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RE: Drawers or doors with pull outs? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: buehl on 06.28.2010 at 10:11 am in Kitchens Forum

There quite a few threads out there discussing drawers vs roll-out tray shelves (ROTS and a.k.a., pull-out shelves).

Drawers, drawers, drawers!!!

  • Opening/Closing...

    Drawers require one movement to open/close

    • Open: pull open
    • Close: push closed.

    ROTS, on the other hand, require 2 or 3 motions plus waiting...

    • Open: move out of the way of the doors, open 1 or 2 doors, pull out ROTS
    • Close: push in ROTS, wait for it to close fully (so you don't ding the doors), close 1 or 2 doors

  • Storage/sides...

    Drawers have sides the height of the drawer opening. This prevents things from falling off the sides, either onto the floor or into the interior of the cabinet (on the sides). This means you can stack things w/o worrying about things falling as the sides will catch them. It also keeps things from extending out past the walls of the drawer so they don't get caught on the cabinet frame when opening the drawer (Note: Getting caught on the frame is not an issue w/frameless cabinets, just framed...which includes overlay & inset.)

    ROTS have shallow sides, thus allowing things to fall off the sides and allowing things to hang over the sides of the shelf and get caught on the cabinet frame (which can result in nicks in your frame - experience speaking here!).

  • Adjustability...

    Drawers are not adjustable to different heights inside the cabinet. OK, this is the one place where ROTS have the advantage. However, with planning and/or organizers you can do almost anything with them and store almost anything in them (dishes, glasses, etc.)

    ROTS have the advantage here in most cases. Most ROTS are adjustable..but not all are, so check w/your cabinetmaker.

  • Cost...

    Drawers, in my case were less expensive than ROTS. I have a 27" 3-drawer base and a 27" ROTS base cabinet (the only ROTS cab I have and that I regret) and

    the ROTS cab cost $140 more than the drawer base.

Regardless of your decision on drawers vs ROTS, get's a must b/c it allows you full access to your drawers or ROTS! Soft-close is also nice, but it's a "nice to have" not a "must" (although, soft-close does come standard in some cabinet lines like Omega & Omega Dynasty/Embassy). Actually, I don't recommend soft-close for ROTS b/c the slight delay in closing (as the drawer/tray is gently closed) means having to wait to close the door(s). [Experience speaking here again!]

Here are some fairly recent threads that might be of interest to you (and others)...

Thread: Drawers or cabinet under cooktop?

Thread: Drawers over pull outs in Cabinets

Thread: Kitchen drawers versus pull-out shelves?

Thread: Which pull out drawers are must haves? [Some discussion of drawers vs ROTS contained inside the thread]


clipped on: 05.17.2012 at 02:26 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2012 at 02:27 pm

Please Help With Brick Maintenance/Cleaning Questions

posted by: mydreamhome on 05.09.2011 at 10:48 pm in Building a Home Forum

I have fallen in love with a sand-faced brick for our new home, Spalding Tudor from General Shale. DH & I were wondering why there was such a variation in the houses with this particular brick that the brick company sent us to look at. I got the answer today from a GC--evidently you don't pressure wash sand faced brick as it removes the sand finish leaving you with a different colored brick than you intended. The result with this brick + white mortar is your house ends up looking like a candy cane vs. having a weathered appearance.

I can deal with not cleaning the brick during/right after construction, but DH is worried about general maintenance & durability of the finish as time goes on--cleaning the brick, spider web removal in the eaves, cleaning the soffits, garage doors, windows, etc. Having never lived in a brick home before (we've always had vinyl siding which we pressure washed every 2 years or so) we're not sure what proper protocol is with brick home maintenance. Are you ever supposed to pressure wash brick in general? And if you are, how often? Would you pressure wash the other exterior areas and if so, how to protect the brick? Is this going to be a major headache? If pressure washing is an issue, how does sand faced brick hold up to the elements (snow, rain, sleet, wind, etc) over time?

Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!


clipped on: 04.09.2012 at 11:33 am    last updated on: 04.09.2012 at 11:33 am

Our new house is finished! My white kitchen...

posted by: nini804 on 09.22.2011 at 10:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Gardenweb friends!
You all have been so kind and I have learned so much from this site! I have been off-line the past month as we have been moving in to our new custom home. I joined GW this past winter, after our plans had been finalized by our architect...but I have incorporated so much from here into my finishes! We have a kitchen that is open to our breakfast room and family room, with a small butler's pantry between the kitchen and formal dining. I call the layout a "broken L with an island because I thought the architect was very cleaver to make the "corner" a little office space that also has the door to the pantry in it. This way, there is no "dead corner" in the kitchen. Maybe some people just starting could use this idea! :)

Anyway, here are the details:
Appliances: all KitchenAid, except for the Sharp MW drawer
in the island. Range is 36" dual fuel, with a
Cabinets: Mid-Continent, maple painted white, with soft
close drawers and doors. We chose all wood
Perimeter counters: Honed Carerra marble
Island top: Dark walnut, with a mineral oil finish
Floors: 5" wide white oak, stained 75% jacobean, 24% dark
Lighting: Pendants, Quiozel, I think. Breakfast chandy is!

Things I love so far: 1. Soft close!! Love!! Although we have it on all the drawers in the house, we only did the doors on the kitchen and butler's pantry cabs. Wish we had done it everywhere.
2. KA dishwasher and range...both of these have been wonderful so far, DW is so quiet and cleans really well. Range and oven are very easy to use and have nice, consistant heat. Plus, I think very pretty! :)
3. MW awesome, love it to pieces!
4. Under cab lights...never had these before, we have them on a dimmer, they are wonderful.
5. Walnut top...everyone who visits swoons over is a wonderful, warm surface.

Things I DON'T love:
1. Fridge! Counter-depth french door is awful! We had to buy an auxiliary fridge for the garage, and I am contemplating adding a fridge drawer to the island.
2. The distance from the range wall to the island seems a scooch too big, I think it is 48". I could have moved the island a few inches closer to the range.

I will do a seperate post about my experience with honed vs. polished marble (I have polished in the master bath.) There are pros and cons to each, I have found.

Anyway, Nini's kitchen!


clipped on: 02.26.2012 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 02.26.2012 at 10:19 am

RE: Looking for a photo: Integrated Dish Towel Holder in Pullout (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: michoumonster on 02.25.2012 at 09:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

I would love to see the pic you are referring to if you ever find it! I did think a few of these ideas are really nice for towel holders too. and seems like it would not be too difficult to jerryrig from a normal pullout cabinet..


clipped on: 02.25.2012 at 10:15 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2012 at 10:15 pm

RE: Dream Thread! (What do you wish you had now?) (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: angela12345 on 06.03.2011 at 12:20 am in Building a Home Forum

Here are links to some of the earlier threads . . . - unique/favorite features in your build.... - Things you couldn't live without or wish you had added - What things did you find needed adjusting or changed? - is there anything you wish you had done - What about your new build makes your life easier; what doesn't ? - Brands/Products That I'd Use Again - Share your best sites for deals on supplies! - To help others - Things I would do different and things i love! - Things I wish I'd specified on my plans - It's been two years...what I've learned, would change, etc... - Biggest Mistakes? - Help!!! Have I forgotten anything? - designing electrical in house - doing whole house audio


clipped on: 02.21.2012 at 10:06 am    last updated on: 02.21.2012 at 10:06 am

Dream Thread! (What do you wish you had now?)

posted by: Improv241 on 04.12.2011 at 10:50 pm in Building a Home Forum

So my wife and I are in an interesting situation. We are in our mid-20s and flipped a house in Richmond, VA (in the process of selling - shameless plug - contact me if you want a beautiful 2000+ sqft home in Chesterfield, VA).

NOW we're in the process of designing our next home. We have some time on our hands now, so we're trying to thinking of all the little things that we are afraid we will forget come final specs with our builder. My biggest concern is thinking about 5-10 years down the road for future add-ons/changes in our life (like kids).

We're planning to build on approximately 3-10 acres of land (well and septic needed) and a home about a 3000 sqft home.

Here is a list of things that I'm keeping track of so far (please feel free to dream big, the nuttier the idea, the better the chance it'll help me/someone else think of something):

-basement, obvious rough-in plumbing, up the electrical
-"Party Barn" - shop and office on the bottom, party on top (finished with bathroom), planning to run elec, plumbing, gas, to the approximate tie-in
-solid interior doors
-higher sound rating on 1st floor master bedroom walls....
-take advantage of geothermal heat pump tax credit
-plan surround sound (anyone have recommendations on conduit to make it easy to change later?)
-run elec, water, gas for future door patio
-i want at least one secret room with a secret door (i can dream)
-hdmi, ethernet, phone?, cable run throughout where appropriate (think kitchen/laundry/mudroom/bathrooms/etc as well)
-must have exhaust for wood cutting in shop (any other ideas for garage?)

I've been a lurker around here for a while, and look forward to contributing more! Thanks in advance for any input!


clipped on: 02.21.2012 at 10:04 am    last updated on: 02.21.2012 at 10:05 am

RE: shade of white subway tile backsplash with white cabinets (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: jillandmatt on 01.28.2012 at 12:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our cabinets are slightly brighter white (bm snow white) and our subway is the white from Lowes. I'm really glad we went a little darker on the subway because I think they warm up the kitchen and if we matched the cabinets it would have been sterile and boring. I suggest making a sample board. I went to Lowes and got some tile and some tile adhesive and made several different boards with different tile/grout combos. That really helped. Here is a pic of our kitchen.


clipped on: 02.11.2012 at 09:35 am    last updated on: 02.11.2012 at 09:36 am

(Mostly) Finished Kitchen Pics

posted by: beaglesdoitbetter on 02.01.2012 at 11:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I REALLY wanted to wait until I was moved in and had furniture and had my dishes in the cabinets to post the "big reveal," but I cannot wait. I just can't. I love my kitchen too much (at least from the pics I got today- I haven't actually seen it in person yet since the paper was taken off!) :)

So, anyway, here is the Finished Kitchen Part I with Part II pending in a few months if you aren't all sick of my kitchen already :) Part II will also feature interior shots of the drawers, as there's fun stuff inside all of them and I don't have pictures of that yet :)

So, without further ado...








Don't mind the odd silver thing on the drainboard- that's just the plug to the sink, it won't live there forever.

