January 7, 2019 at 9:26 am #14470
Three weeks ago, we began home and kitchen renovation. So far, it is going well. The upstairs extension of the master bedroom is completed. The sun porch re-framing is done and is awaiting the windows. The windows for the house arrived Friday, and the two in the downstairs bedroom and the two in the upstairs study are now installed. The kitchen has been completely gutted and the soffits that made the space look even smaller than it is are gone. The kitchen was measured for cabinets on New Year’s Eve, and we finalized the plan last week, and we placed the order. Today, I’m supposed to tell the contractor where the electrical boxes go.
Kitchen lighting is tricky in a galley kitchen, and lighting fixtures for kitchens these days are leaning toward the so-called WOW! factor. I also didn’t realize how complicated under the cabinet lighting can be. I’m trying to balance the need for light in a kitchen area that can be dark with being green and not using fixtures that are electricity hogs. My husband and I agree that we do not want florescent lights.
Later this week, we will make a trip to South Bend for paint, for looking at the siding color, and for looking at and ordering my range.0January 7, 2019 at 9:43 am #14473
Have you thought about LED lights? A friend has those for under the cabinet lighting and likes it. Do you think additional lights are needed? I am liking more light now as my eyes age but don’t know if I want to rewire the kitchen to add the lights.
Did you rewire the kitchen to have more power on the circuits for appliances? I hope you find a range that you like? Do you have a range exhaust? Most of the building magazines love them, but a realtor friend says that they accumulate grease and most people don’t clean them out annually so are a fire hazard.0January 7, 2019 at 7:03 pm #14475
These days they have fixtures that look like fluorescent lights but are actually LEDs. When we repaired the ceiling in the master closet last fall, we put one in there. It’s very energy efficient and seems to be a bit brighter as well.
Under cabinet lights are OK but only light a fairly small area. They can also affect how you organize your counter space, both because of shadows and the heat they generate.
Our kitchen is quite large (17 x 18) and has 3 rows of fluorescent fixtures behind diffuser panels, when all 3 are on we refer it to as lighting the kitchen up for surgery. We also have under-cabinet lights on all 3 counters and above the desk area, though that one seldom gets used these days. There’s also a spotlight above the main sink and two spotlights that are part of the exhaust fan.
In a galley kitchen I’d think about possibly putting in track lights along the ceiling, you can adjust where they point as you figure out where you really need light. And they make LED bulbs for those too now.0January 7, 2019 at 7:29 pm #14479
I checked out a friend’s kitchen here, and he had a long fluorescent in the center of the kitchen area, which his father says is “too much light for me in the morning!” He also has various under the counter lights that are both plug in and work on a switch.
We decided on LED “can” lights, which will be inserted into the ceiling. We have two in one area of the living room, and they give off great light. I have arranged for one to be centered over the sink and one over the peninsula. I was going to put two over the peninsula, but it does not work with the roof angle. As I said, these are low ceilings. I will also have a light on the stove hood.
We head to South Bend tomorrow to check out paint color for the house siding, to buy paint for the interior, and to go by the appliance store so that I can get a look at the Wolf range. They don’t have the dual fuel on the floor, but they do have that size in a gas model, so I can look it over. Depending on the contractor’s schedule, I will have an idea of when to place the order. I need to order it before February 11, as there will be a price increase on that date. I plan to get the black rather than the red knobs. (They also have stainless, so I will look at those.)
I will look at stove hoods. Wolf makes one, but the hood does not necessarily have to be Wolf.
I’ll look at refrigerators as well. Sub Zero is not in my price range, and we don’t want a built-in, so I will see what else they have.0January 7, 2019 at 9:48 pm #14480
We have a 48″ dual fuel range and went with a full-sized range hood with two lights and warming lamps. We almost never use the warming lamps, though. When you turn the fan all the way up, it has a pretty strong draw.
I definitely recommend going with the best range hood you can. Make sure it’s properly vented to the outside.
Good range hoods have grease baffles that you can take off and clean. We just throw them in the dishwasher every year or so. There are services that can clean the vent tubing if it get clogged. I checked ours a few years ago using a fiber optic inspection system, it looks fairly clean up there. (Much better than the dryer vent, which I just cleaned out with the big wet/dry vacuum.)
As to grease in the vent being a fire hazard, just don’t do anything stupid. If you’re flaming something, turn the vent fan off for a few minutes. My older son tend to over-do it when flaming things, he’s been known to set off the smoke detector in the butler’s pantry just outside the kitchen a few times, I think I’ve done it just once in 22 years.0January 8, 2019 at 12:01 am #14481
Making sure there’s only as much light as you need is why we went with 3 banks of lights that can be controlled separately, the inner bank is over the island and is the one we use the most when working in the kitchen, the two outer banks are together. The under-counter lights are on an infrared sensor, so they come on automatically in the morning and evening. (Lights in most of the rooms, including the master suite, are also on sensors, we had one of the first home automation systems installed in Lincoln NE, back in 1996.)0January 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm #14482
Today I bought a 30-inch, 4 burner Wolf dual fuel range. To my surprise, both my husband and I decided that we like the red knobs. It has a three year warranty, since I’m having it installed by their trained people. We did find out that the gas and electric need to be very specifically located for Wolf stoves so that the stove can be pushed back against the wall. As we are installing the gas line and moving the electric, that is not a big deal.
