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Story of Varmint's Kitchen Renovation


Varmint
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The only thing that makes it look like it may be on the up and up is the fact that he is using escrow for payment.

Fro eBay's site: Generally the securest way to pay for high priced items

Payment is held by the escrow service until you receive and approve the item

As long as it's eBay's escrow service, it should be cool. If it's anyone else's, fuggetaboutit.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Yup, that's a flag. What caught my eye, though was "free shipping."

My ass. There's no way someone's going to ship a 635 pound range for nothing.

Chad

edit to get the weight right

Using the "escrow" paymnet option should minimize risk. You don't authorize release of funds until the shipper drops it on your porch and you have had a chance to inspect.

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Just make sure that you use a valid Escrow company. Some of the camera frauds specify the use of fraud escrow sites. I emailed him to confirm free shipping. It's possible that he hit the wrong entry while listing.

All said, there are some real bargains available. We ended up with a Dacor 36" smooth electronic cooktop for $400. :wub: Picked it up on our way back from Ashville (The seller was a ten minute detour off of I-75!) This usually sells new for $1,400 or so, and over $1,000 on Ebay. :biggrin:

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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Yeah, when a thread is as long as this, it gets hard t follow.

As far as the oven and cooking surfaces are concerned, this is what I want: I want a high-powered 6 burner gas cooktop. I have always wanted electric ovens for their performance and convection possibilities. I might consider a gas oven, but only if it's self cleaning.

Dual fuel ovens are expensive, but not necessarily prohibitively so. But, since I want 2 ovens, I recognized it would make more sense economically to get a good gas rangetop unit and 2 electric wall units.

I hope that explains things.

I'm still waiting for Dave the Cook to come up the the ultimate plan, as he knows my kitchen better than Mrs. Varmint!

I keep looking at the plan that Dave the Cook drew up. You have perhaps twice as much space as I do (my kitchen is 10X14) - but my kitchen is more functional (although I did have the luxury of designing it from scratch for the way I cook).

Can you give Dave the Cook enough information so he knows what's lurking beyond all those hallways and doors so he can draw up a somewhat enlarged floor plan. You have more than enough space - it's simply an issue of arranging it logically.

By the way - I am getting confused with the numbers. At one point you mentioned that your appliance budget was about $8000 for appliances including $200 for ductwork. At another point - the total budget was $10000. At another point - you mention that you have to run a new gas line - and there's a wall with electrical stuff in it (which may well have to be changed/updated). Let's work backwards. Is $10,000 the entire budget for now? And - if it is - what are the most important things you want to accomplish at this point? Robyn

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So where did we get the idea you were looking at gas ovens?  :blink:

I am confused. But, at least you are back in the world of the rational. :biggrin:

*going back to smoking the legal stuff*

I think that I was whining about the cost of dual fuel ranges, and someone pointed out Viking makes an all gas range with a self cleaning oven. Of course, that wasn't much less expensive than the comparable dual fuel!

Ultimately (or rather, at least, currently), it appears that the most prudent route is to go with a gas rangetop with two electric wall ovens.

By the way, I've learned a lot about cooking appliance terminology during this process. Cooktop, rangetop, oven, radiant, convection, sealed burner, open burner, dual fuel, BTUs, simmer level, continuous grates. That's just for starters!

I don't know much about gas because I've never lived in places where there were gas lines. But "sealed burners" in an important phrase whether or not you're talking about gas. I have an electric sealed burner cooktop and I love it. Yes - sometimes when I'm trying to adjust temperatures - I have to lift the pot/pan off the stove. But to clean up - all I need is a sponge - and - if I make a really big mess - a glass scraper. I am a lazy middle-aged woman - and you're a younger guy with a big family. Is ease of cleaning important to you (it is to me)? Robyn

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Can you give Dave the Cook enough information so he knows what's lurking behind all those hallways and doors so he can draw up a somewhat enlarged floor plan.  You have more than enough space - it's simply an issue of arranging it logically.

Dave knows what's lurking behind those hallways.

For the uninitiated, the lower part of the illustration beyond the walls is outdoors, on the left side is a hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms (including the one with a tub suitable for brining swine), to the upper left is a living room with tv, stereo, and leather couch suitable for sleeping off a tequila hangover until the lil varmints wake up, to the upper right is a dining area with a large table suitable for excellent dinner parties, and to the right is a sort of lounging tv room with suitably cushiony places to crash.

:laugh:

Edited by Al_Dente (log)

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Fortunately, that problem is mostly eliminated in the configuration that makes the most sense now:

i2233.jpg

There is the entryway problem, but that may be unavoidable. Plenty of clearance in the other directions.

