When to Replace Your Kitchen Appliances

When homeowners decide it’s time to remodel the kitchen, many choose to replace their appliances as well. However, costs here can be significant. This post helps you choose the best appliances that fit both your budget and your kitchen.

The Number One Goal Is Quality

Buying new appliances isn’t something that happens very often. That may be why so many homeowners go a little overboard, particularly when choosing a new range.

You see that amazing, 6-burner, professional-grade stove and immediately imagine yourself creating masterpieces of culinary delights. And if it’s always been your dream to own one, go for it! But, if you aren’t a gourmet cook, gourmet appliances don’t offer much return on investment.

Your best bet when choosing kitchen appliances is to stick with brands that have earned a reputation for quality. And when you use the same brand for multiple appliances, you create a designer look without the huge cash outlay.

The ABCs of Refrigerators

Refrigerators are one of the more challenging appliances to shop for, because they range in price from as little as $350 to $2,500 or more.

When it comes to the refrigerator, size plays the biggest role in determining cost, followed closely by type. By the way, size refers to the cubic feet available inside the fridge, where you store your food.

The following refrigerator types are in order of size and price:

  1. Top-mounted freezer: This “old school” model has the freezer sitting above the refrigerator. This type typically has the lowest capacity, averaging between 14 and 22 cubic feet. If you have a smaller family, though, the interior space in a top-mounted freezer is often ample. Expect to pay between $400 and $600, with prices varying according to features and finishes.
  2. Side-by-side: The most popular refrigerator model today. As the name implies, this type features the freezer on one side and the refrigerator on the other. Interior space typically ranges between 22 and 26 cubic feet, with prices starting at around $700 and climbing to $2,000 or more. Thanks to the two narrow doors, the side-by-side is popular in homes with limited clearance in front of the fridge.
  3. Bottom-mounted freezer: The reverse of the top-mounted, this model has the freezer under the refrigerator. Although storage space is about the same, bottom-mounted is considered more convenient, because you don’t have to stoop to reach any part of the refrigerator, which most people access more often than the freezer. But, that convenience costs about double what a top-mounted model will.
  4. French door: This is another type of bottom-mounted model, but with two French doors on the refrigerator so you need less clearance space. After size and style, features and design options influence price.

Ranges, Cooktops, and Ovens

Although many of us use terms like “range” and “cooktop” interchangeably, you’ll find there is a difference.

A range combines the stovetop and oven. A cooktop is just the stove part. With a cooktop, the oven is separate, installed in a wall.

Luxury gas range

When budget and kitchen footprint allow, the cooktop and wall oven are popular options. There’s no stopping with a wall oven. And the cooktop lets you store pots and pans in the cabinet directly underneath.

Consider the following when choosing your appliances:

  • Budget: Ranges start at around $350 with prices topping $2,000. Costs are about the same for just the cooktop. You’ll pay between $700 and $3,500 for a wall oven.
  • Size: Most ranges average between 30″ and 36″ for the stovetop and 5 cubic feet for the oven. Cooktops are about the same size. However, wall ovens average around 3 cubic feet.
  • Fuel type: If you have both gas and electric, you may want a dual-fuel model. This lets you have a gas cooktop and an electric oven.
  • Burner type: Electric coil burners are the most common, mostly because they’re the least expensive. Glass-top models cost around $150 more, but they’re much easier to clean. Induction burners are the primo option. They have a ceramic top that’s easy to clean and heats up quickly so you use less energy. The only downside is that the starting price on these models is around $1,500.

There are loads more options and questions to answer, particularly about the oven.

Do you want one oven or two?

Do you prefer self-cleaning or manual?

How often would you use programming features, like delayed bake or warm and hold?"

Dishwashers Save Time and Money

According to Consumer Reports, you can save over 230 hours a year by using a dishwasher instead of hand-washing your dishes. That’s over 4 hours every week!

The most popular type of dishwasher is the conventional, built-in model. They typically measure 24″ x 24″. But, if your remodel includes installing new tile flooring, make sure you measure the available space carefully, because this could change the cavity height.

Expect to pay between $400 and $500 for an entry-level dishwasher that does a great job cleaning but maybe isn’t so quiet. These models also aren’t likely to have a lot of special features, like adjustable racks.

Quieter models cost between $600 and $900. They also have a few more features, like a stainless tub and adjustable racks and flatware slots. If your budget allows, you can pay $1,000 or more for a dishwasher that’s so quiet, you’ll wonder whether it’s on. These babies also come with Wi-Fi capability, special wash zones, and other advanced features.

Ventilation Hoods Help Improve Indoor Air Quality

From their spot over the stove, ventilation hoods capture the odors, humidity, smoke, and heat created when you cook. The two main types of vent hoods are ducted and non-ducted.

Ducted ventilation hoods send all that smoke and heat outside your home, courtesy of its ductwork. Non-ducted hoods capture those pollutants, pass them through a filter, and circulate the air back into the home. However, non-ducted ventilation hoods cannot remove the heat and humidity created while cooking.

Your vent hood should be as wide as the range and at least half as deep. Strength is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which describes the amount of air moved. If you have an electric range, look for a hood rated at least 40 CFM for every linear foot of stovetop. For gas, you want 1 CFM for every 100 BTUs.