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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kitchen Remodel - Part 2

As I am currently unemployed, we are doing as much work as we can.  The first thing we did was to contact a contractor who we used during our bathroom remodel, who assures us that we do the work of the general contractor (and save money) and he will perform any needed work for the cost of his time and materials.  So far so good.  We already have someone to put in the new hardwood floors, so we start contacting electricians, drywall specialist, and cabinet manufacturer to get everything scheduled.

We met with the owner of the cabinet company and finalized the drawings for the fully custom cabinets.  We were surprised that the price of the comparable to stock and semi-custom cabinets and we feel that we received a superior product.  We went with cherry cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling and include full extension drawers with soft close.  The inside of the cabinets are plywood with cherry facing, so there is no particleboard in any of the construction.

After evaluating all the needed appliances and the features we wanted, we decided to get all stainless steel appliances (there are no longer small hands at our house to make hand prints on the stainless).

When planning for our refrigerator, we knew that we didn't want to have an in-door water/ice dispenser.  They just seem to eat up room in the main compartment.  We choose a Kitchenaid (KFCS22EVMS), which is a 21 cubic foot counter depth, French door style with a bottom freezer (just like our old refrigerator).  We really liked the way the internal drawers glide when pushing them in or pulling them out.  A great feature is how the ice drawer can optionally be "locked" to the main freezer drawer so it pulls out when we open the drawer.  We didn't think that we would use the internal water dispenser, but now that we have the refrigerator, we use the water dispenser all the time.

Because the old kitchen had very little preparation/working area, we knew that we were moving the cook top off the island and to the outside wall so that we could have a real vent hood.  We knew we wanted to have a full-size electric oven and we really wanted a full induction cook top in a slide-in model (that way the range overlaps the countertop and there is not a gap between the range and cabinets).  As we could not find a range with these feature with a induction top, we decided to go with gas on the cook top.  We choose the Electrolux dual-fuel (EW30ES65GS).  It includes two ovens: a full size convection oven on top, and a smaller bake/broil oven on the bottom.  We love the slides in the oven and we have already used both ovens at once.  A feature we didn't realize it had was a temperature probe for the large oven.  We have used it to tell the temperature of food, but the oven can also be programmed to go to "keep warm" mode when the internal food temperature reaches a specific temperature.  We knew the probe was for the "perfect-turkey" option, but not that it worked with other foods.  We are looking forward to trying out the "perfect-turkey" function one of these days.

Above the range we choose a Vent-a-hood (NPH9-36S) that mounts under the cabinets and vents up and out the side of the house.  This model moves 900 cubic feet of air "it really sucks!", we choose this model because it has rounded corners along the bottom edge so when we hit our heads, we don't draw blood.

The dishwasher is also Electrolux (EIDW6305GS) because it is very quiet and the handle matches the range.  We really like having the little display on the front that provides a status on the current activity and how long it will be until the cycle is complete.

We really wanted a single compartment, undermount sink in stainless steel.  We were at a hardware store looking at faucets and sinks when we saw the Franke ORX110 sink.  We knew that it was the style of sink that we wanted.  We looked for other brands that were similar in design, but we couldn't find anything with the style and features like the Franke.  We ordered the sink and also two optional wire racks that go inside the sink: one for the bottom, and then one that sits on a ridge half way up the sink and cover the smaller end.

While visiting some friend's house and looking at their recent kitchen remodel, we discovered Grohe Ladylux line of faucets.  To match the styling of the other appliances we choose the Ladylux3 (32298) that has a black pull down spray head and handle, the rest of the faucet is stainless.

Now we are ready to start, we have ordered the cabinets, appliances, floors and have all the help lined up.  Now it's time to start ripping everything out.

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