OK - here is something radical to consider. Do away with the eating bar. And put a kitchen table in the left side of the kitchen. Will need some other changes - but the general idea is a galley kitchen on the right - with an eating area on the left. Might not work - but think about it. Robyn

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First, the budget. Total budget is about $18,000. Appliances make up about $8K of that figure. This is why any major renovation is out of the question.

Dave the Cook probably knows this kitchen as well as anyone.

Gas burners: sealed gas burners are of the type that their bases are sealed to the plate to which they're attached. This makes them much easier to clean than "open" burners, where spillovers fall through the plate to some area beneath. Yes, easy clean up is extremely important to us.

We need to keep the eating counter. It's an essential prep area, sitting spot, and divider between the kitchen and the living room. Plus, I just like it!! We have a dining room on the other side of the wall where the wet bar is.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Gas burners: sealed gas burners are of the type that their bases are sealed to the plate to which they're attached.  This makes them much easier to clean than "open" burners, where spillovers fall through the plate to some area beneath.  Yes, easy clean up is extremely important to us.

The Amana range I got has both sealed burners and removeable drip pans - not that it's the range you're looking for, but removeable drip pans are definitely something you want for easier clean-up.

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A couple of questions:

1) How important is that wet bar? If it is important, how important is it that it be right there? Could it go into the dining room, the living room, or family room? You have the makings of a nice galley kitchen here. One that is also a hallway, but still a nice functional tight space to work without a lot of steps.

2) Any doorways that could be closed up to decrease all these entryways?

3) Do you have to keep that closet in the dining room? If not, you could put your cooktop in the space that frees up (along w/ the spot for the oven.)

Personally, I'd make the area that shares a wall w/ your DR into a tight, functional galley space. It has a 42 inch hallway, that's plenty wide. I cook in a kitchen where the stove, fridge, sink and worktable are all a step from each other and I LOVE IT-so easy to cook in. The thing that makes it work is a 3x5 ft. space for prep work and plating. You have a couple options for that-either next to the fridge or on the wall w / the DR.

An option for that area by the big window is a baking area. (If you can find a picture of Alice Water's kitchen she has one-with a maple countertop.) You could put your mixer there and a wall oven on the short side of the L. You could also use it as a second prep area-it's handy to the pantry.

I'd put shallow floor to ceiling shelving on the wall where you were talking about putting the range yesterday. It's near the eating bar, the DW, and the dining room-store all your dishes there. Make it a glass-front cabinet. Is there ANY way you could get rid of that little wall that sticks out from that wall-that would help open it up, and let more light in too.

Edited by marie-louise (log)
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This might be of some assistance -- plans of the rooms and spaces adjacent to the kitchen:

i2256.jpg

1 -- Bedroom

2 -- Bath

3 -- Pantry

4 -- Living Room area

5 -- Dining Room area (Living/Dining room is one big, combined room)

6 -- Family Room

7 -- Utility Room

Things to note: Living and dining room area can not be messed with at this time. They're filled with custom made cabinetry (very beautiful stuff, at that). The Family room cannot be touched, either.

The wet bar is pretty important now, in that I may make this more of a "prep" area, adding a slightly larger sink with a disposal.

The doorway entrance beween the kitchen and pantry may be closed at some point in the future, but we're not doing anything that drastic right now.

We need that closet. Yes, it'd be ideal to remove it and open up that area, but we're not going that far this go-around.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I was just reading Marie's post above and what she says about 42" is something I'd meant to bring up earlier. That's a good width between things. As I'd said earlier I like the galley style kitchen. For myself, I like the prep across the aisle from the range. Turn, take one step, and you can put that mirepoix (or anything else) in the pot with no effort. That leaves the space on either side of the range for other stuff, like taking pots off the burner or ladleing(sp) stuff in or out, etc. The first place I built back in '73 I had 42" between and it's always worked well - and there's room enough for people to get by each other, have cabinet doors and drawers open, etc.

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A couple of questions:

1) How important is that wet bar? If it is important, how important is it that it be right there? Could it go into the dining room, the living room, or family room? You have the makings of a nice galley kitchen here. One that is also a hallway, but still a nice functional tight space to work without a lot of steps.

2) Any doorways that could be closed up to decrease all these entryways?

3) Do you have to keep that closet in the dining room? If not, you could put your cooktop in the space that frees up (along w/ the spot for the oven.)

