House Renovation Update #2 (+ Requesting Appliance Advice)

Renovation Update #1 here.

Good news! Demo is officially finished. Bad news. It doesn’t make for a super exciting update #2. Lots of decision-making this week, and not so much doing.

So, we took out the kitchen and opened up the walls, and continued with ripping out all the window casing, the floor base, and crown molding this week. Electrical and plumbing are almost finished as of this morning. However, things look relatively the same as last week.

Oh, and how could I forget – we demolished and removed pretty much the entire backyard (deck, jacuzzi, so on and so forth). Right about now, if you walk out of the sliding doors, you’ll break an ankle from falling into a ravine of dirt and gravel. Here, I illustrated a highly scientific visual for you.

The backyard wasn’t really a project I wanted to take on during this first stage, but hey! What’s done is done.

Right now, we are making a lot of seemingly boring decisions about the house. Like, we decided to take out part of the wood floor in the kitchen and dining room. I mentioned last week that part of the floor was laminate, but surprise! It’s not. It’s real oak. However, D is very, very happy to rip that part out because this?

This is the kind of situation that makes me say, “Yep, not really optimal, but let’s talk about the kitchen backsplash!” On the flip side, this is something D loses sleep over. “We can’t possibly have that ridge. Absolutely not. Not only are the planks running in opposite directions, the floors are two different heights. No. I can’t bear to look at it for one more second. WE’RE REDOING THE FLOORS.” Remember, we are talking about a man who has degrees in both interior design and architecture…that breeds a very special of kind of picky. Persnickety, perhaps? (However, the dude is ALWAYS spot on. Always.)

So, although not originally in the budget, we are ripping out the newer oak and re-framing so the floors will be even. After that, we will sand all the floors and refinish the color. Think more grey-brown, less yellow-gold. Can’t wait – I think it will be so pretty.

Upcoming to-dos:

Drywall (Fun!)
Replace floor base and window casing (Titillating.)
Replace doors and door jams (zzzzzzzzz)
Floors – sanding and refinishing the wood, replace bathroom floor
Paint – prepping and painting (Can’t wait! No, really, that means we’re really, really close.)
Install kitchen cabinetry, island and appliances

Basically, loads of non-pretty renovation stuff in the upcoming weeks. But the pretty will come later, I promise. (Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. One daayyyyy…)

To be honest, most of our time this past week has been spent deciding on kitchen appliances. Because you see, if we don’t know what appliances we want, we don’t have the exact measurements of the appliances, which means we can’t complete the kitchen drawings, which means the cabinet maker can’t start making the kitchen cabinets, which means the toe-kicks can’t be installed, which means the floors can’t go down in the kitchen. It’s called a snowball effect, and I would surely like to get the snowball rolling.

All in all, I could write 50,000 words on the subject of kitchen appliances and why we chose the ones we did, but I will keep that kitchen manifesto to myself for fear of losing you to a deep, deep slumber. (But! I have seen/researched every refrigerator known to man. I could be a refrigerator saleswoman starting tomorrow, for reals. In fact, if I have to discuss ONE MORE refrigerator or hood range or dishwasher, for the matter, I will weep.)

We are going with Viking for the refrigerator since it truly was the only one that fit our size, aesthetic and price criteria, and thinking Bosch for the cooktop, oven, and dishwasher. But! Here’s where you come in, oh wise ones. Who out there uses a Bosch dishwasher? Are they truly as good as everyone says? (J.D. Power #1 in Customer Satisfaction! Best value out there!) I’m going between Bosch and KitchenAid – does anyone have something to say about these brands? Speak now or forever hold your peace! We’ve just hit that point, you know, where we’ve become so bogged down with research, review-reading, and talking to appliance experts that we’re going loco. (No matter what, I’m sure whatever we end up with will be amazing compared to the stuff we use at our rental now.)

So, yeah. Let me know about that. In return, I’m giving you the gift of video. 46 seconds of utter destruction to the tune of Moon River. Enjoy.

(Yes, that was a ginormous corkboard wall in one of the bedrooms.) Until next week!

  • Shawna

    September 21, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Go Bosch. You will not be disappointed.

  • Lindsey

    September 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Yes yes yes, Bosch dishwasher allllllllll the way.

  • Carolin

    September 21, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Also a vote for Bosch. We got ours about 3 months ago. It cleans everything, no presoak or rinsing required.

  • Kelly

    September 21, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I absolutely adore my Bosch d/w. It is so quiet I literally can not tell when it’s running. It cleans everything super well. And (knock on wood) we haven’t had a single problem with it in the five years we’ve lived here.

