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Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Tips For Buying Kitchen Appliances

I was pretty confused in the beginning about how I should even start to compare and pick out the appliances needed for our kitchen renovation so I've put together my top 5 tips to hopefully help anyone else on the same kitchen appliance hunting mission.

1. First up, you need to work out the size of your appliances

For us, before the kitchen cupboards could be finalised we needed to give the appliance specifications to the kitchen company so the cupboards could be made to the right size. The choices are usually pretty standard for your Oven, Cook top and Range hood - either 600mm or 900mm. As space was limited for our kitchen we chose 600mm for all of these appliances.

The Dishwasher recess is pretty standard again at 600mm and most have adjustable feet so you can change the height. There is the option of building in a Dishwasher if you want hidden appliances but there's a lot less choice of dishwashers for this and the cost is more as you need to have a panel and kick board made to cover the dishwasher.

Lastly, the Microwave recess is usually a standard 600mm but we reduced ours so we had more cupboard space. This means our microwave will be smaller but I've tested it to check my dishes will fit in it and they do so that's fine.
2. Don't just admire the products in store - Use and abuse them
Looks can be deceiving the appliances might look shiny and flash but then the door is stiff and hard to open, the knobs are in the wrong spot and they'll annoy you, there are so many things to consider and it's all about your own personal choice. So play with the products, grab a pot and see how they'll sit on the cook top, open and close and pull everything out of the oven to see if you like how it functions. Don't be shy - get right in there and see if they work how you want them to.
It's also a good idea to take your tape measure with you so (a) you look like you know what you're doing even if you don't! and (b) you don't have to ask for dimensions if it's not shown which is more often than you would think. I also take photos so I can remember what they looked like.
3. Work out your budget and brands
If you have the money to spend you can pick all top end products BUT like most of us on a budget you need to decide what is most important to spend your money on and where you want to save money and spend the least amount on.

For example, I've never had a dishwasher before so any dishwasher is going to be better than me washing by hand! I don't need to buy a top of the range dishwasher for my first as long as it washes well, is easy to use and quiet then that is the brand I will pick. On the other hand I can't bake to save my life so I'm hoping a mid range full functioning oven is going to help me with that! 
4. Price wars - Where to shop and how to score a bargain
In stores, don't go by the ticket price on the appliance whatever you do, find a salesperson and ask them for their best price on each of the appliances. Ask them to write the prices down for you. Then go to other stores and ask the same questions. Don't let on you've had other quotes though try to be discrete you want them to think they are your go to store! You can then decide what store you want to deal with and it's a good idea to order everything from them as a bigger package should result in a better deal.
Check online as you might find an even better price - just check out the delivery time frames and any additional charges so you don't get caught out.
Kitchen companies can also give you quotes for appliances, we had a quote from our kitchen company but unfortunately they weren't the cheapest quote.
Some products also throw in freebies if you purchase a package or spend a certain amount which might sway you to purchase their brand. We scored a set of global knifes valued at $749 by purchasing Electrolux products (Oven and Stove) to the value of $2500.
5. Review and Research the products
Finally, check out some reviews either online or ask your friends and family what brands they use and the pros and cons. Honestly I didn't find a lot of reviews online from people who have used these products before which I found really surprising so I'm going to do my bit and share thorough reviews on the appliances I've picked once they're installed and I've tried and tested them.
Of course the product brochures and websites are going to sound convincing, they are selling their own product after all. But what you want is real people with real opinions who have used these products in their home and can vouch for how noisy, efficient, and value for money the product really is.

Bonus tip: Don't expect to go into a shop and buy everything on the first day! I think we've made about 8 shopping expeditions over the last few months to pick out our kitchen appliances and we still haven't bought everything yet! Give yourself the time to make the right decisions and remember Rome was not built in a day and neither is a kitchen renovation!
[Images via my Pinterest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
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  1. A great bunch of tips! I think the one about 'working them over' is so important -- we do tend to get sucked in by how pretty things are and not taking time to see if they are workable and/or practical!

  2. These are great tips! Im always afraid to break the display models but Ill have to be rough with them next time! lol. :)

  3. As a guy who loves to cook, I couldn't imagine what I would do without my oven! I just bought a new one last weekend as I was browsing through some ovens and ranges and it caught me off guard! It was a beautiful energy efficient, smart appliance that featured all the bells and whistles to help suit my needs.


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