Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Essential Homebuilding Tips

This post should be titled "more essential tips not included from the last post"

Water Filter: You are drinking a pint of filtered water at $1.00, so the cost per gallon is $8. Then the price for 5,000 gallons becomes $40,000. How about buying a 5,000 gallon filter for $500-700. It seems to be cheaper and better for the environment(no plastic)

Undermount Sink: Lets face it: It looks much better and is easier to clean.

Pull-out Faucet: In other words a faucet that incorporates a spray with the faucet itself....Its much neater without 4 impliments to turn and adjust water

Front Load Washer: Mathmatically, there really is no smarter choice

Focal Lighting Piece: It does not cost very much in the scheme of your budget($75-150) to really have distinctive lighting. Lighting defines your environment

Monday, June 25, 2007

7.5 Essential Ideas For a New Kitchen

You are shopping for a new kitchen at any budget. Following is my must have list. You do not have to spend a fortune

1. Stainless steel appliances. Stop looking for an alternative: Blue, Green, Lemonade are all nice colors, but stainless matches every cabinet type. With the package rebates, stainless does not cost much more than black, white or bisque

2. Undercounter lighting. For 200-300 dollars, undercounter lighting can be used for task or accent lighting

3. Countertops. Notice I did not write cabinets, which are a commodity to some degree. Some of the better counter tops are Granite, marble or composite

4. Ventilation. Adequate ventilation is important, since smoke, odor and grease should be removed from your house. Quick guide to hoods and ventilation is: Capture area(or the size of the area) plus the CFM(or blower speed) equals performance. Also, the vent should not be further than 20 feet with no more than 1 turn in the duct itself

5. EnergyStar Appliances. Look for the more energy efficient appliances. They will cost a few dollars more, but will save money in the long term

6. Buy Great brands. They will command more in resale. Buy only the needed features. For example a basic Bosch dishwasher is better than an equivalent high GE or whirlpool dishwasher. I am not saying blow the bank on SubZero, Thermador, etc.

7. Rebates. This industry seems to have rebate deals 30-40% of the time, when you can actually save 15-20% of the total purchase price in rebates

7.5 Shallow Depth refrigerator. Its not as serious as the other 7, but a refrigerator that does not protrude beyond the cabinets is attractive in a new or replacement installation

Thursday, June 21, 2007


So many people have seen the tent in the parking lot, it deserves an explanation. We are not having a Tent Sale as years past. Instead we are ghaving an event that focuses around energy efficient products. There will be demonstrations on induction, high speed ovens as well as tips on how to save money.

We are also paying for a years worth of energy and combining that with our usual buyback or free installation.

It should be interesting

Water Filtration

So far most of the posts have been dedicated to Energy efficiency, appliances and lighting. Air and water quality have been hot topics as well. So lets try something new

Water puification is a simple and inexpensive product to purchase. Everyone buys bottled water at $1-1.99 per bottle, which essentially is filtered water(although it is unregulated). We throw away our plastic bottles without even thinking. I am guilty as well to a certain degree. You can buy a product that can filter 5,000 gallons for about $400

Lets talk about the companies and the most common technology sold in the country. Water-X, Everpure and Franke are the biggest names in our channel. Their basic filter is three stage with carbon, ceramic and resin filters. These filters serve to draw sediments and impurities to .01 of a micron. These type of filters range from 1.000 to 3,000 gallons and are dispensed through a separate tap or faucet. Water-X does manufacture a filter at 5,000 gallons that filters through a normal kitchen faucet.

Whole house filters have also become more popular simply because it filters all impurities throughout your house. At all levels, water for showers, laundry as well as drinking are filtered. Water plants are available at all sizes and prices. Typically, the company will customize the filter based on your water as different regions have different issues.

If you are planning a new kitchen dedicate at least $400 for a water filter.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Answers To Green Questions.

This is our 99th post. The pundits did not think that we would write past 30. If you read our archives, a large minority of our blog is dedicated to energy efficiency. It is our belief that we could save money and help the environment through simple changes in our routine.

As a kind of fun review, the following is a Green quiz with answers. Some of the answers are pretty interesting.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

At GreenFair, we anticipate giving away 1,000 compact fluorescent bulbs over 2 days.

I was wondering how much energy would be saved if the bulbs were used just 4 hours a day

Here is the skinny

6.57 million KWH saved
13,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide removed
It would light 619 homes or a town of 1500
The equivalent of removing 1300 cars off the road or not burning 29 carloads of coal

Just from 1,000 bulbs

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jett Foundation/ Yale Golf Tournament

When I started this blog, my mission was to be impartial to featured products, manufacturers and even to Yale....I do have to make an exception in this case.

