Category

home

in home

Choosing Kitchen Appliances, With No Help from the Internet

I have discovered that the internet is the worst place for Appliance reviews. Did you know that according to the internet, every dishwasher is “without hesitation, the worst dishwasher you will ever buy”? There are no good ones. None whatsoever. And if anyone ever tells you it’s a good one, they are being paid off by the manufacturer. It’s completely ridiculous.

So I really have no choice but to go with features and looks and roll the dice. My house builder is partnered with electrolux, so I am limited in that way. But I can pick any electrolux/frigidaire appliances that I want. This is what I have decided to go with:

Dishwasher: Electrolux 24” Built-In Dishwasher with IQ Controls (E124ID50QS)

EI24ID50QS_Dishwasher_391x399

I chose this dishwasher over the Frigidaire (FPID2497RF) for a few reasons. First, because of the third rack. I am in love with the idea of a third rack because where do you put all of the wooden spoons, spatulas, etc? Usually they end up crowding my glass space on the top row, but with a third rack, this becomes a problem of the past.

Second, true stainless steel. Frigidaire has a “feature” called smudge-proof stainless steel. The problem is that this is not the same color as actual stainless steel. So unless you plan on your entire kitchen being Frigidaire, your appliances won’t match. If you’re the type of person that reads that last sentence and thinks I’m crazy, then maybe you won’t care. Even as I write it, I find myself sounding a little crazy, but what I can I say. I’m a little obsessive about my future kitchen.

Now, according to the actual review on Reviewed.com, this dishwasher won dishwasher of the year in 2014. According to the comments on reviewed.com, this dishwasher is the worst on the planet. But then again, according to all comments online, every dishwasher is the worst on the planet. So just like every other first time appliance buyer out there, I am completely confused so I’m going to make a blind guess. Thanks a lot internet.

Double Wall Ovens: Electrolux 30” Electric Double Wall Oven with IQ-Touch Controls (EI30EW45PS)

feature_wo_PerfTasteConvect-Single_02401_th

I chose this wall oven again over the Frigidaire (FGET3065PF), a much cheaper version of essentially the same thing. But there were a few features that won me over about the Electrolux:

1.) Easy glide oven racks. So with very little effort, you can glide the racks in and out. Sounds like a small thing, but with double ovens, the top oven is usually at a pretty awkward angle when you are trying to put things in or out. Or when you are trying to put a tester toothpick in a cake. If you bake a lot, this is a must have feature in my opinion.

2.) Blue interior. Yes this is irrational. I am aware of this. But the way I explain this irrational desire is that what I really wanted was the KitchenAid True Convection Double Oven (KODE507ESS) and it is also blue inside. These two ovens actually have a lot of similarities in features so I guess I’m trying to fool myself into thinking that I got my first choice.

(Kitchen aid pictured below, pretty close right?)

Feature_1175X1290_P150020_26

3.) Built in Temperature Probe. I’ve never used a meat thermometer before. I usually just follow the recipe and hope that whatever I am making doesn’t come out undercooked. Usually a fine approach for beef, possibly disastrous for poultry. So the built in temperature probe in the electrolux is my new must-have that I have never actually had.

Cooktop: Electrolux Icon 36” Gas Slide-In Cooktop

E36GC75PSS

Let me start by how I decided on what kind of Cooktop I wanted. I grew up using Gas. I suffered through Electric in college and in multiple apartments. I am ready to go back to Gas. For me, it is easier to control, easier to use, and much prettier. Also if you trust the judgement of chefs around the world, gas is the way to go. I also new that I wanted 36” or bigger. I recently had a glimpse of a 27” cooktop in a brand new kitchen and it looked like a toy. Aside from the aesthetics, I also cook a lot. I cook multiple things on the stove at the same time. So more space is better for me. The last requirement was professional style knobs on the front. Again, this is superficial, it was more about my vision for my kitchen. Those requirements led me to this particular cooktop which is the only one that electrolux/frigidaire has with those key features.

This is not a review of these appliances, as I have not bought them yet. This is a pre-view. You could read this and say “no! no! don’t choose those!”, but it’s too late. You are on the internet and I wouldn’t believe what you say anyway. It is decided.

Related posts
in home
The Kitchen
April 17, 2016
in diy
Extreme Makeover: KitchenAid Edition
March 9, 2016
in home
Carrara Marble Stain Test
March 1, 2016
in home

A Lot to Consider

The lot is not the most important thing. There are many nice lots and if you are in a well planned community, you will probably be happy wherever you are. However, some lots are nicer than others, which is why there are lot premiums. A premium could be put on the lot because it’s in a cul-de-sac or because it’s bigger or because it’s on the lake or golf course. The range for these premiums is huge. For our particular development, lots ranged from 0 to $40k.

Lot Size

There are also standard lot sizes. When you are building, the section you build in will have a specific lot size which is the measurement of the front of the lot which can be something like 50’ 60’ 70’ 80’ and so on and so forth and everything in between. In a suburban master-planned community, they will usually only build a certain size house  on each sized lot. For example, you can’t build a small 1800 sq ft house on a 80’ lot just because you want to have a massive backyard. Therefore, your backyard size is going to matter based on the plan that you put on the lot and which lot size you build on. Another reason cul-de-sacs and larger lots are at a premium is that you will be able to build the same size house and end up with a bigger back yard.

Also consider traffic. Cul-de-sacs are considered the best because you won’t get much traffic. The only people driving on that road will be your neighbors and people who are lost. So you’ll have much less noise AND your lot will probably be larger because the lots fan out in the back.