And, just for fun since so many people in the kitchen forum helped me to design these cabinets, this is the finished gathering/keeping room area off the kitchen. Note- the really ugly cabinet knobs are not staying. I wanted white marble and these were the only ones I found but they are not attractive:

Cabinets: Dutch Wood Kitchens
Granite/marble: Statuario marble for the perimeter cabinets and marble sink. Fabricated by IMG Marble and Granite. Blue bahia for the island, fabricated by Sinai/Big Brothers Marble and Granite who did a perfect seam
Island sink Concrete, fabricated by Paco Originals
Knobs/pulls Custom-made glass, created by Designer Glass Mosaics to match the granite.
Appliances Miele 42" cooktop, some kind of Jenn-Air oven, Sharp microwave drawer, integrated Bosch refrigerator (behind the mirror), integrated Fisher & Pickel dishdrawers (one next to each sink); integrated Bosch dishwasher
Pantry door Custom design, Sans Soucie Art Glass
Mural Stone impressions (custom design, they sent us the graphics and we created it ourselves
Chandeliers James R. Moder Crystal
Faucets & potfiller Whitehaus.

I think that's all- let me know if I forgot anything :)

Anyway, a BIG thank you to everyone on GW who gave encouragement, advice, and information about things that I never even knew existed etc. etc.


clipped on: 02.10.2012 at 10:41 am    last updated on: 02.10.2012 at 10:42 am

RE: Cabinet quotes (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: beaglesdoitbetter on 10.07.2011 at 01:01 am in Kitchens Forum

Not a problem joaniepoanie. We are paying a total of $34,680 for our kitchen. All 3/4 maple plywood, domestic. We designed the door ourself from a collection of different doors they had.

My kitchen is very large (53 feet of cabinets including a 13 foot island) and includes a lot of fancy details (custom color match, three piece crown molding w/ rope around whole kitchen including breakfast nook, mirrored panels on the fridge and additional cabinet, all glass uppers, all deep drawers w/ full extension, soft close on every cabinet and drawer, pull out trash modified to work w/ foot pedal meant for frameless cabinets, tons of corbels and carvings and appliques, all custom inserts, multiple pull-out work surfaces, an island bumped up to accommodate hidden silverware drawers, furniture feet, pull out spice racks and more that I can't even remember).



I cannot begin to recommend Dutch Wood highly enough. They are doing cabinets in every single room of my house, from the pantry to the conservatory to the dog room to the closets. Every single thing they have done thus far as been exquisite, especially things that are difficult to do like blue stained and gray stained cabinets and achieving an even stain. They never said no to any request, just figured out a way to make things work. They were responsive, timely, got back to emails right away, and are doing all of the installation w/ me being 5 1/2 hrs. away without one single problem.

Feel free to email me off list if you would like and I will send you the detailed proposal that I received so you can see the exact breakdown in cost (it's about 3 pages long).


clipped on: 02.10.2012 at 10:00 am    last updated on: 02.10.2012 at 10:14 am

RE: Almost Finished Pics - long time coming... (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: aokat15 on 02.09.2012 at 08:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks so much everyone!! Really makes me smile - I feel like I've been obsessed with the details of our reno (in particular the kitchen and bathrooms) for two years... and we're so close to being done. I'm exhausted from the stress and decision making but being in the space makes it all worth it.

capecodder: Our cabinets are by Mark Miller of M.A. Miller, LLC. He is an amish cabinetmaker in Middlefield, OH. He is fantastic to work with and we could not love our cabinets more. They are beautifully made - very strong - and all of the inserts, specialties, etc are great. They were much more affordable then semi-custom lines that we checked out and so much nicer. He did our bathroom vanities as well as our family room built-ins and we will have him do more in the future (i.e. the pantry :) ) He does work all over the country - from DC to San Francisco - his contact info: Mark Miller 440-636-5697.

Bee: thanks so much - from your threads and your last space I know your kitchen is going to be absolutely gorgeous as well! We actually lucked out on our fridge - we weren't even considering it and our appliance store had it as a floor model! It was my dh's dream fridge but out of our budget until we discovered that deal. It sounds like you got a great deal as well!

boschboy: it is beadboard on the ceiling! That was a feature I knew I wanted from the start and I look at it and love it everyday! We used Azek composite 6"x18' beadboard planks and finished it with oil-based paint.

athomesewing: thanks so much! The fridge is wonderful - definitely exceeded my expectations on performance (and I was expecting a lot given the price msrp!) and I love the drawers. We are a family of 6 (three little ones and my sister lives with us) and there is more than enough space in the fridge and freezer for us. And yes - it's gorgeous to look at :) I think we get the most compliments on the fridge.

tea4all: our floors are stained Early American. I thought about going darker but I just didn't want the added upkeep and this was the perfect medium stain for us!

eugenie11: I was like your dh - very worried about keeping it looking neat... but I really haven't stressed about it and it always looks great - I think the overall affect outweighs any possible disarray.

taggie: the pullouts by the range are a favorite detail of mine! They are oversized drawers - one has dividers for trays, cutting boards, baking sheets, etc. In the other I have my crockpot and other oversized pots that I use often. I can post a pic if you like.


clipped on: 02.10.2012 at 09:06 am    last updated on: 02.10.2012 at 09:08 am

Almost Finished Pics - long time coming...

posted by: aokat15 on 02.09.2012 at 02:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm still waiting to finish up some small details - such as having my potfiller installed - but I thought I'd post my almost finished pics. I've posted some pics along the way, but here is where we're at now. It's been almost 2 years since we purchased our home and we are slowly coming to the end of a long whole house renovation and addition. Gardenweb has been an amazing source for inspiration and guidance - thanks for all of your help along the way. Let me know if you want any info.

To the right of my refrigerator is an oversized walk-in pantry. There are temporary shelves in there now... someday soon we'll have cabinets and nice shelving and I'll share those pics as well :)


clipped on: 02.10.2012 at 08:59 am    last updated on: 02.10.2012 at 09:00 am

Finished Kitchen creamy white, lacanche, calacatta

posted by: tearose21 on 07.13.2009 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Posted earlier but pictures were too small. Hope this works.



clipped on: 02.04.2012 at 09:40 pm    last updated on: 02.04.2012 at 09:41 pm

Show me your kitchens with 9ft ceilings

posted by: fiveunderfive on 02.01.2011 at 08:53 am in Kitchens Forum

We are in the process of starting our dream home build, hoping to break ground in March (once it thaws around here). We modified (made bigger) the plans from the 1999 Life Mag Dream House. I've enclosed a pic from the magazine. Our kitchen will have a very similar layout, except the bank of cabs on the far left (btwn windows and french doors) will be double ovens. We are thinking of placing a side-facing cabinet between the ovens and window to house dishes as the dishwasher will be immediately underneath, and then dead-ending the opposing wall of cabinets into the wall. The windows will be sizable (I think 3 double-hungs totalling about 104 inches?) and will have a nice view of our wooded backyard. That set of windows will be also be mirrored further down to the left of the french doors in the living room. The entire first floor will have 9ft ceilings, except for a cross-shaped walkway from the front door bisecting the LR and kitchen to the french doors out back (you can see this in the pic) and from the stairs bisecting the kitchen and DR out through the pantry and mudroom to the garage, which will be lowered to 8ft.

Hubby and I are in disagreement about how high to run the cabinets. I'd like them to go all the way to the ceiling. I think it looks a bit more finished. Especially if they are topped with molding, and don't just end into a soffit. He wants to stop around 8ft and do a soffit. We are both on the taller side (i'm 5ft 7 and he is 6ft 2) so reaching the highest cabs isnt really an issue, realizing that most of what will be stored up there would be rarely used items anyway. I thought about making those cabs glass front and storing some of our "bar" ware up there. Since the "back" wall will have no uppers, and the side wall will have the fridge, microwave (NOT OTR), and cook top (so few uppers there as well), I am certain will can find use to fill those cabs.

If you have 9 ft ceilings, could you share some pics? I'm curious what others have done.

Here is a link that might be useful: similar kitchen layout


clipped on: 02.04.2012 at 09:27 pm    last updated on: 02.04.2012 at 09:27 pm

Finished (almost) White Kitchen- PHEW!

posted by: dotcomgone on 01.19.2010 at 04:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks to everyone on Gardenweb for their wealth of information. While I haven't posted often, I have utilized this site daily to find information and inspiration. Thank you for taking your time to share your kitchen ideas so that others can benefit from your experiences.

We are almost done. Just a kitchen table, island stools, desk area chair and accessories to go. Our project started in June and was substantially complete a few days before Christmas.

Unfortunately, I don't have before photos handy and used my iphone to snap these shots. Sorry for the quality. Our old kitchen was L shaped as well, a galley style with eating area. We had white 80's cabinets (solid door) with soffits. Counters were white square tile. Our worst feature was the powder room in the kitchen space and window that faced into our neighbors house (current range wall.) We expanded our kitchen by pushing out the range wall. Other than that we had to work within the space. Our main goals were moving the powder room out of the kitchen, storage, fitting in an island and eating area and respecting the age of our home (1906).

I am happy to share any details if anyone is interested.

Thanks again to all esp. those who helped me through a mini-marble crisis.









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clipped on: 02.04.2012 at 09:25 pm    last updated on: 02.04.2012 at 09:25 pm

RE: The Pantry - Is Ventilation really needed? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: ICFgreen on 01.07.2012 at 08:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm glad you posted about this. That thread scared me, too! :-)

We have a 9'x9'10 pantry, which will have a stand up freezer in it. When we brought up the issue of ventilation with our GC, he said they'd never put in ventiilation in a panty before.

I keep my bulk goods in sealed containers, and have never had an issues in our old house, but just in case, we're put in a vent cover above our pantry door. There's won't be any circulating air because it won't be hooked to our HVAC system, but between the vent cover and the door open while I'm cooking/baking, we're hoping that will be sufficient.

I'm not on my computer at the moment, but I posted some pictures of what we're thinking of doing on our home blog. (Link below).

I'd love to hear a few others with walk-in pantries chime in with their experiences, especially those with freezers or appliances plugged in.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ventilation for the Pantry


clipped on: 02.02.2012 at 08:29 am    last updated on: 02.02.2012 at 08:29 am

Taggie, Capegirl (Follow-Up #90)

posted by: breezygirl on 01.17.2012 at 12:15 am in Kitchens Forum

Sorry I missed some of your other questions.

