Determine your cooking needs and wants – both current and future. Is your family growing or growing up and moving out? Are you interested in increasing your culinary endeavors? Are you wishing to simplify and reduce time in the kitchen?
Evaluate your kitchen counter space. Where are you going to put all those neat new appliances?
Check the height of the appliance compared to the height of your cabinets. Some appliances that mount under the cabinet are available.
Decide what color appliance you prefer.
Determine the appliance capacity needed. The number of speeds and settings on an appliance usually increases with the size of the machine. Those who have large families or like to entertain may choose to buy larger appliances.
Decide whether you want corded or cordless appliances. It’s a choice in many cases. Corded models offer constant power; cordless gives you portability.
Read the package before you buy to see if the appliance does everything that you want it to.
When Considering Refrigerator Features
A base model refrigerator generally has 1-2 drawers, wire shelving, non-adjustable shelves/bins and may only have a partial shelf in the freezer. Although a base model will provide sufficient refrigeration needs, features are really nice to have but greatly influence the price. If you would seldom use a Through-the-Door Water & Ice Dispenser, why pay more for this feature? On the other hand, it could encourage your family to drink water more often, but this feature will influence the price and require plumbing hook-up. Replacing with a taller model may require custom re-building or removing overhead cabinets.
Dishwasher Buying Tips
Energy Saving Considerations
Energy conservation is in! A dishwasher that proudly displays the Energy Star symbol will save you energy dollars compared to non-qualified models. Some dishwashers even have low water features or ‘quick wash’ options which will benefit you if you are paying for measured water use. Another energy saver is a ‘delay start’ which is great if your electricity usage is calculated for off peak and on peak pricing – you set it to wash later when energy is cheaper.
Energy Saving Tips
What is Energy Star?
Garborator or Hard Food Disposal Feature
This is certainly a priority feature if you do not like to scrape, pre-wash or rinse your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Installed right in the unit, you wouldn’t even know it’s there. If unsure if this feature is included, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer.
The most important dishwashing cycles are Light, Regular, Pots & Pans and Econo settings. The econo cycle will air dry dishes saving on heating element energy costs. Additional enhanced cycles are Glass or Stemware, Rinse, Quick Wash and Sani Wash, which all add to convenience benefits. A stainless steel interior is a beautiful feature but will not improve washing performance – it is mainly a style option. However, a stainless steel washing arm will not rust and will be more durable.
Performance is influenced by the number of washing levels – how and where the jets of water are distributed during the washing cycle. A three tier system will provide a good washing and more levels will ensure even better coverage, but price will be influenced. A ‘quiet’ package is also a good feature. Detergent and rinse agent dispensers are usually standard features. Electronic sensors are definitely nice to have features. A child safety lock is important if you have small children.
Stacking & Racking Features
Standard dishwashers usually have two racks for dishes but some models now have three expanding on loading options and capacity. Special features can also include adjustable shelves, racks built to accommodate tall glasses or stemware, odd shaped and tall items, or convertible racks for multi uses. A small closed rack for baby bottles and rings is also available on some models.
Cutlery or Flatware Trays
The position of the silverware tray is usually a matter of preference, and is generally not influenced by washing performance. I tend to prefer a compact tray that sits on the bottom rack, and that easily removes for loading and unloading cutlery. Others prefer a model that is attached to the inside of the dishwasher door which may take less room.
Mobile Kitchen Cart Buying Tips
A mobile kitchen cart can increase your counter space, provide additional storage, and can also be used as a serving table. Most department stores carry a range of styles and sizes. Prices can range from $100 to over $1,000, so planning is a must. Before you run out and look for one of these, here are some things you may want to consider:
Consider where you are going to use it. Measure this ‘parking area’, and take a tape measure with you to the store. This is crucial; a cart can look very small in a large store, but once home, it may not fit where you intended.
Consider how the storage areas are designed. What best suits your needs? Will you use the wine rack, or would an open shelf be more useful? Do you need drawers, or a place for utensils? Some have open storage, while some are closed. Take time in the store, to open storage areas to see if adequate.
Wheels – Mobility
Wheels are very important. Are they sufficient? Do they swivel? Will they mark your floors? Are they adequate for the load. Take time to take the unit for a ‘test run’ in the store; you want to ensure it will move easily.
Design, Style & Quality
Stainless steel or butcher block, what kind of top do you prefer? Will you be chopping food on it, or using the top for added counter space or for serving? Choose style and finish to suit your décor. And last, look at the quality of the product; do the doors shut properly, and drawers slide easily? Are there any warranties on this product?
Now, you can be sure that this unit is perfect for you!
Other tips from HomeRenovationGuide.com
An affordable piece of kitchen furniture that adds style and storage space to your kitchen. Be it a modular or large kitchen, the baker’s rack and wine rack are popular as decorative racks and help in adding to your kitchen’s rustic charms. It is also used in combination to store wines that need to be placed in an upright position to keep the cork moist. Wooden racks are used sparingly, but wrought iron racks have gained popularity for their ornamental value that enhances most decor and themes.
For modular kitchens, butcher’s blocks come in handy for storing and chopping. Usually done in solid wood, they offers convenience and makes a cookware article that can also be used for storing a variety of things. These days there are many designs that entail smart storage space is all fit in.
Mobile kitchen carts are available in different styles and finishes. The price will vary depending on the material you choose. Another useful piece of kitchen furniture, carts come in different sizes to almost fit into any kitchen area. There are also combinations of butcher block (single/double) on carts that allows you multi-functionality, and storage space large enough for any number of items.
This piece of kitchen furniture needs space, so look to the available area before you decide. If space is not a constraint, hutches can be quite useful and act as a work center to provide storage space for dishes, cookbooks, glassware and other kitchen items. Watch out for the hardware used and finish closely. Hutches offer great storage solutions in different styles.
Kitchen Work Tables
Kitchen worktables make great utility furniture and are available in a wide selection. Because there are many from which to choose, there can be quite a price range as well. Work tables have a large variance in size, material from which they are constructed and designs. These factors work together to give a wide range of prices. Work tables can range in price from $130 up to $600.
Bar Furniture & Kitchen Bar Stools
You can find great bar and counter stools for almost any space. The combinations includes wood and metal, with many different styles and finishes to choose from. Depending on the design you choose, a metal stool can give your bar a sleek, contemporary look, or bring a classic, wrought-iron design into your home.
Tableware and dining accessories are important for personalizing your dining room. There are so many varieties available and designer dining sets and tableware allow great composure. Hand painted tablewares are also great, for they feel warm and come in a wide range to almost fit any taste and budget. It is important to be sure to scan the price range of kitchen furniture pieces when beginning your search for the perfect piece of contemporary furniture for your kitchen.