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RE: sealing granite (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: stonegirl on 06.09.2008 at 06:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

As a rule of thumb, any stone that would absorb water, would need to be sealed. Test a sample of the stone you like by dripping water on the stone, leaving it a few minutes and wiping the drops off. If you are left with dark spots where the water was, sealer would be in order.

There are various qualities of sealer. The TileLab stuff from Home Depot is not worth the money. Lowes sells the StoneTech brand, which is a much better product.

There are long life sealers available, and they would be more expensive and/or require a specialist to apply it. I think one such a brand would be DryTreat.

Home Depot and Dupont (yes, the Corian people) have come out with their own lines of "permanently sealed" stones. Take them for what they are worth. Stones like Blue Pearl, Ubatuba, Verde Butterfly and Black Absolute (the real one), among others, do not need sealer at all, yet are proudly featured as part of the "permanently sealed" ranges of stone.

The question about the Giallo Ornamentale would worry me a little. GO is a Brazilian stone and should be factory resined. Resined slabs should not be nearly as absorbent as you say your sample is. Even unresined, it should only be moderately absorbent anyway. Giallo Ornamentale normally responds well to sealer and we have used it in many many kitchens with great success.

When do you reseal? NOT every year!

Once the sealer has worn out, it needs to be re-applied. You will know when a reseal is in order when water starts to leave dark spots on the stone if you leave it sit for a while.

Why is it bad to seal stones that don't really need it? Sealers are designed to work from inside the stone - they need to be absorbed to work. If they get applied on a stone that is too dense to absorb the sealer, the sealer will form a film on top of the stone causing all kinds of trouble like bad streaking when you clean and "ghost rings". These issues could be resolved by simply removing the sealer.

Stone should be easy to care for. If you choose the correct stone for the correct application, it will be.

Cleaning could be as simple as wiping down with a damp micro fiber towel and following with a dry one to buff, using a mixture of 50/50 alcohol and water in a spray bottle or using any one of the many pH neutral stone specialty cleaning products available.

Taking care of your stone should be easy. A lot of people try to make it a lot more complicated than it really is :)

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clipped on: 03.06.2010 at 06:09 pm    last updated on: 03.06.2010 at 06:10 pm

RE: Granite Counter advice (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 02.27.2010 at 06:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Average overhang - to sit at and eat - ranges from 12" min to avg of 15"

Remember to use corbels or steel supports for the area that is the
actual overhang....

Take a look at Corbel Wizard at TMW below - remember the rule of 6 & 10 -
It's described on the right of the page in the drop down window....

Here's what the TMW Corbel Wizard looks like (screen shot from MY Mac)

TMW Corbel Wizard - Screen Shot

hth

kevin

Here is a link that might be useful: TMW Corbel Wizard

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clipped on: 02.28.2010 at 03:38 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2010 at 03:38 pm

Finito! one more white/marble/soapstone kitchen

posted by: segbrown on 12.06.2009 at 01:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've posted in dribs and drabs, so this isn't exactly an unveiling, but we are 99% done. Thanks to everyone; I've been reading this forum for years, even in the "pre-model" we did a few years back (minor update). I am also greatly indebted to my wonderful designer and contractor; I lucked out there.

Before pics: we moved the kitchen into the family room, the dining room into the kitchen, and the breakfast area into the dining room. (The living room turned into the family room, and the office will soon turn into the living room ... more to do around here.)So these photos are not exactly classic before/afters. (And it's a snowy day, so bright outside, not the best for pics. Oh well.)

Old kitchen
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Corresponding view
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Old family room:
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Corresponding view
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Old dining room (both visible walls are now gone)
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Corresponding view
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I was previously opposed to knocking out both walls, but I am glad we did. For the way we live, it works much better. Entertaining is a cinch now. Because the kitchen is vaulted but the other ceilings are low, it doesn't feel like a huge empty space (that's what I was worried about). And I liked my "other" house, just not the kitchen. It was awful.

I'll post details here, and more specific photos in a subsequent post.

-Cabinets-
Aspen Leaf Kitchens in Denver/Berthoud, CO; proprietary Primer White, BM Taos Taupe on island and butler's pantry, and custom-stained antique pine on breakfast hutch

-Appliances-
SubZero BI-36U fridge, pro handle
Wolf 48 DF range with 4 burners and double griddle
Viking 54 in. hood liner with heat lamps
Thermador DWHD64EP dishwashers
KitchenAid KBCO24RSBX three-zone beverage center
SubZero 700BCI refrigerator/freezer drawers
Sharp 0.8 cu ft microwave

-Counters-
Minas soapstone on perimeter cabinets and hutch
Calacatta gold marble on island and butler's pantry

-Hardware-
Restoration Hardware Gilmore cup pulls, Aubrey knobs and handle pulls, Clear Glass knobs in antique brass, and Season knobs and Hanson pulls in ORB

-Sinks-
Main: soapstone farm sink crafted by Terra Bella/Denver CO
Prep: Ticor S3650

-Faucets-
Main sink: Kohler HiRise bridge with sidespray
Prep sink: Kohler HiRise bar faucet

-Lighting-
Wilmette Clark pendants in ORB (breakfast nook)
Wilmette LaSalle wall sconces in antique brass (later photos)
Visual Comfort Classic Ring chandelier in AB (dining room)
Visual Comfort Four-Light Siena pendant in AB (butler's)

-Island stools-
Ballard Designs Dorchester counter stools in rubbed black (all other furniture and rugs previously owned)

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clipped on: 02.28.2010 at 03:35 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2010 at 03:35 pm

Checklist For Granite Installation?

posted by: divastyle on 07.11.2007 at 09:45 am in Kitchens Forum

I went through some of the past posts and have attempted to put together a checklist for granite installation. Here's what I have :).

Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.
Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.
Make sure that the seams are not obvious.
Make sure that there are no scratches, pits or cracks
Make sure that the granite has been sealed
Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.
Make sure that the sink reveal is consistent all the away around
Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.
Keep an eye for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges
Make sure that the top drawers open

Any other things to add?

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clipped on: 07.30.2007 at 10:10 am    last updated on: 07.30.2007 at 10:10 am

RE: Urgent Layout Help (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: celticmoon on 07.28.2007 at 03:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi jayav. Here's what I'm thinking to open up the sink area:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Disclaimer: I have a bias against filling every available inch with cabinets. Especially squeezing in hugely expensive narrow pullouts. (Is your KD also selling the cabinets per chance?) You could recoup the same storage inches using the space betweeen the studs on the right side of the fridge. People tend to keep too much unnecessary stuff the more space they have, LOL. Might be time for an inventory of your current kitchen to get a clear sense of what you need to store. Laying out exact cabinets before you anchor the appliances and work runs is backwards.

I think the style and beauty and uniqueness of a kitchen often comes from the wall treatments and other elements. Besides it is good to have visual relief from all the cabinetry. Don't crowd that great wide window. Let the space have breathing room.

I also have a bias that the right amount of counter in the right places and the right storage to support that counter's "job" is what makes a kitchen a joy to work in. So Im gonna disagree with Susanilz5 and pitch again for the prep sink. Otherwise with the fridge and sink so close together the cleanup and prep wet work are going to be in constant collision. That's not always a problem but with your short sink wall I think it is. Not enough counter there to support wet prep, cleanup and fridge loading/ unloading. Put a prep sink in the island near the fridge (not near the range, you can dump range water in the clean up sink) and that will draw all the wet prep and much of the fridge landing over to the island. Yes, you give up island inches. But there is still very good prep space left on that island. Looks like the island can stretch to 66 inches. But, uh, what is that clearance between the island and storage wall?

If you like where this is going, you wanna talk trash next?

