DotCom Kitchen

I thought I would get a 2nd home (and capital for my own startup) out of MedScape. Instead I got a kitchen renovation (and a couple t-shirts).

I don't even wanna tell you how much it cost. Despite buying top-end appliances, the real cost was (a) the custom cabinet/counter work, and (b) the other contractor labor (putting in floors, cleaning up the ceiling that was above the ugly drop-ceiling put in by the previous occupants, etc.).

I should have read Philip Greenspun's piece (plus many great comments) in advance.

I have mixed feelings about my appliances...

Vik Ing range:

  • love the way the burner grills run into each other so you can slide pots forward or back without lifting

  • love the way it can be turned down super low for slow simmer

  • hate the way it's often hard to get the top burners to light when the oven is already on

  • hate the way a large frying pan can't fit on the back burners (when you have small kids you never use the front ones)

  • hate the way everything discolored right away (stainless steel isn't)

  • hate the way heat leaks out the over door (esp having kids)

  • wish we'd tried out the grill - we got the griddle instead because we thought the grill would be too grease-spreading. But we don't use the griddle anyway. And the vent/fan has been pretty effective at limiting the spread of fumes during frying...

  • replaced igniters beginning-2006.

  • beginning-2007: replacing igniters again, plus burners, plus hinges (the door never closes as much as it should), plus oven-floor. Total ~$900!

SubZero fridge

  • have to keep an eye on making sure the door isn't slightly ajar if you overfill a shelf (somehow it seems less obvious than on other refrigerators - maybe it's the wood panel front).

  • the digital displays inside aren't LED, they depend on the regular inside light bulb shining through. So when the last bulb burns out, it looks like the LED is dead also, so you freak out thinking you have a big electrical problem, when all you have to do is change the light bulb.

  • when you leave the door open too long the thermostat goes brain-dead and the compressor starts running all the time, or something. A little message comes up on the display, and you actually have to reboot your refrigerator (turn off, turn on)!

May Tag Dish Washer

  • heating element slid loose within 2 years, burning hole in the bottom. Luckily that warranted full free repair.

  • also have had some staining issues even though we rinse/clean pretty well before putting stuff in there. We've reduced the effects with stain cleaner cycles.

  • a plastic assembly inside broke in 2006

Asko Laundry Machine-s (stacked washer/dryer)

  • really thorough, really uses water efficiently

  • takes 1-1/2 hr to wash, 1-1/2 hr to dry!

  • soap cup in washer gets moldy all the time - blech!

  • dryer belt needs replacing in mid-2006 - charged $465 because demanded it be a 2-man job.

  • then end-2006 bracket on motor broke, forcing replacement of entire motor! Then roller and had to be replaced. And that belt was already a bit frayed so replaced that too. Total $750!

  • Clothes Dryer Vent gave me some issues

Under-sink water filtration system

  • takes up lots of space (I have a double-filter system, plus an extra sediment filter because NYC water has lots of sediment despite being extremely "clean")

  • pain having to get refill stuff

  • purchase was a pain because the market for info isn't great (esp with various lines changing names or getting bought by other companies)

Granite counter

  • granite stains (stones are basically sponges)

    • they put a sealer on, but you have to re-apply it every 6-12 months. And a sealer fills the pores, but it only buys you a few more hours to clean the spill before the stain sets.

    • for certain things you can make a poultice to draw the stain out of the stone (somewhat less thrilling than pulling out a sword). If you fail you have to pay someone to basically grind down a level and re-polish the sucker.

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