You can’t wait for your fancy new refrigerator with ice and water dispensers to arrive. But when it finally does, the crew can’t hook it up because there’s no water line nearby.
Oops. Looks like you might have overlooked a small detail. But that small detail can have a big impact on your plans — and possibly even your pocketbook. Do you call a plumber? Send the fridge back? Plug it in but not use all the features?
To avoid situations like this, you need to do some homework before you remodel your kitchen or simply upgrade your appliances.
“It’s all about balancing what you want with what you have,” says Mike Kelley, an appliance installation expert at Best Buy. “If you’re doing a full-blown remodel, talk with your general contractor about what you want to install and where you want to put it. If you’re replacing your tired appliances, you still have to remember that things have changed a lot since the last time you did this.”
Mike says there are three major questions to ask before you buy new appliances:
1. Do I have the right utilities at the location?
For example, if you’re adding a gas range, you have to be able to hook into a gas line. Or you might be buying an appliance that requires higher amperage than you currently have in your house. Maybe your local codes now require that you have an outlet under your sink for your dishwasher.
“We’ll get to a customer’s home and find the existing space is not up to code,” Mike says. “The result is a big disappointment that could have been avoided with some planning.”
2. Do I have the right space for what I want to do?
Measure for height, depth and width. Now, measure everything one more time.
“Refrigerators are getting bigger, and there’s no standard size,” Mike says. “The No. 1 reason people return refrigerators is because they don’t fit the space.”
A new appliance could stick out too far, or the door could bump the kitchen island. A little measuring can go a long way.
3. Is there an easy way in?
There’s no point in upgrading your kitchen if you can’t get the new stuff through the door. Or up the stairs and around the corner. Delivery crews can do amazing things, but they can’t alter the dimensions of your home.
The bottom line: Look at the big picture first. Think about where you want everything to go and determine what you might need to change to make it happen. Or as Mike puts it, “Think outside of the new silver box you’re buying. Measure twice, deliver once.”