  • suburbanmom2

    September 21, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Go Bosch. Have had mine for 12 years. It cleans very well, you do not have to prerinse your dishes so well that you are practically washing them. The best part is how quiet they are. Virtually silent- so much so that my kids have opened it mid cycle once or twice because they did not realize it was running(although if they had looked at the led dislay window they were have clearly seen that it was!). We have a large eat in kitchen that eveyone hangs out it so quiet was an important factor for me. I did not want to talk louder than the dishwasher.

  • Gabby

    September 21, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I need one of those. I am gonna go Bosch.

  • Christen

    September 21, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Bosch all the way. My parents have one and I thought it was broken since it was so quiet! And of course the cleaning is impeccable. They’ve had it for almost 10 years and have never had a single issue with it.

  • Jen

    September 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I would go for the Bosch. I had one that was so quiet and everything always was clean. The best appliance investment that improved the quality of life. I’m an avid cook, but I would almost forgo a fancy cooktop in favor of the Bosch dishwasher if I had to.

  • Martha

    September 21, 2012 at 7:45 am

    My parents just got a Bosch dishwasher and it is amazing. Everyone I know who has one raves about it. It is so quiet, we can eat dinner whiel it is running in the same room and not notice. If I ever get the chance to renovate a kitchen, I would go Bosch.

  • Jenny

    September 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Definitely DEFINITELY go with Bosch. We’ve had a Bosch dishwasher in 2 different homes and absolutely LOVE them. Furthermore, I have heard that KitchenAid appliances suck and have lots of repair issues. (Apparently they can make a mean stand mixer, but that’s about it.) So my vote is for Bosch all the way.

  • Mb

    September 21, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Had a Bosch in my last house and loooooved it, new house came with new kitchenaid, guess what, loooove it. They actually appear to be fairly equal- though I have found kitchen snobs to just prefer Bosch just because, well just because. Kitchenaid seems to do a bit of a better job with really caked on junk, but that may be because my Bosch was not as new. Either way I think you will be happy….


  • Lauren

    September 21, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I am less than thrilled with my kitchenaid dishwasher. Sure, it’s quiet and attractive, but it leaves food on the dishes if you stack them at all too close, then the super hot heat bakes the food on. Now admittedly that heat does eliminate the extra water on top of the cups we had with our old machine, but actually cleaning the dishes would be better.

  • Courtney

    September 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Not personal experience, but my dad had a KitchenAid dishwasher installed about five years ago when they redid their kitchen. That thing was CRAZY quiet, like I was never sure if it was really on. But, it recently crapped out, and was going to cost almost as much to fix as to get a new one, so something to consider. I love the renovation posts! Can’t wait for some before and afters.

  • Amy Smith

    September 21, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I shouldn’t even comment with all the “Yay for Bosch” comments because the last thing you need is to waver :P But we haven’t been happy at all with our Bosch or their customer service. We got a brand new $500 Bosch dishwasher that was “energy-efficient”. Well, it turns out the Energy Efficient part is the fact that it doesn’t heat dry, but air dries. Even with rinse aid, our dishes doen’t really get very clean. We basically have to wash them before we put them in and use the dw just for sterilizing. The customer service folks gave us hell about it and said we just needed to use rinse aid…which we do. But that could just be one bad experience in a slew of amazing ones :)

  • Emily

    September 21, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I’m going to vote Bosch, not because we’ve owned one, but because nothing could suck as much as our KitchenAid dishwasher. The Lowe’s guy was all, “quietest on the market!” “nothing beats it!” and then, just a few months in, it started making the most ungodly noises. Noises that suggested we were trying to wash rocks in it, rather than dishes.

  • Jessica J.

    September 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Another “I love my Bosch” vote here. I bought my Bosch dishwasher used on craigslist and it is amazing. Good luck!


    September 21, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Our Bosch dishwasher is amazing – I’d raise it to “sister wife” status if possible. The one weird (and I say weird but not enough to not by another one) issues are prongs that hold the dishes (very difficult to rearrange – so I’ve taken to just not doing it) and the soap dispenser – it was counter-intuitive but I got used to it. In the three years we’ve owned ours I’ve never ONCE had to rewash a dish and that includes the holidays. Also, for the first week we owned it I was constantly opening it because I could not hear it running. At all. Buy a Bosch.

  • SAJ

    September 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I love these posts!

  • Isabel

    September 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

    We put a Bosch dishwasher in the first house we built and it was amazing. No pre washing. Super quiet. We have a Jenn-Air in our current house and it sucks @ss. The dishes don’t get clean. The soap doesn’t get dissolved. I do love that dishwashers now have time delay. We run ours at night so avoid noise. Bosch dishwashers are a lot more money. But you get what you pay for. (Lesson learned.)

