Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

justifying a major kitchen purchase


mrbigjas
 Share

Recommended Posts

OK we're going to be redoing our kitchen and bathroom in the next year or so--they're upstairs and downstairs in the same addition to our small rowhouse here in philadelphia. i'm planning on replacing the range as part of the process. the one we have now is an old caloric that was put in 20 years ago--it's the kind of low-end stove you buy for renters, which is who this house was originally renovated for.

so although we haven't done much more than initial discussions with architect friends and that sort of pre-planning, i know that because of the size of the kitchen and my cooking habits, a 30" range is what i'll be getting.

and of course because shopping for kitchen stuff is fun, i've done a bunch of research, and i'm pretty sure i want a blue star rnb series. i like the super high powered burners (i have the venting available) i like the large oven, the simmer burner, and the fact that they're made about two hours from here (although i'll probably be ordering it from somewhere out west due to a lack of dealers in the area).

well, the old range is starting to go. it's an oven burner or ignitor issue that is relatively easily repairable, i'm sure, for $100 or something. but i've been thinking for the last year or so that if it started to go i would just order the new stove--because why not, i know what i want and there's no reason i have to wait for the rest of the kitchen to be redone for it.

but i can't bring myself to take the plunge. i'm not sure why. it feels frivolous or something to be buying something so nice. i mean, i can rationalize/justify this purchase in a million ways--i'm a pretty good cook, i'll use it every single day, we have the money at this point in our lives, i have an installer who will take care of it for free, the seller is of course very reassuring about covering warranty things and whatnot--but making that call and ordering the thing is kind of beyond me.

i don't even know why i'm posting really, except to get this out there. anyone else have a problem like this? how do you get past it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last year we redid our kitchen and splurged majorly on a 36" DCS range. I justified it by convincing myself that the added oven space would allow me to do more wedding cakes at home, therefore paying for itself within a couple of years. Did I actually HAVE to have it? Of course not...I'd been doing cakes out of my crappy oven for years. But......I absolutely love having 6 burners that go up to 16K BTUs, and I don't know how I ever lived without convention. Has it made me a better cook? No. But it's much easier and much more fun.

One thing you also might have to consider, we had to put in a larger gas line, which added another $600 to the cost.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We purchased this house in the late 90's, and it came with a bonus--an extra kitchen downstairs. It's not a huge space, but much more inviting and convenient than the galley-style this little ranch was equipped with when it was built in the late 50s.

The kitchen floor was that greige linoleum, in tiny random geometrics, of light enough color that it just would not stay clean---my Mother would have said it "just showed everything." I hated that floor, but could not really justify a replacement, though our dear neighbor is a "tile man" and I longed for that gorgeous graygreen foot-square slate that I mooned over in his showroom.

One morning, I wandered into the kitchen in my nightgown, plugged in the percolator, and noticed two tiny antennae waving from behind a piece of framed needlepoint on the backsplash. I quickly slammed the frame against the wall, holding it with one hand whilst I reached for a paper towel to dispatch the intruder or clean up the remains, if it had been squashed behind the picture. Somehow my maneuverings loosened my grip on the frame, and a good-sized centipede squiggled out and away, leaping off the front of the counter as I jumped back, and dashing under the refrigerator.

I called out for Hubby's assistance, perhaps too frantically and loudly, since he came dashing naked from the bathroom, still half wet and holding his towel. He knows I save ants from drowning, pick up spiders in my hand and take them outside, and will open the screen and shoo out an errant fly or wasp, but centipedes ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THIS HOUSE. Probably thinking I would take up residence in the nearest hotel if I did not see the corpse of that dreaded beast, he grabbed the refrigerator in both hands and swung it away from the wall and way out into the floor. In my moment of dismay and hurry to get rid of that bug, my mind actually saw him lift the fridge bodily and deposit it several feet away, like Clark Kent, had he been naked and no phone booth in sight. I know this did not happen, but his heroism marked that moment in my fevered brain AND on that ugly linoleum. There was a long gouge, with little accordion pleats running for about a foot between the refrigerator's original place and its resting place.

So he killed the bug, disfigured the floor, replaced the fridge, soothed my oooey feelings, and all before breakfast and naked as Adam.

It was imperative that we replace the floor, as #2 Son was getting married in 10 days, we had lots of houseguests coming, and I was catering the wedding dinner for 200, out of this tiny kitchen, plus making the Groom's cake. So we moved everything out into the dining room floor, including the cast-iron Franklin range, had the tile man in with my graygreen slate :wub: and THEN Hubby suggested that since everything was out of the kitchen, and I had been meaning to paint anyway. . . So that took another two days, and all was replaced.