Fences

Open view fences, wood fences, and brick walls. These are a few examples of what you might be stuck with when you buy a lot. If you are moving into a master-planned community like we did, you will have no say in this matter whatsoever except by which lot you pick. Some communities like to have corner lots open to public view. Some communities like to have all fences that are facing public areas like roads, parks, or lakes, open to public view. So if you have a dog that can get through wrought iron fences or can jump them, or you just prefer your privacy, you are going to want to ask your builder about this.

Easements

In master planned communities, your property is most likely applicable to some kind of easement which means there will be a portion of your yard that you cannot build any permanent structures on. This is mostly relevant if you ever consider building a pool.

So while the lot is not the most important thing, there is still a lot to consider. We ended up with a cul-de-sac lot where we only have a neighbor on one side and our lot premium was only $4k. And one of our walls is a brick wall maintained by the development! Score!

IMG_7060

Related posts
in home
Plenty of Fish in the Sea
August 13, 2015
in home
Build vs Build
August 12, 2015
in home

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

You started out going to one model park and looking at five houses. Maybe you visited a few other communities, a few other houses. You looked at a few below your price range and too many above. Feel like you looked at enough to make a choice? WRONG. Look more. If I learned anything from my house hunting excursion, it was that there are MANY beautiful houses out there. This is not like human relationships, you will fall in love many times. Over and over again, you will think to yourself “THIS IS THE ONE”. I don’t want to be a cynic, but this isn’t like that. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and there is no one soulmate of a house. Builders are good at building houses. That’s why they are builders. That means you are going to fall in love with lots of floor plans. And just when you think you’ve found the one with the perfect kitchen island and the high ceilings that you love, you’re gonna find an even better one with an even bigger kitchen island and even higher ceilings.

So, what I’m saying, is that you can never do enough research. Obviously there is a point to call it quits. But more often than not, you could stand to do one more viewing, even if to eliminate an option from your mind. In the end, the perfect house is not just going to be a floor plan. The perfect house is going to be the perfect floor plan, the perfect incentive package, good building quality, good customer service, a good neighborhood, a great lot, and the right price. I would advise that you don’t settle on any of these things. If you ever consider settling think about how you will be paying for this for the next 30 years of your life.

Related posts
in inspiration
Style Inspiration: $2.4 Million Mansion
November 15, 2015
in home
A Lot to Consider
August 13, 2015
in home
Model Home Mirages
August 13, 2015
in home

Model Home Mirages

Model homes are always fun. They are beautiful and exciting, but honestly, they tell you nothing about the builder and their quality. You cannot compare your finished product to their model home. If you do fall in love with a model home, ask how many upgrades were put into the house. This will also tell you something about the culture of the builder. If they are selling a $350K house with another $350K of upgrades in the model home, most likely they are crooks. Haha no, that’s extreme, but they are definitely pulling a bit of a bait and switch.

You can look at the fit and finishes of the model home, but pay more attention to the floor plan and if it suits all of your structural needs. If it does, check to see if the builder has anything in inventory. Even if it is not the floorplan you are in love with, check out an inventory home, because it will give you a glimpse into their finish quality. Do they have sloppy paint jobs? Do they hang the doors straight? Is the tiling messy and uneven? Is the sealant around the plumbing a mess? That is the first thing. Is the quality any good? Because of course the quality of the model home is going to be immaculate. But the quality of an inventory home will reveal the truth.

The next thing you can check out in an inventory home is how nicely did they do upgrades? Most inventory homes will have a medium amount of upgrades because they want to make it desirable but not to have to overprice and then drop the price and make all the upgrades free to the buyer. So, how well did they choose their upgrades? Did they put any wood flooring in? If so, what is the quality? What does the standard lighting package look like? What about standard plumbing fixtures? Are they good enough for you? Or are you going to want to upgrade them when you build your own?

Now that you have browsed some of the inventory, how do you feel about the house? Do you still feel like they are a quality builder who are going to give you the house of your dreams? Or do you feel like you are going to have to pay double the starting price in upgrades just to get it how you want?

Related posts
in inspiration
Style Inspiration: $2.4 Million Mansion
November 15, 2015
in home
Plenty of Fish in the Sea
August 13, 2015
in home

Build vs Build

If you are reading this to figure out whether you should build or buy your first new home, this is not going to be very helpful to you. My husband, Tommy, and I decided to build for many reasons and honestly didn’t even think about buying. I grew up in southwest Houston where building is commonplace, affordable, and relatively easy. My parents built their house from scratch and it has always been a dream of mine. So in the build vs buy stage of our journey, we had extremely selective hearing and we pretty much skipped that stage altogether and went with build.

I am not going to make an even argument here. I’m not going to list the pros and cons because what would be the point of that after I already made my choice. I’m just going to list all the good things about building your own house:

1.) It’s brand new. That’s right. No one has ever lived in it before. No smokers who insist that they have kept everything odorless. No cats who “never claw at the carpet”. No murderers whose wives “made them do it”.

2.) It’s your perfect home. You don’t have to settle for a granite countertop that is too dark. You get to pick the exact one you want. You get to pick the lighting, the floors, the fixtures, the paint, the brick, everything.

3.) It’s fun! The whole process is something that many people never get to do. You’ll get to pick out your plot of land and watch your house grow from just a slab of concrete into what you will call your home. Picking tiles is fun guys! Right? Yea!

I’m sure there are some equally good reasons to buy instead. So if that’s what you did then good for you!

Related posts
in home
A Lot to Consider
August 13, 2015
in home
Plenty of Fish in the Sea
August 13, 2015
Close