Waiting for granite shopping (that’s on us).

Drywaller doing a bit of this and this.

Electrician put in the remaining high hats and an outlet for the microwave and, and, and

HOOKED UP THE OVEN!!!

We baked and look what popped out – an iTouch Cake.  We love the ovens (so far).

The oven baked wonderfully – a brand new chocolate chip pound cake and brownies.  We had an interesting time on makeshift countertops rolling the fondant and doing the decorating.

Days 17 and 18 were totally quiet.

The 13th day was another short work day, but a significant one.  The island was installed as were the dishwasher, refrigerator and the ovens.  “Installed” is a strong word, perhaps “placed” is better suited.  Yes, let me reprhase:  The dishwasher, refrigerator and ovens were placed.  The fridge is powered and connected.  The water line for the ice maker is connected and we have //drum roll// ice.

  

Kitchen Sink penninsula (with unpaneled dishwasher)

Fridge and ovens! Microwave belongs in the hole

Cavernous fridge! Looks can be deceiving

Charcoal-black island with "sand through"

Backside of island

Fridge - full frontal

 

On the twelfth day of construction, we were given the installation of the rest of the base cabinets, excluding the island.  Our appliances were brought into the kitchen from the garage by appliance guys.

The list of what is left to do is a mixture of a bunch of little things and some pretty major ones, too.  On the big items list we have yet to pick the granite and have it installed, the island needs to be installed, the appliances need to be installed, all of the uppers need to go in, the hood and dishwasher, the main sink and faucet, the new sink and plumbing, the garbage disposal, the water filter, … wow, this was a bigger list than I thought.

On the little things list … surely longer than the big things list.  On it:  about a million little finishing touches to the cabinets, the new high hats, the island lighting, the vent covers, the in cabinet and under cabinet lighting, the tile replaced in the pantry, the light over the table portion of the island, the drywall on the back of the half-wall, the glass in the cabinets doors, the low voltage transformers, the hood vent …. yes, another long list.

Oh, and painting.

On to today’s pics:

The sink bases

 

The window seat (center drawer holds hanging files)

 

Our half-wall bookcase replacement

 

The bottom of our new hutch

 

New appliances just waiting …

 

Yet another new home for the old fridge

 

Day after tomorrow is the scheduled delivery day for our major appliances.  We’re well more than a month away from construction start, but our appliances had to be delivered prior to December 1 in order to avoid a Thermador price increase.

They’ll be living in our garage from now through January.

Microwave is also on it’s way thanks to a very generous discount offered through Panasonic Direct.  Thank you Panasonic.

Everybody makes a cook top, so there are many choices.  We’ve chosen to stick with gas rather than induction.  Saves a bit of money, avoids the need to buy replacement pots and pans, provides a more substantial heavy metal “look” rather than the sissy flat glass induction offers.  One sales guy told us that homebuyers may actually be dissuaded from buying a house with an induction cook top due to lack of familiarity. 

 

How to decide?  First – do we want a cook top or a range top?  Cook tops have the controls on the top.  Range tops have the controls on the front.  More specifically, a range top looks like a range without the oven.  Most, if not all, of today’s range tops are pretty heavy duty; lots of metal.  Imagine a big ole commercial range.  Big burners, huge dials splayed across the front, heavy oven doors.  Now, using your imagination, eliminate the oven part.  That’s a range top.

 

We chose a cook top. 

 

The sales cycle for a cook top could be the longest.  How many burners?  How many BTUs?  Do you simmer?  Do you need a “true” simmer?  Do you want a grill?  Brass is important:  no corrosion.  Brass valves, brass burners, brass piping.  Continuous grate for you sir? 

 

Our answer to the most frequently asked question turns out to be a huge disappointment for the overly explanatory salespeople.  How often do you think you will be needing the full power of all 5 or 6 burners?  Seems like an excellent question.  It seems that the desired answer is “very often”.   Imagine the power at our fingertips!  50,000 BTUs, 80,000 BTUs, oversized pots!  We could deplete the earth of its natural gas with just a single meal!

