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Varmint's New Kitchen


Varmint
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OK! I nearly choked on my coffee when I saw what you have budgeted for handles. I can't find the details on the web site but this picture shows some solid, heavy stainless steel handles that are $7.99 (US) for a package of two. I checked in my kitchen catalog. I have had these in my hand and they are substantial. They have a lot of other styles and finishes. This was just one picture that I could find as an example that I could put a price on. Having looked at handles until I am blue in the face and knowing how much they can cost, when I was rummaging around in the handles at Ikea, my jaw kept dropping. Makes me think I am in the wrong business. $20 for a handle? Nope . . . Can't do it. Even if I won the lottery.

I had a slightly different way of looking at my budget when I started this process. To some people, once you set a budget, you'll end up spending at least that much. To me, my budget was based on an estimate of my costs to get the kitchen I wanted. Last year, when I prematurely began to plan for renovations, I had a fairly firm budget in that I didn't want to spend over that because the job was going to be a temporary fix.

This time, however, I'm looking for THE long-term renovation. Thus, I wanted to determine how much it was going to cost me. I didn't want to spend 100,000 bucks, but I also knew I couldn't do it for $20,000, either. I didn't start with a notion of "I have this much to spend", as that can force you to make concessions you may later regret. Thus, when I budgeted $800 for cabinetry hardware, I looked at the stuff I like, estimated how many I'd need, and base my "budgeted amount" from those predictions. Now, I'll scour the internet to find a better deal, and if I do, then my cost will be lower, which is always good!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I ordered my two faucets today, both made by Handgrohe. For the prep sink, we'll get this one in steel. Since I'll be filling pots at the prep sink, I went with the higher faucet.

For the main sink, we went with this very simple pull out design.

Cost for the two faucets, delivered, is $547.30. I bought through ebates.com, so I'll get a 3% rebate for a net price of about $530. I believe I budgeted $1,000 for my faucets and disposal, so it looks like I'm under by 90 bucks.

I talked with the HVAC guy, and there's not much for him to do. He even told me any idiot can cut a hole through the ceiling and roof and install the ductwork and cap for the hood, but we'll need to hire a roofer to get the roof-flashing right.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I received some 3-D renderings of the cabinets from the good folks at Cabinetrydirect.com. This is the first run of drawings, and I'm talking with the owner, Ken Ables, later today to fine tune everything. Their drawing program is not perfect, but it's damn good. I'll go through the details here.

gallery_137_434_1105974908.jpg

As you walk into the kitchen from the laundry room, this sink area will be to your left. The first set of cabinets is a full-depth pantry that will house the microwave. We're actually going to raise the height of the microwave, as Cella and I both like it to be at eye level. Moreover, that maximizes the amount of functional space in the lower pantry cabinet. To the left of the sink is a pull-out trash can (a whopping 50 quart model!). The window above the sink will be new. The old dishwasher will be to the right of the sink, followed by a cabinet that will house the everday cutlery. Glassware will likely be stored in the wall cabinet above the dishwasher.

gallery_137_434_1105975038.jpg

Looking behind the sink is the refrigerator/freezer area. This rendering shows two fridge/freezer combination units, but I have separate SubZero units. The unusual thing about this arrangement is the bookshelf area to the right. The base unit is essentially functionless, as it houses the return air ductwork from an adjacent room. However, we'll put some countertop on there and a fairly narrow bookshelf to house my better looking cookbooks! This rendering also doesn't show that we'll be building a wall to the left of the SubZeros, the end of which will be painted with magnetic paint. We'll find a place to put all those refrigerator magnets, gosh darn it!

gallery_137_434_1105974958.jpg

This is the "baking" area, and again, this rendering does a good job of capturing the cabinet layout, but not the entire "feel" of the area. This rendering makes this region appear to be very tight with limited space, and it won't function that way at all. It's a very simple space, and I'll be making the most of it. To the right will be the doorway to the pantry, and we WILL be installing a swinging door there. The hardware is pretty cheap, so we'll have some fun.

gallery_137_434_1105974816.jpg

This is the range and eating bar area. Two things were left out of this rendering: the prep sink, which will be in the top of the two-door cabinet to the left of the dishwasher, and the support post going through the eating bar. Otherwise, this is pretty darned accurate. Again, it makes the space feel smaller than it actually is, but I'm looking forward to having all this room. This kitchen will be a lot of fun to cook in, with lots of guests pitching in!