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clipped on: 07.29.2007 at 11:02 am    last updated on: 07.29.2007 at 11:03 am

RE: Urgent Layout Help (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: jayav on 07.28.2007 at 01:38 am in Kitchens Forum

I am still working with my KD on some new changes but here are more views of Option 2...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here are the additional changes that will be made to the plans:

1. The cooktop will be 36"...so the base cabinets on either side will be 24". The wall cabinets will mirror the base except or a 9" wall pullout between the corner wall cab and the adjacent 24". Valinsv, I agree about the symmetry...hence the changes

2. On the sink wall, right now there is a 9" tall utility cabinet for brooms etc...not sure if it is enough but figured it might be a good use of that space.

3. If you look closely at the island, it looks like there is shelf space there...that will change to 24" wide bank of drawers.

4. On the side of the island that faces the cooktop, there will be a 15" trash pullout and a 21" cab that I am planning a small prep sink in....or maybe, I will make it two 18" cabs...one for the trash and one with the prep sink.

5. The bookshelf wall will be 15" deep and have a lot of pantry type of storage.

With the new configuration, I think I have a lot of storage space but none close to the dishwasher. I guess the new 24" cab would be the closest. I have my heart set on the drawer DW but did not consider placing them in the island...hmm will discuss with my plumber tomorrow. I am also going to be discussing changing swapping the dishwasher and sink...

Celticmoon...thank you...I am finally feeling good about the layout...

valinsv, the pullout near the oven will be removed in the new plan. I will have one like I described above but wont be right next to the range as I want the symmetric look...:-)

lascatx...yeah the new option 2 is simialr to the old option 1 without the pantries along the main walls...will check on the drawers if I decide to swap the sink and dw.

lol...DH is wondering why I am thinking about this so much...:-) you guys understand!!!

Will post the more close to final layouts when I get it tomorrow.

Nighty night folks...many thanks!

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clipped on: 07.28.2007 at 09:58 am    last updated on: 07.28.2007 at 09:58 am

RE: Kitchen Pros Share Their Design Tips (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: poigirl on 05.23.2007 at 12:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

Good article. I gained lots of insight for my new kitchen design from my cousin, a professional chef. His home kitchen was featured in the book "Great Kitchens, At Home with America's Top Chefs". Except for some very snazzy pizza ovens and roasting spits, most of the kitchens featured are very simple. The appliances are top notch, but most cabinetry is very simple, lots of open shelving and handy prep space, practical counter materials. My cousin's only regret for his kitchen is that he put in only one sink. I think they have since added another.

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clipped on: 05.23.2007 at 01:14 pm    last updated on: 05.23.2007 at 01:14 pm

RE: New granite in ... hubby wants to rip it out? Can this be don (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: stonegirl on 05.23.2007 at 09:59 am in Kitchens Forum

Addendum:

I had a look at your pictures again and saw the one where the seam is pictured clearly. I missed it the first time around.

I would not accept that. The MIA has a set of guidelines (NOT industry standards, though) that say the following regarding vein movement: (MIA Design Manual p. 262 Chapter 16, 3.4 Material Selection)

"Vein Direction: Vein trend should run in only one direction unless approved otherwise by the Client."

Abutting the vein direction like that is a no-go. Ask the fabricator to replace it.

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clipped on: 05.23.2007 at 10:25 am    last updated on: 05.23.2007 at 10:25 am

RE: Don't shoot me! Cabinet Delivery Question.... (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sweeby on 05.22.2007 at 10:34 am in Kitchens Forum

You DO want to check off that each piece you expected was delivered before the driver leaves. Most companies will give you a list of the items ordered, and you can check off the boxes against that list as they are unloaded.

Once you have verified that you receoved the correct number of pieces, you can write "Received but not yet inspected" -

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clipped on: 05.22.2007 at 04:01 pm    last updated on: 05.22.2007 at 04:01 pm

RE: Support for overhang on granite counter top. (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: stoneonecorp on 12.05.2005 at 09:55 am in Remodeling Forum

I suggest anything over 8" to have support. Generally that is the homeowner or contractors responsibilty. Over the course of time, something will happen with a large overhang. Not only you may need to replace the counter if it breaks, you or someone else can get hurt

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clipped on: 05.22.2007 at 07:20 am    last updated on: 05.22.2007 at 07:21 am

RE: cust cabs arrived; I'm cryin' (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 05.18.2007 at 08:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

"Standard" cabinet construction uses furniture board boxes with a laminate coating for ease of cleanup. Plywood is usually available as an upgrade charge, as are wood veneer interiors, which are more difficult to keep clean. Exposed cabinet sides are always veneered. The exposed sides can be finished with solid wood "door" panels at an upgrade charge. Only the face frames and doors are solid wood. "Rustic" means lots of knots, pinholes, mineral streaks, as well as heartwood next to sapwood, thus your "striping". "Cabinet grade" or "select" wood is typcially available at request. Again, as an upgrade charge.

Unless you specifically requested and paid for the upgraded items which were then written into the contract, you were given what you ordered. And, if you gave him the order two months ago and he told you and 8 week lead time, then he also sounds as though he's on schedule as well.

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clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 07:59 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 07:59 am

RE: Speaking of Disposals... (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: akchicago on 05.04.2007 at 06:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

Vjrnts - it is most important when choosing a disposal that you buy one that is at least 3/4 hp, and that has all stainless steel innards. After that, there are mainly two decisions to make:

(1) You can go up a size from 3/4 hp to 1 hp, but it's not essential. It is a big price increase to go up from 3/4 hp to 1 hp, but some people prefer the extra capacity, but again it's not essential.

(2) The other choice to make is whether you want a "batch feed" disposal or a "continuous feed" disposal. Three's not much of a price difference between batch and continuous feeds, maybe $20-25 or so, so that decision is more one of personal preference. This choice has been discussed a lot on this forum. Here are a couple of links to threads which you can read to help in your decision:

Thread entitled "Garbage Disposals -- What are the differences?"

Thread entitled "How do you select a garbage disposal?"

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clipped on: 05.08.2007 at 03:05 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2007 at 03:06 pm

RE: Granite templating tomorrow! Need checklist; I can't be ther (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: franki1962 on 05.02.2007 at 02:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here is a cut and paste from the checklist our installer had us use

Existing countertop and old plywood ( if it is necessary) has to be demolished
All cabinets have to be completely installed in level.
Corbels to support any overhang must be installed .
Plywood for 3/4" granite/marble has to be installed on top of cabinets flush with frame of cabinets and screwed ( if no special design for overhang) (plywood thickness 5/8" )
Cut out for undermount sinks have to be done and sink has to be moveable 1/4" in all 4 directions.
Undermount sink has to be even with top of plywood
All new sinks with template, all faucets, cook top , oven have to be at the house.
If it is a Farm House Sink it must be instaled even with top of cabinets and have to be moveable 1/4" in all 4 direction.
Cutout for cook top has to be done with 1/4" movable space in all 4 directions.
Top of cabinets must be cleared on from any items.
Cabinets under sink and cook top have to be empty if we do demolition.
Sink, faucets, cook top and stove have to be disconnected, if we do demolition or not.

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clipped on: 05.02.2007 at 05:22 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2007 at 05:22 pm

Granite templating tomorrow! Need checklist; I can't be there!!

posted by: alku05 on 05.02.2007 at 02:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

Last night when we met with our GC, he told us that he just got our templating scheduled for thursday morning. This would be good news, except that thursday mornings are the ONLY time during the week that I absolutely can NOT be there. GC called the templater this morning and there's no way he can reschedule unless we're willing to wait quite a while, which DH is not willing to do. Great, just great.

