As a buyer you may find that many homes you look at need a few updates, and appliances often top that list. Replacing appliances can be expensive depending on the selections. It is important as a new homeowner to decide on a reasonable budget and research which appliance shapes, sizes, and styles will work for your kitchen.
Here is a rundown of just a few appliance choices you will encounter:
The classic oven and cooktop range: This is the most economical option for your cooking needs, and it can fit most styles and budgets, depending on the size and style you select. Determine what you can afford, measure the available space, and decide on a style – like a standard slide-in freestanding range (least expensive), a larger commercial-style range (more expensive), or even vintage-looking options.
A separate cooktop and a wall oven: This allows for more flexibility in the room’s layout and cooking space. Double ovens, wall ovens, warming drawers and steam ovens can all potentially find a place within your kitchen.
The refrigerator: Decide on style and size. How much refrigerator space do you need? Do you host big holiday dinners? Is your family large or does it have the potential to grow? Do you like to grocery shop every few days or only once every couple of weeks? All of this plays a role in how big your refrigerator needs to be.
Your kitchen most likely will have an open space within the cabinetry that will adequately accommodate a few sizes and variety of refrigerator styles. You should measure the following three areas:
- Kitchen entrance: The refrigerator must fit through the door.
- Size of the opening for the refrigerator: You need to know the height, width and depth of the opening.
- Available space for the door: The door clearance when you open the refrigerator is very important. If the handle of the refrigerator opens into the wall, the door can’t open fully.
Next, pick a style. There are three types of refrigerators: freestanding, built-in and cabinet-depth.
- Built-in models cost more. They are installed to be flush with the cabinets and often have fronts custom-made to match the cabinetry.
- A cabinet-depth refrigerator sits flush with the cabinetry without the custom cabinetry front. This is more economical than the built-in designs.
Finally, different styles of refrigerators can include different configurations for the freezer and different types of doors, including bottom freezer design, top freezer design, side-by-side refrigerators, and french door design.
The dishwasher: You need to know the size of the opening and the style that fits your needs. Most dishwashers are 24″ wide models. Rack configuration, double or single drawer options, and even where the control panel is located (some are now hidden from view at the top), is all part of the selection process.
Appliances are an investment and will be part of your kitchen’s design for the next 10 years or more, so it is important to research all options and love the style and finish of each appliance you decide to buy. Remember, updated appliances may also attract buyers when you choose to sell your house.