Renovation Survival Guide

Updating Your Kitchen for Pro-Style Equipment

While most prosumer kitchen appliances don't require restaurant-level power and ventilation, you may need to adapt your kitchen space to get the look.

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This level of ventilation removes so much air from the home that you create negative pressure within the building, the result of which can be dangerous chimney and furnace backdrafts. "To counter that," says Somrak, "modern fire codes mandate that houses with these high-power hoods need to install an air makeup unit to replace the air."

If the home is located in a cold climate, that air would also need to be heated before being introduced into the home.

Some power-hungry prosumers are opting to sidestep these costly ventilation issues by choosing cooktops that employ induction technology. Induction burners, which use electromagnetic energy, can actually outperform pro-style gas ranges. And because they do so with energy rather than heat, they don't require nearly the ventilation of their gas counterparts. In addition to cost (high-power induction cooktops with no stove can cost twice as much as an entire gas range), another drawback to induction cooking is that it works only with ferrous cookware.

Another popular prosumer feature is the wall-mounted pot-filler. Conveniently located above the range or cooktop, the faucet allows the home cook to fill large pots with water without having to lug them to the sink. The flipside of this is that a water supply line must be run to a new location in the kitchen. Unlike in a restaurant kitchen, there is no drain in the floor to catch the overflow. (Plus, you still need to haul the pot to the sink to dump it.)

It's also no surprise that stainless finishes have become so popular.

"Thanks to all these entry-level stainless-steel appliances," Abrams says, "people are able to get the look, the flavor and the feel of a professional kitchen without having to spend all that money on costly kitchen modifications."

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