Rate the brands in order of prestige/status.

DonchikJuly 26, 2013

I am building a new home and getting close to choosing kitchen appliances (fridge, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, hood). The home is custom built and the end value will be about 1 mil. I know that the Viking is prob the most popular brand for that type of house but what would be other options? (Cheaper, not more expensive). I feel like with Viking I will be paying for the brand name but the appliances are not nessesarily better or more convenient. For example, I know that Viking cooktop is very hard to clean.

What other brands be acceptable in the house of that price?

Also, do you feel that all appliances should be of the same brand?

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Viking is the most popular brand for new $1m plus homes because they give the biggest discount to home builders not because they are the most prestigious or the best.

As far as prestige goes there is Sub-Zero Wolf and then there is everybody else. If not going Sub-Zero Wolf you just need a built-in refrigerator and pro-style appliances. Potential buyers would be disappointed to see mainstream appliances.

If you are buying to flip the house soon I would advise to get the same brand as some buyers care and the others don't mind a suite of appliances.

If you are going to be living in it I would tell you to buy the best appliances in each category given your budget without regard to brand.

So are you living here or flipping?

What is the budget?

What appliances do you need?

48" 42" or 36" fridge?

What size cooktop or rangetop?

Double ovens?

Or do you prefer a range?

A single 24" dishwasher?

Any "bonus" appliances? Steam oven, Warming drawer, built-in Microwave, Wine fridge, Speed Oven, Clear Ice maker?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:00AM
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acceptable to whom?

You, my mother in law, remodeling pron addicts, a discriminating Western European ???

what part of the country are you in , and what neighborhood is it in?

Manhattan, Phoenix, Detroit, Chicago burbs, or rural Kansas ?

$1mil value will barely get you get you a Viking Range in my neighborhood as lot prices/teardowns are over half a million leaving $400-$500k for hard costs on a $1 - 1.25m home. And with it will come schlocky cabinets, a cheap hood, a faucet that'll need replacing in 5 years and a questionable dishwasher. You can forget a steam or speed oven , though a $350 wine fridge can be had from the Depot. In the south some may splurge on the ice machine , but in Wisconsin - forget it.

Deeageaux gives good advice: buy what you want/need and can afford and forget what the peanut gallery thinks.

Why do you think a Viking ctop will be harder to clean than another brand ? They have a glass smoothtop induction model that is easy as pie to clean.

You bring up "paying" for the name. Isn't that a given with prestige and status ???

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:36AM
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I will be living in the house not flipping. I am trying to zoom in on a budget: 15K? 20k? I need fridge, dishwasher, hood, oven, cooktop or range top, warming drawer, microwave. What is Speed Oven?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:39AM
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Acceptable to future buyers. House is on Chicago North Shore. My friend has a Viking range and she was complaining in regards to cleaning it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:44AM
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What size fridge and rangetop?

Cooktops come in 30" or 36".

Rangetops 30" 36" 48" or 60"

Probably want at least 36" in this price class.

Double Ovens? Two single ovens?

A speed oven has about a third of the capacity of a conventional oven but uses microwaves plus conventional electric heating elements and sometimes powerful light bulbs to cook food 4x-16x faster than conventional ovens. Can also be used as a microwave or conventional oven.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:51AM
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You need to answer Deeageaux's questions for us to give you specific recommendations. As someone from Chicago, as far as I know North Shore homes would have Viking as second tier if at all, due to the Viking quality problems that have been going on for years now. As noted in above posts, Subzero/Wolf has more prestige. I realize "North Shore" is a large area covering many towns of different sizes, and home values vary widely. But if we are talking about, say, Lake Forest, IL on the North Shore, where $1MM won't get you much at all, and where Mick De Giulio is on everyone's speed dial, the ranges need to be La Cornue or Lacanche, with separate Gaggenau wall ovens. Fridges are Gaggenau, Miele or Subzero, and should be 48" or get separate twin towers. Hoods are Modernaire, or custom-made. You will need 2 DWs, or at least one DW plus a DW drawer. Perhaps a salamander for the caterer.