Taggie--Thanks! yes, I did a few 4-drawer stacks. It's what I was used to with the few stacks I had in my old kitchen. I have a lot of utensils, etc that I felt would get lost in a deeper drawer. I'm having some difficulty with them in that the shallow ones aren't as deep as I calculated they would be. Consequently, some items don't fit where I thought they would. Right of the sink has 1. washclothes and bibs for DD 2. kitchen towels 3. BBQ tools 4. kids cups and thermoses in easy reach.

Right of the cooktop are 1. spices on the left and baking tools (measuring spoons and cups, etc.) on the right 2. larger and secondary baking tools like rolling pin and pastry cutters, stand mixer paddles, plus other small prep tools that need to be sorted and possibly moved to the island drawers 3. Teas, hot cocoa 4. Storage containers and lids.

(Please don't judge the organization as I still need to work on final homes for some of these things, final arrangement within the drawers, and find some organizer trays. AND...I NEED TO FIND MY DARN LABELER!!)



Left of cooktop has 1. hot mitts and pads on left and meat thermometers, tongs on the right 2. scale, corkscrew and wine corking system, binder clips, misc. tools 3. meat pounders, specialty microplanes, spider, gravy seperator, potato masher, misc. tools 4. pyrex dishes, mondo sized aluminum foil roll.


Capegirl--Hi! Thank you! There is nothing on the back wall of those cabs. It must be the water glass giving a shimmery look. What idea did I give you? To put something on the back wall of the cabs? I wish I could help!

Madeline--No specific tiles in the running yet. I've posted some of my ideas before....they're expensive. :( Walnut is holding up fine, for wood. I've gotten scratches and some dents from dropping things on it. I love the finish of the Osmo. The woodworker who made it was here the other day so he brought his sander and sanded it down really quickly and put another coat of osmo on. It took about 10 minutes and all the scratches were gone! Love the ability to do that!

Couldn't resist posting one of my fav new items. Knife block!!



kitchen organization
clipped on: 02.02.2012 at 08:01 am    last updated on: 02.02.2012 at 08:01 am

RE: Has anyone bought sinks or faucets online??? Please help! (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: urybotm on 09.14.2007 at 02:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

I purchased 2 sinks and 1 faucet from I decided to take the risk buying over the internet to obtain significant savings compared to more expensive brand names like Elkay and Franke. I am delighted to say that the sinks LI-100 ($456), LI-400 ($284), and faucet LI-VLK5 are great. The sinks are heavier (16 gauge) compared to everyone else's 18 gauge, and you get extra "gifts" with them like a really nice collander, cutting mat and S/S cleaner.
The are of great quality, and severl hundred $less than comparable models in the name lines. They shipped within a few days of placing the order, and were received safely in about a week.
Free shipping and no sales tax - it doesn't get much better.


clipped on: 02.01.2012 at 01:39 pm    last updated on: 02.01.2012 at 01:39 pm

RE: Has anyone bought sinks or faucets online??? Please help! (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: sandykay on 09.01.2007 at 01:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

I bought all Toto fixtures: 4 toilets, 2 cast iron bathtubs, 3 faucets,3 sinks and 2 shower sets from Todd @
The savings were unbelievable compared to local plumbing stores. They can get all the Toto products you see on
I also bought a moenstone sink on ebay and several faucets from
I hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: ewins


clipped on: 02.01.2012 at 09:40 am    last updated on: 02.01.2012 at 09:42 am

RE: Has anyone bought sinks or faucets online??? Please help! (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: linda-z on 08.29.2007 at 08:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

I bought my Franke sinks through They had the best prices for Franke and were incredibly fast on delivery. They even included a new corkscrew and a rubber duckie. ;-)

I bought my insinkerator instant hot from They have a great return policy and also had a sale on insinkerator.

I bought my prep sink faucet and soap dispensers from a very good EBay seller.

I bought my main sink faucet from

So far, so good. I saved quite a bit of money by buying online.



clipped on: 02.01.2012 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 02.01.2012 at 09:26 am

RE: Has anyone bought sinks or faucets online??? Please help! (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: vjrnts on 08.29.2007 at 07:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

I ordered a sink from Sienna Sinks and a faucet from I had no problem with either one.


clipped on: 02.01.2012 at 09:23 am    last updated on: 02.01.2012 at 09:24 am

RE: How much % can you negotiate down with a custom builder these (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: carolwaw on 03.15.2011 at 01:01 am in Building a Home Forum

In our case, we were negotiating with a small custom builder who already owned the city infill lot that we were interested in. His bid was $425,000; we offered $405,000, and he accepted. We initially had some concern that he would just lower the quality of materials or construction by $20,000, but the new bid included the same allowances for materials as the original, and we knew from talking to references that he was a very ethical guy who wouldn't compromise on quality.

Our construction loan required an appraisal, which came in at only $370,000--a fair appraisal given the current housing market, I think. We qualified for the loan, since we were putting a high percentage down, but we still almost backed out at this point. Our builder offered one more incentive that helped convince us to continue--he offered to do all our upgrades and change orders at cost, which was a significant savings to us during the build. So that's another thing you could think about negotiating.


clipped on: 01.31.2012 at 04:55 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2012 at 04:55 pm

RE: negotiate allowances with builder? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: macv on 01.09.2011 at 12:43 pm in Building a Home Forum

Allowances are not bids and should always be negotiated so both parties are OK with them. Think of allowances as small cost-plus contracts inside of a fixed-price contract and the dollar amounts as a budget. They are needed to help define the scope of the project for budgeting, borrowing and setting a reasonable fee for the GC. If possible allowances should only be used for materials, not installation and labor and only when a material cannot be defined in time for signing the contract.

Since allowance amounts are really just budgets they shouldn't mean much but the wild cards are how the GC's mark-up will be adjusted on the final cost (try to get the increase eliminated) and what subs and suppliers can be used (try to add a provision for you to select a sub or for you to provide the material if you are not satisfied with the selection and/or prices from the GC's subs).

If you can get those contract provisions, the allowance amounts only help you budget/borrow for the project. If they are included in competitive bidding they will usually be so low they are useless. Try to set them high enough that they won't cause trouble for you later. If the GC doesn't want them to be raised that's a red flag IMHO.


clipped on: 01.31.2012 at 04:50 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2012 at 04:51 pm

RE: Help! How do we negotiate best? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: sweet_tea on 03.04.2011 at 08:36 am in Buying and Selling Homes Forum

Here is an easy way to negotiate in general (job offer, car , real estate, construction.)

Let's say bldrX quoted $504k total with xyz allowance pckg. Just say this..."can you do it for $447 total with abc allowance pckg? " Then you shut up and listen for an answer. You don't have to explain why. And DO NOT tell them you like them best and picked them over anyone. This could be verbal or email.

Chances are they will not come as low as you ask, but possibly close but you will see movement in your direction.

This negotiation method is very easy because you are not outright refusing the original price (.e.g. not saying I can only go with you if you don't give me lower). You are just asking for better and not showing all your cards.

Trust me, it works very well.


clipped on: 01.31.2012 at 04:43 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2012 at 04:43 pm

RE: kitchen cabinets for 9 foot ceilings (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: sombreuil_mongrel on 10.22.2011 at 10:26 am in Remodeling Forum

If you have a custom cabinetmaker, (allowing for 6" of crown/cornice) have him make you 48" tall boxes, but use two doors on each box. There should be a fixed horizontal shelf divider between the doors to make a division between upper and way-upper cabinets. One door 36", the other 12", or one door 33", the other 15". The idea is to get away from stacking a small box on top of a bigger one; it is much more expensive because of the extra material needed, and more labor to install, and you end up with less space than if a single, tall box. The smaller doors will also reduce the problems from warping of a taller door.
Might I suggest glass doors above in some cases, with backlighting?


clipped on: 01.30.2012 at 07:37 pm    last updated on: 01.30.2012 at 07:37 pm

RE: Cutting Costs (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: beaglesdoitbetter on 06.18.2011 at 10:11 pm in Building a Home Forum

ICFgreen there were a few:

- Bellacor
- CSN Lighting
- Homeclick
- Lighting Universe
- 1 Stop Lighting
- Shades of Light (this store has some really unique pieces that were very different from things I saw elsewhere)
- Lighting By Gregory
- I got a 1930's art deco fixture on ebay (there's a bunch, probably not really going to fit in too well with your modern aesthetic, but if you haunt the ones that aren't buy-it-nows, you can get a great deal)

My strategy was to find a fixture on clearance on one site, and then do a search for the product name until I found it the cheapest since if it was on clearance on one, it was usually on clearance everywhere. It was time consuming b/c you can't just count on the Google product compare since sometimes there will be a coupon or something that lets you get it cheaper from a site that actually has a higher price. I also used Fatwallet Cash Back and a few other cash back sites, and googled for "coupon code" for any site I was going to buy from.

My 3 best deals, and again these are probably not quite your style but it might be useful for someone else):
- Progress Crawford Outdoor Lanterns These are regularly $186 or more and I got them for $62.00 each w/ coupon found by googling

- Sea Gull Highlands Large 15 light for great room (we needed a 4+ footer and everything else was very expensive, I got this for $1200 on a memorial day sale from this website.

- Progress Versailles This was a discontinued fixture and it is beautiful in person.

I am getting my custom cabinets from Dutch Wood Kitchens in Myerstown PA and I cannot possibly say enough good things or recommend them highly enough. They are mennonite (which is sort of like Amish) so no website, but here's a brochure. The quality of their workmanship is wonderful (dovetail construction, beautiful finishes, 3/4 plywood, etc). They are doing some extremely unique and difficult things for us (17 ft. high triangle bookcase going up to a vaulted ceiling, w/ library ladder), they are responsive and communicative, do beautiful CAD drawings, do what they promise when they say they will, get back to you quickly with quotes and drawings, are extremely nice (the person I am working w/ did like 40 drawings for one book shelf in my house to make sure I was completely happy w/ it because I couldn't find a design I wanted), have never ever said no to any idea I've had no matter how crazy and are very budget friendly. I've recommended them to at least 2 people on the kitchen forum who are using them and one persons kitchen is finished already and I gather turned out very well. My cabinets aren't installed yet but I've gone to visit them in the shop and they are coming along absolutely beautiful. If you are anywhere near PA, I highly, highly recommend them (they are going to Brooklyn for one of the people who found them off of here, so I don't know how far you are?). They also use domestic plywood w/ no formaldahyde (spelling?) and could probably use whatever other materials you want in order to be green, I don't know much about green design but they are very open and responsive to any ideas I have.


clipped on: 01.30.2012 at 11:09 am    last updated on: 01.30.2012 at 11:09 am

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

Corresponding view

Old family room:

Corresponding view

Old dining room (both visible walls are now gone)

Corresponding view

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)


clipped on: 01.26.2012 at 09:31 pm    last updated on: 01.26.2012 at 09:31 pm

Finished! White (with blue island), soapstone, etc. (pic heavy)

posted by: mfhoop on 12.08.2010 at 08:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

We've taken some time off from reading this forum (new baby came 4 weeks after we were substantially complete on the kitchen!), but we just got back the photos that our contractor's professional photographer took, so we thought we'd do the final unveil.

