“My wife and I did a large kitchen renovation in our last house which included a pot filler (a faucet over the range). The pot filler was a huge hit and conversation starter with everyone that visited the house. That said we probably used the pot filler three times in three years.
We then sold the house and moved to another house within the same neighborhood and have become friends with the new owners.
At a recent dinner with the new owners of our old house, the wife told us that the added touch of the pot filler was the clincher that told her that she wanted the house. Then, in her next breath, she admitted that she had not used it since they moved in (November 2008).”
Faucet Over The Stove? Yes. Television Over The Fireplace? Well… [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by DanRH

    that is great and funny. thanks SS for posting that.
    that would be a great discussion point: what are the items that help sell people on a place but actually folks never use / shouldn’t be selling points?

  2. Posted by redseca2

    I was thinking that I would use the pot filler so seldom that I could just buy the expensive faucet for bragging rights and connect it by cheap plastic tubing to a 5 gallon plastic water bottle in the attic.
    The bottom lime is that my kitchen is not a commercial kitchen with massive work flow and I always rinse the big pots in the sink before I use them. So once you are at the sink you might as well fill it.

  3. Posted by eddy

    I thought this was going to be a topic on medical marijuana. Pot Filler!

  4. Posted by sfrenegade

    The anecdote above, coupled with redseca2′s comment, fits perfectly with my point #5 on the original thread — [paraphrase] “do you really use a pot filler nozzle over the stove enough to justify the hassle of adding it?”
    Pasta doesn’t require so much water that this would be that much more efficient, so what does that leave? Lobster? Cobs of corn?

  5. Posted by curly

    I use my potfiller faucet 1-2x/week.

  6. Posted by ex SF-er

    that would be a great discussion point: what are the items that help sell people on a place but actually folks never use / shouldn’t be selling points?
    I would say the #1 thing I see that is somewhat silly is commercial grade appliances. most people may use them, but almost nobody needs them. (they would get equal or better utility out of normal appliances)
    this is especially true for the pseudo-commercial grade appliances (like Viking, Subzero, etc). I think those underperform many/most true commercial grade appliances and cost way more.
    For me, the #1 thing I have in my home that I require and would never live without, but RARELY use is my Formal Dining Room. We use the formal DR maybe once every 4-8 weeks.

  7. Posted by resp

    what’s the cost of a pot filler if your walls are already gutted?
    a thousand bucks max to have the plumber connect a new copper line + the cost of the fancy faucet? cmon. it’s well worth the money even if just a conversation starter.

  8. Posted by ZapBrannigan

    Don’t know about you guys, but ever since we got our house with a potfiller, we’ve been eating Bouillabaisse and cioppino for 762 days straight. God of so sick of dungeness.

  9. Posted by kathleen

    It is worth the money if it prompts a winning offer.

  10. Posted by Solis

    Funny how some home features seem beneficial at the time, but become virtually forgotten after a short while (kind of like that classic Soloflex excercise machine we all owned at one time or other). Our home came with a dry sauna almost as large as the master bath itself. I estimate that it must have cost over $20K to build. It looks great with all the backlighting against the cedar as seen through the double glass doors. Guests are impressed or envious that we even have one. Little do they know that it’s been used twice in the last 5 years. So much for that weekly sweatfest I originally hoped for.

  11. Posted by Alex in Santa Clara

    This brings up an interesting (to me) question… what is considered to be a “formal” dining room?
    My current place, one of those tall skinny new construction townhouses in the South Bay (I just read Socketsite for the discussion and the real estate pr0n) has a “great room” where the living room, dining room and kitchen are arranged along one loooong rectangle. The kitchen is demarcated by the island and the start of a tile floor, but there are no doors or hallways. I like the place, but I wish the “dining room” table wasn’t along the same wall as my TV.
    I much prefer a layout where the “dining” area is aligned with the kitchen, but the living room is a separate space. I shouldn’t be able to turn my head and see the kitchen table three feet away from my speaker. Then again, if the entire place is twenty feet across and has to accomodate stairs, you don’t have a lot of room to play with.
    So, what I’m trying to say is that, while the dining room may be underutilized in our current lifestyle, there’s value in simply having the dining room to separate the “food” area (kitchen/dining) from the “living” area (living room, media room, office, etc)

