Shopping for Windows and Appliances

Welcome back to our home addition/remodel! This post is a little bit different because Lindsay and I are heading out to do some window shopping. (Literal window shopping) Then we’re going to go appliance shopping to get an idea of what size appliances we want in the kitchen. Once we know that, the architects can start designing the actual kitchen based on the size of the appliances. 

Right now we’re at Scherer Brothers. They are the supplier of all the building materials, and we’re going to take a look at the windows first. They have two options for us, the Elevate Series and the Ultimate Series. The Ultimate is more money (because it’s ultimate) and has some nicer features. The Elevate is probably comparable to what we have in our house right now. We’re going to meet Michael inside, and he’s going to show us the features of windows. 

We are here with Chris, who is the lead architect. He and his team figured out all of our plans based off of our weird ideas and thoughts. Donavan is also joining us, and as you know, he is our contractor. 

Today we’re looking for all the windows that are going to be in the center room addition. We also have a bay window here at the dining room, as well as new windows in the front for the kitchen. We are looking at the Marvin line today, and we are deciding between Marvin Elevate and Marvin Ultimate. Some factors to help make that decision are 1) how fast it can get here and 2) what can fit within the space. Everything has extended lead times right now, obviously. One option has a lead time of 14 weeks, and the other is closer to 22 weeks.

Let’s take a look at some windows and doors now! Here is the Marvin Ultimate in a swing French door. Its default is a pine interior, so as long as that works out with our stain selection, that will be fine. It’s a full fiberglass cell, and the outside is all aluminum for weather. This door sits flush with the jamb, which is nice because then it can swing more than 90 degrees.

This is the other option for doors, the Elevate in a swing French door. This one is kind of a weird version because it’s a double, but you can see it’s a full fiberglass frame and then a wood interior. The handle is a little bit different, you don’t get the locking system on there. With ours, we’ll get the full multi-point locks that are locked on the top and the bottom, which will keep it more weather-tight as well.

This is a Marvin Ultimate casement window. This again has an aluminum clad exterior with full wood interior. You can push down on this bar and turn this window all the way around, which you can’t do on the Elevate. This is a nice feature for higher level windows so that you can clean the exterior side of the windows from inside the house. The exterior of the window also has a slightly different appearance because the exterior of the frames protrudes from the sash. 

Looking at a Marvel Elevate, it’s much more flush. With this window you can’t turn it all the way around to clean it. A majority of this window is fiber glass and there’s about a quarter inch of wood, which is solid wood, but it’s not structural to the window. On the Ultimate, the wood provides the structure and the aluminum clad provides the weather resistance. 

Some of your windows do require fall protection because they are more than five feet up. There is a device in the corner of the windows which controls how much the window opens. If you push that device, the window will only open four inches.

Next up we are looking at the exterior trim that we specked out. One option is this Hardy trim. It’s a cement board based product: wood-fiber and cement-fiber ground up and extruded back out together. It’s super, super durable, very fire resistant, very hail resistant. It’s not really that expensive. It’s going to be a little bit more than if you were to go with a compressed fiber board. The only upside of the compressed fiber boards are that they are cheap. They have a 50 year warranty and usually don’t make it to 50 years.

The other option is a product called Boral, which is a fly ash material. It’s an after product from coal firing. The upside to this is it can be painted any color that you want. You can nail right into it, it takes nails and screws really well, and there’s no wood fiber in it. Hardy still has a little bit of wood fiber in there, which means it could potentially have rot. This Boral has no wood fiber, it’s basically just a rock. It can still be molded, routed, and cut just like wood, and it’s not going to blow out or splinter, which you can’t do with the Hardy. It is a little bit more expensive than Hardy.

Decision time! We’re going to go with the Ultimate door and the Elevate windows.

Now we’re going to go look at appliances. Now, I thought that looking at appliances with the last thing you do, but Chris has informed me that I am very very wrong about that. It’s the first thing you do, because appliances will determine the whole layout of the kitchen. We’re going to start by looking at refrigeration first, figure out what we need for our family, how it looks with the cabinets, etc. 