It was a hectic time, a rushed time, but the floor was put down, the guests came, the wedding was perfect, I gained a lovely DIL whom I love dearly, and I'll never forget the sight of my Hubby, stark naked, wrestling that fridge out of the way to kill that bug.

Edited by racheld (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

interesting, thanks--i've checked the specs and a 1/2" gas line is all that's required, in addition to a dedicated grounded circuit. neither of those is a problem.

i guess one of the thing that's made me hesitant to go ahead with it is the lack of dealers in my area, which makes me wonder about service. i mean, of course a sales guy is going to be all 'oh yeah, we'll come fix anything if it breaks' but what does that really mean?

i mean, it's one thing to do research and decide what's the best product; it's another to figure out what's best for your situation...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are going to remodel any room in your house, do it with your kitchen, and don't be afraid to spend.

Why? Because it'll pay you back. When people sell their houses, different remodeling projects tend to generate different levels of return. For instance, adding an inground pool in the backyard generally has a less than 10% rate of return -- a lot of people don't want to maintain a pool, or don't swim. Bathrooms and a lot better at around a 70% rate of return. But kitchens will give you an over 90% rate of return as long as you don't buy anything that's blatantly ugly or that breaks.

So think of it this way. You think you're spending $3000. But at a 90% rate of return when you sell the house, you've really only spent $300, which you'd spend on a couple of nice dinners!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So think of it this way.  You think you're spending $3000.  But at a 90% rate of return when you sell the house, you've really only spent $300, which you'd spend on a couple of nice dinners!

Except in lovely suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where custom Snaidero cabinets, a Sub-Zero refrigerator with seprate freezer drawers, a Thermador warming drawer and 36" dual-fuel range, separate Miele oven and induction cooktop, Francke sinks and hardware, and acres of the most gorgeous granite you've ever seen, means nothing to 99% of the home buyers.

Do it for yourself, because you deserve it and you've worked hard for it. Every time I stepped into that kitchen, I smiled. And the people I knew and loved smiled, too.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would watch out for the gas line as mentioned above. Even though the specifications outline a 1/2" inlet on the back of the stove, most high BTU stoves require a 3/4" feed up to the flex connector. My Wolf 48" requires a 3/4" up until the flex which reduces it down to 1/2"

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wkl -- true, but i make more than 30 meals for every meal at SK. in fact, even when you factor in numbers of courses, i bet i still make more than 30 times what i eat at SK, at home.

johnder -- thanks for the tip, i'll investigate further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One element in your decision might be how long you intend to stay in your house.

You're high end stove may return your investment when you sell depending on the demographics of your neighborhood. If this is to be your long term home it's not a factor. But if this is a starter home for you in one of Phila's many "neighborhoods" then your potential buyers may not know a blue star from a no-name Silo special (yeh, I'm dating myself) and not be of any advantage to you when you sell.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

good point, mottmott, and you know, that brings up something else i've always wondered about purchases like this, viz., if you bought something like this and then had to move for whatever reason, couldn't you put it in your contract that you're taking it with you when you leave? it's a 30" stove after all; it's not some custom built-in thing that can't be replaced.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

good point, mottmott, and you know, that brings up something else i've always wondered about purchases like this, viz., if you bought something like this and then had to move for whatever reason, couldn't you put it in your contract that you're taking it with you when you leave?  it's a 30" stove after all; it's not some custom built-in thing that can't be replaced.

Yes, you can do that. But if there is anything attached to the house that you do not want to sell when you sell your house, my advice is to do the replacement before the buyers come in. It simplifies things and elimates the psychological sense that they are being deprived of something that's part of the house. If you want to keep your new stove, when you put your house on the market, put it in the garage under a a blanket and a Silo special in the kitchen.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm still looking into the gas line issue, as well as the cabinet proximity issue. a call to the manufacturer is in the cards tomorrow i think. as for tonight, i just chopped off a good chunk of my index finger making dinner, so i'm definitely feeling like i don't deserve it....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just get it! You know you want it and are just using us as scapegoats to justify your purchase!!! :laugh:

Don't forget a big ass hoodie to go with that range. No point in getting a 70k+BTU range with no proper fan to suck out all the smoke and heat, esp. in those rowhomes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok so:

1. gas line issue

2. cabinet positioning (something i hadn't thought of before today)

3. making sure the venting is OK after all--i do have a good hood which does go directly outside through the wall, but a double check wouldn't hurt

4. wendy's lawsuit

got it.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok so:

1. gas line issue

2. cabinet positioning (something i hadn't thought of before today)

3. making sure the venting is OK after all--i do have a good hood which does go directly outside through the wall, but a double check wouldn't hurt

4. wendy's lawsuit

got it.

