Buying appliances can be fun and exciting, especially when you’ve prepared for the task. Don’t be tempted by a one-day sale if you don’t know whether that new washing machine, dishwasher or refrigerator will work in your home. A kitchen remodeling contractor can also help with the decision.
Measure Once, Twice and Maybe Thrice
More than one homeowner has brought home a new appliance only to learn that it won’t fit in the space. It pays to measure at least twice, and bring those measurements with you to the store.
Take into consideration any important breathing room. If a dryer’s measurements will barely fit into a laundry closet, there won’t be room for the manufacturer’s required space between the appliance and walls. You don’t want an airtight fit.
Cost vs Value: When a Bargain Isn’t a Bargain
A sale tag is a good sign, but not if the appliance was overpriced to begin with. Research the brand and read user reviews before you buy. Shop online and compare prices for the exact same model.
Money is hard to come by, so spend it wisely.
An expensive, well-made refrigerator is a better bargain over its lifetime than a sale-priced appliance that historically malfunctions two days after its warranty runs out. Repair costs can turn a great deal into a burden.
Having an Energy Star rating is also a plus, as efficient appliances can save you money on utilities.
Who Knew There Were So Many Colors?
A white dishwasher isn’t just a white dishwasher anymore. Picking out a white appliance and expecting it to match the others in your kitchen can lead to disappointment.
Shades such as Arctic White, Snowdrift and Tundra might look the same in the store, but very different once you get them home and near other white appliances.
If you can, select a new appliance from the same manufacturer’s line as others that you own. If you can’t, ask for a color sample to take home and compare. Or, bring paint color samples with you when you are looking for appliances.
New and Trendy Don’t Always Mean Smart
Do you really need Internet access in your refrigerator? Maybe not, but an ice maker and water dispenser might be nice. Fancy features that you’ll rarely use aren’t worth the extra cost.
Before plunking down your hard-earned money, decide whether your cash is better spent on a higher quality model with fewer features. A wider and deeper oven is smart for someone who does a lot of baking, and a high-capacity refrigerator is worth its weight in gold (almost) in a household with a large family.
Cleaning: Somebody’s Gotta Do It
Stainless steel is trendy and makes a kitchen look modern. Polished stainless shines like a new penny, but it also shows every fingerprint. Consider a brushed or textured finish that’s less prone to fingerprints.
The same applies to painted finishes, but textures are also more challenging to clean once the dirt starts to show.
Don’t forget the insides. A self-cleaning oven does just that, but if you’ve never used one, you might be in for a surprise. The extreme heat generated during the cleaning cycle produces a strong odor while burning off old food. An appliance with smooth surfaces inside is easier to clean than one with numerous seams and ridges.
Don’t let that cherry red laundry set rule your checkbook. If it fits your budget and works for your lifestyle, then go for it. If not, you’ll probably be happier purchasing something with a little less flash and a lot more staying power. End