I'll store some of my cookware in the base cabinet to the irght of the range, and other stuff will hang from a small wall rack that will be on the short wall jutting out from the baking area. I'll keep my cooking "tools" in the drawers to the left of the range, as well as on the countertop. Plates will be kept in the wall cabinet to the right of the hood. I'm not entirely sure what will be kept in the drawers under the eating bar, but at least one will be for towels. There is a second pull-out trash bin to the left of the sink (with 4 kids, you can't have enough trash cans). The Bosch dishwasher will be housed here.

So, we're getting down to the nitty gritty. We've actually packed up much of the kitchen already and the second kitchen is almost prepared, even though demolition is not scheduled to begin for another two weeks. We just recognized that things tend to get quite hectic on the weekends, so we wanted to get as much stuff done in advance as we could. And we're succeeding so far!

I'll be sure to add pictures of our second kitchen, so you can see what we'll be dealing with. We're actually quite lucky, I must say.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I received a newly stained sample door from Ken Ables today. The stain is darker than what I'll be getting, but this flush batten, solid wood door is much more representative of what I'll be getting.

gallery_137_434_1106011663.jpg

This is very acceptable to me. The door weighs a ton, although the batten strips across the back add to its weight:

gallery_137_434_1106011872.jpg

When demolition begins in a couple of weeks, we'll spend that time at my in-laws. It's just not all that great being around all that dust. However, once that dust settles, we'll move back home and spend a lot of time in our second kitchen. The master bedroom has a loft above it that contains a small kitchen. This was built for two purposes: first, it allowed my wife or her 3 sisters to have a party, and the parents could invite another couple up to their loft kitchen for dinner and chaperone. Second, my in-laws anticipated closing off that end of the house some day, to serve as a caretaker suite.

This is the view looking up the steps to the loft:

gallery_137_434_1106012071.jpg

Here's our dining table and a box that our new mini-fridge came in! We can put 6 people around this, but we haven't put the chairs in place yet.

gallery_137_434_1106012118.jpg

Here's my cooking surface and HUGE sink :raz: :

gallery_137_434_1106012168.jpg

Our spiffy new compact refrigerator and trash can:

gallery_137_434_1106012218.jpg

Finally, this post wouldn't be complete without this photo of the light fixture above the table, remembering that this part of the house was built in the mid-70s:

gallery_137_434_1106012323.jpg

I'll have the detailed price list for the cabinets tomorrow.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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You need to have elongated holes on the battens for the outside screws. That door will expand and contract a lot. I did this all my life so you can either believe me or not. Solid wood is solid wood I don't care were it is.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Actually, that light fixture is really cool. :smile:

Will you be augmenting your cooking with outdoor cooking activities? I mean, the weather isn't all that cold where you are.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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It's 18 degrees right now, fifi, so, no, there won't be much in the way of outdoor cooking. Plus, my gas grill is so beat up that I've converted it to a smoker. A damn good smoker at that! The 2 burners plus the grill will work fine. We'll also have the microwave and a toaster oven. No real baking per se, but we can manage. And we've invited ourselves to dinner at lots of friends' and families' houses!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I received some 3-D renderings of the cabinets from the good folks at Cabinetrydirect.com.  This is the first run of drawings, and I'm talking with the owner, Ken Ables, later today to fine tune everything.  Their drawing program is not perfect, but it's damn good.  I'll go through the details here.gallery_137_434_1105974908.jpg

In this first image, I noticed something that our kitchen designer originally overlooked. In the corner to the left, is there room for that cabinet door to swing open? You may need to have a spacer between the wall and the cabinet. Not saying you haven't already factored that in, but thought I'd mention it jic you hadn't discussed this with the designer or cabinet maker.

Ditto for the base cabinet on the left in your pastry corner and the upper cabinet to the left of your hood.

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Only because I promised you that I'd give you ALL the details, I'll let you know that my main sink arrived via FedEx today. No dents, scratches or other problems. Saved over $200 by ordering it through an eBay retailer versus buying it locally.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The first bit of financial reality hit today when I got my invoice for my cabinets. One of the things I realized going into this process was that my kitchen had enough quirks that I wasn't able to go for standard cabinets. Support beams, unmovable walls, and plumbing limitations pushed me to put cabinets where they had to go, and in an exact configuration.

When I checked prices at Lowes and Home Depot, I realized I'd be spending about $15-17 thousand for cabinets that were not perfect fits and would not be top of the line.