I saw a North Shore kitchen in a magazine, and it had on one wall its own dedicated brick pizza oven with chimney to outside.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:38AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Is this a 1M kitchen, or a 1M house? Either would be possible in that location. A 1M house in some parts of that area would be like a 40K shack in others.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:03AM
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If range cleaning is a concern, consider induction. No cleaning problems.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:09AM
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People, I am not a troll or spam or whatever else! I am in the process of building my own house and I need help in narrowing down my choices. I have answered everything I could. This is not a Lake Forest house with its own pizza oven. This is a normal brand new 4000 sq ft house with an open plan kitchen. I can have 48', 36' etc anything: either it's fridge, range top, cook top. I need some reasons to choose one over the other. I don't have the budget to get the most expensive stuff and frankly I don't feel like I need it. I would like to fit into 20K and still get decent stuff. Is that possible?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:31PM
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In regards to your question in your first post, "do appliances have to be same brand?" DEFINITELY NOT. You will not do yourself any favors if you buy all the same brand. Different appliance manufacturers excel at different appliances. It's better for you to choose "best in show" rather than matchy-matchy. Also, all matching appliances in a kitchen have the look of the massive housing development kitchens where builders bought thousands of matching appliances cause uniformity saves a ton of money.

A MUST for you is to post your kitchen floor plan on the Kitchens Forum. There are layout gurus there who are unbelievably generous with their time. You could get all the recs you want on this thread about fridges, wall ovens, etc. But it is your layout that will really dictate what size fridge you can have vs. foregoing countertop space or sink size for example.

Also keep in mind that the larger the rangetop the bigger the hood over it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 4:12PM
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It does seem, based on your first post, that you may be concerned with prestige or how the kitchen may appear during resale or amongst the neighborhood. I didn't get a sense that you had a high preference for certain types of equipment or specifications. Please correct us if my impression was wrong.

Given that, your budget will be pushing past that 20K mark -- for example, an MSRP list as follows:

36" Wolf Range Top, with Charbroiler SRT364C $4119
42" SubZero Built-In Side by Side Fridge/Freezer, Stainless BI42S $10300
Wolf 30" Double Ovens $7390 (minus $1000 bundle discount) or the Gaggenau at roughly $8K
Miele Futura Dishwasher in Stainless $1400
Sharp Microwave Drawer $900 (or a rebadged brand that is actually made by Sharp)
Any Brand 24-30" Warming Drawer $1000-$1925 (fewer functional/brand differences; often people panel these or choose to match the nearby appliance)
42" Hood, 600 to 1000 cfm: Can range from $1000 to $7000+--> this is very design specific and is a big variable in cost. If a makeup air system is required, then the price goes up.

Taxes and custom paneling will drive the cost up. Discounts and deals (manufacturer rebates, floor models, etc, but don't expect UMRP discounts) can bring the price down a bit.

That combo above pushes you in the $25 to $30K+ range.

From that starting point, perhaps you can clarify what you really want or need, if you want to keep it under $20K? Perhaps you only want a single oven? Is a unique, custom hood important or would a more standard hood (with the right function) be fine?

Or others can chime in with other suggestions. I just threw those up as a starting point. There are certainly things people would consider to be better options, and definitely things that are less expensive.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Thank you! Yes, this is the kind of information I was looking for. It gives me some kind of a starting point. I will def have to downsize from there. We are a family of 2 adults, one baby and one bulldog. We do like to entertain but I am not any kind of Top Chef contestant. I think that built-in fridge and freezer will have to go for sure. No way I need that much freezer space. I also doubt I even have enough physical space for that. I love the suggestion about posting into kitchen. Will do that ASAP.

I will probably go with a single oven as well. FIsher Paykell gas cook top with three burners has caught my attention

What are the opinions of this brand? I've never heard of it before.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 7:27PM
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KitchenAid Architect Series II 48" Fridge $6859 * KSSC48FTS
BlueStar 36"Cooktop $2200 RBCT365BSS
Kobe SQB Series 42" 1100 cfm Hood $1400 RA0242SQB1RA02DC
Miele Futura Crystal Dishwasher $1299 G5225SS
SHARP Microwave drawer $505** KB6525PS 30"

Now comes the ovens and warming drawer.

Cheaper option. Electrolux straddles the line between mainstream and premium brand. But this version below does have pro handles and the pro-style look.

Electrolux ICON Professional $3700 E30EW85GPS
Electrolux ICON Professional $1300 E30WD75GPS

Total $17,263 or

Wolf L Series DO30FS ~$6500
Wolf WWD30 Warming Drawer ~$1500

Total $20,263

Miele is the most prestigious dishwasher and IMO clearly the best.

KitchenAid is not very prestigious but made in the USA(Michigan) and works well.

Other than this forum, Bluestar is not very prestigious but gives you top notch performance.

Kobe is a Japanese company that manufactures in Taiwan. Not very prestigious but very effective.

