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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being a military family, we move fairly often. Most moves we bring our appliances with us, but this past move we sold the appliances with the house for a variety of reasons. Soon we will be in the market for a new fridge, stove and microwave. My husband insists on having an ice and water dispenser in the fridge, and since the whole family uses this healthy feature, I'm all for it as well. We are willing to pay more $ for higher end appliances, but not willing to go for the "home commercial" or even commercial versions. Our last fridge was a Whirlpool (Kenmore) side by side fridge which was okay, we had little issues with the operation of it, but I don't care for the freezer in a side by side. I find it too narrow and prefer a wide freezer, but could live with the side by side again if need be.

For the stove, I don't like flat tops, I prefer gas but if there's no gas hookup at this new house (there was an electric stove installed and so we're assuming there's no gas but may look into getting a gas h/u put in), then we go with a higher end electric oven, possibly convection if the price is reasonable compared to the non-convections.

I find Sears is good for service, and their sales are very good, especially if you get a scratch and dent sale. But there prices are probably on the high side compared to others. I'm sure there's other options out there. I quickly checked on sears.ca and nothing caught my eye except for the Bosch refrigerators which were stainless steel or stainless steel "looking", and we don't want stainless.

For a washer and dryer, I know the model and brand (front loading) that is reliable, and easy to fix (DIY) if something does break, so we have no problem buying these second hand for a deal.

After that long babble, my point was to ask other CMF users, how do you go about purchasing major appliances when the time comes?
 

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I shop exclusively at the scratch and dent sales - that usually means Sears Outlets for us. I have upgraded our refrigerator and washing machine in the last few years, and that's where I shopped. My mom thinks it is slightly scandalous that my dryer doesn't "match" my washer but c'mon, no one but me ever looks at it anyways!
 

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I go with places which offer best price, service and delivery. I don't have the correct vehicles and manpower to move appliances, so they need to come from somewhere setup to deliver.

If I had to buy a new fridge I would definitely go with the type that has the freezer at the bottom. I hate having to stoop down every time I go into the fridge for common things. The average fridge user uses the top once for every 10 times they use the bottom. I would rather bend down to the freezer once than bend down for the fridge 9 times!
 

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I find appliances kind of have to match the house. High end appliances might be worth it in a high end house you're staying in for good, but being military we move and they'll get dinged up or sold anyways. I bought new 3 years ago and had to sell or store for the posting to Europe. Not worth storing so I sold to a friend. I have amazing quality appliances in Germany (Bosch and Constructa) built of much better material and less gimmicky (just functional useful settings, and solid quality material). I'll be looking for dent sales in Canada until I'm done moving, or used from military. There always seems to be military selling appliances for a good deal like me
 

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My random thoughts for appliances...

I usually get most of my appliances at Sears because I have found they have the best selection, service, delivery, and they will match all competitors. The exception for us was the dishwasher, as they did not do the hook up, and home depot had the same model, and did. I have been really happy with Sears, that over the years.

For a washer, we went with front load, it's cheaper in terms of energy efficiency, and we went with one that held the most, as I tend to save up my laundry into a few piles as possible. We didn't need alot of features, and except the sanitize, as for us, we just had a second baby when our washer died.

For the dryer, we went with a large load, high effiecency, and it was one of the cheaper models. Were told the less bells and whistles you have on a dryer the better and less likely hood of it breaking down. So we went pretty cheap for this, and it's workd fine.

Refridgerater - we did want the water ice function, but it was really expensive to hook up because of where our fridge is. Also, keep in mind if you do get the water/ice feature, this is the one time consumer report recommends getting the extended warrenty because these are a higher likely hood to break down, and they are expensive. We went with size, and effieciency. I don't like the side freezers because of the narrowness, and would have like a botttom freezer drawer, as occasionally I do get pelted by falling frozen goods. However, because we have really young kids, we went with a freezer on top, as the little ones could get their stuff more easily, and less likely of the ice cream a frozen stuff being raided, or thrown out of the freezer.

Stove - we went pretty basic. However, next time, this is where i would spend more. We would get the flat top (I hate the coil, as I always over flow my cooking), and the convection is a great feature. We would also get the one that has the duel oven, so you can cook two dishes at different temperatures, as we do alot of entertaining.

If you like Sears, shop around for the best price, and then get them to match it. Also, sometimes you can get a little bit of a deal if you get everything from the same place.
 

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LOL, freezer at top or bottom depends on age and height of kids.
In our house, a bottom freezer will get raided and all the ice cream plundered before we even know it.
Lol. I never thought about that.

Our appliances aren't that old, but I'll make sure my kids are good and tall before buying a freezer-on-the-bottom fridge.
 

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I'm going to need new kitchen appliances soon (stove, fridge, and dishwasher) and my main concern is quality. I've read several different places recently that most appliances aren't being made to last as long as they used to be. I don't mind paying more if I'm getting better quality, but how do we know what brands meet that condition? At my age, and assuming I'm able to stay in my one-level rancher-style house for the rest of my life, I want to buy good quality and know I'll never have to replace them again.
 