So here's the plan: DH is going to take off work and be there, and I will provide him with a detailed list of things to go over with the templater. The templater will make the templates and leave them in place when he's done. Later that afternoon, he's going to come back and meet with me to go over any aditional questions I may have, then take the templates away to make the counters.

So about that list...please help me put together a comprehensive list of items to go over with the templater. So far I have:

1. Location and number of seams
2. Overhang (1.5"?...is that the standard number?)
3. Sink reveals
4. Ask whether faucet holes drilled onsite
5. Finalize faucet locations
6. Shape and size of bump-outs by rangetop
7. Shape of island corners
8. Backsplash for window walls? (How short can we go 1.5-2"? Or will granite be gap-less enough for no backsplash at all there?)
9. Final egde choice

What am I missing?

Sorry, I am just in a state of panic over this situation. I am a type A personality with a bad case of TKO, so obviously I am having trouble letting this happen without me breathing down their necks. But I am working on it.

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clipped on: 05.02.2007 at 05:21 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2007 at 05:21 pm

RE: where do you store your bread? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: joe_blowe on 05.01.2007 at 11:42 am in Kitchens Forum

Freezer. Here's why:

----------
Cook's Illustrated - Food Science (sub. req.)

Why Refrigerated Baked Goods Go Stale

Our testing of Olive-Rosemary Bread produced plenty of leftover loaves and reminded us once again that bread does not keep well in the refrigerator. In fact, past tests have shown that baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and muffins actually stale faster in the refrigerator than at room temperature. Yet these same items can be stored perfectly well in the freezer for long periods of time. Why doesn't the freezer have the same effect on breads and other baked goods as the refrigerator?

Staling is inevitable over time. In a process known as retrogradation, starch molecules reorganize to form crystalline structures in the presence of the moisture within the baked goods themselves. This eventually leads to a hard, dry texture at room temperature--no matter how well wrapped the item was during storage. The cooler temperature of the refrigerator speeds up this process, but the freezer actually halts it. The water molecules in the cake or bread freeze, which immobilizes the starch molecules and prevents them from forming the crystalline structures that translate to stale texture.

So if you aren't going to finish that loaf of Olive-Rosemary Bread right away, don't be tempted to pop it into the fridge. Instead, wrap it tightly, first in aluminum foil and then in a large zipper-lock bag, and store it in the freezer. Thaw the bread by taking it out of the plastic bag and placing it on the center rack of a 450-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the foil (watching for steam) and recrisp the crust in the oven for a few more minutes. Those leftovers will taste as good as fresh-baked bread.
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clipped on: 05.01.2007 at 10:31 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2007 at 10:32 pm

RE: Why do contractors think we're stupid? (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: newenglandbuilder on 04.05.2007 at 01:21 pm in Remodeling Forum

I am a WOMAN CONTRACTOR! Please don't assume that all people in the trades are men. I have to constantly to deal with this assumption and believe me, it is infuriating at times. As a woman I also have to add that sexism is everywhere, its a part of our culture. Many tradespeople take on the mantle of the macho contractor, assuming their masculinity gives them some god given right or biological knowledge of construction. I wish people wouldn't hire these people, but people do because they assume they must put up with this and all contractors are the same --- au contraire!

We work very hard to do the best job we possibly can. As a GC I have fired incompetent subs and had to deal with losers, take them to court for inferior work that I have to eat the cost for in order to get the job done correctly. It can happen to the best of us. Like someone else said above, there are thieves everywhere, they are not only in the contracting business.

That said, some simple rules to follow when considering doing a project should be a standard of operations for any homeowner:

1. Get at least three bids for your project.
2. If the project requires structural changes, such as an addition or changing layouts of rooms, a design from either the contractor themselves or a design firm is in order. You should expect to pay for this service as it is very time consuming and also involves a degree of liability for the designer. Expect also that a structural analysis be done for anything requiring moving or adding onto bearing walls, or changing roof loads, etc.
3. One set of plans should be sufficient to garner other bids, but make your intention to have others bid on the plans clear up front, some may not want to give their plans out to others, unless the design is sold as such.
4. Ask questions ad infinitum prior to entering into the project and prior to hiring a contractor. Your contractor should be asking you many questions as well.
5. Ask your friends for referrals of contractors they've liked, ask them what they would have done differently if they had to do it over again.
6. A kitchen or bathroom design are most often offered by houses that sell cabinetry. Contractors usually have a relationship with at least one local cabinet company, ask them for the recommendations. Although the service is free, please consider that jumping around from one designer to another in order to maximize price can only complicate things and cause confusion and even some feelings of lack of faith on the part of the designer working up your plans.

I don't go into meeting customers thinking they are stupid, quite the opposite, I always assume they have some idea of what they want and most customers today do their own research online or through word of mouth. I also wish that homeowners wouldn't expect me to give estimates on the fly or to have the answers to every single question they ask right on the spot.

Keep change orders to a minimum so as to keep the job running smoothly, make your decisions firmly at the start and try to stick with that plan. If you aren't sure about what you want with your design, materials or project, don't start the project until you are! Change orders cost money and time and ratchet up the aggravation factor, especially when a homeowner changes their mind after the ideal time for such a change has passed.

Don't be dazzled by the contractor who seems to have all the answers at once -- that is usually a red flag for a BS artist. I always am finding that I have something new to learn and the appropriate response when questioned about something I don't know is, "I don't know, but I'll find out and get back to you." Of course, they should get back to you within a reasonable time.

Be a good customer.

1. Please don't harass the tradespeople while they are working! I know as for myself on smaller jobs where I might be working, its hard to change gears from manager to worker in the middle of a job. It often leads to wasted time, no good answers and mistakes due to my focus being set off. Consult with the GC about a meeting, to set up after the work day or on a weekend (if they aren't working weekends) and even better, provide an agenda for the meeting, so the contractor can be prepared with answers. Sometimes an emergency may arise that will require immediate attention, but oftentimes the issue can wait until the days' work is done and everyone can focus. In that vein, don't wait until the part of the project you have a question about is in the construction phase to have a general question about it. For example, when building a house, a customer decided to not order the windows we had planned, but to change the sizes and styles dramatically. When I pressed her for a list of the sizes that day, she became indignant; but there we were with the first floor deck on ready to start building the walls. I had my guys all lined up for the day and had essentially paid them for nothing as we couldn't proceed without the proper R.O's in hand. The customer had a hard time understanding this and reluctantly provided the window sizes after I hounded her for two days as we couldn't proceed. She couldn't understand why we couldn't just build the walls and then make the R.O.'s afterwards!

2. If you are dealing with a GC who has hired subs and you have questions about their work, go to the GC directly, don't go to the subs, they will inevitably answer your questions within the scope of their knowledge and perspective, often with little consideration of the project as a whole, or in contradiction to the GC's plans. The GC will probably bring the sub into the conversation anyway, but as they are managing the project, they need to know every concern you have and work to apply the best solution.

Also, if you are having a problem with a sub that you think the GC doesn't know about, a good GC wants to know ASAP. They try to keep on top of everything, but communication is a two way street and they are only human.

In the same vein, please don't ask the subs directly to price out additional products or changes, any good subcontractor knows to refer to the GC, a jerk will provide his prices at the expense of the GC's markup that covers GC's insurance risk, extra time factor and effect on overall project.

Don't hire someone you personally detest or feel uncomfortable about. They will be in your home, like your favorite in law who won't go away, you will be looking at their ugly faces every day for awhile. That uncomfortable feeling will oftentimes get worse and even the most loved people can get on your nerves after they've been tromping through your house for two months!