When we moved into this house 17 months ago, we knew we'd need to update the kitchen. It was the size of a postage stamp and cut off from the rest of the house. See original floor plan here:

Existing Floorplan

We really wanted a kitchen that would be open to our family room, would have eat-in space not separated by a brick wall, and - of course - more space. So we decided to take out the wall between the original kitchen and dining room, move the dining room to what used to be a formal living room that we never used, and taking out the wall between the old kitchen/dining rooms and a breezeway type area that was mostly wasted space.

After discussions with several design/build firms and countless hours of looking at floor plans posted to this site (thank you, those who gave us valuable input!), we pretty much designed the floor plan ourselves and then found a contractor who was willing to do it. We did have to convince him that we really did want this design. He wanted us to have a U-shaped kitchen with a peninsula instead of the island, but we really wanted the circular flow plan and felt strongly that we wanted 2 separate cabinet runs that make a disconnected "L" so we didn't have any corner cabinets. (With his design we would have had 2 corners on an 11-foot wall). What we ended up with was mostly like this:

Changes to this design included moving the warming drawer to the island, putting the icemaker to the right of the prep sink, and shrinking down the island a bit. We also moved things around within the mudroom. Generally speaking, this is substantially what we ended up with.

This was no small construction feat - we took out 2 walls, including one load-bearing wall to combine 2 rooms and an old breezeway into a single kitchen and then added a mudroom. From the first sledgehammer to the final nail, it took about 16 weeks. There were a few in the middle when we thought that the baby would come first but they got it done on time and for that we are super grateful!

For those who want to know what is what:
Cabinets - CWP (we originally wanted Crownpoint, but decided we wanted something made closer to where we live - VA - and less expensive). So far we've been pleased though the wainscot still needs to be touched up. We're glad we did the blue island with the white surrounding cabinets. It gives the room some personality, looks great with the soapstone and matches my Polish pottery!
Counters and sinks - soapstone from Buck's County. Love it.
Rangetop, hood and ovens - Wolf
Fridge - 48" Subzero
Warming drawer - Miele - we still don't really use this...
Dishwasher - Miele
Microwave - GE spacesaver. We went through a lot of angst with our contractor on the placement of this. We had this location in a prior kitchen and really liked it but he never did. We still like it!
Wine fridge - U-line
Ice Maker - SZ (found used on Craigslist!)
Backsplash - carrara marble (we originally wanted plain white but hired a designer for a few hours of input and he recommended this - we really like how it ties together the grey in the soapstone and the white in the cabinets)
Knobs and pulls- RH
Latches - can't remember, but found them from the Christopher Peacock look-alike kitchen blog
Faucets - KWC except for the filter/insta-hot which is Waterstone (I thought I would love the pull down one but I actually like the pull-out one at our cleanup sink more)
Pendants - Hudson Valley
Floors - White oak in kitchen, soapstone in mudroom. We had 3 different materials in the 3 rooms that were combined to make this (cork, wood, and slate) and had a hard time deciding what we wanted to have. In the end, we went with wood and stained it to match the adjacent dining room.

The pictures:

The old:
Kitchen 3

The new:

To orient yourself, the pantry to the left of the fridge is in the same location that our old fridge was!






clipped on: 01.26.2012 at 09:16 pm    last updated on: 01.26.2012 at 09:16 pm

RE: Finished Kitchen~White, Marble, Soapstone (Follow-Up #58)

posted by: katieob on 12.05.2009 at 09:46 am in Kitchens Forum

Good Morning~

Wow-thank you for your wonderful feedback! It means a lot. We acted as our own GC on this build & had no kitchen designer, so I was really flying by the seat of my pants. We did find an amazing cabinetmaker and I couldn't be happier with his work. I'll reiterate it-this forum was amazingly helpful.

Here are the details below. I will post some more photos of the adjoining rooms and half walls (drjoann) during the week as I unpack & organize. The room with the baskets is the playroom and our carpenter built the built in based on a Pottery Barn Kids picture. Rhome, the area behind the range wall is a mudroom with lockers & cubbies. We moved from a 2 bedroom in the city so I often just wander into the mudroom and stare. LOVE IT.

Any questions or details I miss, please just ask. I'm happy to answer anything.

Ceiling height is 9 and a half feet

Floors: 8 inch heart pine, tung oil & satin finish

Cabinets: Local cabinetmaker. Inset, shaker style with single bead in Ben Moore White Dove

Perimeter Counter: Soapstone (Green Mountain Original)
Island Counter: Calacatta Marble (Honed, 5cm)

Backsplash: Horus Art Tiffany (crackle, bianco)

Pendants: Restoration Hardware Benson (smallest size)

Hardware: Cup pulls are RH Gilmore, pulls are RH Aubrey, latches are Rejuvenation, and ice box latches are Clifside Brass. All are polished nickel.

Stools: Holsag Bulldog in Heritage Walnut (online through

Hood: Modernaire PS 26 (42 inches, 18 inches height)
Contact person was Pat Hartman

Range: Thermador Pro Harmony 36

Microwave: Sharp Drawer

Refrigerator: Sub Zero 42 inch Side by Side

Dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel double drawers

Sink: Shaw's 30 inch

Faucet: Rohl (modern architectural series)

Potfiller: Perrin & Rowe Country series

Thanks for looking!


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 09:44 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 09:44 am

Finished Kitchen~White, Marble, Soapstone

posted by: katieob on 12.04.2009 at 02:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all.

A huge thank you to everybody on this forum who helped graciously with advice, photos, experience & info. What an incredible resource this is. Shout outs to Erikanh & marthavila for hood help, willowdecor for tile, all the stoners, and many more.

We moved in last week-bottom trim on fridge & dw are still missing, excuse the messy bottoms.

I'll be happy to provide details if anyone wants them.

Thanks for looking!





Marble Close Up


Soapstone Close Up



clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 09:37 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 09:37 am

Finished Finished! Rancher Remodel, dark to light! (tons pix)

posted by: firsthouse_mp on 06.28.2010 at 02:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are done, we are moved in.....after 17mos living with my mom and enduring living out of cardboard boxes! Love love love my new kitchen!! Thank you to all of you who deeply inspired me (redroze,elizpiz,rm,theanimala,segbrown,many many more!), and I hope you don't mind that there's a piece of each of your kitchens that I copied because I admired it so much. I learned so much by lurking, reading everything then finally posting.

--Our cabinets were so reasonable and they work beautifully. We LOVE Precision Cabinets! Their install was immaculate and perfect. When we had a glitch with the warming drawer, they fixed it perfectly! While I couldn't afford every "bell & whistle" inside the cabinets, I love them.
--White Princess honed. It's gorgeous and I no longer have the OCD urge to constantly wipe my counters (our old granite was polished). I also love my backsplash done in the same material--I am attracted to visual simplicity so couldn't pick a tile :)
--Cheap dishwasher. Paid $500 and we love it.
--Deep cheap sinks. Our main Ebay sink is awesome($500)! Love the 10" big single bowl. The island sink was cheap too, and is the perfect size, $150.
--White everywhere and one big room. Not for everyone, but my DH and I love the big open light-filled room. Far cry from the dark rancher that it was. We tore down two walls and raised the ceiling.
--The soapstone buffet. It was a remnant piece and I love that it doesn't match the rest of the kitchen. Sets it apart and boy does the texture feel nice!
--The papertowel niche. Not important, but I like that the towels are off my counter and totally accessible.
--The two hidden cabinets in the island near the stools. All my Xmas dishes, Thanksgiving platters and everything fit in here!

--The Vent Hood: Modernaire was a NIGHTMARE to deal with here in the NorCal area. You have to go through a distributor who will upcharge you $2,000 to order a hood. Modernaire won't sell directly to anyone who is in the area of one of their distributors. The rep here was a complete idiot, ripped me off and in the end didn't deliver what I had ordered. I had to then hire someone else to fix the goofs. Not worth it!

--Order our range through AJ Madison. Total pain to get this stove delivered. The rest of our appliances came without a hitch but the delivery of the range was a disaster. They refused to deliver it until we had a concrete pathway, but our city had some issues with solid pathways and the runoff, etc. Had 4 delivery dates and they turned around each time and refused to bring it in the house. In the end I would have purchased this through our local store (there was no discount on this by buying on internet, unlike the other appliances).

--Help me pick kitchen table chairs! Those pictured are folding chairs for holidays. Our old ones were falling apart, so we ditched them in the move. What should I put there?
--Shades ordered and we are waiting for them to come and be hung.
--The stools (CB2 Vapor) are too tall and we need to have the legs cut down. They only come in 30" or 24" and one is too tall and the other is too short. Sigh.

Cabinetry—Precision Cabinets, Brentwood, CA; painted in stock color which matches Simply White
Walls—BM Simply White
Kitchen Counters—White Princess granite, from DaVinci Marble & Stone in San Carlos, CA, with 2.25" mitred square edge
Buffet Counter—Brazilian Black soapstone from Texeira, SF, with no edge finish
Door and Drawer Pulls—Top Knobs, Square Pulls, Polished Chrome; ordered off the internet
Main Sink—Ebay purchase 36" SS Farmhouse w/apron front , single bowl, flushmount
Island Sink—Dawn 19X17 single bowl, undermount
Main Faucet—Blanco Meridien Semi-Professional in Brushed
Island Faucet—Santec Penza pull out in Brushed
Refrigerator—Electrolux WaveTouch; ordered off
Dishwasher—Whirlpool Gold Quiet Partner III; ordered from AJ Madison
Microwave Drawer—Sharp 24"; ordered from AJ Madison
Range—Viking Range w/6 burners and griddle; ordered from AJ Madison
Hood— Modernaire custom hood
Trash Compactor—GE Profile in SS; ordered from AJ Madison
Warming Drawer—Kitchenaid Architect Series II; ordered off; panel from cabinet co.
Backsplash—White Princess granite
Flooring-DuChateau pre-engineered floors in Lugano
Big Slider Door—Custom made 10’ bypass doors by McFarland Doors, w/custom screen
Island Pendants—Hudson Valley Pelham 13" ordered from Butler Lighting
Breakfast Table Pendant—Round 26" linen chandelier by Restoration Hardware
Buffet Sconces—Boston Library Sconces by

Before Remodel
Family room:Before Remodel
Before Remodel



clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 09:31 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 09:31 am

From mid centurty ugly to my dream bathroom 95% done

posted by: jenskitchen on 12.30.2010 at 03:46 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We are almost done with our bathroom renovation. I'm too excited about it to wait for the finishing touches before I post it. Still to come is a mirror with 1" bevel to be installed in vanity, frameless glass to be installed in shower and baseboard heat cover being made. Thank you for all of your help during my many mini meltdowns.

