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  1. For economic reasons we've had to defer a lot of maintenance items in our home. We can now start. We are planning on selling and relocating on another state, hopefully next year. Item one on our list is the kitchen. This is not a remodel, just all new surfaces. We've elected to reface our cabinets. My (still hoping) Blue Star range will be after we move. I had a misguided and idealistic expectation that we would go to Home Depot, pick out everything we wanted in one trip and proceed. This is not to be. You can stop laughing any time. We don't need any new appliances so that part is simple. I didn't take any before pictures but it's a typical California tract home built in the 80s. Because this is going to take WAY longer than I expected we're working on the front bathroom in tandem. We have a relative that was an employment victim of COVID 19 so we're paying for some much-needed labor to help us along. Oh, and I really HATE painting. In the kitchen we've stripped off the 25+ y/o wallpaper and are prepping the walls for a primer coat. Tomorrow we'll start on cleaning and sanding the ceiling. The biggie in the kitchen is repairing the wall behind the sink. There's a bit of black mold to deal with but I've purchased the right PPE and can handle that. Wish us luck.
  2. I am in the process of packing up my kitchen—we’re about to demo and remodel—and am sorting about 20 years of accumulated cookery bits into pack/donate/trash categories. Which led me to an article from the expert advisors at Epicurious, “The 9 Kitchen Tools You Need to Replace Every Year,” in which they advocate for an annual household purging of Microplanes, cutting boards, paring knives, dish towels and more (ideally replaced via convenient affiliate links). Two questions (at least) arise from this: How much cheese and nutmeg grating does it take to dull a Microplane? I haven’t noticed a diminution in mine’s powers, and I’m pretty sure it’s at least decade old. Is there anything that you do replace annually on principle, regardless of its condition? For the record, I don't think they're wrong about sponges. (Also, Hello! I’ve been away from eGullet for quite a while and am ineligible to post a Welcome Our New Members Thread, but I’m a domestic dabbler in Portland, Ore. Mostly stovetop and sous vide of late, since my ovens have been out of commission for a few years… looking forward to getting my bake on soon).
  3. Hi, I recently visited a local appliance store to look at gas ranges and hoods. I currently have a low-end 30" Samsung gas range and a ducted hood which doesn't do a good job with smoke or grease. It will hold up a piece of paper successfully, but the smoke detector goes off any time I'm cooking bacon or roasting anything in the oven or cooking with high heat on the cooktop. So I went in to the appliance store nearby and the guy recommended Vent-a-hood. He demonstrated how quiet they are, how easy they are to clean, and claimed they are way more effective. In fact he had a 1 track mind, and didn't think there were any other hoods worth looking at. Same for ranges. He showed me the Blue Star ranges and said that there's no comparison. Other high-end appliances like Wolf, etc can't sear a steak as well. He even said that people's complaints of Blue Star not being able to get very low was incorrect and demonstrated putting a piece of paper on a burner on low and it didn't burn. He claimed that the cast-iron is easy to clean (my wife doesn't believe him on this). I do think both of these products are impressive, but I want to know what others think. I want to hear why he's might be wrong and/or are there other products that are just as good?
  4. My new house is in the early stages; it is barely framed up but I'm already dreaming of my dream kitchen. Yesterday I went to our one big appliance store (other than HD and Lowe's) and I think I'm going to go wild with the new units. First up I'm thinking of a Sub-Zero side by side. A Thermador 30" slide-in dual fuel range, a Bosch d/w as well as a new m/w and a new hood of a type yet to be determined. All this is really overkill since I'm by no means a big presence in the kitchen, and these expensive appliances do not define the home which is really rather modest. But I'm figuring this is my last rodeo, if you will. I have heard of some folk having trouble with Sub-Zero repairs so I plan to add a warranty protection plan.. Anyone have any negative experiences with any of these brands?\ ETA: I have been reading reviews online about Sub-Zero fridges and I may have to re-think that choice. Those reviews are not good. Much as I'd like to have a custom-size I'm beginning to have grave concerns about repairs.
  5. Hi folks! We are redoing our kitchen and while we know what we're doing most everywhere, it turns out we need to upgrade our existing range hood to something new and we know nothing whatsoever about them. We're in an apartment, so it needs to be a non-venting hood. Does anyone have one they really like (and why?) Price not an object here at all. It's for a 36" range if that matters at all. Thanks!