And finally, don't assume all contractors are morons. We deal with remodeling building or whatever our specialty is, everyday and should at least know what we are doing. Please respect our knowledge and expertise and at least give us the opportunity to address your concerns or to address or counter what you've heard or been told elsewhere about a procedure. As I said above, no one knows everything and to make the assumption, whether on your part or the contractor's is pretty unrealistic and unfair.

I remember one customer we had used to go around to the subs after we left the job for the day and repeatedly inquire about how they felt we were doing, or what they would have done, etc. Although we were hired as framers, we were treated like GC's with responsiblity and didn't deal with the subs (she hired them). Their perspective came only from their limited view and like the old fable of the Three Men From Istafhan, none of them gave her the full picture and thus their views as a whole were contradictory, worthless and borne out of their frustration in dealing with a clueless homeowner as a GC. There were many stupid mistakes, but no one knew like she did (according to her) and everyone pointed fingers at everyone else. It was ridiculous.

If you have a question about the work procedure, ask the GC and make sure you are confident about what they are doing or ask them if they can change their procedure or review other possible approaches you've heard. A friendly discussion will often yield far better results than an all out war and also, most tradespeople love to discuss the technical aspects of their work and why they do what they do. Most people don't bother to ask and there is always more than one way to skin a cat. An honest contractor is not threatened by calm and concerned inquiry, but everyone will put up their defenses if they are suddenly charged as a liar out of the blue.

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clipped on: 04.29.2007 at 08:59 am    last updated on: 04.29.2007 at 08:59 am

RE: Please sell me on your air tub! (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: epsherwood on 04.29.2007 at 12:47 am in Bathrooms Forum

I have a bain ultra in my master bathroom and I love it. (TMU 642) I posted about it in another thread a few months back (you can search on my user id if you want to read it), so I'll keep this brief, but I love my bain ultra tub. So much so I am thinking of putting a second bain ultra tub in our new guest suite (yes, we are planning to add on again - suckers for punishment and the horrors of the last job are fading into distant memory!)

I can spend all day out in the garden or riding my horses and if I come in and take a bath in my bain ultra I do not wake up stiff and sore. If I skip the tub, I can hardly bend over to do my yoga! So I am completely sold.

I have the motor under the tub as our bath is above our kitchen and I cannot hear the motor when I am in the tub. This was a concern as I read on this forum that some people think it is noisy, but the noise is from the bubbles. There are a lot of bubbles! I had to start at 5% and work my way up! Yes it splashes a bit (particularly since I fill it up!) but thats why I have a tile surround and its not that bad! Just watch putting too much bubble bath in - I did the first time, left the bathroom to get a book and came back to find bubbles cascading down the tub stairs onto my wood floor - eeek!

What I love is that I can use oils, bubbles, whatever, and its easy to keep clean. Plus, if you dont want to turn on the bubbles and just want to have a soak you can do that too (although I never do as I love the bubbles!)

In terms of the model choice, I do sometimes wish I had an arm rest, but I just let my arms float then they get a massage too. But it would be easier to read if I had one. I love having the double ended tub as my three year old loves getting in the tub too - my poor hubby never gets a look in!

One hint - I found the cheapest price online then my local high end fixtures store matched it so that was great. I did that a lot with our first addition since I love supporting local stores but dont want to do so at the expense of the budget!

Hope that helps!
Erika

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RE: Can You Recommend a Soap Dispenser? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: claybabe on 04.27.2007 at 01:05 am in Kitchens Forum

I had brizo floriano last kitchen and they were ok, but tended to clog. I love the moen dispensers I have now: Better mechanics, and the spout is long,they don't clog. Lots of finishes but not too many styles. The neverMT works fine with it.

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clipped on: 04.27.2007 at 11:17 am    last updated on: 04.27.2007 at 11:17 am

RE: Show me your message centers/charging stations! (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: home_nw on 04.26.2007 at 04:44 am in Kitchens Forum

I've posted a photo of our Mail Sorting Center - Phone Charging Station at the link below. I must confess, we got the idea almost entirely from one of Sarah Susanka's books. It's in the hallway that's between the garage and the kitchen. It's situated just outside the kitchen entrance, so when you're there you can easily see into the kitchen.

We did a mini "systems analysis" to determine what came into the house that needed to be processed (filed, shredded, charged, whatever...) and then built each cubby, each slot, and each outlet based on our own needs. For example, we have slots for DH's magazines and for mine, slots for menus, coupons, events, etc. Very personalized to how we live. One drawer is for stuff to be shredded, one for stuff to be recycled, etc. Below the desk area there's an outlet for our shredder. There's also a file drawer. The desk has under-cabinet lights and room for a small bulletin board behind.

After all our careful planning, we sure hope it works out as well as we hope! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Our mail and message center

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RE: Contractor Issues...Advice (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: newenglandbuilder on 04.24.2007 at 10:30 pm in Remodeling Forum

"In the future, never give money for labor before they start work."

It is too bad that some irresponsible contractors or ones with an inability to communicate make us all look bad. Frankly, unless the job is really small or with someone I know, I will not work without a deposit up front. And I have never walked off a job or not fulfilled our duties. I've had situations where we killed ourselves on promises that never come through.

That said...

If the contract states explicitly that he will start at x date and finish on x date and he hasn't, then he has essentially breached the contract. I'd do the following:

1. Call the office early in the morning (7 am until someone answers). Ask to speak with the person who signed the contract with you. If they aren't in, tell them it is urgent and you need him/her to call you back that day.

2. If no callback, call again and tell them to come and get their tools, they are effectively fired for breach of contract and you want a refund or you'll see them in small claims court. Also inform them that you are taking possession of the lumber as part of the project you paid for.

3. Tell the person this will happen if they do not arrive on the job, ready to work until project is complete, within 48 hours.

You can't hold their tools hostage in order to settle the dispute, nor can you force them to work on the project if they don't want to.

Frankly, I'd just fire them, tell them to get their tools out and inform them that you are looking for other contractors and will sue for 1. The difference between the deposit and work performed and materials onsite. 2. The difference in cost (upwards) you were forced to pay another contractor to get the job finished as soon as possible.

If you don't have anything but a verbal on the start date, I'd say that you might have to give him a chance to get there and get it done within a 'reasonable' time.

Oftentimes contractors can get jammed up on the schedules, some get overzealous or overly optimistic about their work progress and really cause themselves problems. You've only been waiting for a month and if he's honest and has good references, possibly he's just overwhelmed.

That said, his customer communication skills are seriously lacking and you're frustration is understandable.

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clipped on: 04.25.2007 at 05:35 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2007 at 05:35 pm

RE: How did you finalize your contract with your GC for remodel? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: newenglandbuilder on 04.21.2007 at 04:47 pm in Remodeling Forum

"Are GC's hesitant to give firm numbers for remodels? I understand that unlike building a new home, remodeling projects can have surprises discovered after demo, but would a 15-30% contingency cover us in such cases?"

As a GC, I'll step in.

Depends on the GC and how well they research the job prior. When I first started in this business, I felt pressure from customers to hurry and a get a number. That usually led to overlooking major problems, or not giving ourselves enough of a margin for an 'oops' factor. We learned the hard way and had a few very patient customers allow us the time to fix mistakes. As a contractor, I'd make sure the timeline penalties allowed for extra time incurred due to change orders or unforeseen circumstances.

That being said, at this point I am done trying to please people who are completely focused on price with unrealistic expectations of what they can get done. So think that, yes, all contractors are scared to death of having a major setback during a job set them back, but those who learn from their mistakes, learn through experience what things can go wrong when, what to look for ahead of time and plan/price accordingly. We stick to our budgeted contract amounts, excluding change orders. I think its a part of doing good business. If we screw up or something doesn't go as planned, we fix it at our expense. Poorly capitalized businesses fail everyday because they cannot afford to fix their errors or better yet, avoid them.