We went from this...


There was one electrical outlet in the hole bathroom and it was in the medicine cabinet.


We closed off this door and moved the shower to that side.

So here is our new vanity...


Our new shower

We will put white wood blinds on the window and a cover for the heater


Here are the details:

Shower fixtures, towel bars: Restoration Hardware Asbury
Floor and shower walls: 12x12 honed carrara tiles set in a running bond pattern with delorean gray grout
Floor in shower: Cobsa thin basketweave
Light: Landmark Lighting
Vanity: Custom built
Makeup Mirror: Kimball Young hardwired
Paint: Trim and vanity is Glacier White and walls and ceiling is Stonington Gray


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 09:27 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 09:27 am

Finished Traditional Kitchen (lots of pics)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.05.2011 at 01:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

THANK YOU GARDENWEB! We got so many great ideas from this forum, and everybody was so incredibly helpful and generous.

Here are some pics and a few details:
Kitchen corner
Refrigerator and pantry:
Message center:
Message center with built-in chalkboard
Breakfast nook:
Breakfast nook
Our KD wanted an extremely large window area to bring in light, but made it fit into the old house by breaking it up and using leaded glass:
new leaded glass windows
Sink w/glass filler, runnels, & built-in compost bin:
Sink w/Runnels & built-in compost bin
Built-in compost bin close-up:
Built-in compost bin
Mug shelf:
Mug Shelf
Charging drawer. This entire cabinet is deeper than it appears because it is built into the interior wall behind it, gaining an extra 4" or so of storage space without creeping into the walkway in front of it:
Charging station built into drawer
Island cabinets:
Island cabinets wtih cutting board
Miele ovens installed as flush inset (I searched and never did find pictures of this, so hopefully these will help somebody else):
Miele appliances mounted flush inset
Cleaning closet in "invented space" from interior wall:
Cleaning closet
Extra depth for the vacuum was made by reducing the depth of the drawers under the pantry:
Cleaning closet
The placement of the outlet underneath the music player shelf allows the nasty cordness to be hidden from eye-level:
Music Shelf
Toe-kick heater vent. The toe-kick face under the message center & island is covered with stained oak flooring. From eye-level, the toe-kick absorbs the correct amount of light and gives the appearance of freestanding cabinets.
Under island heater vent
The freestanding appearance is clearer here:
Cabinet built-into wall
Drawers under nook seating area:
Under-seat drawers in nook
There is a powder room off the kitchen. This wasn't our first choice, but ended up being our only choice in this old house, and has been okay, especially considering its placement is directly next to the hallway and away from the primary cooking area:
Bathroom off of kitchen
Adjacent mudroom, which became part of the kitchen remodel. The door is to a laundry chute which we use mostly for kitchen towels & napkins.

Here is a link that might be useful: More pictures


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 09:16 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 09:16 am

RE: Are white quartz countertops a fad? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: momqs on 01.24.2011 at 10:32 am in Kitchens Forum

Consider the fact that if it's not your countertops it will be something else that looks dated in 5 or 10 years. Get what makes your heart sing.

Have you considered Quartzite? It's a natural stone and it's fairly bulletproof.

Here are some white examples:

Firsthouse_mp and I have White Princess:

Firsthouse_mp's island

My counters

Sochi's Luna di Luca

There are many others.

Here is a thread about marble look-alike countertops that has a few quartzite and then other materials.

White is great if you like the look. We love it and the counters make our kitchen.


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 08:53 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 08:54 am

RE: Counter window hight -- please help! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: buehl on 03.28.2008 at 01:28 am in Kitchens Forum

We just went through this. We had a bay window that was only 22" above the floor. We raised it so we could put our counter into the bay and up to the sill as well. The two side windows open, the middle window does not. It is difficult and you may or may not get it exact...err on the side of slightly higher than lower, though, b/c you can have a very short sill (~1/4" or so) and still have the same look.

Besides being sure your window is at the right height, be sure you can open the window (if it will open).

  • Get a casement window (crank open rather than lift up to open) b/c trying to open a window when leaning over a counter can be a "stretch" :-)
  • Be sure you have enough room b/w the counter and the crank so you can turn the crank w/o running into the counter

Usually, the window should be 36" off the finished floor. The height of the window itself is up to you want it almost to the ceiling or a different height? In our case, we were constrained by the fact that our bay was an actual bump-out of the house so we were limited to the height of the bump-out...14" lower than our 8' ceilings.

OK...this is what you have to do...

  1. First, are you replacing your current floor? If so, will it be before or after you put in the window?

    • If before, you need to know the thickness of the floor and the materials used to put in the floor.

      E.g., our tile floor went in after our window. So, we had to know how thick the tile was (3/8") + thickness of thinset + subfloor (if new subfloor will be put down).

      Then, we had to subtract the thickness of the vinyl that was still in place but was going to be taken out later (1/4")

    • If the window will be going in after the new floor or you are not replacing the floor, you can skip this step.

  2. Next, find out the height of your cabinets themselves. Most are 34-1/2" high. But, if you have raised or lowered your counters you will have a different height.

  3. Now, determine the thickness of your countertop material.

    • If granite, is it 2cm or 3cm? Generally (in USA), the west coast has 2cm and the rest of the country has 3cm. (1cm = 2.54 inches)
    • If 2cm, you will need to know the thickness of your plywood subtop.

  4. Add these numbers together and that's how high off the floor you will need to place your window. And, like I said before, it's better to err on the side of too high than too low.

Fothia has her counter running into her bay window. Her window was/is my inspiration and what I used to show what I wanted to the window people and our remodel contractor. I've linked her 99% finished kitchen thread. It has a closeup picture of her window.

If I missed anything, please let us all know!


Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of 99% finished Kitchen Reno


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 08:51 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 08:51 am

Pictures of my new kitchen!

posted by: joan2121 on 03.22.2011 at 06:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally some pictures and a chance to tell all of you at GW how grateful I am for all the help I got on this forum. It all started by looking at your pictures. And I became TKO! Since we were doing a complete remodel- removing walls and putting in all new windows and doors, I needed lots of help! We started in October and were up and running by the Holidays, but needed a few cabinet doors and misc stuff before I felt finished.
My husband did a lot of the work himself. The first biggy was the windows to the counter, bumped out - I never would have known about that.So many of you helped me decide on how to do that. Buehl even told us HOW to do it!! Nine feet of windows and no uppers on the sides of the sink?? DH thought I was crazy, but I was able to show him so many pictures that you guys posted.
I still need some decorating, and the backsplash (which you can see over the range) I am doing creme white subway with crackle.
I love the dining area table, but not too crazy about the chairs- We got it at High Point NC and the chairs came with it. What do you all think? Would 4 Windsor or Parson be better and just use the black arm chairs for the ends? The light over the table was in the house, and we just put it up until I get one. What kind do you think would look good?
Thank you!
I know how much your pictures meant to me when I was planning, so hope mine help some one else.

What's in my kitchen thanks to GW advice!
Never empty soap dispenser
Franke orca sink: Love the removable grid
Air switch
Lee Valley drawer dividers
Cabinets are Kraftmaid Garrison in Canvas: Love all pull outs, Blum motion, and drawers!
KA Dishwasher
KA CD refrigerator
GE Monogram range, hood and 240V Advantium
Granite is Giallo Ornamental
Paint color: BM Bennington Gray (looks green by the windows, it's more light the other side)


bumped out kitchen windows
clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 08:44 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 08:45 am

Miscellaneous Information

posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:34 am in Kitchens Forum


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 08:40 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 08:41 am

RE: Lighting Plan for Bedrooms (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: daniel0son on 01.24.2012 at 11:58 pm in Building a Home Forum

The one thing that no one has mentioned is that the best lighting is always in layers. I would never have just can lights in my bedroom. Can lights / down lights are usually used for general lighting, not task lighting. Bedside lamps or wall sconces are an additional layer that provide low levels of light for reading at night or when low level lighting is needed. The other thing to remember is most of the time when you are in your bedroom, your eyes are closed.

No one ever wants to walk into a dimly lit bedroom, think ceiling fan/ light combo with "soft white" incandescent lamps. You also don't want to be blinded either. However, dimming the amount of light is usually much easier and cheaper than trying to add additional light fixtures.

I wouldn't rule out using can lights in my bedroom, but I also wouldn't want it as my only source of light in the bedroom.

I also don't agree with Renovator8's comment about the trim size for cans. A 6" can is the most commonly sized down light. Most builders use them because they are common and therefore cheap. They can designed for most common household lamps including both PAR, R style, and "A" style lamps. "A" style lamps are the pear shaped incandescent lamps that most people refer to as bulbs or lamps for their home. An "A" lamp does a great shop of spreading light, but not at delivering it. Most of the light is usually lost within the fixture. Many builders use PAR or R style lamps because due to the way the lamps are shaped, most of the light is delivered to the work space and has a decent spread. If a lamp or bulb is seen from below the ceiling plane, then two things are going on. One - the can light is cheap and not deep enough. Or two (more likely) - someone is using a lamp that is not designed for this fixture. This can be a compact fluorescent "Par" style lamp or a larger wattage R or PAR lamp. Either way, the fixture is not being used as intended.

Most manufacturers of down lights have a wattage label inside the housing, but there should also be a sticker on the trim indicating the correct style of lamps to use. Whether or not someone pays attention to it is another matter.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

FYI - I'm a manufacturer's rep of over 100 different commercial and residential lighting lines. All I do every day is sell light fixtures and look at different lamps.


clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 08:35 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 08:36 am

RE: Pantry photos/ pics of pantries (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: mariposatraicionera on 04.17.2009 at 06:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Pantry check list:

Determine layout that meets your needs, plus additional space for what you don't anticipate (will you try to cram a vacuum cleaner or step stool in there?).

