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Thread: New Kitchens / Remodels

  1. #61
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    I love soapstone old man. Send me a note would love to learn. We visited one of the builders houses he is almost done with that had soapstone counters and a marble island. The contrast of colors looked great and makes a ton of sense for utility.

    Slight change of plans. The Thermador "deal" would force me to buy their overpriced wall oven.

    Bosch has a similar deal and I know their dishwashers are terrific. If anyone has insights for the cooktop/microwave please let me know. The cooktop reviews are good however the usual comments regarding stainless steel. It is a very nice design and has a monster center burner which is something I have got to have.

    I'm laughing over the fact that all the high end refrigerators are the price of a small car and have TERRIBLE reviews. We'll get something like a Samsung thanks.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Actually prefer blue star to thermador. I looked at a Bosch induction range, but went in the total opposite direction and got an AGA.
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Josh,

    We went around the same merry -go-around. In terms of appliance family our best deal was kitchen aid, followed by GE and then bosch. If you have not considered Kitchen Aid please do so.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    - Gas range with dual fuel (two) ovens
    - Vent-A-Hood vent hood
    - add 25% to estimated budget
    - tell your significant other you love them (do it now and do it often).
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Again, I really think that any cooktop needs at least one induction element for boiling. My gas top is great for wide bottom pans when frying/sauteeing, but having one pot that totally covers an electric (or induction) burner is MUCH quicker and heats the room MUCH less.

    Something like this comes to mind:

    HP5CI N/L ¬Ľ Highland
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by AJPM44 View Post
    Actually prefer blue star to thermador. I looked at a Bosch induction range, but went in the total opposite direction and got an AGA.
    If you are considering Blue Star (i.e. open burner) would also suggest looking at Capital Culinarian. Lastly, might want to look at restaurant supply places that carry Bluestar commercial ranges...often times they can order the residential version for you (ships direct from Bluestar) at often significant savings. Also, if you're open to ordering online, Elite Appliance based out of Dallas often has good deals and they're willing to deal.
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    If you replace your lower cabinets get ones that are drawers, the larger the better. Much easier to access all the oddly shaped pots and pans one accumulates. Also if you're going to do the big ass kitchen island with an equally heavy ass stone counter might be worth bracing the floor joists below it.
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    If you want a microwave in combo with wall oven, look at a drawer microwave:

    Sharp Microwave Drawers: Convenient Microwave Drawer Ovens
     

  9. #69
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Houston, thanks for the KitchenAid tip. This is based on performance and price yah? We are coming around to thinking a range inset to the island is less money, better performance and trends be d@mned.

    Update: first bid came in nearly double the bottomline I expected. Good design, nice guy, excellent work and apparently he thinks we are morons. Wow, I was actually offended by this. Next!

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    We did a mini-kitchen update this summer. Went with a trio of Bosch appliances (with double rebate, one from Bosch and an one from Lowes which was a nice save). The existing kitchen layout doesn't have a lot of space for a big cooktop and uses a downdraft vent (rather than a hood). Went with the Bosch induction cooktop (220v) and LOVE it! Slight learning curve based on what we were coming from but hard to imagine anything better than this. Can run boost on both banks of burners (one on each side), plenty of room for a large wok and huge pots. Doesn't heat up the kitchen the way big gas burners can. Less need for massive exhaust when not loosing BTUs from the gas all over.

    The Bosch downdraft exhaust (600cfm) with ind. cooktop JUST fit into the space we had to work with. Love both of them. Their dishwasher has also been fine, it replaced our many decades old KitchenAid. The quiet is amazing and so is the cleaning. That's a bunch of words to say don't eliminate induction for consideration and the Bosch / Lowes savings can take a bunch off the bottom line.

    Fresh stone countertops around, bit of backsplash, kept the existing solid wood + cherry face cabinets. Just put on some new hardware and called it good.
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    edit

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Update: first bid came in nearly double the bottomline I expected. Good design, nice guy, excellent work and apparently he thinks we are morons. Wow, I was actually offended by this. Next!
    Pretty much the norm from the vast majority of the design build firms in the D.C. metro area.
     

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Houston, thanks for the KitchenAid tip. This is based on performance and price yah? We are coming around to thinking a range inset to the island is less money, better performance and trends be d@mned.

    Update: first bid came in nearly double the bottomline I expected. Good design, nice guy, excellent work and apparently he thinks we are morons. Wow, I was actually offended by this. Next!
    Yeah, its based what we felt was the best brand line based on price, performance and appearance. There was a good bundle rebate with Kitchen Aid too. We thought weakest point was the dishwasher. And believe me we have put that thing through the paces ... very good. All solid equipment.

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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Regarding bidding/project costs-

    I'm not sure if you have a project schedule in mind (as in, must be done before the holidays, etc), BUT, it may be advantageous for you to wait to get pricing until this winter, specifically January (after the holidays). Generally contractors and the construction trades in general are slow in the winter months. Right now it is nice outside and everyone is building like crazy, so labor is at a premium, especially as summer draws to a close and everyone is trying to get projects finished before cooler/wetter fall weather sets in. However, you have a nice (warm!) interior space renovation, so it would be desirable work to do in the winter from a contractor's standpoint, and you may get better pricing then as a result.
     

