Help me spend my appliance money

diknippenJune 23, 2013

I am remodeling for the first time and am working with an architect. I realize now that I need to save some money by changing appliances that have been specified. I am asking for help from all you experts.

For cooking, he has chosen all Wolf:
36" range with griddle (I can't decide if I really want a griddle) (GR364G)
Also the SS riser for the range (819078)
Hood with external blower (PWC362418)
Wall oven (SO30FSS)
microwave/convection (I do not need convection) (MWC24)
Note that the layout has the microwave situated above the wall oven. That is important to know for aesthetics.

The dishwasher is a Viking (FDW100). I do not need a custom panel. It will be a stainless steel front.

I would like to find a $4,000 savings by changing appliances.

Prices for these appliances at Abt is $12,792.

The design is finished and construction documents are being prepared to get bids. I realize now that I should have worked on appliances earlier. A newbie's mistake.

Any help is appreciated.

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Well, there are lots of ways to save because Wolf appliances are truly premium priced. This is not to say that Wolf does not make mostly very good stuff, but it is very pricey.

And I do not see a refrigerator in your list. Is your architect pushing you to buy a Subzero, too? Is the fridge ina separate budget? There are alternatives to SZ even if you have to have a premium priced model for aesthetics.

Some suggestions on your list.:

Stoves: for a 36" range, maybe look at a Blue Star 36" range and skip the griddle. IIRC, the Wolf 36" all gas stove runs about $6k and the BS is around $5k for an RNB model and about $4k for a more basic RCS model. Or, look at the 36" NXR which runs about $3k. (If you want a griddle with a 36" NXR, you 'll need to order it from somebody other than Costco because it seems that Costco is no longer offering the griddle option.)

Personally, I'd look at getting a carbon-steel 14" x 23" Chef King griddle and just pull it out when I wanted to use a big griddle. (Or get a Vollrath or Nordicware heavy duty, commercial aluminum griddle.)

Stainless steel riser on the stove: IIRC, the Wolf all-gas range comes stock with "island trim" (no backsplash). You could save money by putting a stainless steel backsplash on the wall rather than the stove.

Rangehood: look for some less premium priced brands such as Kobe. Did your architect specify 36" or 42" for the hood?

Microwave: My personal prejudice is that having a built-in microwaves above a wall oven is asking for trouble. Consider that Wolf has that MW built for it by somebody else (probably Sharp), and that MWs are pretty much a commodity product with indeterminate lives. When that MW fails (as it inevitably will) replacing one above the oven could be difficult and will be expensive. I would seriously consider having the architect design a microwave shelf somewhere in the kitchen and just get a commodity MW. Much more easily (and much less expensively) replaced when it fails.

Viking dishwashers used to be made by Asko which meant a high price and a so-so reputation for reliability and service. The FDW100 is, I think, one of Viking's new D3 line and is considerably less expensive than the Asko-made ones. I don't know who makes the D3 DWs for Viking. them but I bleieve Viking retailers prices them at around $800. Postings here favor other brands of DWs, mainly Miele and Bosch (two of the most reliable brands according to the results of membership surveys from Consumer Reports) and Kitchenaid. Miele DWs will be more expensive than the Viking but both Bosch and KA have recommended models with Stainless fronts in that price $800 range range..

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 3:06

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:59AM
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American Range ARROB-636 $4400
Better cooktop than Wolf oven not quite as good buy hey a lot cheaper.

Electrolux Wave-Touch Series EW30EW55GS $2000
Outside of the ultra premium class, best oven out there.

Kobe SQB Series RA0236SQB1RA02DC $1100
Arguably best bang for buck

SHARP KB6525PS manufacture refurbished on ebay $515
Cool and relatively cheap. Can install underneath wall oven. Usually overstock returns comes with 30 day warranty.

I would really take this over Viking.

Total $8735

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 3:32AM
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JWVideo and deeageaux--
thank you for your speedy, detailed and informative responses. Storms, floods and power outages prevented me from responding earlier.

I went to Abt with the same questions and they directed me to switching everything to Thermador with the free dishwasher promotion. That gets me the savings I am looking for.


