Overcooked kitchen remodels cost too much?

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - Aug• 02•07

Burnedtoast_2“You could be spending a lot more and getting a lot less” when remodeling your kitchen, says Realty Times columnist Broderick Perkins, quoting from studies done by Consumer Reports.

The magazine’s August issue includes: 10 Most-Hyped Products And What To Buy Instead.

“Mistakes can be costly as well as disappointing, because the most loudly hawked products are often the most expensive,” the magazine says.

Here are some examples:

Pro-style ranges. Spending more on pro-style appliances doesn’t guarantee better quality. Consumer Reports’ tests continue to find that $4,000-plus professional-style ranges perform no better than less-expensive, conventional models. Some pro-style ranges still lack common features and have high repair rates. CR Advice: Consider faux pro-style ranges from mainstream manufacturers that combine stainless-steel style, performance, and reliability for thousands less.

Speed cooking. Faster doesn’t mean better. Found in some microwaves, ranges, and ovens, speed cooking combines microwaving with convection or baking and broiling to cut cooking time. CR found the performance of speed cookers to be spotty in tests; some foods came out great, while others were undercooked. CR Advice: Look for ovens and ranges with convection, which uses a fan to circulate hot air so food can bake and roast at lower temperatures for shorter times.

Appliance Drawers. Although touted as flexible, space-saving, and stylish, CR tests of drawer versions of refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves show that their lower capacity, efficiency, and overall performance, plus their higher prices, negate those perks. CR Advice: For style and accessible storage, choose a good French-door fridge. Run the rinse-only cycle on a regular dishwasher for small loads. Consumers who can live without a range hood’s better venting can free up counter space with an over-the-range microwave. Each costs a fraction of what a drawer costs.

Read the whole list, which skewers steam ovens, pricey faucets and sinks, trendy counters, green flooring, and big box stores.

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