Who wouldn’t want a bigger refrigerator, a quieter dishwasher or a new gas stove?
But before you indulge in some retail therapy, check out what appliance experts say you should consider when buying new appliances:
▪ Ask about fees: When comparing prices, be sure to ask questions regarding delivery and installation fees.
“Many stores don’t include the required hookup parts with your purchase,” said Rick Ritt, builder sales specialist with Snow Brothers Appliance in Cleveland.
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▪ Make a smart switch: Before you make a big purchase, do your research and find out what will go into installing the new appliance. For example, if you want to switch from an electric range to a gas range, hire a licensed contractor to tackle the installation.
“It’s not hard, but it requires labor and depends on how far away the gas line is and if the basement ceiling is finished,” Ritt said.
▪ Know the pros and cons: Before you splurge on the latest trend or the fanciest feature, make sure it really suits your needs. French door refrigerators, in which the freezer is on the bottom, are gaining popularity.
“They comprise 75 percent of our total sales,” said Mike Moretti, owner of Top Line Appliance Center in Westfield, N.J.
They are very user-friendly but may not offer enough freezer storage for some people. Before you buy, make sure you’re not putting style over functionality.
▪ Get the right measurements: You don’t want an installer to show up with a new appliance, only to find it doesn’t fit in its intended space or through a door frame. Make sure you measure correctly and have the right dimensions.
Doug Samuels, president of Young’s Appliances in Glen Ellyn, Ill., says homeowners often measure their old appliance instead of the space the new one will occupy.
“The only appliances that have a general standard dimension for replacement are 30-inch ranges, over-the-range microwaves and dishwashers,” he said.
“A homeowner should check where (a front-load washer) is going before even entertaining making the purchase,” Moretti added, noting that they’re considerably larger than a top-load version. “But you’ll get great capacity and wash results with a front load washer.”
▪ Check for user error: Before you get rid of an old appliance, ask yourself if it really needs to be replaced. Sometimes the problem isn’t the appliance, it’s the user. If you’re considering a new dishwasher because the dishes come out clean, but with a coating, you could be the culprit.
“The chemicals in the detergents need to interact with food soils, and if your dishes are rinsed before you do your load, the detergent tends to foam up and will leave a milky film and spots,” Samuels said.