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Kitchen renovation: the end is nigh

photo-49This morning I cleared the fridge of its many boxes of bad leftover carryout food. By this point I’ve lost all will to look for healthier options or to half-prepare food on the back deck and then wash the dishes in the bathtub. Now we’re in the Styrofoam clamshell du jour phase of kitchenlessness. I will be so happy when we this project is over.

The latest delays were not our contractors fault at all but our own for dropping the ball on countertops. Who knew the granite company would have a two-week wait time for scheduling a template fitting? Then, it took another 10 days to cut the counters.

But the counters are coming tomorrow and plumbing (thank the water gods) the day after. To finish, our cabinet guy is going to come with knobs and handles, and then we still have to find a reasonably priced wine cooler to go in the frame in the picture above. If you recall from previous posts, this is our “pass” — a window into the kitchen that people first come across when they enter the back of the house. My vision of completion involves a bottle of wine and several glasses waiting on the soon-to-arrive counter top for dinner guests.

Finally, we have to install a hood over the big, bad six-burner range. My wife and I are at loggerheads about which hood to buy. I want a full-tilt-boogie one that vents to the outdoors, but this would involve a little (barely visible) exposed duct work over the cabinets. She wants to get a recirculating hood that purifies the cooking fumes through charcoal and sends the hot air back into the room. We may have to go to mediation over this.

20 comments Add your comment


September 27th, 2010
10:03 am

Based on my experience, the full-tilt-boogie hoods work much better. I would not consider the recirculating type with a six burner range.


September 27th, 2010
10:12 am

Gratz on the progress in your kitchen! I’m glad you can see the end of this project is near.

I would highly recommend your wife listen to your wishes on the hood. We have an active charcoal recirculating hood that we can’t stand. It greases up very quickly, barely removes odor from the air, and causes the kitchen to heat up to a point that we have to open windows. Our kitchen renovation next year will feature a fully vented hood installation.

Any idea yet as to how you will christen the new kitchen? Any particular ‘1st dish’ you plan on executing? The restocking trip to whatever foodie megamart you like should be good reading as well.


September 27th, 2010
10:20 am

John, looks great. I’m so excited for you! *looks at the sad pathetic kitchen in my home* ;)


September 27th, 2010
11:12 am

John- don’t accept less than a hood that vents outdoors. Depending on whose you get, you may be waiting for that to arrive.

Whose stove did you get?

Mike Fincham

September 27th, 2010
11:19 am

no recirculating hood with a 6 burner – terrible idea – build a little chase or soffet to cover the ducting if you must


September 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

From an IAQ standpoint you should opt for the vent-to-the-outside hood. Aside from odors there are moisture and combustion gases in the mix. And make sure it dumps to the outside and not an attic space. I love my vent hood with its exposed duct on top of my cabinets – kind of a Pompidou Center treatment in my kitchen.


September 27th, 2010
1:44 pm

Absolutely, positively, without a doubt, go with the outside vent.

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September 27th, 2010
3:06 pm


IMO how you use your range should dictate the type of vent/hood you install. I have a commercial 1200 cfm hood that vents to the outside thru the roof. We use the open flame grill a lot… much more than the griddle. If you just have burners and don’t fry a lot, then a recirculating hood should work just fine.


September 27th, 2010
3:16 pm

I’d love to see more photos, and I think you’re right about the hood venting outdoors (Sorry, Mrs. K…)


September 27th, 2010
4:32 pm

Another vote for venting to the outdoors. Recirculating hoods just do not work well, no matter how they’re marketed.

John Kessler

September 27th, 2010
4:48 pm

Wow…thanks for all the input. I love the Pompidou Center line. I don’t imagine there will be that many times I use all six burners, but I do foresee using the built-in infrared grill pretty often. (It’’s a Wolf range.) The previous hood vented into the veranda roof, which seemed kind of weird. No ductwork in the roof…just open space and a hole. I’m thinking it would be better for the duct to hug the wall along the top of the cabinets and then vent through a hole we can punch to the outdoors. Added bonus: people arriving at the house will smell the cooking first.

I’m thinking a few small dinner parties to start…cook stuff I know, just to get the feel of the kitchen, before I attempt the cowpigturducken.

Fruit Lover

September 27th, 2010
9:46 pm

What time is dinner?


September 27th, 2010
10:44 pm

You need a externally vented hood. Recirculating is as good as not having one. We had a similar situation to yours. We ran a 10″ duct on top of the cabinets between the cabinets and the ceiling and enclosed it with panels painted the same color as the wall. It looks perfect. The vent goes to a roof mounted fan. 900cfm. We used a best by Braun vent fan and hood.
Remember the cfm rating is at the fan. Each foot of ducting decreases effective cfms as do turns and angles in the ducting.

Let me know if you want a picture of our enclosed soffit. I’m sure your contractor could out something together like it easily.


September 27th, 2010
10:49 pm

I have a 60 bottle uline stainless steel wine cooler. I had to move out of my house and took this with me and have no where to put it in the old farm house and now living in. GREAT!!! Condition. Email if interested.

Tin Foil Hat and Styrofoam Jockstrap

September 28th, 2010
7:40 am

After the renovation is complete perhaps you migh invite your blogging community over for covered dish dinner Surprise?

I will bring over my famous boiled egg, mayo and raddish salad.


September 28th, 2010
8:07 am

I vote for a hood that vents to the outside. I have stayed in condos with hoods that didn’t and they just didn’t do what I expected. Looking forward to seeing photos of the finished product.


September 28th, 2010
8:32 am

Being a kitchen designer, you definitely want a hood to exhaust to the outside especially with Gas Cooking. .

John Kessler

September 28th, 2010
9:14 am


September 29th, 2010
10:53 am

We renovated and went with the exterior vented hood. It is great and because the motor is outside, quiter. The more air that is moved the better. When something starts to smoke (which happens frequently, particularly with cooking meats with your infrared grill), you will see the benefit of the exterior vent. For a chef of your calibre, find the most powerful fan motor to place on your roof. A kitchen is above all a functional part of the house. Don’t forget that and go for interior design: most interior decorators don’t cook.