A Little overwhelmed...

patrick_CTFebruary 16, 2013

(I posted this in the wrong section before I think..)

We are in the process of starting to plan our kitchen remodel and have to define our budget, but I had no idea what the cost of most of the appliances would be but I knew what we liked.
Now after looking around and reading on line, I am more lost than ever.
As a family we have 2 small kids (4.5 and 8 months) and my wife and I like to cook but are not really bakers. I like to, but it is hard to find time at the moment. Our housecan support a high end kitchen and resale is definitely in the back of our minds as well as our current use.
What we want to get:
36" range top
double wall ovens (or single one with Advantium)
Counter depth french door fridge
36" Vent (only have a 5'run to the outside of the house.)
Very durable dishwasher.

We have a family member that can get the really good prices on the Monogram appliances (but I hate the look of their range top)

What we are thinking: (a lot based on the good price of the GE, but it would not have been my first choice)
Monogram: Professional 30' all oven and Advantium
Monogram french door fridge (it will be next to the oven's so it would match)
Monogram Range hood
Viking Range 36" range
Viking dishwasher (we really liked the feel and sturdiness of this in the show room, but now I have read some bad things)

Now after reading on this site there is a lot of talk about open burners being better (I do not know why)
I have also seen that the Monogram although it tries to play with the high end appliances, it is not really in the same league as the viking, wolf etc.

Any insight if the Monogram is really good equipment or should I look further?
Is the Viking rangetop as good choice compared to a Wolf or Bluestar, or Thermador.


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It would take several epic posts to cover the just the topics that are needed to be addressed for a successful kitchen reno (at least if you are going to plan it yourself and overview the execution). In my view you will need to make this your only hobby for an extended period, that for some extends to years, but will at best require several months.

You need to research the appliance, counter, and facilities options. For this, a search engine is your friend. Google can sift through the Garden Web posts much more efficiently than the THS search engine. Kitchen planning should be studied, and many kitchens viewed for ideas.

You need to work out the rough electrical plan, e.g., you have overhead lights, now how many switches do you want to control them with, and at what locations do you want these clusters to be mounted. How many and where should the lights be to minimize annoying shadows. Induction cooktops and dual wall ovens will likely require new wiring. Is it feasible to get it to where it is needed?

For ventilation, check out my Clippings page.

Appliance selection will typically be a recursive exercise with room and cabinet layout, and even window and door locations. Can the plumbing reach the new sink location? How about the prep sink location? Any islands or peninsulas; how are you going to aesthetically deal with Code for electrical outlets. How to control the garbage disposals? The more you learn, the more issues you will find you have to resolve. It is all possible, but it will take some time.

How about the floor. Does it need reinforcement for the granite/soapstone/monster refrigerator/travertine floor you plan to use? What will it be surfaced with? How do you move the refrigerator to its final spot without damaging the floor if it is wood. Can it be maneuvered from where it is around the islands and peninsulas to its resting place. Can the refrigerator even be rotated into place, given the relevant diagonal could exceed the ceiling height?

Cabinet design details -- what wood, what style, what color, what layout, how to put lights underneath the uppers, how to adapt to appliances that are to be built-in, etc., is just one class of questions.

There is no end of detail, and it is spread over many job specialties, including marriage counseling. I wish you the best of luck -- you will need it.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:43PM
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I think your plan to use Monogram appliances, possibly combined with a Viking or Wolf range top is a good one. I would suggest the Monogram dishwasher rather than the Viking, as the kitchen design will likely look more cohesive if all electrical appliances match. A gas range top is a different matter, so a different brand there would likely look fine. We have just finished a kitchen remodel ourselves and I know how difficult these choices are. There is an incredible marketing machine out there trying to tempt you with ever pricier items... it is very difficult to not second guess yourself and wonder "is this up market enough for resale?" However in terms of resale, I doubt that you would get a good return on your investment by going for even more high end appliances. Some cooks really do love those gas ranges, so that might be a draw, but as a potential home buyer, would I pay more for a house if it had Viking wall ovens rather than the Monogram? Absolutely not. The entire appearance of the kitchen would influence me, but not the actual oven or dishwasher make... especially as they would no longer be new at the time of resale.

Since you have a young family you really dont want to spend your life cleaning your new kitchen. When choosing your appliances and indeed all your surfaces consider carefully how easy it will be to clean. I have found to my annoyance that stainless steel is not stainless at all. It takes little effort to keep the front of appliances clean, but removing burnt on spatters from the inside of my micro/convection is a real chore. (Why did I think it would be a good idea to use the broiler?) And, somewhere on this forum there is a photo of someone's gas range after one use of the back burners - not a pretty sight. So just be aware - new and expensive does not necessarily mean easy to clean. BE careful in your selection and watch out for crooks and crannies that will accumulate grime (this applies to countertop edges too - avoid anything with grooves.)

Kas has a point about electrical work - dont forget to include that in your budget. We were surprised at the expense involved in getting two new 240V connections for the wall ovens (we had a range previously). Running the wires was fairly simple in our house and the drywall was open anyway, but still the charges mounted up pretty quickly.

We have recently done a number of remodel jobs in our home (bath, bedroom, kitchen) and find that we are ALWAYS overbudget. This has been entirely due to labor costs - which are very high here in Canada. Once you have come up with a budget, I would suggest adding at least a 20% contingency fund that you might rather not spend but probably will.

Good luck! If you are not getting the answers you need from users of specific appliances, try putting a post with the appliance name in the subject line.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:45PM
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