  12. Posted by sfrenegade

    “this is especially true for the pseudo-commercial grade appliances (like Viking, Subzero, etc). I think those underperform many/most true commercial grade appliances and cost way more.”
    I agree with your general point that commercial-type appliances are a waste for many people who have them (e.g. some friends of mine: “well, I used it to warm up a frozen pizza”).
    However, I believe the reason that Vikings/Subzeros cost so much is due to two things: pilots and clearance. Commercial-grade appliances generally have a standing pilot because electronic ignition would be impractical with such high volume and powerful burners, whereas commercial-types have electronic ignition. In addition, the commercial-type appliances allow zero clearances, whereas not all commercial-grade appliances allow that when you’re next to combustible materials. You also may need to account for commercial building codes when installing commercial-grade appliances and a few other things.
    But you are correct that commercial-grade appliances tend to be more heavy duty, have more cooking capacity, and are generally cheaper.

  13. Posted by Nelson

    Maybe if they came up with a pot drainer to go with the pot filler, it would be more popular. That would be a neat trick.

  14. Posted by hangemhi

    i’m not a cook – so can someone tell me again why so many buyers pass on condos with electric rather than gas stoves? i get the need for an in-unit washer/dryer and that being a deal breaker – but aren’t electric stoves closer to pot fillers than they are to in-unit washer/dryers?
    by the way, pot fillers were put there by realtors who equip them with hypnosis gamma rays to make buyers over pay by hundreds of thousands of dollars. it’s always the realtors fault when a buyer buys for any stupid and/or emotional reason you know.
    [Editor's Note: A SocketSite Smackdown: Gas Versus Electric In The Kitchen.]

  15. Posted by Uncle Festus

    My guess is that these “professional kitchen” upgrades/features are used about as often as a Range Rover is driven off-road.
    Then again, a lot of Air Jordans and track suits were sold to people that don’t play basketball and can’t run 20 feet. So I guess the human race is prone to overequipping itself as a status symbol.
    Personally, I love to cook and I have a blast in a tiny kitchen with about $250 worth of kitchen equipment. If you can’t cook with a simple gas range, a refrigerator/freezer, and running water, well then,you really can’t cook. After all, 150 years ago almost no one on earth had any of those things, and I’ll be they ate better than we do (when they could pay for the food). They certainly knew how to cook with what they had.
    Someday these kitchens will seem as dated as the “hi-fi” and the electric can opener.

  16. Posted by curmudgeon

    I had a viking and loved it. I have to admit I like having a gas stove that puts out major btu’s, unlike alot of older “conventional” stoves. I assume they waste alot of energy, however.
    As for other things that aren’t strictly needed, but seem to help sell homes:
    Bathrooms:
    * two full baths in a one-br apt. I just don’t get that one. 1 1/2 is even a stretch.
    * more bathrooms than bedrooms in any case
    * bathtubs, except those for bathing children. (in my experience those big spa tubs almost never get used)
    * saunas, steam showers, “spas” of any type. Go away for a weekend! Much more fun.
    * double sinks in the master. I’ve never quite understood this one, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge need to use the sinks simultaneously. My experience is that people tend to use bathrooms in shifts.
    (I do wish that urinals in homes were more common, however…that would be bliss).
    Kitchens:
    Massive Quasi Commercial facilities of any kind that are unlikely to be used by most home cooks, like:
    * Six (or more) burner stoves
    * Enormous fridge/freezers (unless you have a correspondingly huge family or produce your own food)
    * Double-ovens (although as a cook, I sometimes with I could cook a meal and bake a dessert at the same time, I actually can always make that work out with 1, so it seems excessive).
    * More than one sink, usually (sometimes an extra sink can be useful, but they usually seem unneccesary afterthoughts, and I’d rather have the counter space).
    * Built in espresso machines
    I think the only things a kitchen really needs are 1) a good work triangle with decent appliances 2) lots of counter space and 3) tons of convenient storage space, and, ideally, a pantry.
    Dining rooms:
    I don’t think most houses need a formal dining room, but all houses need an adequate space devoted to dining that can work for formal occasions and for quick meals. I think at the scale of most SF homes, having separate formal dining and everyday dining is overkill. I think having a really great everyday dining space, as well as a couple of stools at the counter for quick meals is a good solution. (Obviously, alot of “luxury” condos don’t really even design in enough room for a dining table)
    Bedrooms:
    * Sitting areas. Living rooms are for living. Bedrooms are for sleeping or doing other horizontal things. In my experience you need somewhere to sit to put on shoes, but aside from that furniture in bedrooms just gathers dirty clothes.
    * For the same reason fireplaces in bedrooms seem like something people like, but never ever actually use.
    (what every bedroom needs is adequate closet space…I would rather have a walk in closet for every bedroom and skimp on the square footage devoted to bathrooms)

