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!

  1. 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.

  3. SAJ

    September 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I love these posts!

  4. 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.)

  5. Sarah

    September 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Is your new house at the beach?

  6. Shani

    September 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

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

  7. 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. :)

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!