Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What are you looking for in a refrigerator?

Miele Freezer/ Miele Refrigerator

Viking French Door

       Does this question ever get asked? Kind of silly question right? "A place to keep my food." Well, this question leads to many others.

Sub Zero Side-by-Side
         So do you know the answers to these questions? In addition here are a few more that you should ask yourself and be able to answer. Do you entertain? Is it formal or casual entertaining? You might need large platter storage. Maybe ice or extra beverage storage is needed. Another option is the looks of the refrigerator to consider. Choices include White, Black, Stainless Steel or cabinet panels.

       There are alot vendors to choose from and the prices range from $500 to $15,000. The prices vary depending on the size, depth and options you want. The smaller normal depth units are your least expensive. Starting at $500 and going up to $1,500. French doors also increase the cost in the normal depth to about $2,000-$2,500. The next price level takes you to cabinet or counter depth. They run $2,000 - $ 3,000. If you want a build-in they can go as high as $15,000 for 1 unit. Cabinet panels also add to the price of the unit.         
Sub Zero Integrated

          Then the options you want or need inside and outside the refrigerator come in to play. Inside options are many, here a few of them, air purifier, water purifier, led lighting, instant freeze, individualized temperature controlled spaces. The outside features include water/ice dispensers, TVs, panels - cabinet or stainless steel. A few vendors do offer other colors than black and white. Viking offers the largest variety of colors

Jenn Air Side-by-Side w/ water/ice and TV
Sub Zero BI Series
          The built-in or integrated appliances are at the top of the price point, but the choices they offer are amazing. You can do all refrigerator or all freezer. They have under counter options such as beverage centers, refrigerator/freezer drawer combinations. They built-ins offer the most choices for the integrated cabinet panel look. They can make the largest appliance disappear in the kitchen or put it front and center.

         On a personal note. I have owned both price points in refrigerators and this is what I have found. My food last longer in the higher priced unit. And I wasted or thrown away less food. Did you know that the average family throws away $750 a year in food gone bad? If you multiply that by 20 years, that's $15,000. My personal experience with several of these brands has given me the insight to tell you if you can invest in the more experience refrigerator, it will save you money in the long run. Appliances are an invest in your kitchen remodel. We typically only do these types of remodels once or twice in our lifetime. Make it count!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Suriving a remodel- Practical tips

Here are some common sense tips to surviving a remodel whether it's a kitchen, bath or other room.

When packing up your space.
1.     Clean out stuff you don't want or need anymore
o    Sort into to categories - trash and give away/garage sale
2.     Pack dry goods in clear bins - easier to see
o    If bath room - toiletries are easier to find as well in clean bins
3.     Pack cooking utensils in clean bins as well - easier to see where things are
o    Use the size bins for items will also make things easier

 Use space that's available to your best advantage
1.     Laundry rooms - if large enough they make great short-term kitchen space
o    The laundry sink doubles as your kitchen or bath sink
o    If you have some counter space in your laundry- this helps as well
§  Maybe you can set up a small table to help add some counter space
o    If your laundry will not work try a dining area
§  Set an extra table along a wall if you have the space
§  Move your dining table w/ chairs and turn into a small banquet area- this way you can still use to have meals if need be
§  Use wash bins for a sink - like if you were camping
Make use of certain appliances
1.     Move Frig to another area that so it can be plugged and used.
2.     Any electrical grills and/or frying pans, griddles, crock pots, outdoor grills, toaster, toaster oven and microwaves - take advantage and plan your meals to co-inside with recipes for these appliances - this way you’re not eating out the entire remodel.
o    Eating out can get old & expensive
o    A home cooked meal is a comfort factors to most families- especially if you have small children
o    Pre-cook meals and freeze them
Grocery planning food and dishes
1.     Plastic ware - so dish washing only becomes cooking utensils and pans
o    Throw items help with clean up duties
2.     Buy groceries accordingly to what appliances you will be using.
o    Try to plan meals for a longer period than you normally do
o    Also the grocery deli has many pre-made meals that can help out as well
3.     Here are a few meals that you can do
o    Chili - crock pot
o    Pizza breads - if you have the toaster oven
o    Salads, fruits
o    Roasts & stews - crock pot
o    Soups- crock pot
o    Breakfast foods - the griddles & toasters make this easier
§  Pancakes, eggs, bacon, BLTs, toast
§  Hamburgers, hot dogs
4.     Just keep it simple
1.     Remove all small items and pictures
2.     Take down draperies and in adjacent areas
3.     Make your sure the remodeling area is closed off with plastic, whether you or your contractor do this
o    Dust will find its way into everything, this you can't control - accept it
o    Clean furnace filters
o    Either you or the contractor vacuum job site daily
o    A clean job site make the project less of an eye sore and much safer for the entire family
1.     Keep pets safe during this time
o    Close off construction site best you can
o    Keep out of installers, sub contractors way
§  This is for their safety as well as the pets
o    It's a change in everybody’s routine including your pets
§  So show them where their food, bed and toys are being moved to if this is the case
Patience is a virtue
1.     Remember the big picture - this is a short amount of time
2.     Things will go wrong - keep it into perspective
o    It's not about how it happened, it's about what we are doing about it and how we can make it work to our advantage
o    Trust those you are working with to know they will make it right and they know what they are doing
3.     Planning - don't leave this stage out
4.     If you're not sure this is a project you can handle yourself- then you're best bet is to hire the right company. Don't bite off more than you can chew!
5.     Again remember what it's going to be like when finished - keep the faith!
1.     Try to stick to your budget- remember changes after the project has started are more costly than making decisions at the planning stage.
2.     Have a plan
o    If you can't do it or are unsure about how to lay things out- then hire the right professional - THIS WILL SAME YOU MONEY! Mistakes can be very costly
o    Start your project once all decisions have been made and all materials have been ordered.
o     Make sure there are not lead-time problems with any materials you have selected.
o    Stopping to wait for materials is problematic - the job slows down or even comes to an halt, this creates more problems - both with materials and timing for sub contractors who have scheduled time for when they need to perforce their work, remember you are probably not their only client on the schedule.
3.     Have a slush fund for the unexpected
4.     Be honest with yourself and if you're working with someone be up front and give them a budget and parameters to work within that you know are workable for you - one of the biggest mistakes people make is not being clear on what the budget needs to be. Being unrealistic in this area can make the whole experience go from good to bad.
5.     Communication is Key to any project undertaking.
        We have all heard the horror stories, we seldom hear about the good projects. But trust me they are out there and many projects do come in on time and on budget. I keep coming back to this old saying “You get what you pay for" If you are doing this project by yourself I wish you the best of luck, stick to your goals and plans and you will be fine. If you’re going to hire someone- trust that who you hire will do a good job. Do your homework and things will work out find. Either way you decide to go. Happy Remodeling! 

Sincerely Yours
Angie Keyes CKD