  6. I need your help guys in organizing my thoughts. It looks like we are going to be moving again, still in Miami this time. The only difference is that we are buying a place for the very first time after 20 years of moving around. It feels premature to me to add picture because, we haven’t signed a contract yet, we only made an offer and it has been accepted. Of course, I am already thinking of what I need to buy for the kitchen. I am not going to renovate the kitchen. It is honestly not the ideal time and even if it’s not my dream kitchen, it has been done 2 years ago. We have an outdoor patio and I am hoping to do a lot of cooking outside, especially at night. So, I am telling you what I have and what for sure I’ll be needing. The cooktop looks vitroceramic and the oven I don’t remember which brand it is but definitely I will replace it. I don’t know yet if I can get gas there but I had one experience with an induction cooktop in the past and it was great. It was Sauter, which is common in France. It was something like this and I wouldn’t mind something similar. So, first induction cooktop, I don’t have a clue of prices out there, if I recall correctly, I spent 500 euros at the time. Second, oven. Let talk about ideal. In this house I have a Wolf oven which allows me to go to 550F, which is really cool so I can make some pizza in teglia. I had a couple ovens in the past that I loved for different reasons. 1. I had a tabletop Cadco oven (Stefania), half sheet 120V with manual, external steam injection and it could reach 550F. Because of the manual steam, it was awesome to make bread with that oven and to make pizza in teglia again. So sorry I sold it for little when I closed my business. But honestly it’s not the first choice for home use, not too pretty or practical to have on the countertop. 2. I had the CSO and I really loved it but doesn’t solve the problem of making bread or pizza in teglia. Now the outdoor I was thinking either the ZioCiro mini , which is really like a miniature brick oven, differently than the Ooni which is another candidate, you can use also for cooking bread or small round trays of food. The Zio Ciro anyway is not big enough for pizza in teglia. I wish I can get an Effeuno honestly. So, I see myself wanting 5 ovens at the same time 😁 A pizza oven for the outdoor but don’t want to spend 3,000 for a bigger ZioCiro. A CSO, a steam oven for bread and an Effeuno for pizza in teglia and and air fryer if it’s not too much to ask 🤣🤣🤣, you got the situation. Ok, I need to make choices. And no, I don’t have a budget yet because it will depend on the final price of the house and some extra work we are doing from a room and a bathroom. And finally, yes, I want also a vacuum chamber, thanks, and would really love to have a irinox blast chiller. I know I am very reasonable The kitchen is not huge and I cannot start cluttering it with my stuff. Maybe something like my Wolf oven that reaches 550F plus a steam function with bread. And a CSO for daily use? Ooni outside or I cannot resist the ZioCiro anyway. Does it should more reasonable. Do you have such an oven to suggest? Thanks
  7. I've started a few topics about various renovation related subjects (here and here), but figured I'd put the overall project in its own. Pix often tell the story even better... It helps to have these. Well, you need to have these if you expect to get anything done in your coop. Then stuff can start... And then start getting rebuilt. A little better electrical system. New pipes have to be done in the walls. This Started on September 8th. They've had approximately 25 days on which work was done. Proceeding along nicely, I'd say.
  8. I saw an episode on the Property Brothers where they did kitchen cabinets in dark blue. I showed Charlie some kitchen like that on line. He liked them too. I have been planning new floor and counter tops but this I could do myself. The job isn't finished but it is far enough along to see how it looks. The next one was taken within a month of so after we moved in in 2012 and the last one is how it looked in April.
  9. https://www.bonappetit.com/story/brads-favorite-appliance-dustbuster I don't think I'll be eating at Brad's...
