What I'm Seeing Now

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Would You Want To Live With This?

New construction, lovely floor plan, wonderful kitchen and beautiful all around but, but (!) - would you want to live with this?

You can't tell, can you?

This is a high-end electrical cook top.

There is a high-end kitchen light/fan above.

The two high center cabinet doors do not open up as they hide the exhaust fan discharge tubing.

The fan is behind the pediment feature above the cook top.  It is flush to the bottom of the cabinet and directly above the cook top.

Things look great up to now, right?

However, this is what you can't determine until you get in there.

The counter top is 36" from the floor.

The underside of the cabinet is 46" above the cook top.

The counter top is 28" wide in front of the cook top, with that little lip to accomodate the controls, etc.

As I said, the kitchen light/fan is flush to the underside of the cabinet above the cook top.  The light/fan controls are buried in the fan mechanism.

That makes the controls 82" high, and you have to lean over the cook top to reach it.  That extra angle is not significant, but it adds about 4" to the reach.

I am 6' tall and have a wingspan of 6'8" (long arms).  I had no problem reaching the exhaust-fan controls.

The male Realtor with me is 5'8" and could not reach the controls.

I came home and tried an experiment.  The Hand Model with whom I live and am related to by marriage is 5'4" and can reach a stunning 76" high.

She could not reach the light/fan controls unless she pulled a step ladder over during cooking.  I bet a lot of men and women could not reach the controls!

I asked the Hand Model if she had the cook top full of frying or boiling pots and pans, would appreciate having to pull over a step ladder every time she wanted to turn on or off the cook light or exhaust fan while preparing a meal.  In return I got "the look."  (You should know, I get "the look" a lot, but that is a different issue...)

Would you want to live with this?

My recommendation:  sometimes on new construction things are not thought through completely.  Is this a flaw in construction or installation?  NO!  It is all perfectly done.  This is a flaw in design and thinking.  I wonder if the installer could reach the controls!  My clients ignored the builder advice to not get a home inspection.  But they did anyway.  The inspector they hired is the thinking sort.  Not only did he think about the light/fan control height, but he thought this is all going to be a lot of fun!  So, what to do now?  Let the games begin.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 30 commentsJay Markanich • June 12 2014 02:07AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay....OMG.... that's horrible.... I'm 5'3" stretched and I would never be able to live with that....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

Can you be my back up Hand Model, Barbara?

I can hardly wait to hear how they resolve this one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

That's sort of on the incredible side of construction issues. I would have thought a remodel but not new.  Great find.  Not many people would have realized it for some time after the move in.  

Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) about 5 years ago

Or just before the first celebretory dinner Chris!  The buyers were not present, and when I asked the Realtor to come over and turn on the fan he said, uh oh...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay. Most kitchens are designed by men. All they use the kitchen for is to make a sandwich and  get a beer from the fridge.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Exhaust fan?  We don't need no stinkin' exhaust fan!

But at least I could reach it, Michael!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Yep, this is what happens when men design stuff that women use.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Well, that just has to be the most chauvanistic thing I have heard all day Debbie!

Tarzan wink.

My mother used to say that engineers should be forced to use stuff before it goes on the market!   She didn't like the controls on our stove/oven.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago
Jay - another excellent reason to have a home inspection on newly built homes!!
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) about 5 years ago

Carol - this was a significant find!  And I think an important one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Comment #7 repeats something my wife has said many times! I type this as one who has a blister on my thumb from touching a hot pot last night while cooking! Give me a grill!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Gary - my grandmother once told me not to touch her frying pan.  Of course I did.  That was the only time I did though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Trying things out for how they are actually used and not just how they look is a splendid idea in any construction !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

That's my question, what do they do now? Re-model the part of the kitchen above the stove?

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 5 years ago

At least the range controls are in the front.  At least.

I've toured about a hundred thousand new home kitchens.  Never have I heard a sales agent tout "safety".

That speaks volumes to me.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Which is one of the purposes of the home inspection S&D!

Suzanne - that's what I meant by saying let the games begin.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

They are in the front, which is safer Lenn.  But leaning over and reaching high over hot stuff on the stove is not.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

But it sure is purty   Practical not so much.  Hope there is a window nearby to vent the smoke.  

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 5 years ago

'Tis Cindy.  That's what I thought when I first went into the kitchen.  A bit later however...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, Form over function. Need to add a remote switch now ;)

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I don't know Don.  Both the switches are the slide kind.  And the fan has five speeds!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay:

 

Did you know the cabinet builder offers a color-coordinated step stool. Oh! Yes! It does cost more money.  Some of the designs we see coming from professionals is awe inspiring and certainly not worth repeating.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc.) about 5 years ago

Jay, That is a shame to install that high tech electrical unit and have the controls too high for many people to use.  One would have thought that they could have come up with a better solution than that.

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) about 5 years ago

Norman - or suggests which basketball players might come over to help you with your light and vent!

T&D - this was really poorly thought out.  I got 'the look' and I had nothing to do with it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Hello Jay.... It is easy to be dazzled by the great finishes in a brand new kitchen.   I  wonder if the installer even questioned the  position of the controls.  I hope the home buyer has some extra cash to spend on modifications...using a step stool will get old real fast.  Hooray for home inspections.    Jack

Posted by Jack Tenold, Specializing in Reverse Mortgages (Jack Tenold LLC) about 5 years ago

Thanks Jack.  My wife did not want to have to use a step ladder even once.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I never liked reaching over a stove to access a microwave above the stove which seems to be a common design, and is similar to the situation/design flaw you describe here.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 5 years ago

And microwaves often have the other problem Jeff - they are too low!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

That sounds dangerous!  When I was very small, my parents hung my book back over the open flame heater and when I climbed on a chair to get it, I fell on the stove.  I carried a huge scar on my arm for many many years and can still see if you know what you're looking for.  It could have been much worse..

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 5 years ago

Well, fortunately it has mostly gone away Judi.  But the circumstance probably changed AFTER the accident!  I've heard that most accidents are planned.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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