June 26, 2014
We have made our decisions on the major appliances for the house. While we are trying to use repurposed material for most of the building fixtures (doors, lights, sinks, etc), the appliances will be new. It’s amazing what you can find on Kijiji, or at garage sales. However, due to our unique requirements, we are unable to find everything we need second hand.
Wood Cook Stove – we have purchased a Kitchen Queen 480 in black with a warming oven and water coil to provide our domestic hot water during the heating months. The reason for choosing this stove was its large firebox. It should be able to heat the entire house if need be. Our wood fired boiler will also be used to provide in floor heating but requires power to pump the fluid. No sun = No power. The cook stove will be our backup heat. This cook stove is also air tight and provides a long lasting efficient burn. It also has the ability to heat our domestic hot water using a water coil installed in the firebox. And to meet my cooking requirements, it has a large cook top and the oven provides nice even heat. I found another couple in Alberta that has this stove and they provided a rave review. We ordered the stove through Obadiah’s Woodstoves in the states. I cannot wait for this stove to arrive and to get it fired up and cooking. The stove should arrive in August and before then we have to get the hearth ready for her. We found black granite tiles for the base but still haven’t found the tiles to use on the walls around the stove. We are using tiles for the hearth rather than field rock as we had originally planned, due to the weight. The stove is very heavy in itself. So adding a couple hundred pounds of rock around it might put too much stress on the joists even though it is reinforced under the stove and close to a post.
For summer cooking I plan to set up an outdoor kitchen on the patio outside the kitchen. My great-grandmother’s wood stove is in storage waiting to be fired up again. Nothing like cooking on a wood stove.
Propane cooktop – we purchased a gas cooktop with a propane conversion at Home Depot two years ago. We found it on sale and scooped it up. It will be sitting in storage for a bit longer. We don’t expect to use it much but I am sure it will come in handy when you don’t want to start a fire in the stove in the outdoor kitchen. This summer, with the additional solar panels, we have found we are using small electric appliances more and more – electric frypan, George Foreman grill, toaster, kettle and hot plate. When the sun shines there is no need to make a fire in the stove. However, on rainy summer days, when you don’t have the power for electric appliances and don’t want to cook outdoors, the propane cooktop will come in handy.
Fridge – After much research we have decided on a Vestfrost fridge, manufactured in Denmark. It is a freezer on the bottom model and has a dual compressor – one for the freezer and one for the fridge. It is a manual defrost which is hard to find these days. It may seem like a step backward (but so then would be cooking on a wood stove) but results in energy savings. We ordered ours through Oasis Montana Inc. I found someone in Calgary that has had one for 20 years and loves it. They have an off grid home and surprisingly enough have a “cool closet” which is very similar to our pantry construction. They use their cool closet for 6 months of the year and give the fridge a winter vacation. The fridge is due to arrive shortly so we will be able to test it out this summer. Living with a bar fridge only has been a real challenge so I am very excited about the pending arrival of the Vestfrost.
Washing Machine – We purchased a Samsung WF364BVBGWR (now that’s a mouthful). It’s a front load direct drive machine we found at Home Depot. We won’t take deliver until September as right now I have no place to put it. It had the best energy rating we have seen, it was on sale and they have a service rep in our area. Triple bonus. The machine is going in the main floor bathroom. We will not be buying a dryer, we will let God dry the clothes for us. Not sure where we are setting up the clothes line yet.
On the building front, Ken is almost finished the insulation and has some of the interior walls up. We are working on our deck and siding order. The progress is slow but sure.