I have a problem with someone mentioning a change order over $500. I always put in my contracts that change orders will come with anything and a 50% deposit with a signed agreement is required for anything over $100.00. Change orders can kill a job if all parties involved aren't watching the total dollar amount. If we cannot continue the project because an issue has come up (structural for instance) that has arisen due to existing conditions, we will not continue the project until the customer is given notice, a decision made and either approval or sign-off of a change occurs.

I'd suggest making sure also that all installed fixtures are spelled out in the contract in detail. Also, who is responsible for purchasing what and during what phase should also be spelled out.

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RE: What to your corner cabs look like? 2 (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: rachelle_g on 04.23.2007 at 08:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

For completeness, here is the same cabinet from gabedad's kitchen, with the door closed.

Here is a link that might be useful: door closed

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clipped on: 04.25.2007 at 02:21 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2007 at 02:21 pm

RE: What to your corner cabs look like? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: rachelle_g on 04.23.2007 at 08:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

This picture from gabedad's almost finished kitchen might help. It's a base cabinet with lazy susan with the bifold door open. The upper cabinets that are "corner" cabinets are the same idea, just not as deep (some with, some without a lazy susan).

Here is a link that might be useful: gabedad's corner cabinet

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RE: Plugmold vs backsplash outlets $$$ (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: sweeby on 04.25.2007 at 09:09 am in Kitchens Forum

Here's a picture of the underside of one of my cabinets that has Plugmold, a low-profile electrical box (with switches, not outlets - but you get the idea), and under-cabinet lights. How's that for a handy side-by-side comparison? ;-)

My DH is a professional remodeler, and installed all of these. According to him, the Plugmold was actually easier to work with than the low-profile boxes (also made by Plugmold), and don't protrude into the cabinets at all. Anyway, IMO, the Plugmold is a bit easier to use, and probably worth the extra money, particularly if you're doing a sheet-glass backsplash. Or some combination of the two may be the best for your space.

In case anyone's wondering, our 'lightrail' is a piece of 3/4" by 3" trim installed sideways so only the profile shows. The 3/4" height plus the inch or so recess in the cabinet bottom is all that was needed to conceal all of this good stuff from a front view, and the low-profile lightrail is great for balancing backsplash height with low-mounted uppers for a short cook!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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RE: Plugmold vs backsplash outlets $$$ (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: basketchick on 04.25.2007 at 12:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

My install of plugmold did cost a little more, but not much. They didn't say exactly what the difference was. I do think they only charged me a materials difference, but I think the workers think the difference should be a lot more. I can say after watching them though, that it does take them a lot longer to install and is more frustrating. I did not need additional circuits to have plugmold.

I really wanted to have my tile backsplash be uninterrupted. Especially since I had large accent pieces. It was worth it to me. Here is a pic:

Underneath Cabinet with PlugMold

Here is a link that might be useful: BasketChick's 95% Finished Kitchen

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RE: 'The Sweeby Test' - anyone save it? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: starpooh on 04.23.2007 at 12:35 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm packrat.... have alot of old threads saved.
I can add this to the FKB - with Sweeby's permission, of course.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Sweeby Test
Posted by Sweeby (My Page) on Fri, Dec 2, 05 at 15:11

A couple of recent posts have referred to something that has been jokingly referred to as 'the Sweeby test', and it's been suggested that a separate thread on that topic might be helpful.

The situation is this -- You're trying to decide between several different options (backsplash, flooring, island size or configuration, countertop material -- whatever), and all of the options being considered look good. Functional and financial considerations are certainly important, but among the thousands of highly functional good choices -- There are so many options to choose from! Which to choose and how to decide?

My suggestion was to try to figure out what you needed the element in question to contribute to your kitchen. To start by focusing on your kitchen as a whole, from a far-off hazy distance -- to wander off into your favorite kitchen fantasy and think about what it feels like, not what it looks like. (Your real kitchen please, not the one where Brad Pitt feeds you no-cal chocolates while George Clooney polishes the brass knobs on your Lacanche.) Then using mood words, describe what your dream kitchen feels like:

warm or cool, tranquil and soothing or energetic and vibrant? calm, happy, dramatic?
cozy or spacious? light and bright or dark and rich?
subtle tone-on-tone, boldly colorful, textured?, woody or painted?
modern, traditional, vintage, rustic, artsy, retro, Old World, Arts & Crafts, Tuscan?
elegant, casual? sleekly simple, elaborately detailed, or somewhere in between?
pristine or weathered, professional or homey?
whimsical, sophisticated, accessible, romantic? masculine or feminine?
How much zing? and where?

The list goes on and on...

Once you've identified the way you want your space to feel, then write it down as best you can. Try to freeze that feeling in words so you can refer back to it if you find yourself losing your vision or going off track.

Then look at where you are so far with the elements you have, and ask yourself if you're on the right course to create your dream? Odds are, at any given point in time, you'll be part way there, but that you'll need to go a little more this way, or a little more that way to move closer to your dream. Try to figure out what direction you need to go, what the missing element is that you need to add, (or just as important, if neutral background is what's needed) and write a 'Mission Statement' for your ideal backsplash / flooring / countertop:

"The perfect backsplash for my kitchen will add an enement of romance and whimsy, while not disrupting the calm and soothing tone-on-tone color scheme or diverting attention from my beautiful granite."
or
"My ideal countertops will provide the 'zing' my kitchen is missing right now, adding an element that is modern, rich, sophisticated and dramatic."

Then evaluate your potential choices against this Mission Statement. Odds are, one of your options will further your dreams while most of the others, though beautiful, take your kitchen down another path.

That's what I've got. What else can we add?

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clipped on: 04.23.2007 at 10:44 am    last updated on: 04.23.2007 at 10:44 am

RE: Lazy Susans (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: jeri on 04.19.2007 at 01:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Nuccia would you be willing to share your kitchen design? Id love to see it. Do you have plans on a blog perhaps??? :-)