A friend of mine has twin boys who have Duscharnes Muscular Dystrophy. This disease is a nightmare. By 12, these kids will no longer have the ability to walk. By 16, they will be completely beridden, and by 20, the disease will attack the heart and lungs.

It is a genetic disorder that has a 100% mortality rate.

The Mcsherry family has a son, Jett, who has this affliction and has established the only grass roots foundation dealing with this problem.

Now every year Yale has three main charity events: Our hockey game against the Bruins, our charity golf tournament and our private sale. So this year we sponsored the Jett foundation for our golf outing and raised $105,000. This will go directly to helping children with this disorder.

There are three people who really worked incredibly hard toward this result. Mary Conley(I introduced her as one of the nicest people I know) provided the logistical support. My sister Marilyn procured all the auction items. My Brother-in-Law(more like a brother really) basically provided the blueprint and worked his tail off to make this event happen.

This post is dedicated to them

Cool Paddle Fans

If used properly a paddle fan can save money on your heating and air conditioning bills. It can also multitask as a light fixture since so many now have integral lighting kits.

Then again, paddle fans can be stylish. Sometimes looking good is good enough.


This is a reasonably priced fan at $239 with brush nickel and black blades


The only liquid nickel fan in the market with remote control. Its pricey at $760, but the finish is stunning...If you like the fan, it can be purchsed with maple blades for half the price


Its different....The blades are also available in a multi colored pattern

This is a really attractive, rich looking tiffany fan with remote control


If you are looking for a really nice line of contemporary, industrial fans then look at The Modern Fan Company like this one(called The Ball).

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Five Best Appliance Buys In June

The KUDR02FSSS at $799 has comparable features to their best model for almost $400 less. I love this dishwasher.


3 Months ago, we were selling this unit well at $2299. The manufacturer closes it out and now it is $1599. The KSCS23INSS is a fully featured shallow depth refrigerator with ice and water.


The WFMC3301UC / WTXD5321US is the most efficient laundry pair in the industry. Because the dryer has a Siemens name, it saves $300 off the purchase price at least.

Bosch - Siemens Laundry  Pair

The SEC302BS is a great wall oven near the $3000 price point. Its almost $2000 cheaper than a Wolf or Miele and better than similarly priced brands.


The Frigidaire PLCS389EC is a slide in oven with a 16,000 BTU burner, a dual fuel convection oven and warming drawer. The price of this range is $1299 down from $1799 for no apparent reason.


There are many dealers with these types of offerings. Write the models and shop it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rebates in June

As described in my previous post, I will include some examples of packages with rebates. The rebates should be available nationally, but check locally just in case

Frigidaire: Pro top mount refrigerator, convection range, digital dishwasher and over the range microwave $295 in rebates. We sell it for $1999 after rebate

Frigidaire Top Mount Package

Frigidaire Shallow depth Pro refrigerator, Dual Fuel slide in, over the range microwave and fully integrated dishwasher. $650 in rebates. Price is $3499

Frigidaire Dual Fuel Package

KitchenAid shallow depth refrigerator, dual fuel stove, integrated dishwasher(great dishwasher and over the range microwave) 775 in rebates. The price is $3699

KitchenAid Package

Jenn Air french door refrigerator, slide in, integrated dishwasher and over the range microwave. $605 in rebates. The price is $5199

Jenn-Air Package

The rebates are either cash and/or Amex cheques, but rebates are a measure of the slowdown in the housing sector of the economy. Rebates can be almost 20% of the purchase price.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


People always ask: What would you buy? The answer is always complicated as it always depends on budget, needs, and type of property. Appliances are the best investment in your house. I really believe that. Most people will not know what type of tiling, heating system or shingle, but they do understand appliances.

Am I advocating buying a SubZero for an income property....heck no. Just buy products and understand that it does matter when selling your property

You should also absolutely take advantage of rebates. Rebates have become a huge part of this industry for some reason(although not at the super premium end..SubZero, Miele, Gaggenau)...There are some great companies like JennAir, KitchenAid, Electrolux and Thermador that have very substantial rebates.

The programs are simple really. The rebates are geometrically increased with every product purchase. 1 piece may be $100, 2 would be $300, etc....So certainly buy as much within a certain manufacturer to maximize the rebates.

I will show specific examples in subsequent posts.