Allow for adequate movement for humans operating in the space.

Make sure doorways are wide enough to enter and exit and bring shelving and food items into the pantry closet.

If possible, locate the pantry in the northeast corner of the house, or the coolest location.

Allow deep shelving for small appliance storage, bulk food, and other odd-shaped items.

Allow shallow shelving for easy access and visibility to canned goods.

A mix of open shelving and drawers will cover most of your pantry storage needs.

A place to store and sort recyclables

Bins or baskets for potatoes, apples, bananas etc.

Plan for ample lighting, maybe even a motion light for convenience.

Include wall hooks for miscellaneous items like aprons, sweater, or purses - this tucked away storage helps keep your main kitchen looking neat and tidy effortlessly.

Consider keeping some empty wall space - you might want to hang calendars, a reminder board, or hanging pouch storage (or fly swatters, yardsticks).

Many people associate the color white with pantries, and for good reason. White walls and shelving brightens a space allowing it easier to see your pantry goods.

Include outlets inside the pantry. These would come in handy to recharge items out of the way, like flashlights, cell phones or even popular rechargeable vacuum cleaners. Also, you may want to run a small appliance, such as a crockpot. DO NOT make the mistake thinking you can squeeze something like a small chest-type freezer into a walk-in pantry. Pantries need to be kept relatively cool; a freezer's compressor would generate too much heat to be located there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry


clipped on: 01.22.2012 at 07:26 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2012 at 07:27 pm

RE: Pantry photos/ pics of pantries (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 02.04.2009 at 02:44 am in Kitchens Forum

I have a pantry suggestion... Ventilate!

Walk-in pantry -- can I see yours?

Would A Walk-In Pantry Be a Major Selling Point To You?

Wood or wire shelves for walk-in pantry

What size should a step-in corner pantry be?

Buehl's Pantry Pictures

And here's a preview:

The left side has 15" shelves and holds, top-to-bottom, cereals, snacks & drinks, gluten-free foods, small appliances, and two bins--one for yams & one for white potatoes. (Small appliance shelf now holds cookbooks. Toaster Oven & coffee maker are now on the floor.)

The right side holds, top-to-bottom, paper towels, baking/cooking supplies (next 3 shelves), small appliances, more baking supplies. The floor has a stool & paper plates.


clipped on: 01.22.2012 at 07:06 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2012 at 07:06 pm

Pantry photos/ pics of pantries

posted by: rhome410 on 02.03.2009 at 02:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

There are some great pantry threads that will eventually be lost and Starpooh suggested I post links here so that others can post and, hopefully, we'll keep some of these resources alive for those planning pantries in the future. (She pointed out that threads 'live' longer here than on the discussions side of the forum.) There is one thread, in particular, that has awesome photos of pantry interiors that I can open through a link I've saved, but if anyone posts on it, it doesn't become current again. Starpooh has put it in .pdf form and it is too large to download here, so I've linked it below.

Here is another walk-in pantry thread with helpful shelf spacing guidelines/recommendations:

There is also a previous thread with photos of closet style pantries, which I'm still trying to track down. Of course, photos of pantry cabs will be helpful to people, too.

Anyway, here's hoping people will start showing off their pantries here, so we form a pantry album for others to consult.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread as .pdf: Anyone Willing to Share the Inside of their Pantry?


clipped on: 01.22.2012 at 07:06 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2012 at 07:06 pm

RE: Questions for builders' references (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bevangel on 01.11.2010 at 09:27 pm in Building a Home Forum

If you're talking to references that are previous CLIENTS of the builder:

1) "If you HAD to build another custom home for some reason, would you automatically hire Builder X to build it or would you seek bids from other builders?" Rationale: Most homeowners are all too well aware of the potential for horrible problems with an unknown builder - no matter how well vetted. If a builder is really great, previous clients who find themselves needing to build again WILL choose the "great builder" with whom they already have an established relationship over an unknown builder, even if going with the latter might save them a few bucks.

2) For previous clients who say the builder is good, but who indicate that they would nevertheless get bids from other builders if they had to build again, ask: "Suppose Builder X and some other builder both bid your next project and the new builder came in a few thousand dollars less than Builder X; suppose further that the new builder, whom you don't personally know, has an EXCELLENT reputation in the community and a friend whom you do know and trust tells you he is both honest and a great builder. Which one would you hire, your original builder or the new guy?" Rationale: some people will want to get additional bids just to see if they could get a better deal. But, if they were REALLY happy with their initial builder, they'll remain loyal even if it costs them a few thousand dollars to do so. But, if they were only mildly satisfied with their original builder, they're much more likely to jump ship thinking that they MIGHT have fewer headaches another builder who an excellent reputation and, since they can save a few thousand, they might as well take a chance. You could even test the level of loyalty to the original builder by upping the dollar differential between the two builders to 5% to 10% of the overall cost of the build (enough to be significant but not enough to raise the spectre that the new builder might be low-balling the bid.

Ask previous clients just how much more (on a percentage basis) they wound up paying for their home than the builder's bid price. Follow that up by asking what THEY attribute the overages to. Did they actually upgrade any items from what they originally intended/envisioned? Or were there things that they had originally understood would be included in the price that the builder later insisted were upgrades or which turned out not to be included in the contract as the builder wrote it?

Ask if the build progressed in a reasonably timely manner.

Ask if the builder kept the site reasonably clean... without having to be hounded to do so.

Ask if they KNOW whether the builder made certain that materials (such as Tyvek, windows/doors, roofing shingles, etc.) were actually installed as recommended/required by the manufacturer to avoid waiving manufacturer's material's warranties. You'ld be surprised how often they are NOT and then, when there is a problem, the builder is long gone and the manufacturer disclaims any responsibility because the materials were not installed properly.

Ask how often the homeowner visited the build site during the course of the build. A homeowner who only shows up to ooh and aaah at the progress, pick paint colors, and do the final walk-thru doesn't really know diddly squat about how well or how poorly the house may have been built. They only know how pretty it looks... that is, until problems start cropping up 5 or 10 years after the closing.

You should also talk to each and every SUBCONTRACTOR that your builder will use on your house. Ask each one how many houses they have worked on for your builder. Ask whether your builder pays them on time. Ask whether he pays them by cash or check. (Subs that are paid in cash seldom have a clue which project they are being paid for. So if your builder winds up going belly up and the sub thinks he is still owed money, the sub may wind up picking your house, at random, as the one to file a lien against. To clear up such a lien, you may wind up having to pay a second time for work that you've already paid the builder for once!) If your builder pays subcontractors by check, with each and every check clearly indicating which project the sub is being paid for, there is less liklihood of that happening. Besides, builders who keep good financial records are less likely to go belly up anyway! Ask subs who are paid by check whether the builder has EVER given them an insufficient funds check - even if the builder later redeemed the check. Passing insufficient funds checks is a sign of a builder who is robbing Peter to pay Paul and likely to go under when there are no more Peters in line to rob.

BTW, Additionally, your contract should stipulate that your builder MAY NOT use any subcontractor to work on your house unless he has provided you with the name, phone number, and contact info of that sub at least 5 days IN ADVANCE. Further, it needs to stipulate that if your builder breeches this requirement at any time, he will fully indemnifies you against any and all lien claims by such subcontractors, including your attorney fees and court costs to clear such leins, regardless of whether or not he provides you with a lien release from such subcontractors. Then, when your builder asks for draws, check that the list of subs that he claims to have paid ONLY includes subs that you know about and from whom the builder has provided SIGNED, NOTARIZED, M&M lien release for all work done through the date of that draw request. Together these steps will help to protect you from, for example, paying your builder a draw for painting work in reliance on a lien release signed by Painter A only to later get hit with a lien from Painter B and discover that Painter A worked on some other house entirely and didn't pay any attention to the address on the lien release he was signing. Meanwhile, Painter B, who actually worked on your house but whom you had never heard of before, hasn't been paid and files a lien!

Insist that your potential builder give you with the names of all suppliers from whom he anticipates obtaining more than a few thousand dollars worth of materials. (concrete supplier, framing materials supplier, roofing materials supplier, siding/brick supplier, septic system supplier, plumbing materials supplier, electrical materials supplier, door and window package supplier, decking materials supplier, hardwood flooring supplier, tile supplier, etc.) Contact each of these suppliers and ask how long the builder has had a business account with them. Red flag if they've not done business with him before or if he only recently set up his business account with them even though he's been in the building business for years. If you find any of these, go back to builder and ask what supplier he used to get those supplies for previous houses.
A raft of new suppliers probably means builder is jumping from one supplier to another because of unpaid bills. Ask each supplier whether builder has paid his materials bills on a timely basis. Ask if the supplier has ever had to threaten builder that they will lien the property in order to get paid.

If you can possibly get it, you also need to get your potential builders to give you the names of their banker as a reference and agree to co-sign a letter to their banker asking for answers to a couple of questions. An honest builder should be willing to agree to allow their banker to answer the following questions:
1) How long has builder been banking with you?
2) Has builder written any "insufficient funds checks" on any of his accounts in the past year? If so, how often has he done so? (Once or twice might be understandable, more often that would be a huge red flag.)

No doubt some builders on this board will come back and tell you that I'm recommending you ask questions that are way too nosy. NONSENSE. You are going to be trusting your builder with YOUR money to pay other people for doing work on your home. If he is dishonest (or even just "robbing Peter to pay Paul" since apparently many builders don't consider that to be dishonest), he can soak you for thousands and thousands of dollars by pocketing your money or using it to pay off debts owed on previous builds rather than paying the people who are working on YOUR house. The slimey builders seem to think that, so long as they can get enough money out of the next job to pay off the workers on the last job, it doesn't matter if they're less than honest about where the dollars are flowing. You as the homeowner have little of no recourse if you wind up being the last Peter in line.

I, unfortunately, am speaking from very sad experience. The questions above are all things that I NOW wish I had thought to ask before we hired our builder. They might have saved me the nearly $60,000 he appears to have stolen from me by dint of phoney documents (lien releases from subs and suppliers who didn't supply anything to me house combined with liens I had to pay off from subs and suppliers who could prove that they did do work on my house and hadn't been paid!), the nearly $30,000 I've had to put into my build after firing him just to FIX some of the crappy work he did... and then covered over even after I pointed the mistakes out to him, and the nearly $20,000 worth of attorney bills I have now accumulated trying to get ex-builder to release his lien against my house. The court case is on-going and he refuses to release the lien in order to attempt to force me to drop my claims for fraud and breach of contract against him!

