Cabinets & Countertops : HGTVPro.com