  10. She's already always listening, mining and snitching you out. But now she's prepared to nuke Fluffy if you're too squeamish: https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/4/16849306/alexa-microwave-oven-controls-added-ge-kenmore-lg-samsung-amazon
  11. It's been awhile since I've been here as I decided to finally downsize homes last Fall. Closed in January and renovations are still on going. Walls between dining, living, kitchen, and breakfast area are gone and 1 Ft beams are now in place as supports. It's been rather busy but have really enjoyed it. This has afforded me to design a kitchen from scratch. Most importantly the appliances were delivered last week and are to be installed this coming week. Wanted to share a pic of the stove. Still much work to go as the second phase of the house starts in early May. Enjoy. 48" Capital Precision Series -- 4 burner 24" griddle
  12. Hi guys! So...as we all know hindsight is 20/20....so i'm sure we ALLLLLLLLLLLL have things we'd do differently if setting up our home or professional workplaces. I'm working with a space that's approximately 850 sq ft. If you could create your ideal space, what would you do? The kicker is, i'm a mixed media kitchen, i dont do straight chocolate work. I do baking so i'll have a double vertical convection oven, i'm getting rid of my 6 burner range and switching to table top induction burners. I have a dishwasher and big sink for rinsing vs 3 compartment sink (hand sink of course) and mop sink....and i have multiple 7 ft and 8 ft stainless tables. I currently have a "cooling room" set up with 4 speed racks, but thought maybe i should switch to a fridge turned up to 40 or 50F? I freeze things for bulk production, so will still have some chest freezers set higher than normal....but yeah. i'm just at a loss of how to capitalize on space, and keep things organized and storage of bon bons, turtles, barks, chocolate caramel apples (things that need to be stored for packaging by employees before they hit the retail floor) i know jin from vegas had a fridge set at 50F for cooling molds once sprayed and shelled, then once she filled them, moved to a 40F fridge to set filling, then she sealed them...but i didn't remember where she kept bon bons for her bar (where customers pick and choose) or the ones out ready to be boxed? i know she and jean marie were freezing for bulk orders etc...but yeah. my mind is just overwhelmed with possibilities, and i just dont want to mess up this new kitchen layout. i think its harder because i make so many things in my kitchen, so i have pots, pans, sheet pans, springforms, cookie cutters, muffin tins, kitchen aid mixers, a floor mixer, mol d'arts, baking liners, molds, colors, EZ temper, brushes, kitchen utensils, transfer sheets, bulk chocolate and ingredients blah blah blah. so. if you guys could make an ideal workflow....would you do a walk-in fridge for confection storage? a few fridges set higher (but would humidity be an issue if stored for multiple days before packaging), build another cooling room (it was a room with drywall/insulation/a door/speedracks and portable AC set to keep that room cooler...), or yeah. thoughts? oh yeah. and i need to fit an enrober in there too. sooooo, ideal workspace. what's in it? and go! :0)
  13. Thanks to the good folks on Egullet, I will be installing a 36" induction cooktop into my new kitchen. But I am really stumped as to what hood to purchase. Since induction does not produce the heat and vapor gas does, it does not require high power. The problem is I'm not able to check these units out in person so am at the mercy of wildly divergent online reviews. Please help! I'm looking for undercabinet with 400 - 600 cfm. Good light. Reasonably quiet and quietly attractive. Budget in the $400 - 600. Would love to hear from induction owners about what works for them.
  14. I know I should start with photos of the kitchen but I can not find the "before " I promise I will post them when I do but the hole I am living with will be more profound with some before photos LOL…oh well this is the best I have for now ….and the best I have is what I was so excited and anxious about ..it is my brand new concrete countertops! wow they are done and I am so grateful and happy with the results my husband and his partner did a fantastic job! … as of now Both of the concrete countertops have been poured…. I could scream with joy! ..for a grand total of $200 I now have custom concrete countertops that anyone would be very proud of ! they look just beautiful and will out live me for sure very happy with this ..once they are cured and cleaned up and installed they will be a nice slate gray here is the sink side the other side is the same but the cooktop will go in instead of the sink /penny tiles in progress with a nickel boarder
  15. As noted in another eG Forums topic, I'm renovating and updating a 1950s kitchen. While there are a number of projects I can handle involving screws, duct tape, and the like, I'm facing my fear of electricity and other kitchen sciences with two big projects: an overhead four-bulb fluorescent lighting fixture and -- the biggie -- replacing the vintage Thermidor ovens. The current contender for replacement is this Cadco oven, and I am overtaken by awe and fear every time I look, longingly, at the thing. I know, I know: it's pathetic. I'm turning to you for help. My questions run the gamut. Right now I'm running all my appliances and gadgets through two-prong outlets with adaptors: what risks does that pose? What the heck do these things mean?!? Oven cavity wrapped in high ”R” value insulation ... NSF, UL (through CSA Standards) 208-240 volts 5600 watts 24.4 amps Single Phase /NEMA L6-30 Plug Are there any reliable resources out there on electrical know-how for kitchen renovation? What sorts of basic information on electrical systems should someone know to tackle home improvement projects like this?