  14. #74
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
    We thought weakest point was the dishwasher.
    I'm getting ready to replace a 16 year old KitchenAid dishwasher that's used about every two days. The rack tines started to break over the past two years and the soap dispenser recently broke. Total cost of replacement parts is approaching $350 so I'm opting for a new unit and donating the old unit to Construction Junction. I believe that we got our money's worth.
     

  15. #75
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Quote Originally Posted by BSUdude View Post
    Regarding bidding/project costs-

    I'm not sure if you have a project schedule in mind (as in, must be done before the holidays, etc), BUT, it may be advantageous for you to wait to get pricing until this winter, specifically January (after the holidays). Generally contractors and the construction trades in general are slow in the winter months. Right now it is nice outside and everyone is building like crazy, so labor is at a premium, especially as summer draws to a close and everyone is trying to get projects finished before cooler/wetter fall weather sets in. However, you have a nice (warm!) interior space renovation, so it would be desirable work to do in the winter from a contractor's standpoint, and you may get better pricing then as a result.
    Having worked on houses, this is excellent advice. Bids in winter, renovation in spring.
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  16. #76
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    kitchen1.jpg

    This kitchen came free with our apartment when we bought it.

    I think the best thing you can do with a kitchen is open it up to the rest of the entertaining/living space in the house. That way if you have people over, everyone can go from kitchen to dining room to living room without having a wall in between. Keeps the cook happy, everyone can be involved in conversation, and just generally makes things move a lot more smoothly.

    Second best thing is an island with eating space off to one end. I really like this island, and we eat here more than at the dining room table. The only bad thing is that the surface is stone, so any hot food put on the eating area surface immediately cools. Note the mat. Just makes things more comfortable. I would like to replace it with a cutting board quality maple surface some day. Need it for making pasta anyway, plus I think it looks cool juxtaposed with the slate.

    Don't discount using a real artisan quality cabinet maker. Even some of the most expensive cabinets out there use laminated MDF for the cabinet body. Avoid MDF. It just doesn't hold up. Take the prices from the fancy kitchens and go get an estimate from a real cabinetmaker who uses high quality hardwood ply and/or wood. Wood with a clear satin finish looks great in a kitchen, it looks better than MDF when worn and can be touched up a lot more easily. Want color? Get them painted. The cabinets here are from a famous Italian maker, and I have to keep gluing down the bamboo paper that covers all the MDF. Several times we've looked at fancy furniture then compared it to what an artisan would charge and prices were equal and the work was better. Fatta a mano you know?

    Also the slate (the gray surface on the island) is great, but the granite sucks. I definitely would have all slate (or whatever that is) and then the aforementioned wood surface.

    That's a glass electric cooktop built into a slide-in Bosch electric range. Probably the worst thing I have ever cooked on, and the stove is also miserable. A fan runs no matter what setting is used. Sounds like an airplane. Makes it hard to cook and talk. We have a silent dishwasher and a noisy oven. And it is too big. This will get changed to a gas cooktop and a separate pro quality oven eventually. Don't assume that just because a manufacturer makes a nice dishwasher that they know beejeebus about making ovens or any other appliance for that matter.
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  17. #77
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    Jake the island / table is brilliant.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    The cabinets in this house are excellent (pay no attention to the walls and hood covering) because they would fit in just about any style of kitchen with adjustments to the finish. A lot of cabinets look very modern when flat panels are used in the doors, drawer faces are flat and flush, and there is no angle molding around the top. Straight lines, right angle corners, plain face and tops. Adolph Loos would approve. And so would a buyer who likes country kitchen look if you have it set up as mid-century modern. Change the pulls, add trim and put cows and chickens on the walls.

    Maker of the cabinets is Amish Loft, just one of several real wood cabinet makers. But you can find local cabinet makers of this or even better quality.
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    We're house hunting right now so this topic is relevant to my interests.

    Having lived in 4 different open plan places in the last 4 years, I highly recommend the open space concept, and have a few more opinions:
    - if you are going to congregate/entertain around the center island or peninsula, avoid putting the sink or cooktop there unless it absolutely has to be so.
    - my inlaws did the center island with slightly lower eating surface, like Jorn's photo above. awesome
    - my folks just built the house they're retiring to- Wolf range and Kitchen-Aid oven/convection oven. My wife, a better indoor cook than I, is completely sold on both.
    - if you are a coffee/tea snob, leave just a small stub of counter to one side or the other of the stove in order to house your grinder/kettle. even better, make your breakfast area one stop shopping and make sure to have 4 plugs so you can put your blender/vitamix there too.
    - they make two-plug outlets that also house 2 USB charge ports in the same space. these are useful at the office/junk drawer end of the kitchen
    - DEEP sinks!
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    Default Re: New Kitchens / Remodels

    My buddy in Prague had pull up outlets in the counter of his kitchen. You press and they pop up about an inch, then you pull them up and turn to lock in position. They have 4 outlets in each, so no lack of places to plug in. And when stowed, they fit flush to the counter surface with an actual piece of the counter material on top with a ring gasket that keeps (or seems to) water out. Very trick.
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