Kitchen Appliances

Most of your remodeling budget will go towards the things like kitchen appliances that you just can't live without such as a dishwasher, sink and refrigerator.

Therefore selecting quality appliances that will give you the most for your money is essential! With the abundance of brands styles, colors and technologically advanced machines, it's hard to weed out the good and the bad.

The best performers don't always carry the highest price tags. Once you've settled on style and features you want, think about the following: your cooking fuel, convenience, and durability. Pick out whats best for you while keeping high-tech features in perspective.

The following guidelines for appliances will make the selection easier:

SHOPPING FOR COOKING APPLIANCES: QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

1. Will I be keeping the same layout in my kitchen or do I plan on making changes to appliance location? If the layout will stay the same, what are the sizes of each of my appliances now? Will my new appliances need to be the same size?

2. Do I currently have gas or electricity connections for my cook top? Will I want to change from one to another? Will I be willing to pay the cost of changing the connections from one to another?

3. Am I looking for a certain style in my kitchen? Will I want a modern style with glass surfaces, a professional style with stainless steel, or a classic style with natural materials like wood or stone?

4. Do I need to accommodate a large amount of people to use the kitchen at the same time? Will I be cooking for large groups of people? Will I want a larger oven or cook top in order to accommodate large groups?

5. Do I need a cook top and stove for standard types of cooking or do I prefer a more professional grade appliance? Do I want special equipment like grill attachments, griddles and woks, steam cooking options, or induction cooking?

6. What type of ventilation system will work best for my cooking needs? Do I need to consider a larger updraft vent or even a downdraft system? Will a standard micro-hood work best for my cooking? Do I have the correct ductwork to include a proper ventilation system?

7. Are there extras that I may need to meet the amount of cooking I do? Would I need items like built in coffeemakers, warming drawers, or a second oven?

8. Do I need to conserve space in my small kitchen by making use of a small range, a cook top only, or a micro-hood?

9. Would I want to consider a wall oven to save from leaning over or bending down? As far as cook tops, would I prefer something like a glass surface or a continuous grate?

10. Am I interested in time saving options in my new appliances? Would I like to consider self cleaning ovens, speed-heating ovens, pre-programmed cooking, or sealed burners?

RANGES

Ranges are either free-standing or built-in. Picking one out depends on the design of your kitchen and the features you want. Worthwhile accessories include a cooker hood, splash back, grill, griddle plates, rotisserie, wok burner and fish-kettle burner.

COOKTOPS AND WALL OVENS

If you are prepared for a top-to-bottom kitchen remodeling, you might be considering a cooktop and wall oven. Separate appliances give you the flexibility of two cooking areas with burners placed wherever you want.

Multi-functional ovens may be worth the investment. Traditional cooking and fan assisted cooking and grilling are popular. The combinationalso provides cooks with more options such as browning and thawing

RANGE HOODS

A range hood can become a major design statement and a major expense in a remodeled kitchen. But if your more concerned about function than style match the hood to the kitchen layout and focus on air movement, smoke removal, and noise. Stainless steel hoods will suffice.

Decorative wood hoods with a blower insert can be used to create a focal point in the kitchen.

REFRIGERATOR

One feature worth paying for is a new design to prevent frost build-up. By circulating air inside the freezer compartment rather than using a defroster, you can say god-bye to freezer burn!

Stainless steel is the most popular news in fridge design. More manufacturers are offering models that mimic the Sub-zero pro-style look. You'll still pay more for stainless than a white, almond or bisque model.

Determine the size and model, select the features you want, check the brand's track record, and consider noise.

SHOPPING FOR DISHWASHERS: QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

1. Style-wise, am I interested in a modern, streamlined design? Do I like features like controls that are hidden?

2. Would I like the front of my new dishwasher to match my cabinetry? Would I like one that can include a kit to trim it with cabinet matching panels on the front?

3. Will I be placing my dishwasher in the same place as my old one? Do I need to keep it the same dimensions? If so, what are my current dishwasher’s dimensions?

4. If I do not currently have a dishwasher, or I am placing the new one in a different area, does that area accommodate the machine well? Will I be able to open cabinets and doors fully? Is there space for plumbing to be connected?

5. If I am making use of a small space, do I need to consider dishwasher options that are small, portable, or compact? Would I like a countertop style dishwasher or one that fits under the sink?

6. Is noise a concern? Do I need a dishwasher that runs quietly so that it will not disturb others?

7. Do I have a baby or family with allergies? Will I need a dishwasher made to sanitize? Am I looking for an appliance that will dispose of food and one that can include a scrub cycle?

8. Am I willing to pay extra cost for my new dishwasher in order to choose energy and water conserving options?

9. Is bending over to load and unload my dishwasher a problem for me? Would I like one that is drawer loaded or raised?

10. What type of dish loads will I be washing? Do I need a commercial sized dishwasher or multiple machines? Am I more interested in a smaller, compact dishwasher for smaller loads?

DISHWASHER

Look for brands with low energy consumption, a delay timer and an economy cycle, or half-load button. Saving water and saving money may be a consideration in selection.

Most new dishwashers will do a great job of cleaning even the dirtiest dishes without pre-rinsing although most people pe-rinse before putting them in. Besides the pre-rinse function wastes water.

Find a pleasing and complementary design, consider the noise level, look for loading flexibility, and consider the cost of usage.

SHOPPING FOR OUTDOOR APPLIANES: QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

1. Are there certain times of the year or seasons when I will want to be able to entertain and cook outside?

2. Are there certain types of cooking or foods that I want to be able to cook outdoors? How frequently do I plan on using my outdoor appliances?

3. As far as entertaining guests, do I tend toward large parties or small groups of people?

4. Do I have a certain type of grill in mind? Am I interested in one that runs on charcoal, gas, or both? Will I want a high or low maintenance grill option?

5. Am I looking for a certain style or color for my grill? Do I like basic black grills or do I like the look of stainless steel?

6. For controls and features, do I want the regular choices or do I want a grill with professional options included?

7. Is ventilation a concern, and will I need a system included with my grill?

8. If I plan to purchase built-in style appliances for the outdoors, do I have the proper connections already in place? Will I be able to accommodate electricity, plumbing, and gas connections?

9. How much room do I have in my outdoor space to accommodate my new appliances?

10. Will I need room for food preparation, beverage prep and cleaning as well?

11. Am I interested in choosing outdoor appliances based on environmental considerations like water and electricity conservation?

12. Do I want my new appliances placed as permanent fixtures or do I prefer something that I can move around?

13. Are there any special options that I would like to consider? Am I interested in such items as beverage coolers or warming drawers?


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