So, last kitchen we did had thermador microwave with trim kit and oven below. After studying the specs, design guide and installation sheets, there was nothing on stating the flange of oven to body of oven, nor relationship of microwave trim kit to body of microwave. I downloaded the CAD drawings from Thermador and measured the flanges. I called Thermador to get mir detailed info (they said "we don't have any actual models on the floor but we can email you the specs"... "I already have that, thanks, I say". The. I go o yeah appliance store to measure said appliances (except I can't see behind the micro trim kit to see relation of body to trim kit, etc)....long story kinda short.... Appliance guys came out yesterday and I get a text from the contractor's project manager at 7 pm stating "microwave needs to move up at a least 1/2"".
Next day I go out and sure enough, it needs to go up 1/2"! Also, the Range specs say to make the "cut out" 36" and that the range measures 35 15/16"....Range is delivered to job and it measures 35 15/16" at top and bottom but in the middle it's 36". So, my question is: what gives? Who is responsible to ensure a well designed/measured kitchen? If the information isn't there, how can one know? This is a $70k kitchen btw.
I've run into the same issues with another kitchen (Bertolucci or both some such name...italian stove.)
I do kitchens only about every 4 years or so, and they are closely fitted to various appliances. At the beginning of the conversation, I mention that I will have to have the appliances delivered to the shop so we can fit them properly. For the most part I don't look at spec sheets except to design with. When we build, we have the real thing to work with.
My suggestion is to recommend to customers to stay away from Thermador and let Thermador know what you are doing. Second thing is to get the appliance delivered before you start the work. Nothing like having the real thing for getting perfect fit. Me thinks you are too trusting.
Having the appliances delivered to your shop is not practical when you're building multiple whole house packages at a time that contain a dozen or more appliances each. The appliance manufactures simply need to do better. There is virtually no circumstance where appliances are not closely integrated with cabinetry, to ignore our needs is terribly frustrating.
"....Simply do Better" is certainly correct. But what motivates them? How can you affect them monetarily?
Any individual shop can mention they will no longer recommend a certain brand due to measurement problems, and it will have almost no effect.
This is where an industry association - a lobby group if you will - would be able to represent real numbers and go to the appliance manufacturers with some strength. Maybe even grading appliances as to the reliability and availability of their specs and manufacture. Or developing a contractual add for compensating the woodworker for these problems.
It is a problem of such magnitude that either the shops contend with it in their own ways as best as possible, or hope that the appliance guys wake up. They won't, unless they are forced to.
We deal with appliances frequently in our work. It does surprise me how little guidance is sometimes included with expensive appliances. We try to steer our clients towards Sub Zero and Wolf, because among other reasons they usually have pretty good and accurate specs.
We do a lot of kitchens. Decades ago we used to get all the appliances delivered to our shop, clients dug the idea that we did that. It really played up the customization idea. However it was a real hassle and liability issue. It raised questions about when warranties started, who had to get it to the job site (moving a 48" range or refrigerator is not something that is very easy), etc It's just too much trouble except for an occasional odd ball appliance. When we are in charge of the design (no architect or designer to second guess our design decisions) we try to design with some space flexibility in the event there are uncertain cabinet overlays, etc. At the end of the day clients will be persuaded to buy whatever appliances they believe will give them the best value so you might still see Thermador or other brands you prefer to avoid when they have rebates or have to give away a dishwasher to get you to buy their oven. Also, you can warn clients, etc that specs are bad and when they turn out to be bad you will get some sympathy from clients that might help in other areas but if the oven doesn't fit into the hole its up to you to fit it.
I'll second cabmaker's distaste for Thermador, I have had problems with their specs on multiple projects. Not only are the drawing dimensions vague, they can be outright incorrect.
They all stink when it comes to sizing the appliance panels. They could tell you exactly what size panel to use, but instead you get a formula that looks like it came out of a Calculus text book. Bosch dishwashers come to mind here.
On multiple occasions I've gone directly to a dealer and measured the dang thing in the showroom, and been very glad I did. The best situation is if you can get the GC to order the appliances early and store them in the garage, then you can measure the actual unit once and for all. He'll squeal but tell him how much sooner he will be able to submit his final invoice when you don't have to replace the oven cab.
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