 

Seriously, what are we doing wrong that we don’t need to consistently use 5 burners at the same time?  We both cook.  We’re pretty good.  We don’t buy Birdseye Broccoli with Decadent Cheese Sauce ready to plop into a pot of boiling water.  We’ve been using our 4 burner slightly upgraded from the builder GE range for a dozen years.  Maybe once, maybe twice have we run out of burners cooking for a family of four, cooking holiday dinners for 15+, hosting parties for 50.  What are we doing wrong?

 

Oh, did I misunderstand the salespeople’s question?  Is the real intent of question to ask:  How often do you want to be needing 5 or 6 burners?  How much POWER do you want?  How much can you handle?

 

I also think I managed to insult the first one or two salespeople by asking whether the right way to choose a cook top is based on styling rather than the “features” since they all appear to have the same set.  They didn’t like that question.  I stopped asking it.

 

I guess we lucked out with a cook top decision.  We chose a Dacor.  Three different salespeople recommended it.  Dacor uses brass.  No, really, they do.  Their burners make lots of BTUs.  Really.  Continuous cooktop.  We don’t have one now, and quite honestly, this feature makes sense.  Consumers Reports just rated this as highly rated.  The construction and design appear to be fairly easy to clean (hopefully).  Oh, and the styling is attractive. 

 

Two minor concerns. 

  • The control knobs take up a bunch of room in the front right corner.  We’re both right handed and generally use the front right burner.  On the Dacor, there isn’t one.
  • A “true” simmer.  What does this mean?  Sure, the Dacor offers two levels of gas jets on their burners, but can it simmer?  One salesperson told us there is no true simmer, but another says there is such a thing.  I hope low is low enough.  We actually do simmer water when melting chocolate.

Choosing a dishwasher turned into an extremely enlightening experience.  First off, I should share, of the major appliances I expected the dishwasher selection to be the easiest.  Everyone seems to have nothing but high regards for Bosch dishwashers.  I recall from years ago Consumer Reports magazine consistently rated Bosch with top marks.  If that happens to still be the case, then this should be a no-brainer barring an extraordinary price.

 

A little history to share.  A few years ago it was time to replace our dishwasher.  I don’t recall the motivating factor, which is strange, because there must have been some reason.  I do recall, however, doing a bit of research, again relying on Consumers.  Bosch were top rated, but Kenmore’s were “Best Buys”.  Sears was having a sale on Kenmore, plus if you opened a Sears charge account you received a rebate (or something to that effect).  We ended up buying a higher-end, but not the highest Kenmore.

 

Now, the interesting part.  I grew up always having a dishwasher in the house.  I actually remember dishwasher shopping with my father.  Now this is really bringing back memories.  I think we bought a KitchenAid from a rather odd department store named Gem.  {I’ll have to ask my parents whether actually happened.}

 

Anyway, we generally rinsed (washed) our dishes before they went into the dishwasher.  Somewhere along the line, I turned into an adult and that habit never stopped.  My wife (no criticism here) insists on putting nearly clean dishes into the dishwasher.  I’ll bet ½ of America does the same.

 

In an early discussion with our kitchen guy, we explained our dirty dish handling process.  He told us to stop washing the dishes and trust the machine.  It’ll save time, it’ll save water, it’ll actually let us use the machine.  In one of our trips to an appliance store, the salesperson told us the same thing.  At another appliance store, we again heard the message.  At a third store, the salesperson explained that modern dishwashing soap contains enzymes.  Enzymes, he exclaimed, need dirt and leftover food to attack otherwise they’ll etch glasses and put wear and tear on silverware and the very same dishes that they want (“want”) to clean.

 

Not to be disobedient, we started putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher.  Guess what!  They actually come out clean.  Wow, it’s amazing.  All these years, to imagine.  I’ve quickly adopted this new process.  Dump plate into the sink.  Place dish into dishwasher.  Repeat.  My poor wife, long held habits are hard to break.  We’re seeking a 7-step program to rid her of the addiction of putting clean dishes into the dishwasher.

 

We chose a Bosch.

 

 

Another decision made, but not as easily as the fridge. 

We decided on the Thermador double convection ovens.

