change from drop in cooktop to full free standing range

mehmehmehNovember 18, 2012

I'm looking at a house that has an electric coil drop in cooktop. I was wondering how feasible it would be to change to a gas fuel slide in range or freestanding range with built in oven.

I know I will loose the cabinet space currently under the cooktop. Hopefully I will make that up by removing the broken double wall oven that is currently in the kitchen.

Not sure if it is deep enough to conceal the back of a freestanding range. I believe it is a 24" countertop. would one layer of drywall be acceptable for the back? I can't extend too deep due to the door behind the peninsula. I am considering redoing the countertops in ikea butcherblock, and resurfacing the cabinets but don't want this to turn into a complete overhaul of the kitchen. A few installation manuals for slide in ranges say a minimum of 3 inches from the rear of the range the rear edge of countertop for a island installation.

also have to deal with clearance for the oven door.

The kitchen is right on top of the mechanical room so the gas line is there - I'm pretty sure in my area I need a licensed plumber to pull a line through the floor and connect to the new stove.

there is a concealed extractor hood right now.

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I have had kitchens like this before and what I am about to say will sound snobbish (but I don't mean it that way).

Live with this as-is until you can replace the whole thing.

Here's why I say this - these cabinets are probably at or near the end of their life. The drawer slides and cabinet hinges are going to start getting wobbly or sticking, and there is only so much you can do to fix it. If you replaced the cabinet hinges and drawer glides and countertop and cooktop and convert the dead wall oven space into cabinet space again ... You would be close to having a new RTA kitchen from Ikea.

I know, you need an oven, but if you can live with a countertop microwave that has an oven feature in it ... That could buy you a little time.

And honestly, I'm not trying to be a snob. It's just that I've done the "sand, prime, paint, replace hardware, get be counters priced out and new appliances" for a kitchen that looked just like this ... And I could have spent less time and a smidge more money to just replace the cabinets with new. At the time we didn't have an Ikea w/in a 3 hour drive. And it was my first house about 15 years ago, when the Internet wasn't as fully populated with great DIY sites like it is now.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I think it would have to be a slide-in range, not free-standing, and you would need to have a good hard look at the cabinetry before you tried it. If those are built-in-place cabinets (all one big piece with doors on the front of the frame) instead of modular ones, you'd have to replace the entire peninsula and probably some of the corner as well depending on how it's all connected. Yes, the opening of the oven door would be a problem so a range in that location would need to shift down the run a few inches, which means you'd need some kind of filler in the corner and it might not match up with the location of your vent hood.

... All of which leads me to agree with EngineerChic. Leave it the way it is until/unless you are ready to replace everything. Or as an alternative, keep a cooktop there and replace the defunct wall oven.

You do realize that it is perfectly possible to cook good meals on electric coils... but it sounds as though you could replace with a gas cooktop if you really wanted to.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I love the rest of the house. The kitchen seemed like a smaller project at the beginning. So few houses that we have looked at have proper extracting venting, most just have the microwave over the range recirculators.

I have cooked with gas my whole life so I'm just stubbornly set in my ways. I started looking at the slide in option because the single combo unit was about the same price as a decent gas cooktop, (not to mention the cost of a replacing the in wall double oven, even with a single oven unit)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Perhaps visit a Sears Outlet and find out what a gas cooktop and new wall oven would set you back. Then decide if that figure would be worth it to you to allow you to kick the can down the road a few years.

Do you have basement access (for running the gas line)?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:20AM
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"So few houses that we have looked at have proper extracting venting, most just have the microwave over the range recirculators"

OTR microwaves can be installed to vent outside, or recirculating. So don't assume when looking at houses with OTR microwaves that you can't replace it with a proper vent hood down the road, double check. My current home and the last one both have OTR microwaves that vent outside. (I'm still living in my "before" kitchen.)

Now as far as your actual question, I'm going to have to agree with the others. We also bought a great home with a lousy kitchen. I told DH that we weren't buying the house unless he agreed we could swing a kitchen remodel fairly soon. Well it's happening a year later than I wanted, but we're doing it next spring. I plan to throw the first sledge hammer at my awful tile counters. :D

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:56PM
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In a one-story house, installing venting is less expense/bother than reconfiguring cabinetry for a range. I completely understand you wanting to stick with the kind of cooking you are used to (I am the same way about electric). If you love everything else about this house, maybe you can offer a price that takes a kitchen redo into account. Good luck! This kitchen does clean and serviceable for at least the short term (except for the oven problem, which I grant you is not a small thing).

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Checking the cabinet over the hood/microwave for proper extraction venting is one of the first things I do when looking at a kitchen. I even came across a couple where they used to have a proper exterior vent but had installed a recirculating hood in a remodel.

basement access is easy, and the mechanical room with furnace and hot water heater are directly under the kitchen.

I have been looking at cooktops with controls front center (feels less cramped than rightside style) and they seem to be just over $1000.

wall ovens are about $1000 for a single unit $2000-$2500 for a double or oven/microwave combo.

will have to go back and get detailed measurements of everything. It is an okay size for a kitchen but the layout is not ideal.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:54PM
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