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New Appliance Buying Guide

  • Shopping for new home appliances isn't something you do everyday. There are a lot of options on the market, and you want the appliances that you buy to last through the years. If you plan on remodeling your whole kitchen, you'll want to decide what appliance style is right for you, and how costly it will be to upgrade. Our kitchen appliance guide is designed to help you make the best decision when purchasing new appliances for your home.

    Planning a Budget

    It doesn't matter how you try to look at it, the purchase of a major home appliance is going to cost you money. While many people take the option of purchasing a used stove or dishwasher there is no guarantee as to how long the appliance will last or what it will cost in maintenance fees to keep it working. Purchasing a new home appliance will be the best decision in the long run and for this you will need to budget. Remember buying a new kitchen appliance is an investment, hopefully one that will pay off over time.

    Some of the things to think about when setting a budget for your kitchen appliances include:

    • Your Priorities - Think about the size of your family and how you spend your time in the kitchen. Do you have a large sit down dinner most nights, or are you a family on the move that uses the microwave more than the range? Do you entertain often? What about holidays, and special events? How you utilize your kitchen will determine how you prioritize which appliances are more important in your budget.

    • The Added Value - Remodeling a kitchen and adding high end appliances will definitely increase the value of your home but you need to think realistically. If you have a $150,000 home and are thinking of selling in the near future, planning a $35,000 appliance upgrade may not be a wise investment. On the other hand, if you are looking to stay in your home, purchasing top of the line appliances may be the best solution.

    • Additional Costs - An often overlooked aspect of buying new appliances is the added costs of installation and the kitchen remodel that may be needed. Unless you are replacing a worn range or refrigerator with the exact same size (which many people do) and are planning on installing the appliance yourself, you will need to think about installation costs and any construction that will be needed for installation. If you are buying a larger appliance and need to remodel to make room, contact a contractor before making the purchase to get an estimate on how much the remodeling costs will dig in to your expected budget.

    **Planning a budget is especially useful if you are planning on remodeling your entire kitchen. Talk to several contractors and get estimates before purchasing your new kitchen appliances and provide yourself a cushion for any unexpected expenses that may arise.

    Sizing Your Kitchen

    Installing new major kitchen appliances involves a lot more than making sure the new refrigerator fits. Along with the available space, you need to think about the overall look and feel of the kitchen and how your family will use the appliances. It is important to ask yourself questions about how you want your kitchen to be set up before purchasing and installing your appliances. The answers to these questions will let you know if you should consider doing a full remodel or just upgrading your appliances.

    Some of the questions that need to be answered include:

    • What is the actual square footage of the kitchen?
    • How much cabinet space does my family require?
    • Do I want built-in or freestanding appliances?
    • Do I like the current layout of my kitchen?

    Unless you have experience with remodeling, you may want to hire a contractor or designer to provide the actual available space for your appliances. You will need to know more than just the appliance width, depth and height. There are a number of factors to consider for each appliance, these can be found in the individual appliance buying guides we have available.

    Commercial Style vs. Traditional Residential Appliances

    The term "Commercial Style" gets thrown around a lot lately. While many manufacturers use the term to describe appliances that offer more professional features, such as more room and higher power output, some manufacturers use the term simply to describe stainless steel appliances.

    True commercial appliances are higher quality kitchen appliances, than their residential counterparts. While they tend to cost more, you are most certainly getting what you pay for. Commercial appliances almost always feature quality stainless steel construction for easy cleaning and a professional look. Commercial cooking appliances also offer the features professional chefs want the most - true high heat for a rapid boil, consistent mid-range temperatures for even cooking, steady low temps for simmering delicate sauces, large ovens for braising and broiling, and specialty burners for woks and other unique cooking vessels.

    If money is an issue when remodeling your kitchen then commercial style appliances may not be an option. It is important to remember that top of the line commercial style appliances will not only increase the look of your kitchen, they can also increase the value. However you can still buy quality residential appliances that will last a lifetime, if you know what to look for. We have written several specific appliance buying guides to help find just the right appliance for your budget.

    Energy Efficiency

    People today are more concerned about the environment and their impact on it. If you are in the market for new kitchen appliances, however, chances are you are looking for the most cost effective models available. Fortunately, energy efficient appliances will not only save you money, they are better for the environment as well. Some of the major advantages you will receive by purchasing energy efficient kitchen appliances include:

    • Better Quality - Many energy efficient appliances, especially those that receive the Energy Star rating, are made from higher quality components. This means your new kitchen appliance will have a longer life with less mechanical problems, compared to non-energy efficient models.

    • Better Performance - Most energy efficient appliances are designed using advanced technologies which means better performance over the life of the appliance. These appliances also provide additional advantages, including noise reduction and water use reduction.

    • Lower Utilities - Think about this: Your appliances can account for 20% of your home utility costs, a significant amount to be sure. Energy efficiency can reduce the cost of a kitchen appliance by as much as 40% over a standard appliance, which lower utility bills for you.

    When purchasing new kitchen appliances you want to think about the long term costs more than the sticker price. While that $400 dollar refrigerator may seem like a bargain, over time it could end up costing you much more in monthly expenses and repairs. One of the easiest ways to understand an appliance's overall costs is by looking at the EnergyGuide label, which will give you an estimate of the yearly energy usage and costs that an appliance will incur.

    So, what are you looking for?

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