  17. Posted by brandno

    since all homes being sold are to cash rich asian buyers, you better believe what you have in the kitchen matters. can’t cook chinese food in a wok on some electric setup!

  18. Posted by reguru

    I put in three pot fillers (one in each unit) in a high-end Pac Heights remodel a few years ago. People loved them, loved the idea, loved the image…however, I don’t think ANYONE, including me, ever used one to fill a pot with water.
    But, for the price of running a simple cold water line to the back of the stove I think all the conversations about the pot filler were worth it!!
    They sure look cool. ;-)

  19. Posted by John

    3x a year is more than how many times most families use their fire place.

  20. Posted by sfrenegade

    “I think the only things a kitchen really needs are 1) a good work triangle with decent appliances 2) lots of counter space and 3) tons of convenient storage space, and, ideally, a pantry.”
    I’m hip to the simplicity of your suggestions, curmudgeon. There are a lot of single-use things people tend to buy for their kitchens that I just don’t understand. There are very few single-use tools that people really need if they have decent knives and decent pots and pans. I’m always surprised by the bizarre items that people decide they need.
    People do tend to overestimate their needs for stuff. The funny thing is that many of the people I know with ridiculously expensive Viking/Subzero commercial-type stuff actively rail against buying luxury cars and flat-screen TVs and certain other flashy/luxury things, but don’t recognize that their kitchen or bathroom includes several overpriced flashy luxury items they never use.
    On a side note, I can’t recall ever having seen a 1 BR apartment with 2 full baths, FWIW. Would have had to have been a pretty nice 1 BR apartment to have 1.5, but I think I’ve at least seen that before.

  21. Posted by BobN

    You can certainly be a very good cook without high-end appliances, but there are certain cooking techniques that really do require a high-BTU cook tops or exotic ovens. They’re also convenient if you cook in large volumes.
    In other words, very few people need them.

  22. Posted by sfrenegade

    Certain cooking techniques perhaps. Maybe some of the serious cooks are waiting for the home sous vide machine, even if the guy at Commis has figured out a way around it.

  23. Posted by dkzody

    I only want a place with an electric kitchen. I was so glad that the apartment we wanted was all electric. As for the pot filler–eh.

  24. Posted by ***

    Wow I guess I live differently than most. I love my electric fireplace. I turn it on and it heats up the whole family room and kitchen. I wouldn’t be without my gas burners… higher BTU’s and much better heat control. Love my double oven… roast splatter does not go well with bread rolls or chocolate cake. Large refrigerator/freezer is a must. And I couldn’t be without my deep freeze in the garage. I love a soaking tub and gotta admit that I enjoy having my floors warm when I get out of the shower. So are these things a MUST… maybe not, but they sure make me enjoy my home.

  25. Posted by Scooter

    Musts for me: a high BTU gas cooktop, in-unit washer dryer, a bathtub, a fireplace. However, I use them all, a lot. What do I value highly but almost *never* use? I am loathe to admit it, but — outside space.

