RE: Kitchen/CH budgeting
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 11:49:00 -0500
We are just finishing up installing our kitchen. We bought 2 electric
stacking ovens which have an option to cook with convection (boy do they
make great baked potatoes). I think they are fridgadare, at any rate
they are residental and cost $1400. We bought a used, under the counter
commercial dishwasher for $700. This has not yet been hooked up and
personally I am not sure it was a good idea. New ones costs $1500-$2500.
I argued against an under the counter dishwasher and would do so again,
they are really ergonomically stupid, drip water everywhere as you load
and unload and albeit cheaper, much more of a hassle to work on than an
above counter.  We bought a cool range top set which is 4 gas burners
and two electric for $1500.  We are using a standard, largish
residential refriderator as we compost any left overs after the Weekend.
We store very little perishable items beyond butter and salad dressing
for more than a short time, thus did not feel the need to buy a larger
capacity commercial refer.  (Note: we got the refer for free). Although
there are other perspectives, my opinion is that large built in
commercial refers are a waste of money and energy. Perishable items are
best used sooner than later so why have such huge refridgerated storage?

Our scullary table, stainless steel, was custom made and cost $1000.
This was a  mistake in that we framed in the space without thinking
about standard dimensions. We would have been better off finding out
what the available sizes of used scullery tables are, then designing the
space around that, so we could have bought a used one for $200. 
The overhead sprayer cost about $150. We have a largish residential hood
over our top of the line residental cooktop which cost about $350. Note
that we have not yet stood final inspection and we beleive that using
residential equiptment gets us out of the need for a large commercial
hood. We will see what the inspector says, early indications are that
this is OK, but we've been told one thing, then held to another before.

Furnishings we have a futon couch in the lounge which was donated,
dinning room has folding tables we bought used, plus one 8 person table
also donated. We bought 40 stacking chairs which were pretty cheap,
vinyl covered and three of them are broken because somebody heavy stood
on them instead of a ladder to reach something and broke the cheap
little seat board. I suppose they can be fixed, but nobody has time now.
 If I were to buy nicer tables, and we might someday, I would suggest
getting pedestal tables so the legs are not in the way when you want to
scoot one more person into the table.

We bought some good quality stainless steel cooking pots and gear,
plates and such are random assortments that have been donated.  Avoid
heavy clay based plates as when you load up the dishrack it is way too
heavy to lift safely. There are some plastic based plates that are
light, chip proof and unbreakable. 

If you decide to go with a used commercial dishwasher, call around and
find the names of a couple of mechanics who work on these things. Call
them and ask them which models to steer clear of. Our mechanic told us
that the water heater unit is the expensive thing that breaks on these
rigs. Ours had that new when we bought it.

There is a perspective that having everything be "nice" and match and be
designer cool is the way to go, thus you should spend $20,000 on
furnishings.  I tend to be of the perspective that used, recycled usable
stuff is the way to go, and that the eclectic funkiness of that look
makes it feel more homey.  Choose your own esthethic,  mine tends to be
rather messy. However, I would advise you not to let the commonhouse
become the dumping ground for peoples unwanted junk. If you don't want
it in your house, does it really belong in the commonhouse?  One thing
we just did is have a garage sale, where some of the junk that has been
cluttering up boxes and counters got sold. We raised over $600 which was
cool, and got a lot of neighbors out to see the new community building
in their area. We have a storage space which will become the place that
unwanted household castoffs go until the next garage sale.

Rob Sandelin
Where the contruction dust in the commonhouse may at last be wiped up
for the last time?
Original Message-----
Sent:           Saturday, May 18, 1996 6:31 PM
Subject:        Kitchen/CH budgeting

We'll hopefully start building our Common House in a couple of weeks,
and are working on finding kitchen equipment and furnishings now. Our 
Kitchen Committee has done a great job of trying to figure out what we
and where to find it cheap.

What have some of you others had for Kitchen Equuipment budgets? And, if
possible, What specific equipment was most important (and how much did

How about for furnishing the dining area?

And incidentals, like Pots/Pans, silverware, dishes/glasses?

We'll have 30 households, and probably about 60 at most meals. We're
at used commercial stoves, sinks, etc (haven't yet decided if a used
commercial dishwasher is worth the potential for break-down).

I just got back from checking out our site, and all 30 houses are
foundated (how's that for a good made up word?) and decked, with about 6
having 2-story framing & outside walls. What a kick this is!!! Now all
need is a few weeks without the rains we've been having.....

Ray Gasser
EcoVillage at Ithaca
raygasser [at]
  • Kitchen/CH budgeting RAYGASSER, May 18 1996
    • RE: Kitchen/CH budgeting Rob Sandelin (Exchange), May 20 1996

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