You also reminded me of something I read about the corner issue. I pasted it below. This guy agrees with you! :-)

~~~

From contributor L:
Here is my solution to the "wasted space" in the corner issue - forget about it! Here is why: Suppose you just make that space in the corner "dead." Now, compare that to a lazy susan - first I have to take away 12" of good, usable, direct access cabinetry from each side. Accounting for 2" fillers, that is a loss of 10" on each face, or 20" total. 20" times the interior depth of 23" is 460 sq.in. So that is a net loss of 3.19 sq.ft. of horizontal interior surface. Then I put a 32" pie-cut susan in there and gain back 603 sq.in* - a net gain of only 143 sq.in. or 1 sq.ft. Since you have 2 levels, that is a net gain of 2 sq.ft. so far - and then you lose 20"** of top drawers, since most of us leave the top drawers out to improve access to the lazy susan. That is an additional net loss of 20"x 22"= 440 sq.in. or 3 sq.ft. So, to sum it up, with a lazy susan you loose 1 sq.ft. of storage space compared to a dead corner. Plus you just spent a bunch of the customer's money for that lazy susan.

When you explain this to customers, most of them get it. I have only done two lazy susans in the last two years, and that was in the same kitchen, in an unusual condition.

My preferred solution to the "dead corner" issue is to design it out from the start. If possible, I run one wall of cabinets to the corner, then hold the other wall of cabinets about 5 feet clear of the corner, giving about 3 feet for access to the other wall of base cabinets. Now we are able to use the corner, have almost the same net usable cabinet space, lower cabinet cost, and a more interesting kitchen design because it breaks up that strong horizontal effect of having the countertops running unbroken all around the kitchen.

Note:
*16"x16" x pi x .75=603sq.in.
**2x (12"-2"filler)= 20"

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clipped on: 04.19.2007 at 08:55 pm    last updated on: 04.19.2007 at 08:55 pm

RE: pull out pantry shelfs--height in between?? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tom999 on 04.09.2007 at 06:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I would insist that they put in fully adjustable slide out shelves. This way as your life changes so can your shelves. This is VERY easy to do with KV1303 spacers. They install into standard metal standards and allow you adjustment every 1/2" in heigth.
If your Cabinet maker doesn't know about this items have him EMail me. I used these for 25 years in my shop with never a single problem.
Good Luck !

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clipped on: 04.10.2007 at 07:59 am    last updated on: 04.10.2007 at 07:59 am

RE: pull out pantry shelfs--height in between?? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: carolemed on 04.09.2007 at 10:58 am in Kitchens Forum

Here is a sample pantry layout that may help:
shelf 1 - 10.5" from top - spices/herbs (poor use of the height!)
shelf 2 - 10.5" from shelf 1 - canisters/baking ingredients
shelf 3 - 9" from shelf 2 - pasta/soups/stocks
shelf 4 - 10.5" from shelf 3 - catsup/mustards/hot sauces/worcestershires
shelf 5 - 7.75 " from shelf 4 - teas/canned goods
The pantry has 3 shelves above that are about 12 or 13" apart for olive oils, vinegars, crackers, cereals, etc. --misc. stuff on the way top shelf.

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clipped on: 04.10.2007 at 07:58 am    last updated on: 04.10.2007 at 07:58 am

RE: The GWeb made me do it -- Love this hob! (Follow-Up #53)

posted by: jdayne on 04.09.2007 at 08:59 pm in Appliances Forum

We've been using the new De Dietrigh hob for a few weeks now, and I cannot write enough about how much I love it and how little I understand the gas v. induction debate. Induction rules, for me!

A few observations:

1. Pans really really matter. Use carbon steel for high heat cooking (steaks/chops/burgers or roasting almonds or stir fry/wok or eggs over easy . . .)

2. Same pans work well for mid-heat, but not really really wet cooking (yes for a quick sear of fresh green beans, olive oil and garlic, no for green beans in water).

3. Use enameled and not-enameled cast iron for low & slow or med & not-so-slow cooking (melt chocolate or make stews or, with a panini cast iron pan grill cheese & tomatoe sandwiches . . .)

4. Use magnetic stainless for boiling (tea kettle, pasta).

Our hob does not buzz at any setting with any of our pans. Yes, you do need to do a bit of weight lifting to prepare for using these pans every day. I've found great crepe carbon steel pans and great Lyon-style carbon steel pans on the web, have two Le Cruset pieces and my old, wonderful carbon steel wok works very well. What does not work is trying to use the enameled cast iron or my plain cast iron when I want to really do a boost steak searing, for example, or use the carbon steel when I want a more gently, prolonged wetter cooking.

If you use the correct pan, there is absolutely no doubt -- for me -- that induction gives much better control than even my old gas Miele hob. It was terrific, but this induction is instantly responsive, entirely even and stunningly powerful or whisper restrained.

Love this hob! and love that nothing cooks on the top. My Miele was black glass under the cast iron grates and what an annoyance to clean. Not this hob. A good swipe with a well wrung out magic cloth, and it is done. And it matters, because the kitchen is a part of the loft great room so no hiding behind closed doors.

So from this cook to other cooks, I love induction but you must select the correct pan and the correct setting. My sense is that folks often have pans that "work" but not optimally on induction and that the tendency is to over heat when the joy of induction is the nuanced control. And, if you want to boost, boost, boost--use carbon steel!

Happy hobbing, all.

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RE: Island height when sink is on one side (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ctkathy on 04.07.2007 at 12:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

"Guidelines for Seat Heights

IMPORTANT! Make sure you have accurately measured the intended counter top where your bar stool, counter stool, kitchen chair or dining room chair will be used and be sure to leave adequate clearance:

The rule of thumb - Leave 9" (thin legs) to 12" (Schwarzenegger legs) between the top of the seat and the top of the counter.

Also, seat heights are measured from the floor to the top of the seat NOT to the top of the seat back.

Here's an easy way to measure YOUR most comfortable seat height:
1. Move a chair next to the counter where the bar/counter stool is going.
2. Measure the chair's seat height (usually around 18 inches).
3. Pile up some books on the seat until you get a comfy sitting height.
4. Measure the top of the books to the floor - Voila! That's the number!

Seat heights:

Typical dining room & kitchen chairs are 18" to 19" & go with 28" to 30" high tables.

You need 24" to 26" counter stools for most kitchen counters, usually 36"to 39".

You need 30" standard bar stools for 40" to 43" counters.

Extra tall 34" to 36" bar stools are for very tall 46"- 50" high counters. "

I was kind of going by the above information which seemed to indicate that counter height stools could be placed at a countertop that is from 36" - 39" in hight. So I thought I would do 39" on the bar side and 36" on the sink side. That is why I was asking for examples of any islands with that type of set up.

Doesn't this seem feasible?

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clipped on: 04.09.2007 at 05:42 pm    last updated on: 04.09.2007 at 05:42 pm

RE: Island height when sink is on one side (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tom999 on 04.06.2007 at 06:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

Standard heights for counters are 29 (table) 36 (Kitchen) or 42" (bar). When you change from these heights you May run into problems getting chairs/stools the correct height. Or you may have to have them custom made. I would check out what chairs/stools you want to use and that will guide you as to what heights you can use for your finished top.
Good Luck

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RE: Garbage Disposals -- What are the differences? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: alwaysfixin on 02.16.2007 at 11:05 am in Appliances Forum

For me, it's one thing and one thing only that is the deciding factor. Safety. The batch feed cannot be operated without the stopper. No one's hand can possibly be in the disposal while a batch feed is operating. Even if the chances are a million-to-one with the continuous feed that it would be operating and someone's hand or finger is in there, I have kids, and those odds aren't good. Batch feed for my house.

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clipped on: 04.04.2007 at 06:50 pm    last updated on: 04.04.2007 at 06:51 pm

RE: How do you select a garbage disposal? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: fairegold on 12.15.2006 at 11:01 am in Appliances Forum

And understand that almost all disposals are made by one of two companies, Waste King or Insinkerator (ISE). ISE makes disposals for Sears Kenmore and KitchenAid, among others.

The common rule is that you should get at least a 3/4 HP and get one with a stainless steel interior. Avoid the cheap builders' grade "Badger" units. And as Gizmonike says, then your big decision will be batch or continuous, which is somewhat of a religious issue, meaning that it's a fervent discussion and people aren't likely to change their preferences!

And once you get your disposal, you can debate the issues of air switches or wall switches!

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RE: How do you select a garbage disposal? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lascatx on 12.14.2006 at 06:51 pm in Appliances Forum