  26. Posted by FormerAptBroker

    Uncle Festus wrote:
    > My guess is that these “professional kitchen” upgrades/features
    > are used about as often as a Range Rover is driven off-road.
    My parent’s got a pot filler when they did a kitchen remodel a few years back (since the designer said they “had to have it”) and I don’t think it has been used even once.
    I’ve had four different Range Rovers over the years and they have all gone off-road, but I have added some rarely used “pot filler” type upgrades/features to my cars over the years.
    I decided that my 1988 E28 M5 would look better with the 7”/5” combo European headlights that had little wiper arms. After spending close to $1,000 I never used the wipers once.
    I discovered that my 1989 Range Rover was wired for the rear fog lights only available in Europe. I called England and bought the switch (this was before the internet). The switch plugged right in after I removed a blank panel but I ended up having to spend an afternoon re-wiring the tail lights to get the rear fog lights to work. I think I used them once in heavy fog.
    I read an article about a power rear pop out window option on the E36 M3 in Europe and I decided to get it for my 1996 E36 M3. I only used it to show people how it worked and never actually opened the rear windows even once while driving.
    Some “pot filler” items I have resisted buying for my current cars (since now that I am older I know I don’t need them):
    http://www.bimmernav.com/store/catalog/bmw-and-range-rover-tv-video-module-kit-item-111.html
    http://www.porsche.com/usa/accessoriesandservices/personalisation/tequipment/911-996/performance/n162/

  27. Posted by beenthere

    Two Things:
    1)@ Curmudgeon – Two Sinks are nearly a must in my book, and I’d pass on a house with just one. Why? My wife and I get to bed and wake often at the same time. It’s no fun trying to floss while the other is brushing, or shaving, applying makeup or what have you. IMO two is far better and only requires an extra three our four linear feet and a low few grand to make a world of difference.
    @ real estate lingo…2) Why in the world does everyone still say “writing an offer”, or “making an offer” when it’s a stinkin’ BID! Just think, buyers BID at auctions on merchandise OFFERED by the selller. I wish that were question #1 on the real estate exam.
    Peace

  28. Conversation piece ? Nothing starts a conversation better than a huge Hobart Legacy floor standing mixer. Start the conversation *and* establish yourself as the uber-chef at the same time. Impress your guests while you make pizza for the middle school down the street. 80 pies all in one shot !
    Mark my word, this will be the next overblown and underutilized luxury kitchen appliance. Someone just needs to wrap a Hobart in stainless and adorn it with a European sounding brand tag. Extra points for the model with the electric powered bowl lift.
    As for fireplaces, I’m probably on the far end of the spectrum, burning at least 60 days per winter, perhaps as many as 90. Yet I discovered early in my home search that a this is not a “must have” even for a metro-redneck. There are so many other factors that are more important. Excluding homes without wood burning fireboxes is a mistake.
    But outside space is definitely a must-have. Even if it is a little terrace hanging off of a windswept highrise, sometimes you just need to fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy the caress of the breeze and the warmth of the sun.

  29. Posted by bgelldawg

    Those little balconies that are staged with a cafe table and chairs for open houses. You think you are going to spend your mornings sitting out there sipping coffee. They never get used, except maybe for storing a bike.
    Ditto for postage stamp back yards. If I want to be outside I am going to go for a walk, to a park, or to the beach, not sit in the tiny backyard surrounded by my neighbors’ fences.

  30. Posted by joh

    1.5 baths is actually quite nice in 1BR unit, especially if the full bath is in the bedroom. Many women I know HATE the idea of letting guests (especially male) use THEIR toilet.
    My girlfriend loves to spend what seems like an eternity in the bathroom getting ready. Couple that with my small bladder, especially after coffee or alcohol, and that 1/2 bath sure is nice.
    There are a lot of 1BR/2BA lofts in the eastern neighborhoods. 2 baths would be overkill for us, but we would probably put both to good use. The two of us lived in a 2+2 for a while, and we found ourselves using both bathtubs/showers regularly. However, we could easily live with a single bath/shower.
    And I am one of those people who routinely take baths, especially in the colder months. I wouldn’t want to live somewhere with only a shower.
    I’ve lived in places with a fireplace (both gas and wood), and practically NEVER used. Properties I’ve toured with fireplaces have always lost points in my book. After all, the fireplace is always situated in the ideal location for a TV, and unless I mount the TV above the fireplace…

  31. Posted by joh

    Those little balconies that are staged with a cafe table and chairs for open houses. You think you are going to spend your mornings sitting out there sipping coffee. They never get used, except maybe for storing a bike.
    I have one of those little balconies and use it all the time. On nice days, I’ll go out there with my laptop and read news or check emails. Sometimes I go out there to get fresh air while I’m on the phone. I also have a few plants out there that I water. And I have one of those single burner induction stoves that I use on my balcony to cook foods that would otherwise stink up the house (e.g. searing meats or deep frying). I also have a small gas grill that gets used even in the winter months.