I chose a Zephyr “Cyclone” hood. The Wolf hood was 1) very expensive and 2) would not fit under any cabinets in our kitchen, where we have 95 1/4 inches from floor to ceiling. It has a self-cleaning function. I’ll let you know how it works once everything is installed, which will probably be early March, since the cabinets and the counter tops must go in before the stove. Countertops are not ordered until the cabinets are installed.
1+January 8, 2019 at 9:32 pm #14485
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by BakerAunt.
Glad to hear of your updates on the remodel…nice!0January 12, 2019 at 2:52 pm #14497
As of yesterday, all the new windows and the two new doors have been installed. We got rid of the sliding glass door next to the kitchen and put in a regular door so that we could gain some additional kitchen space. As the sliding glass door showed a view of the neighbor’s solid wall, we sacrificed some light but no view. The door does have a window, and it’s near a corner with another window. The change also makes use of what was mostly dead space.
We moved the door at the back of the kitchen to the side of the house, which will keep the cold wind from blowing into it in the winter. We put a window in the former door location. The new arrangement also makes it easier to enter into a mudroom area without congestion.
We are doing ash flooring in the kitchen–the last of the local Indiana ash that had to be lumbered due to the Emerald Ash Bore. It will be natural but clear coated to resist the spills that occur in all kitchens. The entry way in the back, which opens onto the laundry area will be tile.0March 16, 2019 at 3:43 pm #15074
Remodeling and Renovation Update:
Dry wall went up last week, upstairs in the bedroom and study and downstairs in the kitchen. It was the expected mess. After they sanded and washed the walls, my husband and I primed the three rooms. (At some point, there is a downstairs bedroom to be done, but we have to wait until we can move stuff out of it into completed rooms.) We painted the kitchen, and then my husband repainted the ceiling–four times. We did not realize that eggshell paint is tricky, probably because there was so little light in the previous house where we used it, and those walls were textured. With the light shining in here at certain times of the day, every painting flaw shows. My husband got some advice from the paint store people today before he did the fourth coat. We have decided to use a different level of paint for the upstairs (and eventually the downstairs bedroom), although it will be the same color. It may not reflect the light as well, but we can live with that more easily than obsessing about the streaking.
The ash floor in the kitchen will be laid this week, and next week, the man who does the new floor, and the original Douglas Fir ones upstairs, will set to work. So, we have to complete the painting upstairs before a week from Monday. In the meanwhile, the exterior soffits are being installed on the outside of the house. The siding arrived ten days ago and is waiting to be installed.
The cabinets have arrived at the warehouse, so once the flooring is installed, they come next. There is then a three-week wait for the counter tops.
We are not going to be back in the house by Easter. Sigh.
1+March 16, 2019 at 8:01 pm #15078
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by BakerAunt.
Glad to hear things are progressing, even if it won’t be done by Easter. We have a couple of fix-it projects that I may try to get done next summer, one inside and one outside.0March 17, 2019 at 11:27 am #15082
Thanks, BakerAunt, for the update. I had been wondering how you and your husband were doing with it. I didn’t know you were planning on doing the painting yourselves. That’s quite a task. I understand your disappointment over Easter. Hopefully, everything will be done in time for a Memorial Day cookout.0March 17, 2019 at 1:02 pm #15089
BakerAunt all the remodeling sounds great,I know you’ll be happy in the end!Somethings you just can’t hurry.0March 24, 2019 at 7:17 am #15206
Sounds great BA.
We have can lights in the kitchen (in fact throughout the house). I switched to LEDs when we were thinking about putting in a backup generator because we have nine cans in the kitchen alone and swapping out 65 watt bulbs for 9 watt LEDs makes a difference when spec’ing a generator.
There are all-in-one LED cans that are the light and fixture. They look cleaner than the standard can and are pretty straight forward to install. I did it and I am not handy. I’ve done 36 in the house so far and some day I will get to the rest.1+March 24, 2019 at 1:44 pm #15221
We have ceiling can lights in several places, as the bulbs need replacing I’ve been replacing them with LED bulbs. Some of the fixtures are on dimmers, so I have to use dimmable bulbs there.0April 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm #15512
The cabinets arrived for the kitchen this afternoon! We chose natural maple. At the moment, they are boxed and have filled up the entire kitchen area. I’m not sure when installation will start. The contractor and company have been working on the roof. They were doing shingles today, until it started raining, so they moved inside and did other tasks until the cabinets arrived.
The original Douglas Fir floors upstairs are not done yet. The floor guy started, but he had to order more sandpaper.