How and how much you use your disposal will make a difference. Have you ever had a problem with one clogging up on you? Do you know the power of the one you are using now or what you've had in the past (look under the sink and see if you can find a 1/2 HP or whatever).

We have a 3/4 HP Insinkerator Evolution Compact unit that we just installed under the prep sink. I got it at HD and everyone has commented on how quiet it is. A 3/4 HP will be enough power for most use -- although I think the one we had and will reinstall under the main sink is a 1 HP. We had a 3/4 HP in the last house and didn't have a problem with it -- it's just one of those guy things. More power!

I like this Evolution series from what I've seen. I'm tempted to replace the old one with a similar Evolution one. Maybe DH needs a Christmas present from HD! LOL

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RE: Garbage Disposals -- What are the differences? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: shannonplus2 on 02.16.2007 at 10:17 am in Appliances Forum

A batch feed disposal is operated by pushing in the stopper to turn it on, or pulling out its stopper to turn it off. There is no switch, which means you don't need another switch installed in your backsplash. The batch feed disposals cannot be operated without its stopper in it, which some regard as a safety feature. Also, batch feeds don't have a rubber flange around the throat which means you can see clearly into the disposal in case something drops in there, and when you fish out something, your hand doesn't have to run by a wet flange which some people find creepy. It should be noted that the batch feeds, particularly the 1 hp's (Kitchenaid and Waste King), have large chambers, and you need to make sure you have room for that chamber under your sink. The specs are given on the websites. Some people like the operation of a continuous feed better because it is, well, continuous, while the batch feed needs its stopper to be pulled out to refill it. That's why the batch feed chambers are large, so they can fit a lot in there, but if you are doing a lot of volume of disposing, you will have to pull out the stopper to refill.

Here are a couple of threads that might be helpful:

Thread on Disposals

Thread on Batch Feeds

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RE: Garbage Disposals -- What are the differences? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: cpovey on 02.15.2007 at 11:32 pm in Appliances Forum

Continous: You turn on the switch and feed food and water into the unit. As long as it is on, it grinds. They are less expensive (about 1/2 the cost) and smaller than batch feed units, but do have a (usually) black rubber flapper in the drain hole, which can get ugly. There are many more models of continuous disposals available.

Batch units operate differently. You load them up (no black rubber flapper, just a hole), turn on the water, then put in a special (included) stopper. This stopper lets water through and turns on the disposal. If you have more to grind, after the first batch is done, you remove the stopper, reload, and repeat.

Batch units are generally only available in one model per manufacturer, are larger (some take up quite a bit of under-sink room), and more costly. Some consider them safer.

The main advice on disposals around here seems to be to get 3/4 to 1 HP, and all staniless construction (not just the grinder, but all stainless), and it is hard to go wrong. Many people take these specs and then shop on price.

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RE: I'm worried. Did anyone else do FIVE faucet holes in granite? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: kygirl99 on 03.19.2007 at 09:11 am in Kitchens Forum

To answer my own question, it looks fine. Here is my sink with my five faucet holes filled. And a sixth, on the left, waiting for my instant hot to be delivered!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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RE: I'm worried. Did anyone else do FIVE faucet holes in granite? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dmlove on 02.21.2007 at 02:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have 5 - soap dispenser, faucet, air switch, air gap, instant hot. Here's a picture:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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clipped on: 03.26.2007 at 08:31 am    last updated on: 03.26.2007 at 08:31 am

RE: info on plugmold wiring - husb. is big diyer (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: jamesk on 03.22.2007 at 01:52 am in Remodeling Forum

I have plugmold thoughout my kitchen under all upper cabinets. It's very convenient and invisble unless you stick your head under the cabinets. My architect suggested it and provided the specifications. It was not an add-on (being a part of the original design) and meets all local electrical codes. It would hardly be considered a glorified extension cord.

The plugmold in my kitchen runs under the back edge of all upper cabinets and is angled at 45 degrees. Having the angle makes it easier to plug into, without having to crane my neck to guide plugs into the receptacles. I recommend the angled setup.

Under-cabinet xenon lighting was also installed, but is on separate dimmable circuits unconnected to the plugmold or any other outlets.

James

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RE: info on plugmold wiring - husb. is big diyer (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: patser on 03.21.2007 at 11:59 am in Remodeling Forum

IMO, plugmold should be planned for early in the project. We hardwired ours to the bottom of the kitchen cabinets. Conduit came right to the surface of the finished drywall, Wire extended into the back of the cabinet just at the top of the bottom shelf. Then we ran the wiring through the bottom of the cabinet exactly at the spot the plugmold was installed. Nothing is visible. Our plugmold is at the back of the underside of the cabinet. This application passed our electrical inspections. We don't have any wall outlets/plugs.

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clipped on: 03.25.2007 at 02:59 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2007 at 02:59 pm

RE: info on plugmold wiring - husb. is big diyer (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: snoonyb on 04.08.2006 at 05:42 am in Remodeling Forum

The use of plugmold is a common method of providing both a clean backsplash and convenience recep. at the work surface.
You'll need to GFCI protect them and because of the size of the recep. you'll need to do it at the service panel.

Determine the upper cabinet layout and bring a 12/2 feed out of the wall at 54" above the floor at or near a corner of an upper where you need power.

For your strip lighting, do the same,(14/2), and transition to your fixtures via one of the several wiremolds available.

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clipped on: 03.25.2007 at 02:58 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2007 at 02:58 pm

RE: info on plugmold wiring - husb. is big diyer (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: talley_sue_nyc on 03.22.2007 at 01:36 pm in Remodeling Forum

I like my plugmold pointing straight down--it means that the cord falls straight down instead of jutting out at an angle and poking into the working space.

The conduit comes out of the plaster wall, and goes into the box that is used at the beginning of a Plugmold run. There's a collar that holes the conduit in place.

Go ask over at Kitchens, bcs lots of people have pics of their Plugmold installations.

Were I to do it over again, actually, I would put the outlets way down by the countertop, inside a 2" or 3" backsplash made of the countertop material. Then, anything left plugged in for very long (toaster, etc.) would NOT have cords traveling up the full height of the backsplash.

One thing I do like about Plugmold is that there's an outlet every 6 inches--that's sort of nice, to be able to plug in almost anywhere.

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clipped on: 03.25.2007 at 02:58 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2007 at 02:58 pm

RE: Grilling Pan for Induction? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: garycook on 11.27.2006 at 02:50 pm in Appliances Forum

sshrivastava,
There is an excellent griddle pan made by Staub.Cast iron
with an enameled bottom.This won't scratch your glasstop,
you should use a thin silicone sheet under your cooking pots & pans.They are 9" rounds very thin silicone material
and are 500 degree temp rated.I have used these for a year
now the best for heat tranfer and protecting your glasstop.

Here is a link
http://www.chefsresource.com/round-cake-pan-liner.html

The cast iron Staub pans are the best for induction when used with these .
Cast iron pans when designed and made well such as these are very light compared to the other mfg's that
are heavy.The 9x9 and 13x9 size are perfect for induction.

Ciao

Here is a link that might be useful: STAUB GRIDDLE PAN

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clipped on: 11.27.2006 at 10:06 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2006 at 10:06 pm

RE: Kitchen cabinet construction and warranty (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: bmorepanic on 10.18.2006 at 08:42 am in Kitchens Forum

The construction counts for more than the warranty. As I found out, it doesn't matter what your warranty is when the company who made the cabinets goes out of business.

Below is a link to the best general write-up for cabinets that I've seen. They have nice discussions of framed v. frameless and relative cabinet quality. It is complicated.

So - drawer got-yas!

A lot of dovetail drawers are made out of soft maple instead of hard maple. This isn't desirable, but its not awful. Soft maple can scratch and dent easily. A soft maple drawer is also easily broken. How do you know? Ask! And then take you fingernail and try to scratch the side of a sample drawer - because a lot of cabinet sales people don't know what they're selling. If it's hard maple, you won't be able to easily.