  32. Posted by MikeW

    Just moved to a house with all the features after living in an outdated place in for years. Six burner high BTU stove is fantastic. I keep burning things because I am not used to it but once I am used to it I am positive I will be happy to have it. You can actually put more than one very large pot on the stove at once and water boils quickly.
    Double ovens is nice but my ovens are so big I will probably only use it on holidays.
    Double sink in the master is fantastic, as is separate room for toilet.
    Have not used the formal dining room yet and no plans to until the first holiday. Would gladly trade the dining room space for an extra bedroom. Never use the formal living rooom either for that matter, but that could be in part due to the fact that I have no furniture to put in the rooom.

  33. Posted by Copernicus

    I am honored to have started a headline regarding the pot filler … Keeping with the theme, however, if you do a lot of cooking and entertaining, one major must have is the double oven. And while you go for the 48 inch range, you might as well go for the 8 burners. But don’t fall for the 6 burners plus a griddle or 6 burners plus a grill. Both are impossible to clean (or keep clean) on the stainless surface. Furthermore, you can do both on your BBQ – griddle with a $30 pan. We bought a DCS range this time around, and it blows the Wolf and the Viking away. Cooks faster, looks cooler and insulated better so that the entire house does not gain heat up when you bake. Thanks SS!

  34. Posted by kathleen

    Writing an offer differs from a bid.
    A bid is on offer on price.
    Writing an offer is crafting a contract with more components than the price.

  35. Posted by Oceangoer

    Hmmmm. Formal dining room a must … we use ours every night, including candles whether it is just the two of us or we have friends in. Lots of bathrooms a must. We like to have our own bathroom, not just our own sink so in our 3 bd 2 1/2 bathroom place is right for us. Gas or electric? take it or leave it. I do nearly all of my cooking on a Weber in my garden. Cooking with the lid down is like using a convection oven and my roast chicken, standing rib etc. are to die for. Fireplaces? Love ‘em. One in the living room and one in the bedroom. Both gas but they are cozy on a cool foggy night. That’s my 2 1/2 cents worth.

  36. Posted by A.T.

    Excellent thread! My vote for most useless addition? A hot tub. I just knock a couple thousand off the perceived value of any place I tour that has a hot tub to account for the cost of removing it.

  37. Posted by BobN

    Maybe some of the serious cooks are waiting for the home sous vide machine
    I’m currently being lobbied by the better half on getting a used science lab version and adapting it…

  38. Posted by Kurt Brown

    I just wrote a 2,500 word post, all in the first person, using the pronoun “I” 158 times, covering my most illuminating and original thoughts, feelings, and emotions regarding pot fillers, lobster, corn, Wisconsin fish boils, gumbo, and all things kitchen…
    but my browser accidentally blanked it out before I could post.
    But you guys would have just LOVED it. Trust me.

  39. Posted by HappyRenter

    I used to use one of those Höbart :) machines when I worked in a small bakery many years ago. They are pretty awesome, and super fast. However, they can be dangerous if operated while high as a co-worker discovered.

  40. Posted by curmudgeon

    ^ LOL Kurt Brown. 483 but I’ll take that as a bitch slap. I was bored at work…

  41. Posted by OneEyedMan

    Wisconsin fish boil
    Lutafisk is on my mind
    Lutheran church lunch

  42. Posted by Kurt Brown

    @Curmudge: not specifically at you, actually, altho you won the length award. I’m just in an odd mood today. On normal days, I usually do read long essays on SS… cause I’m not all that normal.
    @OneEye: you’re slaying me, donchaknow there, ya?
    * continues attempt to extract foot from floor standing Hobart mixer … *

  43. Posted by Sunny Jim

    FormerAptBrokster,
    Would you happen to have any Grey Poupon?