That's one of the reasons I chose to go with Cabinetry Direct, particularly after talking with the owner. I originally thought that the cabinets would cost me about $12,000, delivered. Since then, I've recognized the amount of complexity that is involved in my kitchen. I also haven't made a single compromise. For example, the back side of my eating bar (where the kids' feet will be) is going to be made of door panels. Why? Because I'll have 2 doors at one end (near the closet) with finger pulls, giving me more storage space. Thus, for uniformity sake, I've asked Ken to put faux doors across the entire length. This will improve the looks and the durability of the bar.

I've also had to add some side panels that I neglected to consider originally. Add toe kick, ceiling molding, some tray dividers and a few more roll out trays, and the price increases.

Final cost? $14,339, delivered. So, I've exceeded my "estimate" by 2 grand, but I'm getting awesome cabinets. They should be in my house in 6 weeks. I'm pretty damn excited.

I have one final big decision to make. Lighting. Talk to me, people!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Ideally you should have a combination of general lighting and task lighting.

Check out the kitchens at HGTV

There are some great ideas and configurations in actual kitchens, which you can look at to see if they might work for you.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I use the Trac 12 system from Juno all the time for task specific lighting. It's essentially a 3/4" wide track that runs underneath the cabinetry. You then add as many 5W or 7W Xenon bulbs (we call them peanuts) to the track as you need. The system is powered by a remote transformer so you have to plan the wiring pretty carefully.

Ambient (general) lighting is best handled by recessed pot lighting. Be sure you go with the Alzac (clear specular) trims and not the black or white step baffle trims. The black and white may be less expensive, but they suck up about 25% of the light before it even leaves the can (pot light). Bulbs will likely be 50-75W Halogen Par 30 bulbs. Nice light, and they last a long time.

Put dimmers on the ambients lighting, standard switches for everything else.

A.

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Here's the biggest concern: lighting over my eating bar.

As I've previously mentioned, there's a huge I-beam spanning a bit more than half of the eating bar. This I-beam will tie into a post that is replacing the current load-bearing wall. What I've decided to do is have my carpenter make a box to surround the I-beam, up to the post, and then make an empty box on the other side, just to add some symmetry to the entire arrangement. I want to house my lighting in the box, but where the I-beam is, there won't be much space to have a recessed fixture. I don't really want a pendant there, as there's not a ton of space between the countertop and the bottom of the I-beam.

Here's an elevation of the eating bar:

gallery_137_434_1106256081.jpg

I originally planned to put in some sort of low voltage unit, but I've heard a number of people (including my electrician) complain about them. What are others' opinions of low voltage lighting? I don't want a cable-run light, and tracks are hideous (although, could the track be installed inside the box housing the I-beam?). As far as line voltage options are concerned, I just haven't found anything that's sufficiently shallow. I have looked at some sconse-like options that could be mounted on the sides of the box, rather than the bottom, and pointing downwards toward the countertop.

So, any ideas???

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I originally planned to put in some sort of low voltage unit, but I've heard a number of people (including my electrician) complain about them.  What are others' opinions of low voltage lighting?  I don't want a cable-run light, and tracks are hideous (although, could the track be installed inside the box housing the I-beam?).  As far as line voltage options are concerned, I just haven't found anything that's sufficiently shallow.  I have looked at some sconse-like options that could be mounted on the sides of the box, rather than the bottom, and pointing downwards toward the countertop.

So, any ideas???

We thought about low voltage lighting in our old kitchen, and came to the same conclusion.

Yes, I (yes, me!) installed track lighting under cabinet (made the bottom of the cabinets, of which I had tons, into sort of an I-beam). Yes, you can install them in the i-beams. It is a ton of work for a DIY. May add to your budget.

Scrimp on cabinet handles, but not lighting. Shallow stuff is really hard to find, and I discovered that I just needed to "make my own." But, I'm not a pro, at woodworking or electrical. (but, then again, I have never had to go to hospital for electrocution or carpentry accident.)

Have you had your electrician come over again, with plans and elevations and give advice? What does Daddy-A say?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Scrimp on cabinet handles, but not lighting.  Shallow stuff is really hard to find, and I discovered that I just needed to "make my own."  But, I'm not a pro, at woodworking or electrical.  (but, then again, I have never had to go to hospital for electrocution or carpentry accident.)

Have you had your electrician come over again, with plans and elevations and give advice?  What does Daddy-A say?

He says ... "I agree with snowangel" :cool: Good lighting is absolutely essential.

Varmint, I'm wondering what concerns you have about low voltage lighting? (Rather than address LV lighting generally, I'll wait to hear from you about specific concerns). Also, can you snap a picture of the I-beam and its location so I can have a better idea of what's going on. You're picture's pretty and all, but .... :raz:

A.