If you are willing to max the budget you can get those very effective and prestigious Wolf ovens.

Sharp MW drawer is made in the USA. It makes all MW drawers so spending more for Wolf is paying for looks and prestige.

BTW Nobody "needs" these appliances in the same way nobody "needs" a million dollar house on the North Shore. It is all about want.

* These are on sale right price may go up soon.
** These microwaves are listed as "manufacture refurbished" but virtually all of them are overstock returns only a few are customer returns that were fixed. I have one from this seller. It has worked great for a year now. Many people on the this forum have one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ebay LINK

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:09PM
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I'm not in Chicago, but I do live in same, general midwest area. You seem worried about resale and considering that, here's what I think: people expect a certain level of appliances in a $1 million dollar home. That includes a built-in fridge. It's also something that's hard to add after the fact, due to cabinetry requirements, so I'd be hesitant to leave it out since you sound like you're worried at least as much about the look, and future sales draw, as the function.

Here's my two cents ...First, given that we're not in commuting distance of Chicago, I'll compare your $1 million home to a $600-$750 home here, for an approximation. At that price point people will expect a pro-style range, or range top with separate wall oven(s), with a visible stainless or built-in hood (no over-the-range micro hoods). A built-in fridge and built-in double oven, or oven/microwave combo. A countertop microwave also doesn't usually cut it at that level.

But, assuming you're as interested in form as function, and coming from the starting point that, despite all the agonizing on this forum, just about all of these new, higher-end appliances really do work quite well for 99% of people, you can definitely get away with a brand "below" Wolf, or Viking. If you're looking at looks/resale/savings getting an appliance suite isn't the worst idea in the world either. Throwing in an "extra" like 2 dishwashers, a stand alone ice maker, a warming drawer or, probably least expensively, a wine fridge is also fairly common and could put your house over-the-top for someone in a future sale. (Pick the thing you and your family would most enjoy.) Most custom or semi-custom homes have at least one of the aforementioned "additional" appliances.

To stick to your budget, check out brands like Thermador, Dacor, DCS, GE Monogram ... All quite a bit less than the top-of-the-line brands and look the part. Some would even say KitchenAid or Electrolux's icon line fits that bill, though I'd consider them last among that list.

If you decide to go venture beyond an appliance suite, I'd suggest looking at some of the slightly less expensive all-gas pro-style ranges (e.g. American Range) or a Bosch/Miele dishwasher, to combine with other appliances (ovens, fridge, etc.) that all come from from same maker. That's the best bang for your buck, to my mind.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:10PM
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To add to what deeageaux and applnut posted -- once we had some specifics, people can toss out suggestions.

As the expert deeageaux illustrated, you can get a very good combination within your budget and get a built-in fridge. BTW, a side-by-side 42" fridge is actually not a huge amount of space -- they are not separate columns and are closer in space to a 36" counter-depth (although for 10 grand, you would think you would get more than a single darn column!).

Furthermore, to extrapolate on applnut's post, if you were to consider some of the other brands, you can also get a very good set of appliances. For example, Thermador runs a promotion where if you buy the rangetop/oven, you get dishwasher, and if you add a built-in fridge, you get the hood. That would price out as follows:

36" gas cooktop PCG366G : $3100
Electric/MW Combo Oven: $3200
DW (made by Bosch): Free
42" integrated fridge/freezer: 8200
Hood: Free
Any Brand Paneled WD: $1100
Total: $15.5K

Although various people would point out flaws in any one of these items, you would still get a good-looking, well known set of appliances.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:55PM
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About the Fisher & Paykel cooktop you mentioned - I remember there was a recent thread where Deeageaux pointed out that Fisher & Paykel of New Zealand was recently purchased by Haier of the People's Republic China. I would be concerned about what that change does to their products. But also, the cooktop you cited is a Fisher & Paykel gas cooktop on glass . Ugh. I am foreseeing a nightmare of streaks, spillovers burned in, and the very limited use of only 3 burners. You will be much better served by a normal gas 36" rangetop with 6 burners.

And just some un-asked-for advice regarding your comment about posting your kitchen plan on the Kitchens Forum - think carefully about your subject title when you post there in order to get the best and highest number of responses. Your title on this thread wasn't really what you were asking about, and actually got the opposite response from what you were looking for, until you clarified. When I saw this title about prestige brands, I was kinda turned off...just sayin' so that you won't get as frustrated next time as you did here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread about Getting More Responses on the GW

This post was edited by alwaysfixin on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 21:33

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Whether you have a million dollar compound in Buffalo County South Dakota with a per capita income of just over $5k or whether you have a million dollar shoebox in the Upper East Side of Manhattan with a per capita income of just over $85k people pretty much expect the same type of appliances just a different amount and different sizes.


