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Archive for the 'Appliances' Category

Blu-ray – now I understand the low adoption rates

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

So we got a good deal on a 65 inch plasma at hhgregg.  They included a Blu-ray player as part of the package.  I’d thought to myself that someday when I got a Blu-ray player it’d probably be a PS3, but I guess not.  I ran and picked up the BBC’s Planet Earth box set to have some content.  I’d seen it on Discovery when it was first released and was amazed.  I knew I had to have it in HD someday.  We’ve now rented several movies on Blu-ray and my verdict is that it can be quite amazing (like Planet Earth), but mostly not so much.  This has to be a big part of the low adoption rate.  I’ve got to rent some more  to see if I’ve just made bad picks, but so far — I’m not that impressed.

Appliances ordered

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

We ordered our appliances today (well, technically it was yesterday).  It feels good to get that off the list, but it sure is hard to see the bank account drop so much in one foul swoop.  I could almost hear my debit card groan.  Hopefully, we made good choices that will last us a couple decades.  We decided to go ahead and order them today, because it’s the last day of the big 4th of July sales.  10% off really helped.  We’ve got another rebate form that will help another 5% too.  Top that off with free delivery and it just seemed like a good way to stretch our budget.  And even if this week’s closing doesn’t wind up happening, we’re scheduled for delivery in about a month.  That should be plenty of time to have the house ready for them and them be all setup before we do our move.

2007 Spring Vesta Home Show

Monday, April 30th, 2007

We went to the 2007 Spring Vesta Home Show on Saturday.  Having been to the South End Home Show last weekend I wasn’t sure how much walking this was going to be, but I was prepared for a lot.  It turned out to be unnecessary.  The show was well organized and setup.  It justified the ticket prices a bit.  There were 7 homes to see and each were basically next door neighbors.  It turns out that the show was more than just seeing what’s out there, it’s a giant for sale ad.  The homes are already sold, but the contents seemed to mostly be setup specifically for the show.  Some things I’m sure will be staying in the homes (ie, garage flooring systems, cabinets, appliances), but much of the other stuff I’m not so sure.  Anyway, we got to see some really cool stuff and have a lot of ideas for the house.

First and foremost, I wasn’t really impressed with the appliances chosen for the homes.  I’ve done a LOT of reading.  It seemed to me that each house pretty much chose each of the major appliances one shouldn’t.  I was a bit surprised.  At least they looked nice.  There were some nice features to the kitchens in terms of cook tops, cabinets, islands, counter tops, and back splashes, but none of the kitchens stood out and made me go “wow”.

If there were a single thing that was consistent among the homes (which do vary widely in theme and content) it was hardwood floors.  Hardwood floors were almost everywhere.  That’s not to say there wasn’t carpet, there certainly was carpet in some rooms, but I believe ALL the homes had hardwood floors for the majority of the lower level (with various kinds of tiling being the other material).  I’m starting to get convinced of it’s value.

Garage floors are something I am interested in, so I made sure to see all of them.  Particularly, I was looking for something done by Ultimate Garage Solutions.  There appeared to be two homes that they did.  I was pretty happy with the flooring.  I kind of wished the homes had chosen some of the more exciting coloring options, but they were still good.  They also provided their cabinet system (which was cool).  One home didn’t have their garage flooring done at all (and having seen the other homes it made it seem incomplete).  Another home had a really interesting flooring that I had not found in my research.  It was done by Victory Swiss Floors.  This flooring consists of polymer tiles that interlock.  It’s a bit hard to describe beyond that.  You just have to see them (take a look at the website).  I don’t think we’ll use them for the garage, but maybe when we get around to doing the gym and maybe even the patio.  They’re cool.  The other homes used flooring systems from a couple of other vendors.  One type was the Williams floor paint (basically).  The other was some sort of flaked system that didn’t feel very durable to my hand.

Home media systems were an interesting thing to see too.  The type and size varied.  There were a few with dedicated media rooms, while others simply had large TVs in the family room.  I recall two having projector systems.  One was large, the other was larger.  Interesting setups.  The others all had LCD and/or Plasma screens.  One, that I think was cool, had the TV mounted up over the fireplace in such a way that at the press of a button on a remote, a screen came down in front of the TV making the setup look like a framed painting print setting above the mantle.  I may try to replicate that.  It was awesome.  The modern minimalist style is really starting to appeal to me and it would be a great way to help accomplish that.

Something I’ve been thinking about is a screened in porch/patio.  I haven’t figured out how to do such a thing with our house, but it’s simmering at the back of my mind for the future.  Each of these homes had some sort of shaded outside sitting area.  Some were more extravagant than others, but they each had them and now I want one.  A couple of homes had these really cool retractable screens.  I didn’t even know such a thing existed.  At the press of a button, these screens come down from small bays running the edges of the roof and completely enclose the porch.  It’s awesome.

Another something I hadn’t really thought about, but now want are organizer systems.  Each home had all kinds of neat little (or not so little) organizers.  Every master bedroom closet had something and most other closets, pantries, and cabinets also had something.  These don’t just look neat now, they look necessary.  Once the house is done, looks like I’m going to be building a bunch.

All in all, neat show and I’m excited to see the next one.

Bought a new vacuum cleaner

Monday, March 26th, 2007

As a part of getting a new house one has to have the major appliances that go along with it. We’ve started the research into what to get. It’s not coming along quickly as there are a lot of choices and (naturally) few unified opinions. To start with, we went and bought a new vacuum cleaner on Saturday. I have read some postings from some homeowners that have bought houses from our builder stating that the final product we close on can be a real mess. That’s to say that the construction crews supposedly don’t clean up when they are done. I’m hoping this isn’t the case, but a good vacuum will be in order even if they do clean up.

We currently have an old hand-me-down Hoover that works, but sometimes leaves something to be desired. So, after lots and lots and lots (and lots) of reading we picked out a Kenmore. No, it’s not the fancy Dyson, but from what we’ve found, Dysons aren’t well suited to carpet and bagless vacuums aren’t for everyone anyway. 3 of the Kenmore Progressive canisters top Consumer Report’s list of ratings. Sears had them on sale, so we splurged and got the top of the line model. Well, we ordered it anyway. It’s supposed to be available for pickup on Thursday. It’s got some gadgets that probably won’t mean much, but some others that I think will be convenient. Vacuums sure seem cheap and plasticy now, though. They are nothing like the vacuums of days gone by, but there are certainly some advantages. No, you can’t throw them down the stairs anymore, but they won’t break your back lifting them, and the noise levels are dramatically lower. We’ll get to test this thing out getting the apartment ready for us to move out. Let’s see if it removes pet hair like it says it does.