Personally, I'd make the area that shares a wall w/ your DR into a tight, functional galley space. It has a 42 inch hallway, that's plenty wide. I cook in a kitchen where the stove, fridge, sink and worktable are all a step from each other and I LOVE IT-so easy to cook in. The thing that makes it work is a 3x5 ft. space for prep work and plating. You have a couple options for that-either next to the fridge or on the wall w / the DR.

An option for that area by the big window is a baking area. (If you can find a picture of Alice Water's kitchen she has one-with a maple countertop.) You could put your mixer there and a wall oven on the short side of the L. You could also use it as a second prep area-it's handy to the pantry.

I'd put shallow floor to ceiling shelving on the wall where you were talking about putting the range yesterday. It's near the eating bar, the DW, and the dining room-store all your dishes there. Make it a glass-front cabinet. Is there ANY way you could get rid of that little wall that sticks out from that wall-that would help open it up, and let more light in too.

I am thinking very much along the same lines.

I can't say that my kitchen is anywhere near professional - but one thing I learned looking at a lot of restaurant kitchens is how tight the space is - and the concept of the "line". Now my husband and I are just two people in the kitchen - so we don't need a "line" per se - but working in a relatively small space definitely helps rather than hinders. When the two of us are doing mise en place - we are almost shoulder by shoulder. Only time I ever had a big kitchen is when we were renting a house while we were building this house. It was big - but it wasn't efficient.

And if a galley kitchen is "doable" - I'd like to take that big space on the left and put in an eating space. It's much more contemporary in spirit - people sitting in the kitchen before, during and after meals. And since meals with company seems to be a fairly regular event in this kitchen - the table could perhaps be somewhat rustic and double as a work prep area - and triple as a serving place for meals served in the dining room.

I am not as keen as you are on glass-front cabinets (or open cabinets for that matter). When you have a busy family - you're not going to take the time to arrange everything all pretty behind the glass doors the way they do in magazines. In terms of having things all out in the open - it works ok if you use everything that's out in the open every day the way they do in restaurants. Otherwise - the stuff you don't use every day just winds up being covered with a thin layer of cooking grease and gunk. Opaque cabinet doors hide a multide of housekeeping sins :smile: . Robyn

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This might be of some assistance -- plans of the rooms and spaces adjacent to the kitchen:

i2256.jpg

1 -- Bedroom

2 -- Bath

3 -- Pantry

4 -- Living Room area

5 -- Dining Room area (Living/Dining room is one big, combined room)

6 -- Family Room

7 -- Utility Room

Things to note: Living and dining room area can not be messed with at this time. They're filled with custom made cabinetry (very beautiful stuff, at that). The Family room cannot be touched, either.

The wet bar is pretty important now, in that I may make this more of a "prep" area, adding a slightly larger sink with a disposal.

The doorway entrance beween the kitchen and pantry may be closed at some point in the future, but we're not doing anything that drastic right now.

We need that closet. Yes, it'd be ideal to remove it and open up that area, but we're not going that far this go-around.

Is it essential to keep the eating counter? (I don't agree.) Or is what you're saying is you'd like to keep a sense of "openness" between the kitchen and the living room? (I think that's relatively important - especially when you have kids.)

No matter what - I suspect you're willing to have people here play with the plans and toss around some ideas. Robyn

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No matter what - I suspect you're willing to have people here play with the plans and toss around some ideas.

That's absolutely what I want to happen, so keep the ideas coming. Challenge me, as I want to think through different possibilities. Dave's ideas were novel to me, and although I initially dismissed them, I now see how practical they are.

As far as the eating counter is concerned, I'm very unlikely to back down. It's just that with the space we have, removing the bar and putting in a kitchen table eliminates a major chunk of cabinet space, too, which we can't afford. Plus, we're very, very partial to the eating counter area -- it actually works very well in our kitchen right now and it does create some separation between the kitchen and living rooms, which we want.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Idea 2

i2217.jpg

I suggest:

- place the sink at 1 (Varmints initial idea)

- make 3 the prep counter (also for hot oven plate, so forget 5)

- place open shelves over the prep counter for daily tableware and microwave

- find some solution (at any price!) for the little wall piece at 3, so counterspace is going around the corner 3.

- maybe place the DW at 3

Now you have a straightforward workflow without any chicanes. Better than many pro kitchens.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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One thing I like about my current configuration is how close the sink and the cooktop are. I hadn't realized how important that is, and with a large enough prep sink in the wet bar area, I may be OK. But having them adjacent to each other is wonderful.

Just thought I'd share that with you, as it dawned on me this morning.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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