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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

A commercial grade oven

Deciding between commercial-grade and residential appliances

Most folks opt for residential appliances- the standard sized, reasonably priced, efficient models sold at all home-improvement stores. But some folks want the ultimate in kitchen quality, which requires taking the plunge into commercial-grade appliances. This upgrade will really take a chunk out of your budget. Commercial-grade units are generally at least twice as expensive as residential-grade appliances, and sometimes more. In addition, commercial-grade appliances have larger motors that use more energy, so they’re more expensive to operate.

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A vintage oven that uses an old fuel source

Considering a fuel source change

When shopping for new appliances, consider the type of fuel source you currently use in your home and what type of appliance you now own. If your home has all electric appliances and you’re set on owning a gas-fired range, then be ready to pay for running a gas line into the house or the kitchen, depending on your setup. Yes, some homes have only electric-powered appliances, including the furnace. On the other hand, if you want to install an electric-powered appliance where you currently have a gas-fired counterpart, you’ll need to run a new circuit to the appliance, and you may even need to upgrade your home’s electric service to accommodate the increase in electric power requirements.

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Buying New Kitchen Appliances

February 15, 2012
A kitchen with a lot of fancy appliances

Choosing the right kitchen appliances

Not all kitchen remodels need to include the purchase of new appliances. However, new appliances do help make life easier in the kitchen, and they’re more energy-efficient, which means cheaper utility bills. But new appliances are a major expense and they do use up a good chunk of your budget.

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A kitchen with two sinks

Are two sinks better than one? Adding a second sink and work area

New kitchens in many of today’s homes have two separate sink and work areas because many households have more than one person who enjoys cooking and entertaining. And just because your old kitchen layout had only one sink, that doesn’t mean your redesigned space couldn’t accommodate two. With two sinks, though, come some additional plumbing concerns.

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A wet sink

Checking Out Those Warranties!

In my twenty-plus years of home ownership, I’ve never replaced a faucet under the manufacturer’s warranty. I’ve always replaced faucets because we were ready for a cosmetic change in the kitchen, and not because they were worn out. A quality, brand name faucet should give you years of trouble-free service. Nonetheless, you could have a problem that falls under a warranty. Many of the major manufacturers feature a limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the faucet. (A limited lifetime warranty usually only covers the cost of replacement parts. But, hey, it’s better than nothing, right?) Less expensive or off-brand faucets will have a warranty, but it will probably only be good for one year. So, send in the warranty registration card to make sure you’re covered should you ever have a problem.

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A garbage disposer

Is a garbage disposer in your future?

Having a garbage disposer in your home is great because you can get rid of food waste quickly and eliminate the odors from foods that otherwise linger in your garbage can. But even though a disposer is a handy piece of equipment, it does mean you’ll be running food waste through the drain lines. And if the inside of the drainpipe isn’t as clean as it can be, you could be in for a plugged drain in very short order. I know this for a fact because it happened to me in the first house we owned. And, wouldn’t you know it? The tragedy happened on Thanksgiving Day- when we were hosting our first family dinner in our new home!

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A kitchen hot water dispenser

Hot water NOW! A point-of-use hot-water dispenser

Another great add on is an instant hot-water dispenser. These heating tanks mount under the sink inside the cabinet (you need an electrical outlet under the sink to power the unit) and have a separate dispenser spout mounted on or next to the sink. The tank can hold anywhere from 1/3 to 1 gallon of water, depending on the model, and the supply line is connected to the cold water supply. The water in the tank is kept near boiling, which is ideal for making instant coffee, tea, and soups. Prices range from around $90 to $160, depending on capacity and finish. In-Sink-Erator (made by the same folks who manufacturer In-Sink-Erator garbage disposers) is one popular brand.

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A kitchen sink with soap dispenser

Soap dispenser, anyone?

A lot of families want and enjoy the convenience of a built-in (or under-cabinet) soap dispenser because it keeps an ample supply of soap on hand, without having a separate soap container or bar of soap cluttering up the sink. These soap dispensers, which are installed under the sink with a line running to the dispenser next to the faucet, sell for around $25 to $30 and are displayed in most home centers near the kitchen faucets.

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A faucet with round spout

Spouting off

You’ve chosen the faucet setup, the number of handles, and even the color. But there’s one more thing to consider- the spout. The spout is that long curved tube that the water actually comes out of.

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A cartoon water filter pouring purified water

Filtered water versus conditioned water: What’s the difference?

Too many people think that if you have a water softener your water is filtered and has had all of the contaminants removed. Wrong, wrong, wrong! The easiest way to explain the difference between these two types of treated water is to remember that filtered water goes in you and conditioned water goes on you. To make your home’s water as contaminant free as possible, filter either through a filtering faucet or a separate water filtering system.

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