Also, I have a SZ refrig that I am not replacing.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:49AM
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The rangetop; The T'dor is better than average but the AR is still significantly better. Better heat evenness and more power up top. The T'dor does have a lower simmer but it cycles the igniter on and off to do it. It makes it clickety clack noise. The AR goes down to simmer the most delicate of French sauces whereas the T'dor you can "cook" vegan-raw foodist recipes. Put a heat diffuser on the AR and it will go down that low without the noise.

Ovens: Functionally the range ovens are about the same. The Elux wall oven IMO is much better. T'dor had some quality problems a few years ago particularly with self clean. T'dor claims problems fixed but not had much owner feedback confirming.

Range Hood: Kobe has a much better capture area and is a known quality product. T'dor switches supplier from time to time but should be at least average quality.

Microwave: Both MWs are made by Sharp and are exactly the same except for the door skin. T'dor has a flat door that fits flush with surrounding cabinetry but can only be opened and closed with a button. The Sharp has a large appliance wide handle and can be opened/closed manually or automatically. T'dor for looks Sharp for function.

Dishwasher; T'dor is a rebadged Bosch 800 Plus, the less expensive version, about $1300 retail. It is a step up from the Bosch in my package but you can get an open box brand new Bosch 800 Plus from Markdown Madness on E'bay delivered to you for $898. I bought my refrigerator and wall oven from these guys without any problems.

All in all I would still go with my package.

Here is a link that might be useful: Markdown Madness

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Hello again.
My question relates to the wall oven and microwave. I like the elux wall oven. For my layout, the oven is positioned below the microwave (which sits on a shelf ...I asked the architect after I read that recommendation).

So they should match right? Should I consider the elux microwave then? No convection needed.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Heat rises.

Wall oven heat can damage microwave electronics.

Heat from MW will do nothing to wall oven.

The Elux countertop MW is $1k and has no styling cues that match the oven, it is the trim kit that matches the oven.

If getting a countertop MW place it away from the wall oven and get a Sharp or Panasonic for $200 or less.

If you want the wall oven and the microwave in the same location you should get a drawer and put in underneath the wall oven,

Sharp 24" drawer $790
Sharp 30" drawer $815

The drawer has better ergonomics and looks better built-in.

BTW My first made in the USA sharp lasted 17 years.
2nd was 8 years old when I gave to nephew. These drawers are made in the USA.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 6:23AM
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Thank you again for your advice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Regarding hoods--
If I want to have an external blower and not looking to save money on this item (but not spend more than the Wolf),

what is the recommendation?

at Abt the Wolf (PWC362418) is $2,199
blower is $1,120

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:11PM
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The usual recommendation is that the hood be 6" wider than the cooktop. Not required, but a good idea. I put in the Broan E60E36SS hood in ($727), got a matching 600cfm rooftop blower on eBay for $234, and duct silencer (10" duct) for $162. So, $1123 plus about another $100 for ducts/damper, and whatever I paid for installation, to get a reasonable performance very quiet hood setup. You'd need to put it under cabinet, as I did, or spend ~$240 for a flue extension. $30 more for the 42" wide hood, and $100-$300 more for a more powerful blower if you like (don't forget to investigate make-up air requirements and regulations).

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Before I recommend a blower/hood what rangetop exactly are you getting?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:46PM
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I have selected an American ARROB-636 36" range. I found a dealer in my area. Happy me.

However, today during my search for a dealer in my area for Modernaire I stumbled on someone who was a dealer for both Modernaire and Blue Star. He is asking for the opportunity to convince me to buy a Blue Star. We will see! I thought my mind was made up.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Since you are going with 6 burner model instead of one with grill you don't need more than the base external blower.

The top brands are Modern Aire, Prestige and Bluestar.

Prestige and Bluestar are the same exact hoods with different blowers.

If you go with one of the above all you need is the least powerful external blower. 1000cfm or 1200 cfm.

Best by Broan is considered the best bang for the buck. They have a 600 cfm external blower but I would go with 900cfm.

Maybe the Bluestar dealer can give you a deal on the Bluestar range and hood plus blower.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Thank you for your help. I have asked the architect to spec an American range, Sharp MW drawer, Bosch DW, Electrolux oven. I have a "B" list in case I need to reduce price even further. Included are the 36" NXR and the Kobe hood.

You were a big help.

Now on to sinks and faucets.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 5:03PM
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If you can post some pics of your finished kitchen!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 2:45AM
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