I called all my builder's references and they each and everyone said they were satisfied. I later learned that at least one of his references actually used providing a reference to me as leverage to get the builder to come back and finish the punch list items on his home...two YEARS after the closing. That homeowner now has a suit against builder for construction defects that became apparent only after I filed my suit against the builder!

Oh, and call you county land records office and find out whether they have records online where you can search them or if you have to go down to the courthouse. Either way, do a records search for M&M lien affidavits filed against your potential builder or against the address of any house that you know he built. The county clerk can tell you how to do the searches. If you find a plethora of liens from suppliers or subcontractors, RUN!

I know this is long but you cannot be too careful. I know there are wonderful builders out there and I sincerely hope you find one. I would not ever want anyone else to go thru the nightmare I have been living with for the past 18 months.


clipped on: 01.21.2012 at 10:56 am    last updated on: 01.21.2012 at 10:56 am

RE: List of stuff in kitchens? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: maydl on 07.18.2008 at 12:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

Like others who have posted, I created a Word document listing every cabinet with its drawers and shelves, and I assigned what items would inhabit those spaces when we move back into our new kitchen. I even drew diagrams of how things would sit on the shelves in order to use vertical space most efficiently. Because our new cabinets are taller, I also indicated where I'd like extra shelves (to be cut out of salvaged shelf material from our old kitchen) to be installed. So I don't think I've got anything new to contribute there.

But here is a related vow I made to myself: To stop using the kitchen as a warehouse. DH and I cleaned out our garage and attached storeroom, and we have made space for storing those humungous quantities of household supplies that we can't resist at Costco. From now on, only ONE of each item will live in the kitchen; the remainder will live on shelves and in drawers in the garage and storeroom. So when it comes time to change the paper towel or waxed paper rolls or to replenish the sandwich bag supply, yes, we'll have to go downstairs and get another one. But our kitchen will no longer be a warehouse.


clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:57 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:57 pm

RE: List of stuff in kitchens? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mamadadapaige on 07.17.2008 at 10:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

great list! i too made a list and then assigned the items from the list to the cabinets in my plan. it was very helpful. the larger tupperware stuff takes up a bit more space than I would have accounted for. The tupperware fits where I wanted it too, but I have to keep it all very organized. The salad spinner takes up a lot of space and I have a whole draw just for colanders.

I was very keen on having a draw for my kitchen dish towels and I have loved having them so handy and having enough space for them that they aren't crammed in. I am also VERY happy with the space I designated for our saran wrap, foil, baggies, etc... This is a draw I access several times per day so I wanted it really handy and it certainly is making kitchen life easier!

I have a whole draw just for electrical gadgets such as my little one cup chopper, food processor, hand mixer, stick blender, etc... I like having all this stuff together and having it in a draw is working out pretty well. Originally the food processor was supposed to go in my "appliance garage" but I ended up putting my heinously ugly toaster oven in there instead. Having that out of view is GREAT! and taking the food processor out of the nice and roomy draw is not a hassle at all (in my old kitchen it was shoved in a tiny narrow cabinets with all sorts of stuff spilling out everytime I accessed it, which caused me not to access it as often as I would have otherwise).

but again, hats off to bethv for that great list... much more comprehensive than the one I came up with and a great help I am sure to many... it is a good process to go through when designing a kitchen.


clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:54 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:54 pm

RE: List of stuff in kitchens? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bethv on 07.17.2008 at 09:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

One book I had recommended that I make a list of everything I have in the kitchen so that I my new plan included a place for everything. It really saved me - I used it to review my plan and double check that everything was accounted for. It was tough to figure out if things woud fit in the space alloted so I left a little extra room. Just this weekend I unpacked everything into the new cabinets! I had marked where everything went on the plan when I was evaluating it - so I used it to unpack - woked great! The pots & pans didn't fit well in the big drawers I had planned (handles were too long) so I moved them to the super susan. You should try to build in some flexiblity that way. THe other great thing was making a list of everything I liked & hated about the current kitchn so I could plan those in/out. Anyway here's my list from planning..

Hot pads
drinking glasses
coffee cups
food processor
rolling pins & baking gadgets
measuring cups & spoons
spatulas & wisks
coffee pot
toaster bread box
espresso machine
pasta bowls
mixing bowls -2 sets
serving bowls
salad spinner
wine glasses
margharita glasses
dog food
dog meds
wraps & ziplocs
pots & pans & lids
stock pots
bakeware pans
broiling pans
fruit bowls
lasange pans
can goods
paper plates
paper plate holders
trash can
dish rack
sink gear (veg brush, scrubbers, stoppers)
step stool
cookie sheets
large platters
large bowls
cutting boards
waffle iron
crock pot
coffee grinders
dishwasher tabs
dish soap
butter dish
lunch box
plastic bag collector
hot mitts


clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:53 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:53 pm

New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me! [Help keep on Page 1]

posted by: buehl on 01.02.2012 at 01:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you may find the following information and links helpful.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)/Articles pages contain helpful information about how to navigate this site as well as the world of kitchen renovations.

The Kitchen Forum Acronyms will help you understand some of the acronyms used frequently in posts.

The Finished Kitchens Blog has pictures and information about many GW members' finished kitchens. Not only can you see them alphabetically, but there is also a category list if you're looking for specific things like a kitchen w/a Beverage Center or a kitchen w/a mix of dark and light cabinets. Access the FKB Categories Page via a link in the navigation panel on the right of any FKB page. Additionally, there is also a link to "In-Progress Kitchens" for those members' kitchens that are not quite ready for the FKB. There is also a link to "Coming Soon Kitchens" for those kitchens that are ready for the FKB but have not yet been added. To access the "In-Progress Kitchens", the "Coming Soon Kitchens", and the "FKB Categories", see the links in the navigation panel that is on the right side of each main FKB page.

The Appliances Forum is very useful when you have questions specific to appliances.

To start off the kitchen remodel process...take the Sweeby Test. Then, move on to Beginning a Kitchen Plan.

Other topics such as layouts, planning for storage, and stone materials are discussed in later topics in this thread. Even more information can be found by doing a search on the forum.


  • Before posting a question, please search the forum. There's a very good chance someone has already asked the question.

  • When using the "search" function, be sure to use the search box on the bottom of the page, not the top!

  • Note, however, that you will probably have better luck searching if you use Google (or similar search engine) than if you use the Forum search function. When using Google, to limit your results to Garden Web, include the following in your search criteria: ***

  • In the Subject, the site changes the double quote used as the inches indicator (") to a single quote ('). We don't know why. To compensate, use two single quotes and it will appear as a double quote in the Subject. Luckily, the double quote works in the message box.

  • When composing a new thread, you have a couple of options:

    • Have replies emailed to you: check the box offering this option. However, you must have "Allow other users to send you email via forms at our site." box checked in your profile for this to work (see the "Your Profile" link at the very top of the page) [See the post later in this thread with the Subject: Getting Emails Sent To You...3-step Process]

    • Insert a link: When you "preview" your message, you will be provided with two boxes for a is for the link itself and the second is for the name or description of the link.

  • When using the "Clip this post" option (far upper right corner of each post, small print), remember that only the current post is clipped, not the entire thread. Also, you are allowed a maximum of 50 clippings. Once you reach this max, you will no longer be able to clip or email posts.

How are the home page and the Forum organized? (based on the Kitchen Forum's FAQs entries)

  • The Kitchens Forum home page lists 30 thread titles, starting with those that don't yet have a response. After the unanswered threads, threads are listed in order of most recent response. That first page displays the last 2 hours or so of activity. (If there is no response to a thread in an hour or two, the unanswered thread usually starts to drop.)
  • Below the thread list are page numbers 1-67 for the total 67 pages of threads available -- capturing maybe 2 months or so of threads, less when the Forum is busy.
  • Below that (and at the top of the thread list as well) is a space for you to switch to the Conversations or Gallery "sides" - these are set up similarly but are not nearly as active.
  • Next down is a Search box -- very important! This is also the Search box you should use (not the one at the top of the page.)
    • Always refresh the page two or three times b/f assuming a thread has disappeared right after starting it.
    • As to searching...a thread will not be found doing a GW search for up to 24 hours after it has been started. This may seem too technical, but...searches are done against what are known as "indexes". Indexes use key fields/words to find things. iVillage only indexes threads once a day. So, that means that until your thread is "indexed", it won't show up in a search. If you start a thread just before the index is taken, you will be able to retrieve your thread by searching soon after creation. If, however, you start your thread right after the daily index, then you will have to wait almost 24 hours for the next index.

  • Next is a place for you to start a new thread. And finally there are some instructions and links at the bottom.

Kitchen Forum "Sides"

Discussions: This is the "side" you are on. It is for on-topic discussions concerning kitchens...renovations, use of, etc.

Conversations: This is the "side" where you can post off topic threads such as regional get-togethers and non-kitchen subjects.

Gallery: This is the "side" where members often post pictures...especially if you're posting a lot or a finished kitchen. (Note: This is where StarPooh, our FKB person, wants you to post your finished kitchen prior to having it added to the FKB.)

Again, welcome and good luck! The journey is wild, sometimes bumpy, but fun and very rewarding in the end!


clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:50 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:50 pm

A Few Things to Know/Keep in Mind (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 03.25.2011 at 03:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Aisles widths...are determined by measuring counter edge-to-counter edge, not cabinet-to-cabinet (unless there's no counter, of course!)

    For appliances, measure from the part that sticks out the furthest (usually the handle...this info is contained in appliance specs).

  • Seating overhang...for counter-height seating should be a minimum of 15" (I think you already have that, and more, but I thought I'd mention it just in case you don't...and for anyone just lurking and reading this thread to learn more!)

    BTW...if you put decorative doors on the back of the island, they will take away approx 1" from the overhang.

  • Walkways....In a seating area, 36" of clearance from counter/table edge to wall/obstruction if no traffic passes behind seated diners. 65" of total clearance when this includes a walkway (i.e., traffic). [From the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines With Access Standards]
  • There are three primary work zones...Prep Zone (70% of kitchen work/time), Cooking Zone (10% of kitchen work/time), and Cleanup Zone (20% of kitchen work/time)

    Of these, the Prep & Cooking Zones work best when either next to each other or across from each other, but across no more than a 48" aisle.

