How to Choose Appliances for Your Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen  renovations are exciting, overwhelming, and, yes, disruptive processes.  The end result is worth it, though, with brighter rooms, more  functional workspaces, sturdy counters and, perhaps most exciting,  appliances that you are excited to use. Deciding which appliances are  right for your home can be overwhelming. Here’s how to choose appliances  for your kitchen renovation.

Reuse or Replace? The first question to ask yourself is if your current appliances will  work in your renovated kitchen. If you have recently updated some of the  items, you may be able to work them into the new design.

Finish  preferences have remained fairly stable over the last decade, and the  current stainless-steel finish continues to be a top choice. If you have  a new Energy-star rated range or fridge, it is  more ecofriendly to reuse your current appliances and ensure the other  design choices fit with those appliances.

Unless  your kitchen is a vintage design, outdated appliances can stand out in a  negative way. Dated colors, inefficient and uneven heating, rusted  parts – there are many reasons you’ll want to add new kitchen appliances  during your renovation. If yours work, research your local  donation/resale options, especially if you handle the demolition part of  your remodel. You may make a few dollars, but more importantly, you’ll  keep a hunk of metal out of a landfill. Your remodeling company can also  give you options to get useful appliances into the hands of those who  can use them.

Research for Your Kitchen Renovation It’s easy to make appliance decisions based primarily on looks, but  looks can be deceiving. Take some time to research appliances through an  independent trusted resource such as Consumer Reports.  Investigate finish reliability, brand longevity, standard warranties,  and appliance-specific details such as refrigerator capacity, number of  range burners, and microwave-oven ease of use. Talk with your remodeling  company, who has valuable insight into the right appliances for your  kitchen renovation.

Research for a Refrigerator The refrigerator gets the most use of any appliance in the kitchen. You  may cook once or twice a day or run the dishwasher nightly, but you,  your spouse, and your kids are each probably opening the fridge 5 to 10  times a day. That’s a lot of wear and tear and a lot of different people  using the appliance. Ensure the refrigerator you add during your  kitchen renovation is the right one.

Buy the right fridge for your family.
• Some stainless finishes are “fingerprint proof,” but others finishes will still show children’s fingerprints.
• You can choose child-accessible drawers or water dispensers that keep little ones out of the main fridge compartment.
• Larger fridges use more energy, so you may not need the largest model if you’re single and eat out most nights.
Choose a design that works for you.
• Bottom freezers are making a comeback and now come in French-door  models (two doors for the fridge compartment.) They tend to be more  energy efficient.
• Top freezers are the classic design and they are generally less  expensive than other models. You will stoop more for everyday items,  though, in comparison to bottom freezers.
• Side-by-side models generally come with in-door water/ice dispensers,  which make them kid friendly. With the narrow freezer width, you may  have trouble with frozen pizzas or large turkeys.
Pick Important Features.
• In-door drink dispensers hold 12-packs of soft drinks and are within easy reach.
• Temperature-controlled or shallow meat drawers give you space for thawing foods.
• Humidity-controlled drawers keep fruit and vegetables fresh longer.
• Sealed, lipped, removable shelves contain spills and allow for easy removal and cleanup.
• Adjustable interior and door shelves make the shelf heights work for your purchases.
• Panels can be custom-matched to your cabinetry to help the fridge blend in.

Research for Ranges/Stoves Ranges or stoves are true workhouses. From the old wood-burning stoves  that still function to the 60s kitsch units, well-constructed and  maintained ranges can last decades. Nowadays there is a burgeoning  second-hand market for them because they are generally replaced for  convenience rather than failure. Research the following to ensure you  get the right stove or range for your kitchen renovation.

Buy the right range for your family.
• As with ranges, stainless finishes can show your children’s  fingerprints. We tend to keep little ones away from the stove, but as  children grow they’ll touch the lower surfaces.
• Controls on the rear panel instead of the front keep them out of the  reach of young children, but the front is more convenience for the home  chef.
• Professional-quality ranges are a burgeoning trend, but they usually  (depending on local codes) have various fireproofing and electrical  requirements.
Choose a design that works for you.
• Gas is the first choice of professionals and with good reason. Because  you can see the flame, you can better control the heat. Today’s sealed  burners make cleanup easier than in the past. A bonus? You can often  still use your cook top during a power outage.
• Flat cook tops are increasingly popular, and their smooth surface  makes them easier to clean. The surface takes a while to cool, but most  models have a “hot surface” light.
• Electric coil models are generally less expensive than gas models but  can be more expensive to operate. If spills are wiped up promptly, they  are easy to clean.
Pick Important Features.
• Convection ovens can speed cooking by 25% by blowing hot air around  food, but you may have to play with oven temperature to avoid  overcooking.
• Induction models are relatively new to the United States, but they are kid-friendly because they only heat the pot or pan.
• Dual-oven ranges allow you to cook at different temperatures.  Depending on the size of the ovens, you may have trouble fitting in  large turkeys.
• Built-in cook tops mean you can manage multiple pots and pans without having to move aside to deal with the oven.
• Continuous grates on gas ranges make it easier to move pots off of heat without having to lift pounds of boiling liquid.

Research for a Range Hood or Down Draft Ensure your ventilation system is powerful enough to handle your cook  top. If you have a large cook top or (and be honest with yourself)  you’re prone to burning food, a vent hood will help control air  problems, including pulling smoke out of the house. That added power  will also be appreciated when you wake up Saturday after Friday’s fish  dinner. The ventilation system should receive plenty of attention while  you’re planning your kitchen renovation.

Research for a Microwave Ensure the microwave you pick for your kitchen renovation is large  enough for your needs. If you enjoy microwave popcorn, small units often  won’t allow a large bag to completely pop. A model with a turntable  helps food cook evenly, and some models also use convection. Models that  have preprogrammed buttons for freezer meals or popcorn can save a few  seconds but should be tested to ensure they cook to your liking.  Over-the-range models save counter space but are harder to manage while  using the cook top.

Research for a Dishwasher Noise, speed, and efficiency are three important considerations for  researching dishwashers. Energy star rated appliances will save both  water and electricity, but ensure prerinsing isn’t required, which will  negate some of those energy features. Like refrigerators, you can add a  panel to a dishwasher to match it to your newly renovated kitchen  counters. In addition, you can use multiple dishwashers or half  dishwashers to stay on top of multiple meals or dinner parties.

Ready for Your Kitchen Renovation?

Are  you ready to renovate your kitchen? Update colors, get new appliances,  or build on for more room with the country’s most-experienced team of  home remodelers. Find a local kitchen renovation company near you today. Our remodeling and design specialists are ready to help.

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