6-2-2011 The Wall Comes Down

Dave tore the wall down today. I think the space looks massive. Chris thinks it looks smaller. Perspectives I guess…

The best thing that happened today was we discovered we can have recessed can lighting in our vaulted ceiling.  We thought it would be impossible because the the vault was too thin. It was good to find out we were wrong.

Tomorrow we plan the exact size and position of the island.

 

 

Kitchen Remodel 5-9-2011

5-9-2011

We visited with Mark Breeny at Breeny Custom Cabinets May 5th in Sauk Rapids MN. We saw his shop and looked at handle hardware. After that, Mark was gracious enough to take us to his home to see his cabinets.

Here are couple of views of his kitchen:

 

After that we drove out to another impressive kitchen done by Brenny. This was an Arts and Crafts home nestled up to the Mississippi River north of St Cloud MN. He thought we might like the design on some of the cabinets.

The cabinets with the insert glass doors and the wood blocks in the corners we out of our budget but we could afford the basic design and possibly the tile backsplash as well.

We are going with the arched trim on the bottom of the cabinets like you see in the following photos:


We are also going to copy the railing design from this home. They will look similar to this without the ornamental blocks:

 

 

We are going with cherry cabinets and oak railings…

 

 

2011 Kitchen Remodel

So we are finally doing the big kitchen remodeling project! We are knocking out the wall between our kitchen and living room/dining room and making one big open kitchen. I’ll post pictures later…

I’ll be blogging the whole thing…

So far we’ve made a few decisions:

General Contractor

We are going with a general contractor. I don’t want to try to figure out all this stuff myself. Last week we signed with Dave Johnson at Imperial Home Improvement in Savage MN. We looked at several different general contractors and we felt Imperial was the best fit for us. Imperial is nearby, comes highly recommended from a friend, and we liked his previous work.

Here is one of Imperial’s Kitchen Remodels in Eden Prairie. Dave invited us to several homes where he had done work previously and let us look at it in person.

Imperial is also replacing our roof next week if the weather is good.

Appliances

Dave met us at Warners Stellian in Apple Valley to go over appliance options. I thought shopping for appliances would be one of the most fun parts of this process, but so far it has been one of the most frustrating. I’ll tell you why in a minute…

Ranges/Ovens: After looking at cooktops and cabinet mounted ovens, we decided on a GE Cafe : C2S980SEMSS 30 inch Free Standing Dual-Fuel Range w/5 Sealed Burners.

Why?

  • Dual Fuel – Gas on top – Electric on the bottom
  • Dual Ovens
  • Has all the features we want
  • Saves us a $500 granite cutout over a cooktop.
  • Saves us almost $1000 over a cooktop/wall oven combo


Refrigerator: This has been the most difficult decision so far. We want something big, easily accessible, stylish, and reliable. The only thing we saw that fit the first three was a Liebherr Combo of two 24″ refrigerator/freezers. The problem is the combo would cost almost 7K and there are some terrible reviews for Liebherr refrigerators online. So we ruled that out pretty quickly. It looks great, but we just can’t justify that kind of money. Leibherr should be a bit more social media savvy and get out there and deal with some of these issues. I emailed them 3 days ago asking them about these reviews and they haven’t emailed me back.

So after looking at more traditional models, we decided to go with a Samsung RF4287HARS 28 cu. ft. 4-Door French Door Refrigerator – Stainless Steel – we got it on sale at Lowes for $800 less than the price you see here at Amazon. One of the key features for us was the FlexZone Drawer which gives you flexible temperature control for meat/fish, cold drinks, deli/snacks and wine/party dishes.

Why was this so frustrating?

Simple, the appliances are too expensive for the quality ratings we see. We couldn’t find a single appliance in the style we wanted that didn’t have quality horror stories online. In my mind a $1000+ appliance should last 20 years, but they only offer a 1 year warranty. Then you’ll see reviews from people who bought appliances that didn’t last two years. Are these reviews real? Hard to tell. But there are plenty of them on almost every appliance regardless of price.

Every stainless steel appliance we’ve seen has computer boards now. People consistently complain online about how their fridge quit working when the digital board fried out, all their food went bad, and it took 5 weeks to get the board replaced. Possibly going 5 weeks without a fridge???? Due to a computer chip???? Absurd, but apparently unavoidable. I don’t need all the features, a good old fashioned quality fridge with a modern look is fine with me.  But apparently no one makes those. I don’t want my fridge to email me when it fails, I want it to refrigerate! On top of all this, the appliance store offers food insurance in case your fridge fails??? Huh? Until I started this kitchen remodeling project I had NEVER heard of an appliance failing. The only reason I have seen people replace them was due to style, color, or capacity.

Granite

Dave took us to Universal Stone in Shakopee MN to look at quartz and granite counter tops. Now this was fun. Cory from Universal Stone was knowledgeable and helpful and didn’t seem to push any particular product over another.

We decided to use “Stormy Night” granite on our island…

And “Opalescence” granite on our perimeter counter tops…