    We have a Kitchen Aid fridge and it’s treated us well. I prefer the top/bottom doors. And no water dispenser on the outside. Any fridge I’ve seen with one is all dirty and gross. Our dispenser is in the inside door. I love that feature.

    We have a Viking range and vent. I’m not a professional cook or anything, but I love the fact that there aren’t any digital buttons and crap like that. It’s just a cleaner look.

    (I could talk about this stuff all day too. It’s pretty much the topic of most conversations at my house. Just wait until you’re picking out toilets. I have a lot to say on that matter too.) (I might just have to forward you picture of some of the things my husband did in our house.)

  • Sarah

    September 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Is your new house at the beach?

  • Shani

    September 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Love, love, love our Bosch! No Kitchenaid experience to share.

  • kimberley p

    September 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

    We just built a new house, and chose Bosch Series 800, double oven, cooktop and dishwasher. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Another poster said they had problems with air dry, but in my opinion this is one of the highest reasons I choose Bosch. Nothing ever melts, the dishes dry beautifully. The water condenses on the stainless steel tub instead of the dishes. Anyway, 110% vote Bosch.

    • whoorl

      September 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Sounds like we are in the exact same boat. So happy to read your (and everybody else’s) comments! Thanks. :)

  • Christina

    September 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Our friends had a Bosch dishwasher and it was SILENT. We felt like we NEEDED that. We bought one (about $500) and ours is NOT silent and doesn’t clean as well. Complete disappointment. I don’t know if there are different grades/levels of Bosch. Maybe we bought the lower grade model?

    • whoorl

      September 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Yes, the silent one was probably an 800 series, which costs around $1000. Still, though, bummer on the lower grade model!

  • Elizabeth

    September 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

    We renovated the kitchen in our last house and put in a Bosch dishwasher. It was love at first sight, and the affair lasted the entire time we lived in that house. Bosch is a great company that makes great appliances. The house we live in now came with a completely renovated kitchen outfitted with appliances all made by the Maytag/Whirlpool company (this includes KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and Amana). We have had unrelenting problems with every single one of these appliances. To try and remedy the problem, we bought different appliances, also, it turns out, made by the Maytag/Whirlpool company. Every single one of those appliances has broken at least twice so far. Our pro-style Jenn-Air stove has had six different parts replaced in five years, and I just recently had to set up yet another service call for it because, yup, it’s broken again.

    Each time we have had to have an appliance replaced, I ask the service technician if it is standard for such expensive appliances to break so frequently. Every single time, I get the same answer: Anything made under the Whirlpool/Maytag company in the past six or seven years is going to break. Their manufacturing standards have declined, their construction is poor, and they no longer have strict quality control standards. This is coming from Maytag/Whirlpool repairmen who have been with the company, servicing their appliances, for over 25 years. Even my so-called “professional series” KitchenAid mixer broke after fewer than two years of use. After calling the company several times, I finally got them to agree to replace it, but it took a good four months of constant phone-calling and emailing. My previous KitchenAid mixer (which I gave to a friend after I was gifted the new one) was made in 1995 (during the good years of KitchenAid). It is a workhorse that will probably live longer than me.

    Go with Bosch. Avoid KitchenAid. Also avoid Jenn-Air. I hate to sound so gruff about this, but I feel as though I have learned my lesson many times over, and now must use my experience to warn others.

    • whoorl

      September 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Thanks for the info – makes me feel better about our choices!

  • Sara

    September 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Yes to Bosch! We spent a liittle more to get the quiet, all stainless interior and don’t regret it! We have friends who own one as well and have only positive experiences to report. We use Method detergent and are pleased with the cleaning performance.

  • Coco

    September 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Our Bosch drives. me. batty. It doesn’t heat dry, it’s awkward to load and it BEEPS incessantly until you open the door (so you can’t run it at night). We’re actually taking it out and having a KitchenAid put in. We lasted 4 weeks.

  • Crystal

    September 21, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Can I recommend Miele for the dishwasher? Everyone I know who has one says they will NEVER go to another brand. Enjoyed the video! Loved the music!

    • whoorl

      September 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Dustin has used Miele appliances for many of his clients. It’s another great brand, for sure!

  • Kristen Howerton

    September 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I don’t know about the appliances, but that footage set to Moon River is cracking me up.

  • MommyTime

    September 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My cousin has a Miele dishwasher, and it is completely silent, holds more dishes that you would think humanly possibly (with a completely genius flat silverware rack at the very top of the dishwasher, so all the cutlery is spread out without taking up any space at all from the dishes), and cleans like a dream. She got it 10 years ago and has not had a single problem with it, ever.

