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How to Buy Appliances

One would tend to think that appliances come in standard sizes. Well they do, but what isn't standard often is the openings that exist, where your gas line is and where your available electrical outlet is. So before you go buy any appliance, you need to measure everything carefully, know where your outlets are and exactly what will fit and what won't. So whether you're in the market for kitchen appliances or laundry appliances, here are a few tips on how to buy appliances that will fit your space.

  • Remove the appliance that is going to be replaced.
  • Take measurements of that appliance.
  • Take notes on where the needed outlets are.
  • Record the water, gas and/or electrical supply lines and where they are located.
  • Measure the width, height and depth of the cabinet opening.
  • A common problem occurs when the 220-volt wall plug prevents the range from being pushed against the wall.
  • While most appliances make a recess in the back of the unit to allow for such protrusions, there is no standard placement for this recess.
  • Gas line connections for gas cook-tops is also not standard. You don't want to find out too late that an adjacent drawer has to be eliminated to install the appliance.
  • Since appliances typically stay put for 10-20 years, things change and what was is no more.
  • Just putting in a new floor or countertop can make an opening smaller than before.
  • Electric circuit size requirement sometimes change too.
  • Cabinet depth can change.
  • Homes shift and settle. So do cabinets and the appliances they hold. Old appliances might no be level any longer. If you know this in advance, you can make the necessary changes so that the new appliance will sit level.
  • Here is where I think money is well spent: let the installers hook everything up when the appliance arrives. Just make sure on the front end, as much as possible, that you will have no surprises when it comes time to install.
  • Lastly, don't expect the new appliance to work perfectly once installed. Mistakes do happen in production. Make sure you buy from a reputable company who can service the appliance quickly using local service personnel.
  • This is why it is risky to purchase from a "big box" appliance store that requires you to contact the manufacturer if anything is wrong. While you save on the front end, you could be left without your appliance for a long period of time on the back end if anything is wrong.

If you have done your homework, taken careful measurements in advance, purchased wisely, you should minimize the chances for any problems when getting new kitchen appliances or laundry appliances.

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