  16. What, if anything, would you change about the geometry and layout of your kitchen, to improve its efficiency and safety? Reading the 'Kitchen injuries' thread left me thinking about home kitchen design. We routinely work with very hot, sharp, heavy, and delicate objects in our kitchens, but most seem designed with an eye to looks/industry tradition, rather than ergonomics and functionality. I'm not talking about kitchens that have been crammed in wherever they would fit, and are consequently poorly located/microscopic, I'm talking about kitchens in decent-sized spaces designated for this specific purpose. My biggest gripes are with surface heights and lighting. Cutting or lifting, or even grating, become more complicated when your elbows are raised halfway to your shoulders, or you're practically bent double over your task, as you compensate for a 'standard' surface that's too high or too low. Kitchens that have only overhead lighting are problematic (and seem fairly common), since they almost inevitably cause your upper body to cast a shadow on the task at hand: annoying at best, at worst, you're squinting about, wondering where the tip of your thumb ended up, as you try to not bleed all over dinner. In our kitchen, I'd love to rip away the blocks and panels that were used to raise the counter surface about half a foot/15 cm, and restore the original 1953 counter height (unfortunately not an option at the moment, since our flat is for sale). How about you?
  17. I did not think renovating my 42 square foot space was easy, but nothing in the world could have prepared me for whole renovation process. My super told me demolition takes two days at most, and my cabinet contractor told me the same for the installation, so figure in a day for painting. I figure, I'll be living out of my bed room for a week at most. That's not so bad for a high end Gourmet kitchen right? Wrong. What I didn't figure was that to get the new kitchen installed, I need to get a new electric line and move a few pipes. Well that meant hiring an electrician and a plumber before anything can be installed. It also meant dealing with shady contractors who quadruple the asking price once the work has started, workers who did not respect your furniture (I went ballistic when I saw a dirty trash can piled haphazardly on my $9,000 Italian sofa), big gaping holes in the wall that make you think of Manhattan critters like mice and rats, and an overwhelming amount of dust that seemed to regenerate itself everyday, even though I tried to sweep and vaccumm when I came home from work. By the third week of living out of my 100 square foot bedroom, I did everything I thought I would never do. I yelled at my dog, fired two separate contractors, had several screaming teary meltdowns, and even toying with the idea of moving into a $600 a night hotel room until the whole thing is done. This is week four and my cabinets are at least assembled, but my kitchen is still a heap of plaster and wires. Is this normal?
  18. Everyone from local restaurant supply places and chefs, to the equipment manufacturer told me that installing pro equipment in a home is a big mistake. I know a lot of people here have considered this, so I thought I'd share my recent experience. First off, the fine piece of equipment that I've been cooking on for the last 6 months. BTU output is approximately that of a Bic lighter: Primarily, I wanted a stove with much higher output. I had 9 feet to work with, so I figured I'd use the whole space and get some additional toys to fill it up. For the project, I first called the local building inspector and discussed my plan - he said that in our township, no special inspections or permits were required, as long as things were installed according to manufacturer's specifications. I also later contacted my insurance company to make sure nothing special was needed from them - they said commercial equipment in a home is fine. (Nationwide) I decided on a 60" stove with 2' of griddle and 6 burners, a standard sized deep fryer, and a "jet" wok burner. In total, 552,000 BTU/hr. The "before" picture: First, the pantry was removed, and pipes+electrical relocated. Existing drywall was removed and replaced with a double layer of 1/2" fireproof cementboard. Also, a 9' x 4' sloped hood was installed. The hood was sized so that it extended by at least 6 inches on all sides. It vents out the back wall. Next, this exhaust fan: was installed on the roof: Removing the pantry left holes in the tile floor, so we cut out the old section of floor, put down 1/4" plywood and new tiles. Also, installed stainless steel over all exposed cementboard: We ran a 1.25" gas line from the main house line, then split that into 3 3/4" connections. Finally, the equipment was moved in and hooked up: Approximate project costs: Range $4200, Wok burner $800, Deep Fryer $800, Hood $1700, Ductwork $1300, Electrical $300, Gas Lines $1050, Exhaust Fan + Grease Trap $1400, Floor $500, Carpenter $1500, Materials $500. Total around $14,000. I've had this in place for about 3 days now. So the big question - am I glad I did it? Absolutely! I can't begin to explain what a pleasure this