Thanks Gooster for the props.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Yeah, I totally understand that my title was off. Thank you for all the help.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:30PM
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Is there a one site where I can compare prices and features of all these appliances. I found AJMadison. Any others?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Abt! Right there in Glenview near the tollway!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:48AM
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Yes! I know Abt really well :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:11AM
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Since you are OK with spending $2300 on that Fisher and Paykel cooktop, which only gives you 3 burners, and those 3 burners are under-powered, please consider the rangetops I am linking below, a couple are not much more money, and I've also linked the Wolf (a lot more money, but the prestige name you were asking about).

I also want to distinguish for you the difference between a rangetop and a cooktop. I understand this is a personal choice, particularly about aesthetics, but it is helpful to know the options.

A cooktop is dropped into a specific cutout of your counter. A rangetop is basically the top part of a range, without the oven underneath. That means the knobs are across the front, like a range, rather than taking up valuable cooktop real estate. Another advantage to a rangetop is that it will be easy to switch out to another rangetop in the future if need be, because there is no countertop cutout. A cooktop on the other hand, has a countertop cutout specific to that particular cooktop. Should you need to switch out the cooktop some years from now, it will be difficult to find a cooktop with that exact cutout to fit. We have seen that situation several times on this forum.

Some people prefer the more "professional kitchen" look of a rangetop, while others prefer the "sleekness" of a cooktop. The disadvantage to a rangetop is that most are more expensive than a cooktop, though the Kitchenaid I am linking below is on sale right now at Abt for $2400.

Electrolux Icon 36" Rangetop

Kitchenaid 36" Rangetop (I like the cast iron grates)

Capital Culinarian 36" rangetop (love the open burners)

Wolf 36" Rangetop (your "prestige" brand with those red knobs)

This post was edited by alwaysfixin on Sat, Jul 27, 13 at 9:57

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:48AM
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Are you getting gas because you think you should or because you have considered the benefits of induction vs those of gas, and gas works better for you? If the latter, full speed ahead. But if you haven't made a considered decision about this, you should. Induction is wonderful. Thermador, Miele, and Wolf all have high-end induction cooktops. There are many threads on this topic. I've linked one particularly technical one here. There's also a fun one called something like "You know you have induction when..." But if you already researched this, never mind!

If I had been able to spend whatever I wanted on a high-end wall oven, I would have gotten one with french doors. That means American Range or Gaggenau, as far as I know. French doors (or a side swing door, but no one makes those) are vastly better ergonomically, IMO. The American Range, however, is not self-cleaning, at least it wasn't in 2011 when I looked at it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Induction vs. Gas

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Because we have moved a few times (and out of a home where I over-did the kitchen), I suggest you keep in line with what is in the norm for your neighborhood. Though homes sell faster with tangible upgrades, the cost is not necessarily recouped.....so do it for you because it's your only chance to do it from the ground up, or think about John Q Public.

If your budget is 20K, decide if there is a "bomb/showstopper" you want. You will be amazed at the money you can spend just putting up a backsplash next..so you might want to save a few nickels for that.

Once you have your budget and have accounted for your splurge, then research what are the top performers/best buys. I got so much information from this forum when we did our kitchen 7 years ago. You have have been given some great information to do your job from 15 to 35K.

Definitely consider the Miele DW if it is in your budget. I don't have a warming drawer, wine fridge, icemaker. But I cook a lot, so I spent the money on the range, ovens, etc. I would not get a cooktop with only 3 burners....that is too small for a home the size you are building....it may work for the three of you, especially if you are not a "cook". But that would be a downer for me if I wanted to purchase the house.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 3:13PM
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My appliance budget was 30K and for that I could have gotten (but didn't)

48 inch subzero - panel ready

Miele dishwasher (forget which model, one of the $1,300-ish)

Wolf 48inch range with double griddle

Sharp micro drawer

Kitchen Aid warming drawer

Vent-a-hood "guts"

Instead, I went with the GE Monogram 36inch range, Bosch 500 series dishwasher, and GE Monogram hood guts and paid just over $20k out the door.

Now, other than the SZ, this isn't a "prestige" kitchen, but that doesn't matter to me. I think I got good appliances that will suit me well, and certainly not look "cheap".

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:01AM
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