Love to hear what you've found out about items 2 and 3.

Has any one had experience with this manufacture? Repair history?

Soup

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok so:

1. gas line issue

2. cabinet positioning (something i hadn't thought of before today)

3. making sure the venting is OK after all--i do have a good hood which does go directly outside through the wall, but a double check wouldn't hurt

4. wendy's lawsuit

got it.

Love to hear what you've found out about items 2 and 3.

Has any one had experience with this manufacture? Repair history?

Soup

I've been doing a lot of research on Blue Star ranges, since I'm also anticipating a range purchase (hopefully) in the near future.

There have been extensive, almost obsessive discussions of Blue Star ranges on the appliance discussion forums on Garden Web. The most recent thread can be found here and an archive of the past 2+ years' thread can be found here. Lots of discussions about the gas line as well as other installation issues.

There seem to be more questions than answers about service, and it all seems to come down to the limited number of distributors for Blue Star products. The specs and user reviews of Blue Star ranges have put them on my short list, but I am wary of purchasing something so expensive sight unseen and what that would mean for service. I've asked at a couple of the better appliance retail stores near my home and both have said that the inherent service difficulties due to a lack of a regional distributor is the reason they don't carry Blue Star products, despite their belief that they are a good product and many customer requests for them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

interesting, thanks--i've checked the specs and a 1/2" gas line is all that's required, in addition to a dedicated grounded circuit.  neither of those is a problem. 

i guess one of the thing that's made me hesitant to go ahead with it is the lack of dealers in my area, which makes me wonder about service.  i mean, of course a sales guy is going to be all 'oh yeah, we'll come fix anything if it breaks' but what does that really mean?

i mean, it's one thing to do research and decide what's the best product; it's another to figure out what's best for your situation...

I agree with the person who said basically "do it for yourself". But be honest with yourself when you answer the questions about what you really want.

For example - I hate bending down to use my ovens. I wouldn't take a Viking with ovens under the stove if you paid me. I hate cleaning stoves. So I had to have a glass top unit (love cleaning off the burnt stuff with a razor blade knife). I hated the idea of putting a propane tank in my yard for a gas stove (we don't have gas lines) - so I went electric. And more than anything else - I wanted things that are dependable - and - when they broke - I wanted fast easy service (was convinced of that after having to remove a wall to repair an expensive leaky European shower faucet ). Your mileage may of course vary. But you'll be using the stuff often - and for a long time. So get what *you* want. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok so:

1. gas line issue

2. cabinet positioning (something i hadn't thought of before today)

3. making sure the venting is OK after all--i do have a good hood which does go directly outside through the wall, but a double check wouldn't hurt

4. wendy's lawsuit

got it.

Love to hear what you've found out about items 2 and 3.

Has any one had experience with this manufacture? Repair history?

2 is the problem. i have a wood cabinet hanging about 24" above the stove directly to the left, and the contractor who would be doing the installation says that's trouble. i know prizer-painter recommends getting a hood one size larger than the stove (e.g. 36" hood for 30" stove) just for reassurance. but from what i've read i don't think that's necessary if you have the air-moving capacity you need and no cabinet sitting right there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok so:

1. gas line issue

2. cabinet positioning (something i hadn't thought of before today)

3. making sure the venting is OK after all--i do have a good hood which does go directly outside through the wall, but a double check wouldn't hurt

4. wendy's lawsuit

got it.

Love to hear what you've found out about items 2 and 3.

Has any one had experience with this manufacture? Repair history?

2 is the problem. i have a wood cabinet hanging about 24" above the stove directly to the left, and the contractor who would be doing the installation says that's trouble. i know prizer-painter recommends getting a hood one size larger than the stove (e.g. 36" hood for 30" stove) just for reassurance. but from what i've read i don't think that's necessary if you have the air-moving capacity you need and no cabinet sitting right there.

It's a problem with a high heat burner, hold your hand above a burner turned on, then put a pot on and the heat goes sideways, then up.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...