Friday, May 2, 2014

My Two Cents On Buying Appliances- Part One

Since I've sold an appliance or two (okay, around 1.5M dollars worth) I thought I'd share some of my thoughts to make it easier for you to choose your next appliances.  Since I like to keep my posts brief, I am dividing this into parts.

General guidelines:  Get the features you want/need.  Don't get hung up on brands because there isn't a "best or worst," but a mix of this within their product lines.  It's fine to have all of your pieces the same brand, but it's not necessary for it to still look good.  I try to pick complimentary handles and stainless finishes.  Get a dishwasher and microwave without a handle to make it easier if you're mixing.

There are three brands of appliances in my kitchen and I think it looks fine.
Prices may seem to vary, but big box stores are very competitive, so it's best for you to choose the local store with the best service/knowledgeable staff/selection.  Most stores price-match other brick & mortars and manufacturer's run promos concurrently in all stores (i.e.,  May is for Maytag promo this month.)  Don't be in a hurry (unless your ice cream is melting...)  You should be able to get free delivery, haul away and hook-up of electric non built-in appliances.  As for reviews, store reviews are usually slanted toward folks that are angry (if I'm satisfied, I don't write in, but if I'm mad I might) or ones that have been hounded to review.  Also, we don't know if they are even using the product right.  "Consumer Reports" is a good start, but not the final word either.  Check out several other review places if that's important to you.

Stainless, black or white are the current available colors.  If you need almond, the selection is getting smaller by the day.  Black, in my opinion, is as hard or harder to keep clean than stainless.  Any white appliances with plastic parts like handles will yellow over time due to UV rays.  Some products to try for cleaning stainless include "Cerama-bryte for Stainless, " "Perfect Glass" and for some stuck on messes try a citrus mist that will be in the air freshener section.  (The smell is strong, so use with good ventilation.)

Often, a higher quality item on sale isn't much more than a cheap one.  It will have more features and likely last longer, so it's worth the difference.  The life span nowadays of a fridge with ice/water in the door is 8-10 years.  No, that isn't the same as your old one that's still running at 25 in the garage... there are more electronics to fail and sadly, they perhaps aren't made as sturdily.  A washer or dishwasher goes about the same time, while dryers/microwaves can hang on longer.

Refrigerators:  For Pete's sake (and mine) measure the spot where it goes and not your old fridge!  That does me no good when I'm trying to find one that will fit--especially when you try to show me with your fingers how much extra space there is around the current fridge.  I need the height and width especially, but if depth is important to you, measure that too.  Counter-depth fridges have more of a built-in look, but they are more expensive and smaller than standard depth ones.  A standard depth fridge will generally stick out 6-7" from you cabinet/counter top and isn't usually an issue unless you have a galley kitchen or an island across from it.  Also, measure your doorways so we can get it in your house.  Don't expect the delivery guys to figure it out when they get there as it's not their problem, it's yours and may mean we bring it back to the store until you fix the issue.

For me, ice makers in the door of side-by-sides are okay because it's in the freezer side, but in french door fridges it's in refrigerator portion and along with that being warmer, it is opened much more than a freezer.  Therefore, there's a chance for ice to melt slightly and clump, especially since it's near the exterior.  Even though it takes space, it's probably better to have the ice maker back inside the cabinet. These often can hold more ice anyway.

Well, that's enough for now... Next time we'll talk about ranges, microwaves and built-in types of these.  Feel free to ask me questions in the comment section and I will help if I can!

Happy Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo!

Gale
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