Thermador Double Ovens

Goregous, aren’t they?  Top rated in this month’s consumer reports!  Bottom rated for repair record.  Are we making a mistake because of that?  Our salesperson replied, “we get a lot of calls because people don’t read the owner’s manuals.”  Do I believe that?  No.  Do I believe that a little?  No.

Being concerned, I wrote Thermador.  They replied the very next day and assured me that they only provide the highest quality products.  Comforting.  The salesperson assured me that Thermador is a household name, an American icon.  Another salesperson told me that Bosch (a German company, well, maybe not German, but certainly European) bought Thermador before they folded.  An American icon.  Comforting.

Runner up … Dacor.  They make some beautiful ovens.  They heat fast, they bake evenly, they’re dependable, they’re terrific, they’re expensive.  Very expensive.  About 50% more than Thermador.  They’re American.  A salesperson pushed them pretty hard.  Our kitchen designer, with whom we have the utmost confidence with, personally has Dacor ovens.  He sells them, too.

We were looking for ovens with lots of glass (I like to peak).  The Thermador ovens we chose have very big windows.  There are some Dacors that have large windows, too.  But the two models that do have their special Discovery controller.  We already know how to cook.  The Discovery controller is ridiculously expensive, thus the Dacor ovens that would suit us are ridiculously expensive.  Darn.

But we’re happy.  Top rated oven.  Big glass.

Oh, and because the ovens and fridge are both Thermador (and only 24″ apart), we can get matching handles.  A plus.

Oh my, oh my!  We have arrived with some of our first decisions – appliances!

We decided on the Thermador French Door fridge.

  Thermador French Door

We compared this to the infamous Subzero 736.  How did we decide?  Dualing salespeople debated whether both had dual compressors.  Surely the SZ did.  Surely the Thermador does.  Yes, no?  YES!  The Subzero, it turns out, has no home for gallon containers without dedicating a full shelf to that height.  No door space for it.

The Thermador offers split shelves — cool.  The powershelf … hmmm … who cares?  I doubt we’ll find much use for it, but time will tell.   The Thermador is tall.  They’re both tall, but the SZ has the compressor at the top. 

We’re excited.  We made a decision and feel pretty confident with it.

 

It’s natural to like something brand new and shiny.  Kitchen appliances have the opportunity to fall into this category.

Our needs are typical:  refridgerator, double ovens, cooktop, dishwasher, microwave.

The process:  Research.  Go Shopping!  Research.  Go Shopping!  Research.  Dang it, go shopping.  Ugh, research.  Crap, go shopping.  Dreaded research.  Stumped.

First off, let me share that I can be a bit detailed oriented.  I apparently have an “analytical” mind.  Not sure what that means and I am not sure whether it’s beneficial.  I think.  I anaylze.  I digest information and spit out results.  I decide.  I form opinions.  I do these things well.  It has helped me in my schooling (computer science) and career (software and systems).  Professionally, I make decisions.  In my personal life, I tend to get bogged down and dread making bad decisions. 

Since the internet has come about, I find that I can get ridiculous about price shopping.  I’ve realized (and am working to correct) that it’s stupid to spend an hour or two or three to save a couple dollars when buying a few books. 

Appliances.  A few bucks.  Years of living with the decision(s).  Lots of decisions.  Lots of opportunities to research.  Opportunity to be a little anal. 

Where we are: 

  • At one of our kitchen design places, we ran into a Thermador 36″ French Door refridgerator.  Wow.  So big, so wide, bright, clean (SHINY), big freeze (to briefly store a cake before icing it).
  • Thermador Double Ovens seem to be in every store.  They’re very SHINY.  And importantly for us, they have a lot of glass.  We think we like lots of glass because we can see our goodies baking.  I like to open oven doors to have a look-see and she doesn’t like it when I do that, so the glass should make use both happy.
  • Our home has gas.  Our current oven and cooktop are gas.  Gas cooking seems superior (works for me).  Induction, hmm. 

 

 

  • A dishwasher should be an easy choice.  Everybody seems to love and recommend Bosch.

One thing I know … we need a few more visits to the appliance stores.

    
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