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Choosing Kitchen Appliances: 12 Things You Need to Know

Renovating your kitchen is a series of important decisions, and that process only multiplies when you factor in refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and other major appliances. Don't fret! We consolidate many of them in this no-sweat checklist.


1. Allot for appliances: But not much. Expect to spend just 8 percent of your total renovation budget on things like your oven and refrigerator.


2. Plan around them: Want to save $1,500 to $5,000? Keep major appliances that connect to utilities (gas, electric, water) where they are, and plan any major renovations (cabinets, islands) around them.


3. Stay neutral: Appliances in shades of white, gray, and beige are less expensive. Plus, they won't look outdated when trends and seasons change.


4. Fit the fridge: When taking measurements to include a refrigerator, don't forget to factor in at least one inch of clearance around the unit as well as the surrounding cabinetry to ensure proper airflow. Also, do a door check!


5. Steel yourself: Three in four consumers prefer stainless steel appliances. The finish is resistant to water and rust, and significantly increases the value of your home.


6. Top- vs. bottom-freezer fridges: Top-freezer refrigerators are less expensive, but bottom-freezer units offer the convenience of eye-level refrigerator shelving.


7. Dispose of dispensers: Keep in mind that refrigerators with water and ice dispensers will require considerably more repairs than those without dispensers.


8. Gas vs. electricity: In stove ranges, consider convenience and durability. Gas models cook food more quickly, but they tend to cost more. Meanwhile, electric models have a sleek cooktop, making cleanup easier, but they are more prone to damage from dropped pots and sugary liquids.


9. Tailor it to you: Your cooking and cleaning habits should match your dishwasher. For instance, look for adjustable racks if you often use large pots and pans, but opt out of heavy-duty cycle controls if you rinse dishes before loading. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses.


10. Feel the power: A microwave's power is measured in wattage. A higher wattage number means more cooking power, but a difference of 100 watts won't make a noticeable difference.


11. Clear the air: A ventilation hood –- used to clear the kitchen of odor and heat -– should always be proportionally larger than the surface it will be affixed above. Experts suggest a 3-inch difference.


12. Make a deal: On average, buyers who haggle save $100 on a large appliance. Just be sure to check the market price before you negotiate.