Kitchen Frown

>> 4.28.2010

I think that I just might have the most dramatic kitchen in the world:
Thrifty Tip: Never tell contractors that you've been referred by an insurance company! Just like with car body shops, they'll inflate prices to meet your deductible.

Things haven't been all that great for my little kitchen, but I think it should be happy about the progress that was made lately!

 Check out these hot new appliances (and Nate's butt)...

I'm going to have to say that this beats my old Magic Chef any day! As silly as it may sound, I think my favorite feature is the window on the front of the oven.

The ceiling isn't the only thing that my kitchen is unhappy about. I promised it an over-the-range microwave to increase counter space, but it looks like that isn't happening anymore. Because I need an electrician to install a plug where the current hood is, this would bring the total to a shocking $650 {EDIT: $400 for microwave and install + $250 to install an outlet= $650}... for a microwave. That's about how much I spent on my refrigerator!

How much would you pay to convert to an over-the-range microwave? Do you think there's a way I could make my existing microwave work better in the space?

*Oh, and the cabinets have moved up on the to-do list. With all of the other new features, their old sloppy paint job sticks out like a sore thumb. Look for a complete makeover soon!


Danielle and Clint April 28, 2010 at 8:07 AM  

I couldn't believe the price either for over the range microwaves! We decided on a black one, instead of stainless to save some cash. That knocked about $100 off the price. But I am not sure that would work in your space because the stainless looks awesome!

Your frowny face kitchen cracks me up!

The Thriftress April 28, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

$650 is crazy for the new outlet. What if you built a shelf above the stove to hold the microwave and found an unobtrusive way to thread the microwave cord underneath the cabinets to the outlet?

Audreya April 28, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

I was going to say the same as The Thriftress... build a shelf above the stove. My in-laws did that and it seems to be working fine. Most range hoods don't truly vent the air out of the house anyway. I do like the location of mine above the stove, but whether it vents or whether it's a regular microwave on a shelf I don't think would make a $650 difference to me.

We got lucky with ours. Our range hood already had a plug inside the cabinets above the stove that was able to handle the load when we wanted to swap out for a microwave.

Kate April 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM  

$650 seems outrageous for an outlet! We really like having our microwave mounted above the stove, but I don't think it'd be worth that much - have you tried getting a second quote?

Everything is looking really great so far! I can't wait to see what you do with the cabinets.

Ashley @ The Design Thief April 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM  

I believe that if you're going to do something, do it right. Even if right is a little more expensive.

me. and. b. April 28, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

I would say get more quotes.... ask around for referrals on electricians. Our electrician is a friend of a friend and he has put in more outlets than I can count, 5 light fixtures and rewired our entire kitchen for a little over $2000... I can't imagine one outlet would cost almost half that. Check it out!

Amanda April 28, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

I agree with Ashley @ The Design Thief. Just start a little side savings. It may take a while but you want something to look put together and seamless. I Can't picture a shelf without it looking to "rigged up".

oneluckycouple April 28, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

Love the new appliances! We had three new outlets installed in our house for a total of $75. I would suggest asking another electrician to give you a quote on that because you would have so much more counter space if the microwave was above the stove.

Can't wait to see the painted cabinets!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog April 28, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

About the $650... Sorry I didn't make that clear, but it would be $650 for the microwave ($225 + $125 install) AND outlet ($250).

I agree, $650 would be too much for an outlet... what about for the entire swap?

hiphousegirl April 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

This pains me, because after watching my bf and his dad do all kinds of electrical work in my house, I now know how simple it is to run a wire for an outlet. However, all my walls were removed so that helped a lot. But $250 still just seems crazy for that!

However, to me it might be worth it to have the outlet installed, then do what others are suggesting and just build a shelf to hold your current microwave (skip buying a new over the range one). Unless it's code in your area to have a range vent. But your current microwave looks so fab... also, your granite counter tops are gorgeous and I'm all about more counter space.

And your subway tiles are great, and are making me lean toward white ones for my own kitchen. Is that a light gray grout?

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog April 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM  

@hiphousegirl~ I'm wishing I had connections with an electrician right about now! From the ones I spoke with, there's apparently a lof of effort involved to do the wiring the right way.

The grout is white. I was worried about the white on white blending too much, but the shadows and reflections of the light really make each tile pop.

chacha April 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM  

So, I had this same issue in my first condo - the hood was hardwired and the microhood combo needed a plug. My neighbor did it in about two seconds. Unless you have a weird set up - it shouldn't be that complicated.

You have cut a hole in the back of the cabinet (if it has a backing - some cabinets are open to the drywall behind) where you will put the box:
(nails into the stud).

The box may already be there - by the way - I think mine already had the electrical box in the wall.

Then feed the existing electrical wire through the hole in the bottom of the outlet and wire up a new outlet (you can look at how existing outlets are wired). Fix up any holes you made, slap on the outlet cover and you are done.

$250 is ridiculous for the amount of work required. Should be $100 or less.

Jenny April 28, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

Your new appliances sure look good in your kitchen! About the microwave, what if you just have the outlet done and install a shelf to put the microwave on?

Joi April 28, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

Yikes! That's quite a fee. On the plus side, I love your backsplash!!! We want to do that same kind in our kitchen as well. : )


Kimberly April 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

Thats alot of cash for that little project.....but soooo worth it!!! Spend the $$, you'll be so glad you did.

me. and. b. April 29, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

Can you install the microwave on your own to save the $125? I shouldn't be talking.. our brand new microwave is still sitting on the floor of our kitchen as we speak.. type.

Kate @ Domesticating Kate April 29, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

Hi, I just stumbled over here from YHL. I'm confused... we did the exact same microwave swap ourselves (actually the hubs did it, and now I wish I had paid closer attention)! How is your current hood running? Isn't it plugged into an outlet?? I think that's how ours was... so then we just followed the install directions that came with our microwave. I'll double check with hubs, but I think it was seriously one of the easiest things we did.

Kate @ Domesticating Kate April 29, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

Okay I think this is what we did - there wasn't an "outlet" there, but I think you should be able to easily install a receptacle with the wires from your existing range hood. We ran the wires from our range hood up into the cabinet above the stove, and then attached a receptical. This, of course, all depends on whether you have existing wiring, but I'm pretty sure you do since you already have a range hood!
See if this link helps:

Good luck!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog April 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM  

@Kate~ Thanks, the range hood was hardwired and the electrician wanted to charge $250 to put in a new plug on its own circuit because technically it should be on its own circuit. I'm always a bit worried about diying electricity and my boyfriend, Nate, is sick of diy anything so I wanted to pay for the whole thing. If it's this easy, I might just need to reconsider!

Tran April 29, 2010 at 10:07 PM  

Installing one of these isn't difficult, it's just a pain since they are so big and HEAVY!

But since you have the hardwiring and dedicated circuit issue, I think you should do that correctly. Maybe you can just have the electrician take care of that and you do the installing yourself?

Not sure if this will help you out but here's how I did it with mine:

Carole April 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

love the shiny, sparkly new appliances!

Our kitchen has a special shelf and outlet for a microwave...problem is, the kids (10 and 12 years old), who like to make their own hot breakfasts, aren't tall enough to reach it safely. So, on the counter it sits!

We have our same old cheap-o white microwave from our old house, too stingy to replace it, but it does look kinda tacky on the nice granite counter--at least your microwave is nice looking!

Lauren April 30, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

Love your new appliances. Your kitchen is really starting to come together. We also wish we had an over the hood microwave.. but until that happens we have a rolling "island" that the microwave sits on. We can't waste any precious counter space!

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