  • Aura

    September 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

    We have a Bosch in our apt. and it works well enough, and is quiet. the lower rack slots for plates/larger dishes are super annoying and sensitive to touch– they’ll fall out of place really easily meaning that all dishes smash into each other or fall over. we’ve also had issues getting it totally level in our little d/w nook, but that’s likely more of a flooring or building super issue.

    good luck with all the choices and fun deliberations and hope the reno continues apace!

  • Mrs. VJ

    September 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

    We love our Bosch dishwasher and actually took it with us when we moved homes ;) Super quiet and very reliable. A heads up on the Viking fridge though (if you haven’t purchased it already that is)…my Aunt has the whole Viking suite in her kitchen, but it’s the Viking fridge that has become overly friendly with the repairman – he has to come out and fix the darn thing at least once/year. Just sayin’…check those reviews!

    • whoorl

      September 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Yes, Viking has had some issues in the past for sure. (Even my parents had issues with theirs!) However, Viking recently changed who manufactures their units, and the quality has really increased. We’ve got our fingers crossed!

  • Joel

    September 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

    You won’t go wrong with either. In laws have Bosch, quietest I’ve ever not heard. I’ve owned Kitchenaid and not had any complaints.

    I agree with your husband on the floor level issue.

    • whoorl

      September 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, it is going to look soooooo much better.

  • Sarah Filchak

    September 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I have a Bosch and LOVE it, wouldn’t trade it for the world. My mother in law had a Bosch and went with a snazzier/newer Kitchenaid and hates it- not nearly as quiet, user friendly or just all around great as her Bosch. Go Bosch.

    • Sarah Filchak

      September 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      As far as beeping and wonky racks, if you look in the user guide, you can mute the beeps and I have yet to have an issue with the racks making my plates clatter into each other. Again, go Bosch!

  • rebecca

    September 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    We went with the Bosch dishwasher and absolutely LOVE it. SO quiet, as everyone has noted. The one caveat I would say – my husband is an architect as well and we designed our kitchen renovation. The dishwasher has an integrated panel on the front so it blends seamlessly with the cabinets. The one thing I did not anticipate was when I propped open the dishwasher door over night, the STEAM that comes out of the Bosch at the end is intense. So it warped a bit of our veneer drawer face to the right of the dishwasher. I don’t know what your design is like – but just take into account what surrounds your dishwasher, and don’t ever prop it open over night after the cycle has finished. I learned my lesson, just wanted to pass it on.

    The other tidbit on the dishwasher, is look at the drawers. We are finding that the lower drawer is difficult to put in large platters. It’s something that can be hard to anticipate, but if you have the ability to think about how you use the dishwasher, take a look at what you’re getting to be sure it has what you need (I know, this sounds so obvious…I was knee deep in appliance research a year or so ago and I wish I had ascertained this…)

    We did Bosch dishwasher, cooktop and oven, Best by Broan integrated hood. Love them all. And Miele, integrated fridge. I know your husband probably gets some great discounts. We were able to get a fantastic Miele fridge with a great architectural discount. Beautiful fridge! Loving it! Counter depth, integrated front panel.

    Really enjoying the house posts – keep ’em coming! :)

  • Lyndsay

    September 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Bosch is amazing. You cannot even hear the dishwasher running. It’s crazy quiet.

  • Lin Ilsley

    September 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    For me, Bosch has been a bit meh. I loved my Asko, a lot, and am still kicking myself for not getting another when it died an honorable death. Years ago I had a Kitchen Aid and it, too, was amazing, for two decades. Not sure what the newer ones are like, though. Wise choice not going with Viking stove. My have two, a gas and an electric, and there have been issues. Good luck with the renovation. They are challenging but fun.

  • Ninabi

    September 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I love makeovers- be it human or house, it’s a joy to see something transformed into something fresh and beautiful.

    We owned a historic property for years and I am keen to witness all “the boring stuff” that must come first. I remember the money and hard work that goes into plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc… all the things that are unseen and unappreciated.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the video, especially since you are doing the work BEFORE you move in. We, hilariously, did the steps in reverse. Nothing like standing in a furnished dining room after the roof has broken and having a direct line of sight to the Big Man Upstairs who got an unholy earful about said roof.

    Can’t wait to see the end results, particularly with the powerful design skills in your household.

  • Lisa H.

    September 23, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Just chiming in to ask if you have seen the new White Ice appliances? I have all stainless steel in my own kitchen, but holy shit that White Ice is making me want to start all over again. Gorgeous!

