Kitchen remodel #2

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We did some more looking around on the Internet and went to a few more appliance, flooring, and stone showrooms. Here is what we are thinking about and why we are thinking this way. Hopefully this will help you when you are looking at remodelling your kitchen.

Dishwasher: One of the lower end Miele. (I just prefer the controls on the front panel). While almost all of the modern washers are fairly quiet (50 to 56 dB), the other feature that I was after in a washer was a heat boost for sanitizing. That pretty much got me down to Miele, Asko, and Bosch; and out of those three Miele seemed to have the best balance between functionality, service cost, and initial cost. Having the heat boost will allow me to turn down the house water heater from 130F to 110F.

Refrigerator/Freezer: My preference, if I can get them shipped to the U.S., is to have the Fisher/Paykel vertical refrigerator-only and freezer-only units. With purchasing an extra 8 shelves, I will have plenty of room for rotating in/out 1/2 sheet pans during prep. and before baking. If I can not get the vertical units, then I will go with the Amana French door w/ the bottom freezer. I do like how efficient the Sunfrost units are, but they are just not large enough for my current kitchen plans. If I were going to put in solar generation (not the best idea with a southern exposure of 50' to 70' cedar trees), then I would definitely be going with Sunfrost and adjusting my kitchen plans accordingly.

Range/Oven + Oven: I will be going with the 36" range/oven and extra oven, instead of the 30" units plus the extra wok burner. My first choice is to go with Jade range & oven since they make a residential range/oven that does not have a convection unit installed. (I want to be able to use my 1/2 sheet pans and the convection units make the oven cavity too small.) If for some reason I have too much trouble getting the Jade units, then I will go with the G.E. Monogram line. The faux-commercial lines (Wolf, Viking, etc.) have too many service issues and too many features that serve no purpose for the serious home cook/baker. (Why pay an extra $2,000 for a temperature probe and timer when you can get a good one for $20 at the kitchen store?)

Exhaust: Inline fan exhaust systems are pretty easy to find right now, I do not want an internal fan (in the kitchen) because of the noise and I do not want an external fan (on the roof) because of the appearance and noise in the yard, so that leaves me with an inline fan, which will work because I have a large attic space right above where I want to put the range/ovens.

Make-up air: While not required (yet) for residential kitchens, if you have a modern (tight) house and more than a 900CFM exhaust fan in the kitchen you should seriously consider a make-up air system. I have only found large commercial systems available and I am still researching this. I am looking at between 1400 and 1800CFM exhaust for my kitchen space w/ a range and two ovens, so I will need make-up air that can also be heated in the winter.

Flooring: While we like the feel of cork under our feet, the durability is just not there. We are going with bamboo and are now looking for manufacturer with at least a 15 year warranty.

Counter tops: Still comparing granite slab+tile or quartz composite. I am getting some large samples of the composite and I will check out how/if they discolour when hot pans are placed on them.

Cabinets: There is not much cost saving up front for good pre-made and custom cabinetry. Since I have some fairly strict size and use features, we are going to be going with custom. One important thing to consider here is finish. With pre-made you can get factory baked on finishes which will be more durable than the custom made cabinet finishes. If I did not have the odd cabinet sizes, I would have gone for the pre-made cabinets.

Lighting: We are just starting to look into this now that we have pretty much finalized the floor plan and work areas. We are thinking of cool xenon for under the cabinets. I am looking for comparable installations of compact flourescent and halogen cans for in the ceiling. (The existing track lighting is going.) I like the energy efficiency of the compact flourescent, but I like the white light of the halogen, so I just need to see them installed in roughly the same size space as my current kitchen.

Insulation: Since we are replacing the track lighting and opening up a good portion of the ceiling for cans for either flourescent or halogen, I am going to open up the entire ceiling and have the insulation upgraded. The current insulation was R-16 when it was put in in the early 1970s. I have selected a hard foam system that will give me R-40 in the same space for about $4/sqft. (The vaulted kitchen and loft ceilings do not leave me a lot of space for insulation.)

That is pretty much all for now. As I get some details on prices and get the last of the appliance availability information, then I will update the kitchen plan again.

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