is to cook with, compared to what I was using. For instance, I like to make fried cabbage (in goose fat!) - typically I'd get all 4 burners going with various sized pans on that old stove, or do the cabbage in small batches on one or two burners. (Otherwise it sort of steams before it carmelizes.) Last night I shredded an entire cabbage, spread the whole pile over the griddle, and had perfectly done fried cabbage in 10(?) minutes. The burners are 32,000 BTU/hr each - where I would previously use multiple (10k and 7k) burners and cook in small batches, now I can use a single large pan. I find that I'm using the wok burner more than anything else. Vegetables cook in minutes. I'll put some oil and turn on the burner full-blast; in maybe 10 secconds the oil is close to smoking. I'll add the vegetables and salt, and cook for 20-60 seconds - this carmelizes the outsides, but the insides are still raw. (It's possible to end up with veggies that are at once both burned and raw.) Then I'll add a bit of water, which effectively lowers the temperature to 212, and cook until they are soft. Then, a quick final blast to evaporate any remaining water. Meat - even when cut fairly small - gets brown and delicious on the outside, and stays pink on the inside. I haven't fired up the deep fryer yet. It was a huge pain to clean initially, and I'd imagine even moreso when dealing with hot oil. So, I'll reserve judgement on that item. But so far, I'm thrilled with the new setup.
  19. I am in the midst of my kitchen remodel - can people stand another thread on remodeling? I started planning for this years ago, then had to stop because I had to find a job. Last spring we decided to take the plunge and redo the kitchen in our 1923 Mediterranean "bungalow" (I use the term loosely) in San Francisco. I meticulously researched, relying heavily on Jane Powell's book, Bungalow Kitchens, magazines, the internet, and my own ideas. I knew I wanted modern functionality (new stove, solid stone countertops), but I also wanted the kitchen to fit in with the rest of the house and evoke the era when the house was built. Twenty-three skiddoo! Can we do the Charleston and drink bathtub gin in the kitchen? Well then, let's begin! First, the old kitchen: I designed the kitchen myself and hired a great contractor who'd recently completed a major addition for friends of ours. He, of all the people I interviewed seemed to "get" what I wanted and understood that the devil, indeed, would be in the details. No walls would be moving, just a relatively straightforward upgrade to electrical, new appliances, flooring and cabinets. To avoid having an unfinished kitchen over the holidays, I opted to wait them out and begin in early January, figuring that the worst that we'd have to deal with would be rain. During the months leading up to the remodel, I made extra dishes: casseroles, soups, meatloaf -- foods that freeze and reheat well -- and froze them in individual servings so that we'd have several months' worth of food at hand and avoid the takeout trap. I packed up the old kitchen, cleaning out several boxes of stuff, and set up a temporary kitchen in the adjacent dining room (the fridge will go where the empty space on the wall is). We'll eat on paper plates with plastic utensils (working through our supply of plastic before switching over to compostables) to minimize dishes, but I have a stainless topped cart, cutting board, knife block, and most of the necessities for sandwiches, salads, and other non-cooking tasks. So January 8, we (that is, my GC and his assistant) started ripping the old kitchen apart at the seams. Intrigued, I watched them the whole day as, piece by piece, the original 1920's kitchen began to appear from under the later additions. Vertical grain douglas fir paneling was covered over, the original white subway tile blithely plastered over with newer (and uglier! ) square beige tile, the original doug fir floor covered by all manner of things (plywood subfloor, linoleum, vinyl, vinyl, most of which my husband and I had ripped out when we put in Pergo in '99 before moving in). The best part of seeing my kitchen demolished? Seeing the subway tile and the routed grooves in the old sink cabinet and knowing that I was doing exactly the same things in the new space. Had my kitchen been talking to me? In two days, they had the kitchen stripped down to the studs. Even the ceiling was gone. The line "...on the walls he left some hooks and some wire..." from the cartoon Grinch (heard in Boris Karloff's voice, of course ) kept running through my head. The dust (a lot of it from the ancient cellulose insulation in the ceiling) was monumental. I ran out to Target and bought a Swiffer sweeper with both dry & wet cloths, and between them, my vacuum, and duster, I'm managing to keep it under control, but by no means would it pass a white glove test! The temporary kitchen was functioning just fine. Having a range of food in the freezer meant quite the variety at our fingertips! Lasagne one night, split pea soup the next, and follow that up with something else! We are doing dishes in the laundry sink in the garage. I keep a bus tub upstairs that we put dirty dishes in, transport down to the garage, and then back up again. Then the unexpected happened. (stay tuned! I have to build up suspense somehow! )
