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Who needs a Sub-Zero? Who needs a Mercedes-Benz?

SubzeroA reader asked good question recently, one I’ve heard the likes of before: Who needs a Sub-Zero refrigerator? Who needs a $10,000 Viking range? Who needs to spend so much on appliances?

This reader said he got a kitchen full of good-quality appliances — refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher — for less than $2,600 at Sears.

Ann Lippincott got a similar challenge during her Santa Barbara remodel, where she used some of the most prestigious subcontractors in a town where well-connected and talented subs work on Oprah Winfrey’s estate, or Ty Warner’s new beachfront mansion. When someone asked why Ann needed to use the best subs in town on her condo kitchen, her response was: Why shouldn’t I?

So what is the justification for choosing the best?

My take: I liken it to choosing a car. Some people want the economy of the least expensive Kia (the Rio, at around $11,00) or Hyundai (the Accent, at around $10,000), while some want the luxury of a Lexus (at way over $50,000) or the top of the line Mercedes-Benz (in the hundreds of thousands).

No matter which car you choose, I’m sure there are cheaper ones you could have bought. Will it be the same quality as the higher-priced cars? Not even. That’s how it is with remodels. Some people want the best.

What do you think? Would you expect a $20,000 kitchen remodel to be the same quality as a $60,000 kitchen remodel? Is there anything wrong with wanting — and paying for — the best?

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