  • Leslie

    September 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    You wil NOT be disapointed with a Bosch dishwasher!! Hands down the best!

  • GreenInOC

    September 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

    My sister had a Bosch dishwasher and liked it until it broke, well within the warranty. Dealing with Bosch to fix it, turned into a nightmare of epic proportions and after not having a working dishwasher for over a year, they got rid of it (still under warranty!).

    I recently purchased a low-end dishwasher (my high-end one broke after 14 years and I couldn’t find anything that I liked as much as that one so instead of spending lots of money on something I didn’t like, I spend a little money on something I didn’t like!).

    When the installers arrived, I made a joke that it was probably the worst dishwasher they installed that day. They said, no it wasn’t bad, it “should” last five years. I was horrified – why only 5 years?! They laughed and said that none of the dishwashers last more than 5 years – even the really expensive ones.

    Still cracking up at the crazy clean demo you’ve got going on over there!

  • Claudia

    September 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Wish I’d asked your readers about dishwashers before we installed a Samsung last year. Nuff said on that.

    I’m interested in the bathroom. What are your inspirations for that room? Are you doing wood floor in there too?

    • whoorl

      September 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Haha, that’s a GREAT question…as we’re trying to figure that out right now. Stay tuned. :)

      • Claudia

        September 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

        I love wood floors in the bathroom, but it takes guts. Water isn’t exactly wood’s friend.

  • GreenInOC

    September 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Dear Cleanest Demo Project EVER(!!!),

    Totally forgot, are you going to re-use the current flooring and just lay it all on the same level and direction, then stain it?

    • whoorl

      September 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      We are keeping all of the original flooring, but getting rid of the newer oak flooring in the kitchen and dining room because it is buckling ever so slightly (turns the framing wasn’t venting properly.) Adding new oak in those rooms running in the same direction and at the same level, and staining. We just finished sanding the original floors, and they are beeeeeautiful!

  • Loa Page

    September 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

    We rennovated a condo, and installed all Bosch appliances (my husband who does 99% of the cooking’s request)and we liked it-nothing mind boggling with the dish washer, though we rinse our dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher just to minimize the dishwasher cleaning. A year later we outgrew our condo with the birth of our first, and we bought a larger condo, and we renovated the new condo.

    We bought all new kitchen appliances again, and I have to tell you, the only Bosch item we got again was the counter depth refrigerator. This time for the dishwasher we bought an Asko-mainly for esthetic reasons-my husband wanted a very streamlined handle-nothing sticking out, and operating buttons on the inside-so the kids could not access (we have 2 now) but also because it was completely stainless inside which I guess for longevity is better? Washing they are the same, and I prefer the rack layout in the Asko, we did spend about 1000$ on both.

    I always thought appliances had to match in brand, but the second time round we bought everything different-though esthetically they look the same-but we really liked what each had to offer, the first time we bought everything Bosch because we had heard it was the best, and we wanted it to match, we were especially unhappy with the range-but you have a viking, so no worries!

  • jenfromboston

    September 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I have a Bosch, and love it for the reasons veryoen mentions. One mindor dissent here is that the water drips will stain on the S/S and are very, very hard to get out. I think not all S/S appliance are created equal, as this seems to be a “thing” for Bosch S/S dishwashers (I’ve found the forums for it). Anyway, just a word of caution as this is a thing that drives me nuts as I can’t get them out with your typical S/S cleaner product you’d find in the grocery store or Bed, Bath. I think the forums recommend Bon Ami (stuff used in pro setting) for this issue, which you can buy on amazon.

    My prior dishwasher was a fridgedaire matte finish (so technically not the true S/S) and the bonus was I never had to deal with handprints, water drip issues.

  • jenfromboston

    September 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Sorry for the typos…eating lunch and commenting apparently not my strong suit.

  • ohjennymae

    September 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    we bought a kitchenid and we don’t love it. i stayed away from the bosch since i thought my dishes would never dry, especially since we use a lot of plasctic/melamine with the kids. little did i know that they just don’t heat dry, but air dry. would have made a big difference & i would have bought a bosch if i’d know they wouldn’t be soaked when they were done.

  • Denae @ New Mom Adventure

    September 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I love the idea of Bosch but the no hard food disposal was a killer for me. Know your washing style and purchase accordingly. We are a scrape and stack family. I am fundamentally against washing dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. Food sediment is the #1 cause of glass etching and that “dirty” look after running a dishwasher. Repair guy told me the only way around that is a hard food disposal which Bosch does not seem to offer at all.

  • […] – Well, after reading your glowing reviews, we went with Bosch for our dishwasher, cooktop, and oven. Plus, it didn’t hurt that they are […]