  20. I’m in the process of remodeling my kitchen and have been working with a designer on a couple of option for my fairly cookie cutter tract housing 8ft ceiling U shaped kitchen. First off I started down the path of keeping the same U shape however my designer threw out modifying it into a galley kitchen instead. (see pics) Traditional U Galley Alternative
  21. O.K.-Two weeks ago I was ready for my families big Fishing Adventure in Ontario and a couple of days in Winnipeg when I came home to water all over the tile floor of my kitchen. It would seem that my dishwasher blew a hose and then blew water all over my kitchen. Unfortunately the only way to get the dishwasher out was to remove some of the flooring. No big deal, the boys and my wife were out of town and I figured I could get it out and repaired in one day. Well, it turned out that there must have been a slow leak and that the subflooring was soaked. I was gonna have to tear out all of the tile. Well, that's ok, we had been talking about doing it for a while. Somehow, eight hours later, without asking anyone or thinking it through beyond the end of the tear out, I had removed two walls and torn out the laundry room. Leaving myself with no kitchen, no cabinets worth saving and nowhere to cook. So there you go. My wife, well she's kind of a trooper after twenty years of living with me, took it pretty well and said that it was about time. My kids, they don't care much as long as they get fed. So here we go. As you can see from the photos the place is a mess. But the good news is that it is a very big mess (13x30 rectangle plus the area where you can see the pots hanging and the floor still down-that is a very large island with a pot sink in it and it now houses a large griddle, a hot plate, a rice cooker, and a crock pot. I also have a nice bullet smoker, a cool brick pit, and a just purchased stainless steel BBQ Pit of undetermined brand from Sams which has two burners on the side of it as well-so we won't starve) The long boards that you see there (with the yellow paint on them are cypress and perfect and straight and you couldn't buy them for love or money these days) came from the interior of my plaster walls (the ones I hammered out) and they will be planed and become cabinet fronts. We have measured (or the cabinet guy did) and there is plenty for what I want to do. We are having new cabinets built, I am replacing the ice box (which has needed to be replaced for about five years ) and adding an ice machine. The laundry room will be moved (actually that should be complete by Monday afternoon) and the kitchen will then be huge. There will be a sitting area by the fireplace that you see there and pretty much the rest will be cabinets (primarily drawers-big ones) in the base cabinets and open, glass fronted ones on top. All of this will be farmhouse style (for lack of a better term-I live in the country, but we don't decorate that way and in fact artwork display is a major consideration-my wife is an artist and a dealer and we have been collecting since long before we could afford it) cabinetry as that is what should be here given the age of this place (100 yrs) and the way that it is designed. It will all be wired for sound and there will be a cool built in desk for a computer and stuff (replacing the desk that you see the computer on now). As I said, I have done all of the tearout myself and I will do most of the electrical, plumbing, and rough in. Someone else is making and installing the cabinets. I will put down the floor (8 inch heart pine tongue in groove, just like the rest of the house) and finish out all of the walls. Here are my questions for today- My wife seems to think that a refrigerator freezer with a bottom, pull out freezer is the way to go. Is this the case? Yes or no and why not. I need a new ice machine. Ice is key to a good life here and we go through plenty of it. Any recomendations? My old whirlpool was prone to conking out, so I need some fresh ideas. I am keeping my OKeefe and Merrit Stove because I love it, but am thinking about putting in an electric oven. Convection or no? Why? Any suggestions? Incidentally-don't bother with telling me about commercial grade appliances. I'm not falling for that and am not interested. Top quality home appliances are where I am looking and any advice would be most welcome. I will update the photos as we go along for those of you that are interested. And no, this is not the first time I have done something like this. I once hooked a chain to my Ford F350 4WD and hooked the other end to the back support post in my old garage/barn/tool shed. It looked worse than the kitchen, but it was really fun and the neighborhood boys were VERY impressed (the adult neighbors seemed less so ) So that's what I did today. If I'm lucky the whole thing will be finished by the time it starts cooling off (mid October is what I am shooting for. Once I get the floor down (this week) I can kind of start living in it again, so it won't be that bad.
