Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

How to Buy the Best Kitchen Appliances

by Allison Millar
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Kitchen appliances are a major investment in the look and function of your kitchen. They range from the most basic, inexpensive options to models sporting high-end finishes and the latest high-tech gadgets--and price tags to match their gee-whiz factors.

While there are many appliances you can buy for your kitchen, ranging from ice makers to wine cellars, you will most likely have these three: a refrigerator, range, and dishwasher.

Refrigerators come in a wide range of sizes and styles. The first thing to consider is what will fit best in your kitchen. Do you have special size requirements, such as a need for ample room due to a large family or space limitations that require a shallow counter-depth? Today, you can buy a generous, well-equipped refrigerator for less than $1,000 with these features: slide-out glass shelves, temperature controlled compartments, and a stainless steel finish. Special features push prices up: refrigerator drawers, for example, will add style and convenience, but they'll cost you more.

Stand-alone ranges come in electric and gas, and some higher-end "duel fuel" hybrids offer gas stovetops and electric ovens, to accommodate gourmets. Generally, ranges come with four burners. But the more expensive you go, the more burners--and options, such as a middle griddle or built-in grill--you can get. Demand for luxury appliances has pushed lower-end range makers to offer such features as warming drawers, big knobs, and stainless steel finishes, without the hefty price tags.

If you have an open floor plan, the sound level of your dishwasher is something to consider. The more expensive a dishwasher is, the quieter it usually is--and often that luxury is worth paying for. A stainless steel interior adds to cleanliness.

With all kitchen appliances, be sure to take energy efficiency into account. Check for an Energy Star rating.


About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer. She has been a writer of home improvement columns for 15 years. Her articles have appeared in numerous national newspapers and magazines, and on home improvement web sites.

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