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Happy Friday! I have blogged several times about our recent home remodel. You can see the kitchen, master bathroom and master closet blogs on my site anytime. But I left the appliance research and selections up to Pete. Today, he shares with you his findings.

Enjoy his post!  xoxo- Tanya

Photo credit: Mary Summers

So it was 25 years since we built our house. It was time for an update. Time to get out of the 90’s. Time to change Corian to marble and to replace faltering appliances. My job – figure out the appliance choice. This proved quite a challenge as I learned, because we were remodeling not building new.
Our old appliances were top notch – for 1990. Side-by-side Sub-zero refrigerator and freezer units, a Jenn-air electric cooktop with a downdraft vent, a Thermador combination double oven/microwave, a Kenmore icemaker, a trash compactor and two Maytag dishwashers. I knew we wanted a gas rather than an electric cooktop, a professional look, and we wanted to keep as much of the existing cabinetry as we could. So I started looking into the world of new appliances.
First thing was to look at what brands the builders were using in my neighborhood. To maintain the value in your home, it’s important to investigate what brands are popular now. Most local custom builders are using Wolf/Sub-zero, Viking, Thermador and GE’s professional appliances. I found out that appliance sizes have changed over the years. This was a problem for me in replacing the double ovens since today most “professional” ovens are 30” wide. My old Thermador was 24” wide in its custom cabinet. Another big problem was that my old oven had a built-in microwave in the top oven. There was not an equivalent in the brands I was investigating. Today’s refrigerator and freezer columns are several inches taller, too. Finally, in switching from electric to gas, I knew I needed better venting than my old Jenn-air downdraft, but I have a window above my cooktop, so no vent hoods for me.
Next steps involved going to several local appliance stores and the Sub-zero-Wolf showroom/kitchen. Then it was time for the Internet search. I found I had a number of compromises to make. The first was that because I had a downdraft vent on our old cooktop (with a window above), I was very limited in my cooking surface choices. I had to pick a cooktop versus a range or range-top appliance to keep the downdraft design. There was just no way to install a vent hood. So I had to have a “pop-up” vent and I chose an external blower to save space under the cabinet.
Once I got my arms around the cooking surface, I turned to the double oven. Existing cabinet size was the issue. There were no 24” ovens in our brands. Two manufacturers made 27” professional units, so after discussing this with the contractor and cabinet carpenter, they thought they could rework the cabinet to fit a 27” model. I was stuck though making room for an individual built-in microwave. The rest was easier. The dishwashers were the same size, the “Sonic” crushed ice-maker slightly smaller, and the cabinets for the refrigerator/freezers allowed for the new 6” taller appliances with some rework.
I really enjoy the new appliances now that things are finished. I’ve wanted gas cooking for 25 years. It is so much easier than any non-visual heat source. The brand which Tanya and I chose, Thermador, offers a lot of great choices in replacing the old Sub-zero side-by-side units. I was able to get a 32” refrigerator column (not much smaller than my old 36” unit), a 22” freezer and a great 18” wine fridge in the same space. I really like this look.
For the rest, the dishwashers (Bosch) are much quieter, microwaves have been greatly improved in 25 years – you can actually defrost something without half cooking it, and the pop-up vent looks like something from Star Trek. Finally, the “Sonic crushed ice” machine from Scotsman is a real hit except it makes me want a Cherry Limeaid and Tater-tots. As Tanya has mentioned before, we worked with Joel at Pirch to order all of our appliances and more. It is helpful to have one person in one place for all of this. And if anything goes wrong with these items, we simply call Pirch for repairs.

I hope this article is helpful. I am happy to answer any questions if you are in the market for new appliances.  Pete

Tanya and Pete Foster

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