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Shift focus to budget remodels

September 13, 2007

You wrote an excellent article ["Cool New Kitchen -- Now How Do I Use It?," Sept. 6] about a couple who spent $100,000 to remodel a kitchen and did not know how to use it.

From my point of view, spending $100,000 to remodel a residential kitchen is totally unrealistic.

I am renovating and updating my kitchen. I can see that I'll have to be my own general contractor (which is OK by me) in order to cut out the middleman markups.

And who needs a Sub-Zero fridge or a commercial gas stove to glam up a kitchen? Who needs gaudy marble countertops that scratch? Who wants to deal with oak-paneled floors -- in a kitchen? I have selected appliances (Frigidaire stove and dishwasher and a fridge which I think is a GE model) with a total retail price of $2,600, including the taxes.

For your next story, why not feature thrifty alternatives to that $100,000 job on an ordinary person's budget? Say, for under $20,000, or even under $10,000? Or what could someone with just $250 to $500 available do to improve a kitchen's appearance?

Joan Lavine

Los Angeles

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