    The Cleanup Zone usually works best if it's separated from the Prep & Cooking Zones. Sometimes that means different parts of the kitchen (usually with a prep sink in the Pep Zone), other times it means the only sink in the kitchen separates them...Prep & Cooking Zones on one side of the sink, Cleanup Zone with DW on the other side of the sink.

  • Trash & recycle best in the Prep Zone, near the Cooking Zone, and, if only one and possible, near the Cleanup Zone. Far more trash & recyclables are generated while prepping and cooking than while cleaning up. So, if you have to choose, put the trash & recycle in the Prep Zone instead of the Cleanup Zone. (That's the biggest mistake I made, I put it in the Cleanup Zone across a 6' aisle from the Prep's my biggest regret by far in my kitchen.]
  • Prep sinks...should be no smaller than 12" x 12"...and bigger is better - I recommend no less than 15" in each direction, 18" would be better, IMHO. Anything smaller is not very useful for prepping. Those smaller sinks are often called "bar sinks" b/c they're really only big enough for filling a glass with water or dumping a glass. They're not big enough to clean veggies/fruit or empty a colander.
  • Zone protection...strive to protect the Cooking Zone from traffic - both through-traffic as well as in-kitchen traffic. While cooking, you are dealing with very hot pots/pans/food and you don't want to be tripping over or dodging traffic, open DW doors, etc. This usually means putting the Cooking Zone in the most "secluded" area...but not always, it depends on the workflow in your design.
  • Work/Landing Space...Be sure you have adequate work and landing space near/around appliances and in zones. Sometimes skimping is required when it's a small kitchen, but your kitchen is not small.

    [The following items are from the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines With Access Standards]

    • Prep Zone...36" continuous countertop at least 16" deep for the preparation center, and be immediately adjacent to a water source.
    • Cooking Zone...See Cooktop/Range
    • Cleanup Zone...See "Sink (Only or Cleanup Sink)"
    • Sink (Only or Cleanup Sink)...At least 24" of counter frontage to one side of the primary sink, and 18" on the other side (including corner sink applications) with the 24" counter frontage at the same counter height as the sink. The minimum allowable space from corner to the edge of the primary sink is 3".
    • Sink (Prep)...At least 3" of countertop frontage on one side of secondary sinks, and 18" on the other side (including corner sink applications) with the 18" counter frontage at the same counter height as the sink.
    • Refrigerator...At least 15" counter space on the latch side of the refrigerator or on either side of a side-by-side, or at least 15" of landing space no more than 48" across from the refrigerator. If an oven is next to refrigerator, refrigerator should be the one placed next to available countertop.
    • Cooktop/Range...Open-ended kitchen: at least 9" of counter space on one side of the cooking surface and 15" on the other, at the same counter height as the appliance. Enclosed kitchen: at least 3" of clearance at an end wall protected by flame retardant material; 15" on the other side of the appliance, at the same counter height as the appliance. Countertop should extend a minimum of 9" behind the cooking surface, at the same counter height as the appliance, in any instance where there is not an abutting wall/backsplash.


      • Experiences here have shown us this is actually too little for an island or peninsula setup or when the cooktop/range is at the end of a cabinet run. For safety reasons, you need at least 18" on each side and 18" behind if there is no seating behind the cooktop/range, 24" behind if there is seating.
      • For functionality, at least 24" on each side is better, regardless of location of cooktop/range. This space can be shared with the Prep Zone on one side.
      • In the case of a range/cooktop next to a door or wall, check your local Codes, they may dictate more space b/w the door or wall and cooktop/range.]

    • Ovens (Wall)...At least 15" of landing space, at least 16" deep, next to or above oven if it opens into a primary traffic pattern. If it does not open into a traffic area, at least 15" x 16" of landing space needed [(i.e., it can be across or next to it)].
    • MW...At least 15" of landing space, a minimum of 16" deep, above, below, or adjacent to a microwave oven
    • Combined countertop for 2 adjacent locations...For two adjacent work centers, determine the longest of the two required counter lengths and add 12".


clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:49 pm

Layout Help

posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:21 am in Kitchens Forum

Layout Help

We often get requests to help with layouts. Many of us enjoy doing this but it would help if you can post a copy of your floorplan or layout, preferably to-scale.

  • The best place to start is to draw up your kitchen (to scale, if possible) either without cabinets & appliances if you don't know where to start or with your proposed new layout if you have something to start with. Regardless, measure and label everything...walls, ceiling height, widths of doors/doorways & windows, distances between windows, walls, doors/doorways, etc.
  • If you cannot move plumbing or gas, mark them on your drawing as well.
  • Mark all doors/doorways & windows (with dimensions) and label them as to where they lead. If they're actual doors, mark how they swing.
  • It also would be helpful to see the connecting rooms, even entire first floor layouts (or whatever floor your kitchen is on), so we see how they interact with the kitchen and/or extend the kitchen feel and flow.
  • Make note of traffic flows in and out of the kitchen

Make a list of things like:

  • What are your goals? E.g., more counter space, more storage, seating in the kitchen (island? peninsula? table?), etc.
  • What is your family composition? Adults? Children? Age ranges of children? Current? Future?
  • How many kitchen workers are there? Cook(s)? Cleanup? Helpers? Now? Future? (E.g., if you have young children, plan for them as teens for both "sizing" of seating as well as helping in the kitchen in general)
  • Do you or anyone in your home cook? (No, this is not a facetious question. Some people do not cook and their kitchen is a show place only. If that's what works for you & your family, that's fine! We just need to know that.)

  • How do you see your kitchen used? Just for cooking/cleaning up? Children doing homework while you cook? Party place?
  • Do you entertain a lot? If so, formal? Informal?
  • Do you want your kitchen to be a "hang out" place? Parties only? Everyday?
  • Do you have a separate DR? Do you use it frequently? Infrequently? If infrequently, do you want to begin using it more frequently (e.g., for daily/nightly family meals)?
  • Would you like to open up the kitchen to adjacent areas? Close it up?
  • Do you plan to merge two rooms/areas (e.g., Nook and Kitchen into a Kitchen only)
  • Where are you flexible?
    • Can windows or doorways change size?
    • Can they be moved or eliminated?
    • Can windows be raised/lowered?
    • Can any walls come down?
    • Does the sink have to be centered under a window?
    • Does it have to be under a window at all?

    Note: The more constraints you put on a space (e.g., sink centered under a window, not willing to move plumbing, electric, or gas lines), the fewer options there are. So, be sure any limitations/constraints you mention are true constraints. You could say you'd like something to not be moved/changed or placed in a certain location, but if it's not a must or truly impossible, then mention it's a preference but that you would consider something different.
  • BTW...don't assume something is "too expensive" to do...check around b/f assuming, you may be pleasantly surprised at how little it costs! (E.g., if you have a basement, moving water, etc. is generally relatively inexpensive.)

  • If one can be fit...
    • Do you bake a lot and do you want a Baking Center?
    • Do you want a coffee/tea/beverage center?
    • Do you want a snack center?
  • What appliances do you plan on having (helps to figure out work flow, work zones, and types of cabinets...upper/lower vs full height, etc.)
    • Range or Cooktop or Rangetop?
    • Single or Double or no Wall Oven?
    • Warming Drawer?
    • MW? (Advantium, MW Drawer, OTR MW/Hood, countertop, built-in, shelf?)
    • DW? Standard or drawers? If drawers, 1 or 2?
    • Refrigerator (Top/bottom freezer, SxS, or all-fridge/freezer? Counter-depth (CD), standard-depth, or built-in?)
    • Ventilation Hood?
    • Other?
  • Sizes of desired appliances (e.g., 30" or 36" or 48" cooktop; 36" or 42" or 48" wide or other Refrigerator? etc.)
  • Pantry: Walk-in or cabinets? In the Kitchen or outside the Kitchen (e.g., Mudroom or hall)?

***** Very Important *****

Is there anything you:

  • Can't live without?
  • Definitely don't want?
  • Would like if you can find a way?

This information will be valuable to not only you, but also any Kitchen Designers you may hire or talk to. Additionally, if you've been haunting the site, you'll notice that we also help with almost all aspects of the remodel (including layout help).

If you do ask for help, then all of the above information will help us help you. Sometimes we stray from what you think you want to give you some ideas that you might not have thought of, but it's your kitchen and you can veto anything...we may argue for something (we're very good at that!), but in the end it's what you want. And remember, we are just giving you ideas and layout options, in the end when you finalize your design it's whatever you want and decide on! After all, this is your kitchen! [Keep this in mind if/when you use a Kitchen Designer or when dealing with a contractor--it's your kitchen, not his or hers...don't let them talk you into anything unless you're sure it's what you want!]

Here's a thread that has supplemental information: When planning a kitchen - words of wisdom


clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:49 pm

RE: What should go within easy reach of the cooktop? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: buehl on 12.08.2009 at 04:47 am in Kitchens Forum

This might also help...

  • Cabinet 1: 24" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 2: 30" base, 2 drawers + Warming Drawer
  • Cabinet 3: 6" filler pullout w/3 shelves
  • Cabinet 4: 36" cooktop base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 5: 6" filler pullout w/3 shelves
  • Cabinet 6: 31" base, 1 drawer + Microwave Drawer
  • Cabinet 7: 36" corner sink base w/15-3/4" square sink
  • Cabinet 8: 24" base, 4 drawers
  • Cabinet 9: 27" base, 1 drawer + 2 roll out shelves (2 doors)
  • Cabinet 10: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 11: 21"W x 12"D x 30"H upper, 3 shelves
  • Cabinet 12: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 13: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 14: 21"W x 12"D x 30"H upper, 3 shelves
  • Cabinet 15: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 16: 36"W x 24"D over-the-refrigerator cabinet
  • Cabinet 17: 33" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 18: 18" Trash Pullout + 1 drawer (2 bins)
  • Cabinet 19: 36" sink base w/35-1/2" sink
  • Cabinet 20: 24" DW
  • Cabinet 21: 27" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 22: 31.5" double-oven cabinet, 1 drawer + cabinet above w/dividers for tray storage & 1 shelf
  • Cabinet 23: 23"W x 12"D x 36"H upper cabinet, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 24: 23"W x 12"D x 36"H upper cabinet, 4 shelves
  • NOTES:

    clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:47 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:47 pm

    RE: What should go within easy reach of the cooktop? (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: desertsteph on 12.08.2009 at 02:50 am in Kitchens Forum

    this might help!

    also kmgards utensil and spice drawers and rhome's dish drawer etc

    Here is a link that might be useful: buehl's drawers


    clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 05:46 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 05:47 pm