I have responded to lots of questions on the Yale blog, on my email, through Yelp, Google, and Facebook as well. After 30 years working full time in the appliance business, you have an idea of the major problems people seem to be facing.
Before I talk about potential problems, let’s talk about happiness with your appliances and kitchen project. It may be elusive, but it can be done.Short on time? Get our free Appliance Buying Guide
I was talking to our architect. He was all over the place with appliances between which brands, which products and which styles. The guy can design a 20,000 square foot showroom, but cannot pick five appliances.
Anyway, I asked him one question after looking at speed, steam, and regular ovens: What does happiness with your purchase look like after 1 year? New features are great if you use them or a waste if you do not.
That being said, there are only two places of concern when buying a kitchen of appliances.
First is the refrigerator. Your size is probably 36 inches, but what does it look like? Are you buying a regular refrigerator, counter depth, professional or integrated refrigerator? This choice has a potential $9,000 swing on your budget.
Perhaps most importantly, cooking has a profound impact on your kitchen. Most ranges are 30 inches, but professional ranges can be 36, 48 or 60 inches. You can always split cooking between a cooktop and wall oven as well, changing your design completely.
Then, where will you put the microwave? In a drawer? Through the wall or over-the-range? There are tons of choices.
But address those two areas and the rest is pretty easy. Now let’s look at some bad ideas. They range from cost ineffective to bigger problems later.
6 Common Kitchen Appliance Mistakes
6. Buying Extraordinarily Quiet Dishwashers
Folks, 44 decibels is quiet. Forty decibels is noiseless. Yet some comments speak about spending $1,000 more to buy a 37-decibel rated machine. You will not notice the difference in quietness between the Bosch Benchmark and Bosch 800 series for $1,000 less.
5. Buying Dual Fuel Ranges (Non-Professional)
When you tell me you want a dual fuel range, you want a faster top with a better baking oven. You are correct about the better baking part. Electric ovens are most often third-element European convection whereas gas ovens are fan blown convection.
However, the fastest and best cooking top is induction. You do not have to run propane or a gas line to your house either. For non-professional ranges, induction is just way better than gas.
4. Downdrafting a Pro Range
Ventilation comes down to capture area (size of the hood) and CFM (speed of the blower). Technically, CFM is about how many cubes of area are blown through the hood in a minute. Downdrafts have a 2 inch slot for a capture area.
I do not care what Viking and Best think. Their products will not exhaust a high output range. It is not possible.
3. Under Powered Ventilation
This one always perplexed me. The difference between a good and great vent is usually $200. Under utilizing a vent will allow odors and grease to stay in your kitchen longer.
By the way, for all the Massachusetts residents, you want to be fully cognizant of Make-Up Air Provisions. Do not find out at inspection.
2. Stacking Wall Ovens
This is becoming more common yet it is dangerous. Double wall ovens with an appropriately mounted warming drawer is as high as you should go. Look at this picture above. You will be taking a burning hot plate from over your head? Not smart.
You can place additional wall ovens anywhere from an island to under a cabinet.
1. Not Knowing Who Will Fix Your New Appliances
Read the comments on this article. Everyone hates everything, and with good reason. Appliances have become more technical yet there are very few dealers fixing them.
Appliances are unlike cars where every dealer will have a huge repair shop. Most appliance dealers farm it to manufacturers who have minimized the expense.
This is the single biggest problem in choosing your appliances, because statistically you will need service within the first year.
Make this part of your buying research. It is easy nowadays. Use Google, Yelp, Angie's List and The BBB.
It is not hard designing a kitchen. Start with cooking and plan from there. If you love to cook, then vent accordingly. Research prices, but research experiences of what happens after the sale.
Want more information on appliances? Get The Yale Appliance Buying Guide with features, specs, buying strategies and the answers to the top 10 appliance questions. Well over 160,000 people have read and trusted a Yale Guide.
- Should You Buy an Extended Warranty? (short answer: not usually)
- Why You will Have Appliance Problems and How to Avoid Them
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A Note About Pricing