1+April 10, 2019 at 6:47 pm #15514
- This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by BakerAunt. Reason: spelling error
Glad to hear some progress is being made.
Did you take ‘before’ pictures of the kitchen so you can post before and after pictures when everything is finished?0April 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm #15529
I do have pictures of what the kitchen looked like before reno. Once we are done, I will attempt to post before and after pictures.
Today was very windy, so the contractor and crew arrived and realized that they could not work on the roof. They checked it, then the spent the morning unboxing all the cabinets. The lower ones have been roughly set in place. The upper ones are occupying the space where the washer and dryer will eventually be located.2+May 7, 2019 at 7:03 pm #15935
The cabinet tops were measured for templating yesterday, and we discovered that the space for the stove is 1/16th-inch off. Someone measured from the interior and forgot about the side pieces. so, the back set of lower cabinets will need to be moved over. I’m glad that they found the problem now and not later when the stove is delivered. Other than that, the cabinets are installed.
Our contractor thinks he can get us into the house by June, barring bad weather and other little surprises like the front door that was put in during the first phase of our renovation 4 1/2 years ago and has never worked correctly, in spite of calling back the first contractor a couple of times.1+July 10, 2019 at 3:19 pm #16987
It is July 10, and we will move into the house–in a way–by Thursday. On the interior, they are still working on the sun porch. A company of three people working three different jobs in three places does tend to inch forward. On the exterior, there is still a fair amount of siding to go. At least we will be able to entertain my stepdaughter in some style when she arrives on Friday for few days.
My appliances–refrigerator, stove hood, and range–were delivered a couple of weeks ago, but the stove installation had to wait, since someone misunderstood that I wanted the hood to vent to the outside, not recirculate. That was a job for our contractor, who had to order a piece from the company in California–a $6 piece with $10 shipping. It came, he installed the hood, then we had to wait until the appliance company was back in our neck of the woods. That happened today. My Wolf dual-fuel range is now installed, but our contractor needs to rotate the electrical plug 90 degrees, so that the oven will go flush against the wall and engage the anti-tip device. At the moment, the oven is doing its one hour burn-off, and then it will be ready for use. It’s time to read the manual!
For the refrigerator, I chose an Amana because I wanted one with the freezer on the bottom. I would have preferred the freezer have a door, but they are all made with a drawer now. My husband misses the door slots for cans of frozen juice.
I’ve not chosen a microwave yet. It will be a countertop. I’m looking at Sharp because they now make at least some where the light does not come on when the door is open, only when it is cooking or re-heating. That, and longer-life bulbs should keep my husband from leaving the door open and burning it out. If anyone has microwave recommendations, please post them here.
When I finally get the kitchen together, I will try to post those before and after pictures.
A member of the oven-installing team said that he was glad that someone had bought one of these ovens who is actually planning to USE it rather than having it for show. I told him yes–I’m a serious baker and both of us like to cook with gas.
Now that the oven is in place, we can get the freestanding bookcase and buffet into place. I’ve started playing with what goes into what cabinet, and where the shelves should go. I was nonplussed to learn that the cabinets only came with half shelves for the lower ones. I’m not yet sure how I feel about that. I may need to get more shelves for some of the upper cabinets; I’m surprised that there are so many different sizes, so they cannot be switched between. That may be because of the space in which we had to work.
When I finally get the kitchen together, I will try to post those before and after pictures.1+July 10, 2019 at 6:51 pm #16988
When we built our house, we had custom cabinets built by a local company that mostly does commercial work. The cabinets for the kitchen cost a bundle (around $19,000 as I recall), but 22 years later they’re still in very good shape. We’ve made one change over the years. We had a corner cabinet with recycle bins in it, we’ve replaced the bins with a two-shelf lazy susan.2+July 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm #17144
Organizing the kitchen cabinets, of which there do not appear to be enough (are there ever?), will be a work in progress. I’ve tried some items in some spots, then ended up moving them. I still have a lot to unpack as well.
It is nice to see all my cookbooks again. However, I’m moving most of the cake, pie, and cookie ones to a bookcase in the apt., since I am still limiting butter in my diet. For inside the house, I’ve prioritized the bread books and cookbooks that will help me expand my healthy entrée and side dish repertoire.
So far, I am pleased with my Wolf oven. Every item I’ve baked has done very well and baked evenly. It has three racks, and these are not the simple ones that just slide in and out. They have an assembly that allows the rack to be completely pulled forward from the oven without tilting or falling out. (That explains why Wolf is so insistent on installing the anti-tip mechanism.) I will probably keep the top rack out of the oven, since I usually bake on the center rack, but I’m not sure where to store it, given its bulkiness. I haven’t tried the convection feature yet; if I do, I’ll put that shelf back. These are not the kind of shelves you want to be moving once the oven is heated.
I like the burners on the top as well, which seem to me more easily controlled than those on my old Thermador, but that may be because burner technology has advanced from 2001.2+
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