  22. I have finally started my small kitchen (5'x7') renovation. The new and level tile floor is in and grouted, the re-plumbing is almost finished and walls and new lighting are being installed shortly. And now the dilemna... the kitchen is actually shade less than 5x7 with appliances and cabinets on the two slightly less than 5 foot walls (58.5" and 59.5"). This means that I can have only one full sized appliance and I cannot decide which it should be. At this point, I am leaning towards an 18" Miele Incognito dishwasher on the 59.5" wall and either a 24" or 30" Liebherr fridge and either a 30" Dacor Millenium electric range or 24" Kuppersbusch electric oven (EEB 6800) and ceramic sensor cooktop (EKE 602.4) together in a single 24" cabinet. So it's either full size range and small fridge or full size fridge and 24" range components. I bake, so fridge/freezer storage space is about as important as oven space, to me. The Kuppersbusch oven is surprisingly roomy inside. So, I wonder if anyone here has experience with these brands and models and also if the there are any strong views on the advantages or disadvantages or choosing the smaller fridge or the smaller oven/cooktop combo? Gas is not an option in my coop, otherwise I would just go for the Viking 24" gas range and the 30" Liebherr fridge. I'm also open to suggestions for alternative combinations. I'm just at my wits end and need to start placing appliance orders very soon. Thanks Azlee
  23. Last fall my wife and I purchased a small house in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Given the outrageous house prices in this neighborhood, we settled on a single-family frame house that, well -- left a kitchen to be much desired. I have a fairly extensive background in construction, both from work when I was younger, as also having to do with the fact my parents totally gutted their brownstone when I was a teenager, doing all the work themselves. There is nothing like living in a construction zone for 6 years to appreciate a home renovation. That said, myself, my wife and a few very very good friendshave been gutting and renovating the kitchen for the past few months with some pretty impressive progress. We have been living without a kitchen for approximately 4 months now, surviving on a slop sink, fridge and microwave for our eating (and tons of freshdirect food). I have been taking pictures along the way -- it is quite a show. Given that work has slowed down recently (I failed to mention I have a day job, so this work is taking place after work and 3 day weekends), I thought by maybe opening up this process to everyone would give me some new found encouragement to pick up the pace. With that said, I start with a old floor plan the realtor gave us showing the first floor layout (it is a 2 story, + finished attic building)
  24. When Mrs. Varmint and I agreed to buy her family home from her parents 6 years ago, I did so with one condition: that we'd renovate the kitchen within a year -- 2 at the most. Well, after a 6-year wait, we're ready to go. Thanks to all the great suggestions from our great members here at the eGullet Society (all of which is contained in this monstrosity of a thread), I've come up with a solid plan. This thread will focus on all the details of the renovation. I'll include drawings, budgets, permitting, costs, and all the highs and lows a family of 6 could experience. First, however, I should show you the plans. I drew these, following the ideas y'all helped me develop and refined by Arne Salvesen CKD (aka Daddy-A), who has provided great advice from a professional design perspective. Let me go over the plans briefly: Along the counter where the main sink is located (bottom right), we'll start with a 27 inch full-height double-doored pantry that'll house the microwave. We'll then have 36" of base cabinets/countertop (two cabinets, one of which will be a trash pull-out) with about 33" of upper cabinets. The sink will consist of a 39" base cabinet housing a Blanco 510-874. The dishwasher is next, followed by 22-1/2" of base cabinet. To the right of the sink (if you're standing at the sink) will be 42" of upper cabinets. There's currently a circuit breaker box on that wall, which we'll flip to the other side. We'll also consolidate an existing 6 light switch panel down to 3 switches. The baking area (the complete "L") will likely consist of a slab of white marble cut from the existing kitchen (the short side of the "L") and the rest will be tile -- likely granite. Arne has suggested using a "magic corner" in the blind corner of that region. This is a new product to me, but I think it's pretty cool. Go to this page, and then click on the first thumbnail for a video showing how this works. My Kitchen-Aid mixer will sit on the counter in the corner -- an area that rarely gets used anyhow. After the magic corner comes the oven and then 33 inches of base cabinets. We're expanding the pantry by about 4 feet. This makes for a very narrow doorway (27"), but I'm