Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chapter 7 – Hybrid Kitchen and Stucco Cracks

Not sure if any of you are starting to get sick of reading this blog, but I’m definitely in need of a little “Home Design” vacation. But I guess this is the most critical stage where it’s easy to succumb to that “you’ve done enough for now” feeling and you miss that important detail that will come back to haunt you.

So last Friday, we had I think our 4th session with Sakamoto-san. On the menu for the evening was a nice chickpea salad, breaded fish with herbs, baguette and brie. I would have been tempted to open up a nice Bordeaux save for the fact I would have to drive Sakamoto-san home. Once dinner was finished we tackled the following:

Hybrid Kitchen:
So our dream kitchen was almost at risk as we found out that the INAX system kitchen we had spent 2 showroom visits contemplating would not accommodate the Miele Induction cooker we wanted. We like the Miele model because it has 4 induction burners instead of the typical 3, and the flat surface essentially extends the width of the counter while doing the food prep. At first I was not happy with preliminary options: A-Choose Inax but no Miele or B-Choose Miele but spend 50% more on a custom kitchen. Thankfully, Sakamoto-san is no slouch and investigated a third option (Hey isn’t this Naoto Kan’s new policy slogan? Anyhow I digress..) A middle of the road solution is reach out to Kitchen Designers such as Credo that have experience in slightly altering the larger factory designs. In our case, they will simply adjust the opening of the engineered stone counter so the cooking unit will fit.
It should cost less than 10man which is still not cheap but a lot less expensive than going the custom kitchen route.


Stucco Exterior and Cracking:
Been doing some research on this and I’m realizing I should create some sort of a Links page. Basically, cracking with stucco is inevitable, it’s just a fact of life. Yet there are solutions. Aica makes Jolypate which is stucco that has an Acrylic-like coating on top of stucco that is somewhat elastic yet breathable. So hairline types of cracks should not be visible. So that’s one less worry. We are looking at SK Kakken over Aica as it should provide the same quality at a lesser price. But I want to see the catalog before I decide so I can read and compare for myself. Final note is that you should make sure you discuss how the stucco will be applied. There is a new trend to have an air space between some of the layers good airflow and prevent mold within the walls. However, the down side is that the walls are less resistant to bumps as they are hollow. Something to consider if you have Cristian Ronaldo in the making.


We went over more details of course such as flooring and roofing but that will be for the next post.


  1. Have you thought about the kitchen systems that they sell at Ikea? Some of them are really beautiful and reasonably priced. Since they are designed for US kitchens they probably will accommodate a Miele stove top?

  2. The problem with IKEA is that I'm not sure about the quality of the materials as well as the after-service care. Yes they say it's guaranteed for 25 years but who really keeps IKEA furniture for that long?
    And the price difference should not be that different since I doubt our builder could get a 50% discount from IKEA. Typically when building a new home you should expect to get a sizeable discount from the price on the showroom sticker. The discount will be depend on the volume you (or your builder typically) purchase.