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I've just heard a few folks tell me that they think LV is too finicky and can overheat easily. I can be convinced to go with it, however.

I can't take a picture of the I-beam, because it's currently encased in some cabinetry.

I plan on taking some photos in the next few days so we can get a good glimpse of the "before" aspect of the kitchen. I've posted pictures before, but I'll give greater details.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I've just heard a few folks tell me that they think LV is too finicky and can overheat easily.  I can be convinced to go with it, however.

I can't take a picture of the I-beam, because it's currently encased in some cabinetry.

I plan on taking some photos in the next few days so we can get a good glimpse of the "before" aspect of the kitchen.  I've posted pictures before, but I'll give greater details.

I don't know about the "finicky" part. I suppose that's subjective. Do you have to plan for them? Yes. I suppose they can be called finicky if you're dealing with a remote transformer. Then again, a remote transformer means that all the home runs (wires that go from the light fixture back to the transformer) are made with LV wire (I use LVT) which is much thinner, and at least up here, is not encumbered by building codes. This is the "planning" I was talking about :biggrin:

Other LV lights have built-in transformers and are wired exactly the same way as any house-voltage light. Pot lights are a good example. Drop by you local Home Depot or Lowes or whatever, and ask to see something in a Low Voltage pot light (if you can actually find anyone in the frickin' aisles!!). You'll notice that the LV fixture is about the same size as an incandescent fixture, and will have a small box attached to it that houses the transformer.

The heat? Well, unless you plan on touching them a lot, I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure there's an air space around them. Another issue with LV is dimming. You'll likely need an electronic dimmer rather than a solid-state dimmer for a transformer application. They ain't cheap ... about $100 ea in Vancouver.

Personally, I find LV fixtures a bit to bright for ambient lighting. I prefer a standard pot light with a halogen bulb. However, the LV lighting may be just the ticket for the I-Beam situation as the remote-transformer fixtures tend to take up much less space. If your carpenter is boxing in the I-Beam, perhaps there is an LV light that can recess nicely into this box.

A.

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Liton Lighting makes different kinds of track/recessed lighting.

If you click on their "Web Catalog" on the menu on the left, a Java window containing their catalog will open.

In the catalog, under "Specialty Lighting", they have shallow depth halogens. The lights have a 1" profile so you wouldn't have to worry about lights hanging down and blocking views or getting hit when passing plates through, etc.

I'm not sure how much room you would have in the box containing the I-beam for any recessed lights. A low profile light might be a better option.

As for dimmers, when the company I work for moved into a new building, they put dimmers in a lot of the production offices. The problem with these dimmers was if you dimmed the lights (meaning not all the way off but not at full power...somewhere inbetween), some lights would flicker and almost all the lights gave off an annoying hum.

I found out from the electrician who was doing follow-up work in the building that the company I work for didn't buy the top-of-the-line dimmer switches and the flickering and hum are a by-product of cheap dimmer switches.

Moral of the story: If you want a dimmer switch, buy the best you can buy.

edited for spellling

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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So, I'll further complicate the lighting issue. I'm dealing with it now, in our new house.

In our former house, we had a huge dining area attached to the kitchen (I had a mongo kitchen). I wanted that dining area to be able to both a dining area and a "homework" area (no other place in that tiny house). So, after much looking and deliberation, I put in a ceiling fan. ONe which had both up and down lighting.

I love up lighting. I am searching now for appropriate fixtures for the New House that have both up and down lighting.

I did have specific task lighting (which I installed myself), but really liked the ability, in the living area of this space, to have both task (down) and ambient (up) lighting.

Varmint, as you went into this process (forgive me if I''ve missed this in the old long thred or this thread) what were your thoughts on lighting? It's not just about how pretty the fixtures are (ask my folks; the fixtures were beautiful -- before I replaced them with something functional -- but not really what was called for.

Before I replaced the lighting in my old kitchen, I hauled out every single flashlight I could find, duct-taped them to here and there -- ceilings, bottom of cabinets -- and tried to envision what I wanted and what I needed.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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The lighting is currently crappy -- a bunch of overly hot, old-fashioned cans on tracks. Thus, anything I do will be an improvement! I'm not really concerned with the amount of illumination for the bulk of the kitchen, but I want the lighting over the eating bar (which also serves as the primary prep station) to be right.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Not all track lighting is crappy.

I have seen these installed in a family room and kitchen and they looked terrific.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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