thinking of installing a restaurant-style swinging door there to make things easy. If anyone wants to research this type of door for me, please do so. Over to the cooking area, we'll have 15 inches of base and upper cabinet, then the range/hood, and then 24 inches of lower cabinet (with pull-outs for cookware) with 36" of upper cabinet. The corner of the eating bar will be a bit unusual: I don't want a lazy susan in this corner, so the unusually shaped cabinet will have the doors facing out, with no hardware. This gives me some storage space for rarely used stuff. Note that the closet is new, too. Moving clockwise, we'll have a 21 inch base cabinet followed by a prep sink (Elkay LFR 1915) and then a second dishwasher. The little block with an "X" represents a post, as it will be replacing a load bearing wall tying into an I-beam over the eating bar. Down to the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, there will be a 2 inch wall built in at the end which we'll paint with magnetic paint, creating a giant place to hang our refrigerator magnets. It should be pretty damn cool. To the right of the freezer is a strange configuration of "desk" area and bookshelves. I've marked it with an asterisk. This is strange because the base cabinet will be almost functionless, as the area under there houses some return-air ducts from the adjacent room. This surface will likely consist of a slab of marble from the existing countertop. Above the marble will be a high bookshelf for "some" of my cookbooks! I've worked out a number of other details, but I'll provide those as we go along. I met with one contractor on Monday and will meet with another tomorrow. I'll also fill y'all in on those details later on. I'll be sure to include lots of photos, specifications, equipment choices, price lists, etc. I'll try not to hide anything from you, as this should be a learning experience, and if mistakes are made, you can pick on me! It should be fun, however.
  25. Hell, I couldn't be satisfied with my story of buying a knew chef's knife -- now I'm about to start a kitchen renovation. Whereas the Perlows told their saga beginning with demolition, I'm still in the planning stages. First of all, my kitchen is a maze. It is utterly dysfunctional. Two people cannot pass by each other in parts of the kitchen unless both of them are anorexic or extremely friendly. The dishwasher resides under a marble slab that hangs nearly a foot over the door plane. I cannot open my lower wall oven unit if the dishwasher is slightly ajar. The ancient Jenn-Air cooktop with a non-functional downdraft vent sits 2 feet below a cupboard. The kitchen is lit with incandescent canister track lights (and some nasty recessed cans). Unless you see this kitchen in person, you could not believe it. I'll eventually get around to posting pictures. The house I live in was Mrs. Varmint's family residence -- we bought it from her parents 5 years ago. I agreed to buy the house on one condition: that we renovate the kitchen. Well, 5 years later, and the time has come. This will be a fairly simple renovation when you get right down to it. Most of it involves a single day of demolition and a couple of weeks of moving things around, a couple of appliance installations, and some carpentry and floor laying. The end result will be profound -- it will eliminate the maze, open the kitchen to the living and dining room areas, and give me some functional appliances. I initially wanted to go with a 6 burner gas cooktop and 2 electric wall ovens. Unfortunately, because this process will remove a bunch of existing wall space, I won't have enough remaining for any ovens. Thus, I need to go with a range. I've looked at 48" dual fuel ranges that have double ovens, but I can't stomach paying $8,000 for them. I want the dual fuel so the ovens will be self cleaning, which are generally not available with gas ovens (except for Viking). I may have to live with a 36" single oven range instead. I use both ovens simultaneously about 8 times a year, but I think I can manage with just one for now. Or can't I???Can I live with a non-self cleaning oven? I don't think so -- I despise maintenance. I'm leaning toward a DCS for its power, but is it really worth $1800 for a self cleaning feature between the gas and the dual fuel???? I've met with two contractors already and have appointments with 2 more. The first guy is really just a cabinet maker who does renovations in conjunction with a contractor. However, I've seen his work, I know people who have had him do their kitchens, and he's really talented. Also, he may be the cheapest. A couple of contractors told me that my project was too small for them. I'll add some of my thoughts over time. Oh, and my budget for this renovation is not to exceed $20,000, including the appliances. I think we can do it. I hope so. I'll need the contractor to run a hood through the roof and ceiling. Fortunately, the distance isn't too great.
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