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Kitchen Remodel
January 19, 2012

Planning Your KitchenYour kitchen-remodeling project is large or small, you need a plan. Not something sketched on a napkin or jotted down on a few scraps of paper. You need a solid, realistic, accurate plan of what you want, need, and can afford....

More articles on Kitchen Remodeling

And incandescent light bulb

Bulb wars: Incandescent versus fluorescent

Incandescent bulbs are the old, familiar pear-shaped bulbs with the screw-type base. They’re easy to install, relatively inexpensive, and are used in a variety of fixture types. They produce a warm light that provides a comfortable, cozy feeling in a room. However, incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a filament with electricity, which can actually raise the temperature in a room if enough incandescent bulbs are operating at the same time. And they also use more electricity than fluorescent bulbs, so they do cost more to operate over time. The lifespan of an incandescent bulb is considerably shorter than a fluorescent bulb and the amount of light it produces decreases as the bulb gets closer to burning out. However, a new generation of tougher, more efficient, longer living incandescent bulb is available. They still produce the small warm, cozy light but last a lot longer than a regular incandescent bulb. Some are guaranteed to last for years! All incandescent fixtures can be used with a dimmer switch.

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A kitchen with decorative hanging lantern lights

Fancy's fine, but function is foremost: shedding light on fixture options

Too often a homeowner absolutely falls in love with a fixture because of its look, shape, color, or what have you and never fully understands or realizes what type of light it will provide. When it comes to choosing the fixtures, don’t let decorating decisions overshadow what the light fixture can and will do. I know that the only way to really know whether a light will work for your situation is to install it and see how it fits in your kitchen’s layout. This, however, can be a very expensive way of doing things.

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Two stylish ceiling light fixtures in a kitchen

Fancy’s fine, but function is foremost: Shedding light on fixture options

Too often a homeowner absolutely falls in love with a fixture because of its look, shape, color, or what have you and never fully understands or realizes what type of light it will provide. When it comes to choosing the fixtures, don’t let decorating decisions overshadow what the light fixture can and will do. I know that the only way to really know whether a light will work for your situation is to install it and see how it fits in your kitchen’s layout. This, however, can be a very expensive way of doing things.

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A kitchen with ample ambient lighting

Matching your lights to your task

Lighting falls into three categories: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting (see Figure 16-1). Today’s kitchens use a variety of lighting types to illuminate and accent. Most folks don’t realize it, but their current kitchen has probably one, two, or maybe even three different types of lighting already in it. And in lighting, different it good. In fact, you could say it’s critical to having a smooth running kitchen. 

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Lighting In Your New Kitchen

February 23, 2012
A well lit and extravagent kitchen

 Lighting options for your kitchen remodel

 Determining your needs

Your new kitchen probably has new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. But if you can’t see, you can’t use all your new stuff.

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Warranty

Working with Warranties

All major appliances come with some sort of manufacturer’s warranty. Most extend for several years on both parts and labor. The exact length of the warranty varies among manufacturers. Be wary, however, if a major appliance has a warranty only good for one or two years. Remember, a manufacturer usually issues a warranty for as long as they know a product will last. The more moving parts, the more likely the warranty will be shorter. With so few moving parts to break, refrigerators usually have the longest warranty time period. Refrigerators last for 15 to 20 years, easily. A dishwasher, on the other hand, with all of its moving parts, pumps, motors, and valves, usually carries a much shorter warranty- sometimes only a few years. But whatever your choice, if you go with a known, brand-name manufacturer, you’ll probably be happy with product performance. And if you ever have to use their warranty should a problem arise, the major players know how to provide good customer service. That’s why they’ve been in business for some many years.

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A kitchen compactor

Taking Out the Garbage: Disposers and Compactors

Garbage disposers are found in most kitchens today. They come in a range of sizes, based on the horsepower of the motor. For most families, a disposer with a 1/2- or 5/8-horsepower motor performs well and should last for years. One-quarter-horsepower units are also available, but because they’re not as powerful as the slightly larger units, they don’t last as long. And spending the money for a 1-horsepower unit is, in my option, a waste of money, unless you throw away an awful lot of food waste every day.

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A dishwasher loaded with dishes

Getting the Dish on Dishwashers

Okay, if you have kids you have ready-made dishwashers, right? Well, you’d like to think so. But most kitchens today include a dishwasher as one of the must-have appliances. Built-in units take the place of a base cabinet, so you do lose storage space. But the time you save by not washing dishes by hand is worth the storage space you sacrifice.

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A microwave oven

Moving in on microwave ovens

When the microwave oven was first introduced, it was billed as the do-it-all oven of the future. Well, it never quite achieved that high status, but it did become and still is a handy appliance to have in the kitchen. Most folks use their microwave ovens for thawing or defrosting frozen foods, and to quickly reheat leftovers. But finding the best place for a microwave oven can be a perplexing dilemma. Just think through your family’s needs and capabilities when deciding where to install a microwave oven.

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An oven range hood

Sizing up your range hood

Simply opening a door or window to provide ventilation in the kitchen doesn’t cut it these days. With the amount of smoke, grease, and especially moisture released into the air while cooking, you must remove as much as possible to reduce possible damage to your home. Also, as you peruse your options, keep in mind the fact that the range hood should be considered as a key element in the look of your kitchen, because it’s a fairly large appliance that is prominently positioned over a very busy area — the cooking area.

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