We can go with a single refrigeration unit with a refrigerator and freezer combined. In that style, we could go with a built-in version with an out-set drawer or one that is flush the cabinetry. In the current plan of the kitchen, the refrigeration is right in the corner of the house. The idea is that it’s going to be more like the flush version because we don’t have a ton of room there. The question is going to be size.

This is a column that’s 24 inches wide. Our current fridge is 30 inches wide but it’s not a full depth.

Here is a 30-inch where the door up front and a drawer on the bottom. This one is similar to our current fridge, but it is taller, which gives it more storage space.

The other idea that Chris has for us is separating refrigeration and freezer. We could have a column that is just refrigerator and some separate drawers for just freezer. We already have a lot of refrigeration in our current house, as well as a huge chest freezer and a mini freezer. Lindsay says she isn’t concerned about freezer space given that we have so much already. 

This is the fridge that Chris recommends for us, because a 36 inch fridge works better with our layout for the kitchen. 

Now on to cooktops! Here is a 30 inch gas cooktop with four burners and all of the controls on the side. It has a more contemporary look.

This one is the 36 inch dual fuel. You have six burners, and this can be configured a bunch of different ways. This one has more of a traditional look. Lindsay likes this bigger cooktop because she cooks a lot and likes that the oven is attached. We will probably do a dual fuel with electric for the oven and gas top. 

Next up, microwaves. Lindsay is not a big fan of microwaves and does not really use them, but we should have one. Again we just have to figure out size and scale today. This is a steam oven, microwave combination. You can steam leftovers, pizzas, things like that, and it will come out crispy instead of soggy. Then there is a microwave oven below, or you can do a regular microwave oven itself. Or you can just do a full microwave. 

This one is only 12 inches tall and it fits in an upper cabinet. We could have this behind the door and always put away. It could also be in the pantry cabinet on the other end of the kitchen. Chris says that they will often put appliances in pantry space so that they are out of sight and it keeps the countertops clean. Lindsay and I are both big fans of this idea. 

Next up, stove hoods! This one is is Durand, and it is the best option. It doesn’t have a filter system so it never has to be replaced. It’s easy to clean and fireproof. Chris is thinking of installing this with a wood front so you don’t see the stainless steel. 

Finally, and easiest of all: dishwashers. We are going to keep our current dishwasher, which is a Miele. 

Well, that was our first time at an appliance store, we feel like real adults now. We decided on a 36-inch wide fridge which is entirely fridge space. Lindsay is on the fence about that somewhat, but we have some days to make a decision. If we go that route, we will have a drawer freezer as well. We are doing a 36 inch cooktop with six burners and the oven beneath it. Also chose a tiny microwave that we can hide in the pantry. And we are keeping the dishwasher. We aren’t picking brands quite yet, that will be in the future. 

Jumping into the future now! It’s been about three weeks since that shopping trip. We have our windows ordered, and I thought I would give you an update. The window order is scheduled to be here the last week of February, and the door is going to arrive mid-April if timeframes don’t change. 

I can also give you a better look at the sketch that Chris was showing now that we have the addition built. There are five windows on this wall, with a fixed window in the middle and two operable windows on either side of that. There will be a small window on one side and two windows on the other side next to the entry door. 

That window and door order came in at $15,000, for 15 windows and one door. We went with the more expensive door because we wanted those exterior extension jambs so we end up with a nice flush finish on the inside. The door was $3,000 and everything else was $12,000, putting each window at about $800 per window. Of course, we’ll have more expense later on when we go to actually install them. 

Lead times are absolutely insane right now. We haven’t made any final decisions with the appliances yet, and lead time on appliances is about six months right now. Because appliances are the last to go in, we probably have a month or two before we have to make any actual decisions. 

Thank you as always for joining me. I really appreciate it ! For any questions or comments on the home addition and remodel, please feel free to comment. As always, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have! Until next time, happy woodworking.

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent choice for the windows. I have installed 100 plus Marvin’s and never had any issues. Matt proctor A&P Construction.

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