How thick do you want a drawer side? 1/2" or better.

How thick do you want the bottom? Now that depends...

1/4" plywood or better for a normal drawer. If the drawer is big or is going to hold unusally heavy stuff (3 feet wide pot drawers and you use le cruset), it is worth forcing the salesperson to get an answer about weight directly from the mfg. Usually the salesperson can only tell you the rating of the drawer glides.

The drawer bottoms are a place where some manufacturers use fiberboard (masonite) or really thin particle board with a coating. Neither one of these is appropriate.

Do drawer HAVE TO be dovetailed? No, they don't. Its a lot easier for a mfg to supply a crappy drawer when the drawer isn't dovetailed. Good mfg = good drawer.

Blum tandem undermounts - full extention - with or without blumotion, softclose, or whatever "special" marketing term the mfg is using to describe their drawer glides - is the brand of choice for drawer glides right now. Blum makes drawer glides of different varieties and different quality levels which is why you should memorise the phrase "Blum Tandem Undermount". Accuride, as an example, also make nice glides that can be full extention. Ask who made the glides and if it isn't Blum or accuride, ask about the mfg here or on a woodworking forum.

Sometimes sidemount glides make more sense than undermount glides (the le cruset example above). For heavy items and repositionable pull-outs, sidemounts are the cat's meow. There is a good argument that can be made that you get more actual drawer space with sidemount glides.

Is a wood drawer best? Little bit personal taste rather than fact. Hard maple drawers with dovetails - good drawer. Soft maple drawers with dovetails - ok drawer. Particle board drawers (yes, it's wood, legally), I wouldn't. Nice plywood drawers - yes, I would.

Ikea cabinets have drawers made by blum called metabox and they combine the drawer and the slide and are party metal. They are very strong, easy to clean, waste little space with glide clearances. Good drawer! Some box stores sell rta cabinets with metal drawers that combine metal sides, the glides and genuine fiberboard bottoms. Bad drawer!

Remember, this is just my opinion and opinions vary.

Don't worry too much about the cabinet holding up a heavy countertop - just about any big mfg's cabinet is strong enough. Worry about whether it's strong enough for you to walk on the granite while changing light bulbs or cleaning the windows.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nice quality write-up

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clipped on: 11.07.2006 at 05:18 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2006 at 05:18 pm

RE: Cabinet Layout - Were you happy with it? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: rumble_s on 10.01.2006 at 08:12 am in Kitchens Forum

I do custom cabinets as well as kitchen and bathroom remodels, so I've gotten feedbavk from other owners as well as from my wife on the two kitchens I've built for us. So here is some feedback:
- lower cabinet drawers: everywhere except corners and under sink. Makes it MUCH easier to access stuff. We have large drawers for pots & pans
- drawer glides: full-extension, ball bearing, side glides. Like the ones you see on better file cabinets.
- under sink: doors above a wide drawer at the bottom. (Low pipes and/or garbage disposal can make this impossible)
- corner: angle door with full-circle lazy susans. NOT the ones with a center post and plastic bins. I use a wood cirle on metal ball-bearing swivel bearing. I always put these in lower cabinets, sometimes in upper (owner's choice)
- tray storage: a middle (above counter) or lower unit spot with vertical divders for serving trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc.
- pull-out shelves: in lower units or full-height installed under the five-foot level. This is like a drawer with only a two-inch side to allow items to easily be removed from the side (rather than top).
- pull-out "pantry": these are trays - low sides, only 6-8" wide - for storage mainly of canned goods.
- adjustable shelves: in upper units, everywhere I can (except corners)
- appliance lifts or trash-recycling centers: A love-hate personal taste item. They are convenient but take up lots of room. Usually no middle ground as to whether clients want them or not.
- open space above upper cabinets: I've yet to have a client want this. They always want me to run them to the ceiling or soffit (unless they have a cathedral ceiling). this doesn't add much to the cost of custom cabinets.
- Bake center: If you REALLY do bake ( many don't). I try to have a special section with lower cabinets only 30" high. This makes it much easier for kneading or rolling out dough.
- Islands: Another love-hate item. Interestingly enough, I have yet to install an island, though I have no personal opinion on them. We don't have one as my wife MUCH prefers the open floor space. Our kitchen tends to be a gathering area.
- Eating bar: On a counter extension from the wall. We like a raised eating bar (at around 42-44" high). This is the right height for the taller bar stools and the bar tends to block vision of the kitchen "mess" from the dining table. I've had "indifferent" clients change their minds (in favor) when they saw ours.
- Counter top: You #1 love-hate personal taste and preference item. I won't go into it, and I don't make recommendations to my clients.
- Sink: We have - and a number of my clients have - a stainless steel double bowl sind with attached side drain board. Very convenient! I won't recommend brands, but Ikea have one that is MUCH less expensive than any other I've seen.
- Undercounter lights: All my upper units have front and side trim that extends down to conceal 2" of counter lights. THese lights are very handy, expecially for a baking center.
- Sink spray: My wife hates the side spray tube. But she really likes the faucet with the spray head built into the water spigot.
- Power outlets: We have (and recommend) a series of double outlets with the left one being circuit #! and the right on circuit #2. And a separate circuit for the baking center. All on GFIs, of course.
- Microwave "hood": When considering this, remember that it might be too high for short people. Also, I think the exhaust fans in these units are too weak.
- Exhaust fans: I always say have an outside exhaust. The ones that recirculate back into the room are a waste of money.
- Garbage disposal: Don't, if you are on a septic system.
- Walk-in pantry: We love ours. Should have made it bigger!

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clipped on: 11.07.2006 at 05:11 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2006 at 05:12 pm

RE: Electrical outlet lower drawer....cellphone charging system (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: claire_de_luna on 07.21.2006 at 05:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

I just saw this and wanted to clear up a couple of things. About this being against code...I'd be sorely tempted to have the electrician look it up in the code book and show it to me in writing. My electricians were the most problematic of the contractors lot, so I'm lacking more than a little respect here. (Personally, I don't see how this is any different than having an outlet under a sink to connect to a dishwasher, but maybe that's just me.) It was also against code in my kitchen not to have an outlet every four feet on the long run of my cabinets. That would have put an outlet right behind my faucet, which I didn't want and didn't Need.

First, the drawer box does not extend all the way to the back of the counter wall, and there's actually quite a bit of room for the plug back there, about three inches. Locating the outlet behind the middle of the drawer keeps the probability of the cord ''pinched'' between the drawer glides to zero. If you leave enough cord at the back of the drawer, and run it under the drawer tray, it stays perfectly in place. I haven't noticed any heat build-up in the drawer either, but I don't tend to charge my phone for more than an hour, two at the most. We do both charge our phones at the same time, and I haven't noticed heat building up then either.

The cord being repeatedly flexed isn't an issue either. Good grief, I leave several of my electrical cords wound up and coiled around itself just to shorten the length and keep from tripping over them. Their argument about ''the electrical supply cable/wire is not intended to be repeatedly flexed as would be inevitable with a drawer being opened and closed'' doesn't hold up, because the electrical box is stationary. If they finish the box as they should, it would be bolted to the sheetrock, and wouldn't move. Since the plug doesn't move, this doesn't make any sense. Their ''explanation'' is condescending, and it's my belief they are either not understanding what you're trying to accomplish, or they don't want to be bothered since it's something they haven't done before.

The phone charger isn't pulling that much electricity, any more than my tv or my lamps do when I leave them plugged in all the time. Whatever electricity it does use is minor. My husband has worked for a wireless carrier for 20 years on the operations side, and you wouldn't believe what I've heard some of the salesman tell people. Instead of sharing useless bits of information about not keeping the charger plugged in, they would serve the public better to tell them not to talk on the phone and drive.

We both love having the drawer to hide the techno toys away. I guess I was fortunate to have a GC who enjoyed a challenge and thought I had some interesting ideas he wanted to help me realize. Since I've been using this for almost two years now, I thought you might like to hear how it's working for us...which is Extremely Well!

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clipped on: 07.22.2006 at 10:15 am    last updated on: 07.22.2006 at 10:15 am