  44. Posted by PAArchitect

    It’s all so personal. We actually have something in our kitchen that most people would consider way more useless than a pot filler. It’s embarrassing, but we have two dishwashers. Do we use them both? We do. We love having them. And we’d absolutely do it again.
    And it changes with time. We have two wood burning fireplaces also. We used to use them all the time. They draw really well and put out a lot of heat on chilly nights. But the last few years we have hardly used them at all. We have considered putting in gas, but it’s so low on our list of priorities we haven’t bothered. We’re just in another space now.
    If we were to sell our house most prospective buyers would find the two dishwashers kind of weird but love the two fireplaces.
    The strangest personal quirk re household arrangement I ever came across was a friend who insisted on putting two bathtubs plus a shower in his master bath. One was a large tub so he and his wife could take baths together. The other was a standard size tub which would fill up quicker when he took a bath in the morning. The shower was for his wife. He has since remarried. I’m glad I was not the architect for his job. I would have spent fruitless hours trying to talk him out of it.

  45. Posted by sfrenegade

    “but we have two dishwashers”
    Not completely unheard of in houses that keep kosher. Separate ovens and other stuff too.

  46. Posted by Jeff Nolan

    I guess it depends on what and how much you cook… I use my pot filler several times a week. I cook a lot.
    I do agree that a pot filler is not an essential fixture but in the same breath I would say that walking from one end of the kitchen to another with a heavy pot of water also isn’t essential.

  47. Posted by Jeff Nolan

    BTW, in my next house we will definitely have a laundry room with 2 sets of washers/dryers… I can’t believe how much laundry my children create.

  48. Posted by West Side Story

    No regrets about putting in a pot filler. I don’t use it that much, but when I do I really appreciate it (not just avoiding carrying the heavy filled pot but also not having to dodge any guests who might be in the middle of the kitchen). It’s not much expense when all the walls are open.
    Got two sinks and two dishwashers too. They aren’t essential everyday, but when I entertain they are a lifesaver. But I cook for big groups a lot and don’t like to use disposable stuff. And the second sink should be full-size for maximum utility – those little bar sinks are good for show but aren’t particularly useful and aren’t worth the loss of counter space (IMO).
    I also use my six burners and two ovens all the time. Sure, I was a good cook and good entertainer when I just had a little apartment grade Kenmore range, but my current setup makes everything so much easier and more pleasant. (I would give up the pot filler first though, if anything had to go).
    But I do agree that all the goodies are pretty ridiculous for people who just call for take-out/the caterer.
    And no Hobart here – I prefer to make my bread with my hands….

  49. Posted by Eileen Larson

    I was thinking of getting a pot filler while all the walls are torn out and a complete move of my kichen from one side of the house to another, was in process, but this thread has made me think twice. My stove top will be directly across from my sink so it won’t be a big haul.
    The whole house is being remodeled to bring a 1920s Four Square farmhouse up to my modern sensibilites, not to mention building code.
    I’m curious about the need for bathtubs, We will not have one in our new bathroom (there is only one full bath in the house)because we do not take baths and there is not room for a shower oustside of the bath. We plan to grow old in this house and I have no intention of climbing in and out of a bathtub so I can take my shower. I am not concerned with future owners of the house. If they want a tub, let them put one in.
    My new kitchen will have a 10″ deep 30″ single farm style sink in which to bath my future grandkids and my walk-in shower will be 40″ wide and almost 5′ long, with a bench. Little ones can be bathed in a tub there as well. (as will my dogs!)
    Twenty years ago, we put a lovely 5′wide x 7′long x 6′tall incense cedar sauna in our basement.This is one thing we all agree we could not do without. We use it regularly throughout the year for health and relaxation!

  50. Posted by paul

    A water source that doesn’t drain into a sink always seems like a bad idea, even in a kitchen- faucets leak, valves fail, children leave water running. Has anyone heard of a pot filler disaster?

  51. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Has anyone heard of a pot filler disaster?”
    That’s a good point to consider for installation. An easily accessible shut-off valve seems like a good idea, just like you’d have at your sink.

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