Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kitchen Improvements

As the days countdown until closing, it seems like the days are shorter, every minute is filled with something. Its a very busy time at work, the train I commute on is under construction, and we are getting all packed up at home.  There is so much to do, the weekends are not overly restful but there is certainly excitement to get us by.  On our latest visit there has been a lot of things done, lets take a look at the improvements in the kitchen.


The base options in the kitchen are very basic, functioning but very much an entry line of General Electric (GE) appliances.  We choose an upgraded appliance package that included upgrades to the microwave, dishwasher and range.  This was primarily for the range upgrade so we could get a glass top electric range, but an upgraded microwave and dishwasher came with the "Feature III" package.

The microwave is installed into the wall above the range and has an exhaust fan which can suck steam and air up from range and vent it outside the house through the vent we saw in the kitchen in the post from before the walls being closed up.  The microwave is a sharp looking GE device which contains a metal rack in the center.  This is odd to me as we have always been told no metal in a microwave.  I guess there will be some owners manual reading in my future.


The microwave had a note taped to the outside, a sort of checklist of items which needed some TLC.  It appears that Bob left some notes for the crew to take care to correct.  Just below the microwave is the space for the range.  Our glass top range also a GE appliance in jet black.  We had become accustom to the electric cooking, but not the typical exposed coils you see. This caused for a two level upgrade to get the glass top.  The upgrade is worth it the glass top range has two large elements up front, with the one on the right variable in size and featuring a speed boil option.  The back row is filled with three smaller elements. While the range was delivered it had not yet been installed on our last visit. 

Glass Top Range

A refrigerator is not included and can either be bought through Ryan Homes and installed prior to closing or you need to go out and get it on your own after the fact.  In our case we decided to go with the Ryan Homes option "F" a large black side by side with ice maker, ensuring it matched with the other appliances in the kitchen.  The ice maker has a dual function single spot for ice and water.  Its a really nice refrigerator with variable ice settings. 


The final appliance featured in the kitchen is the dishwasher.  The same as all the others is a jet black GE product, upgraded from the base model as part of the package deal to bring in the glass top range.  All the devices are energy star rated.  It will be interesting to get back into a house with a dishwasher, as our current house doesn't have one. 

Counter Top

Based on reading other Ryan Homes blogs, one of the incentive offers provided is a granite counter upgrade, however this was not the case in our development.  I am happy it wasn't, while a granite top would be fantastic, look great and last a long time it was certainly not on our necessity list.  Our incentive as you know was drastically price reduced finished basement.  The base option counter top is a laminate featuring about 8 to 10 selections.  Its been a while since we made the selections so I can't recall the exact number, but it was sufficient with varying color options.

Close up of Kitchen Counter

We chose a granite look featuring browns and blacks.  Dark enough to provide some variation from the oak cabinets, but not too one colored looking really dark option.  Our current house's counter top is a speckled dark counter top so we wanted something a little different.  As you can see from above it came out great, had you not know it was laminate and not granite you may not have been able to tell from the picture. Not going with granite was a huge cost savings option and it was definitely one you can hold out for until some point in the future, the base laminate is nice.  

Here are a few different views of the counter top, including a panoramic look at the counter.

Kitchen Counters as Viewed from the Morning Room

Kitchen Counters as Viewed From Family Room
The nice part about the laminate is there is no seems, if they have them they are impossible to see.  From the looks of it they brought one piece to cover from the gourmet island around to the microwave.

Kitchen Counter Top - Panoramic View

Kitchen Counter Against Oak Cabinets

The final kitchen item which was new on our last visit was the seating of the kitchen sink atop the counter. The laminate counters come with a stainless steel sink.  It sits above the counter not recessed like the ones that are installed granite tops.  The only complaint is the depth of the sink, it is very very shallow, and we are coming from a deep sink, which will be a tough adjustment.

A picture of the kitchen sink.
Kitchen Sink

Also completed the last time we were through was the carpet installation, which we will take a look at in the next post.  Bare with me as there is a lot going on these final weeks to prepare for the move its become tougher to get the time to keep up on the blog.

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