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American consumers have driven state of mainstream appliances - lots of useless features and cheap cheap cheap. There are still high end brands, but will probably be a premium. Another reason appliances don't last anymore is the high efficiency means light fragile parts. High efficiency, low price, low reliability but you can just replace them every 5 years, funny that isn't a concern for the environment? My 2007 Maytag dishwasher had to be replaced because they were burning down houses just to fill the consumer craze for cheap junk. Maytag is not what it used to be
 

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Do new appliances really not last that long?

I bought our refrigerator, washing machine, and kitchen stove in 2002; they're all still in great shape and I've never had to do a single repair on any of them in the past nine years. The fridge is a high-efficiency Energy Star model from Whirlpool; the stove and washing machine are Frigidaire. All standard models, not premium but not the cheapest of the line either.

As for finding reliable models, I just check Consumer Reports (or the French-language analogue in Québec, Protgez-Vous) and read their reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
From a previous long term relationship where my partner was a commercial appliance repair tech, I learned that, although consumer reviews are helpful, to also either talk to the people who service appliances or check DIY repair websites to find out how often these appliances are needing repair, as well as finding out any recall/defect notices etc. It's what attracted me to a particular brand of front load washer and dryer, no electronics on it at all (avoid electronics if at ALL possible on major appliances!), and DIY repairs are a breeze. Plus parts are relatively inexpensive. We've p;urchased a set for dirt cheap as the lady had them in a storage unit and no one else wanted to buy them without seeing them operating. :)
 

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With some appliances, you can actually pay more in electricity costs over the lifetime of the appliance than you do for the appliance itself, so it pays to get energy-efficient models.

As far as consumer reviews go, I always take those with a grain of salt because some manufacturers will hire people to post favourable comments and reviews; I try to stick with reviews from Consumer Reports, etc., although even those are problematic because the appliances aren't reviewed based on long-term performance but rather short-term tests.
 

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as it happens i need a new fridge so brad's rec is just great !

he said energy star model from Whirlpool, does that ever save a lot of time.

thanx brad i hope you don't mind sharing or mind somebody piggybacking on your careful research.
 

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Excellent point about reviews brad. Kind of reminds me of digital camera reviews online. They all basically read the same, neutral language, it looks like they are afraid of being sued so they write reviews that are descriptions rather than real reviews. This is getting to be a big problem even with comments sections on websites, where various spin doctors post their rhetoric, which then passes as public opinion even though no actual person said that or had that opinion.

Two ways around this:

1. Talk to people you know and find out what specific types they are using, get their opinions, word of mouth, ask about delivery and take-away of old units etc, service, price, all that stuff. just be careful you're not being "buzzed" -- you want to talk to real people who don't care which brand or type you actually buy.

2. go online and google for problems (ie. "brand x problems" or "problems with brand x item y"), read discussion FORUMS where average unpaid people are talking about actual experience. Average unpaid commenters tend to be a lot more liberal with what they say and aren't as worried about company lawyers as big-name websites.
 

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thanx brad i hope you don't mind sharing or mind somebody piggybacking on your careful research.
Happy to help, but please keep in mind my "careful research" was conducted in 2002 when I was shopping for my fridge. Nine years have passed since then, and doubtless many things have changed. So if I were you I'd still do some research!
 

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When we built we bought all the appliances from Sears on the "don't pay for one year" plan with a 10% discount for getting a Sears card. We set aside the GST rebate on the house and collected the interest/had the use of the money for 6+ months before paying them off in full in the 12th month. Of course if you miss that payment date you can be in for a real shock! I don't think I've used that card in 5 years now.

We did have a small problem before a long weekend within a month of moving in and they didn't want to send out a tech to fix a $15 ignitor, 10 minute job, for our gas drier because the part wouldn't be in town until Friday afternoon. A possible advantage of buying all at once was that I was able to walk in to the showroom, find the manager and inform them that if we didn't see someone to fix it we would return everything based on the lack of service. We were able to do laundry that weekend. It wasn't Sears, but the independent repair tech they contracted that decided that we could wait.

Our appliances are simple, we do have energy efficient gas models. No complaints.
 

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My appliances have just celebrated their one year birthday. I *love* them. I do virtually all the shopping, putting away, preparation, cooking and clean up in my house so my appliances are very important to me and I don't mind paying for quality and for features that make my life easier.

Our fridge is french door with a bottom mount freezer. Awesome fridge. My son still needs the stool to reach stuff in the fridge, but he adapted and, hopefully, he'll grow. We went with the icemaker but not the water feature. Love the ice maker, keep in mind that if your new house isn't already plumbed for the icemaker/water feature that the basement ceiling needs to be unfinished/accessible to hook it up.

My range is a double range self-cleaning convection. I use the smaller oven 80% of the time. It also uses less than 1/2 the energy of the full oven, so even though it seems like an expensive feature it pays for itself quickly.

My d/w is pretty standard - but uber quiet, which is important, because in our house the diswasher is close enough to the family room that if it's not quiet it would be a problem.

A few months after we bought our appliances, some manufacturers came out with the double drawer dishwasher - a dishwasher with two pull out drawers instead of one big door and two levels. You can wash both drawers or just one at a time. If this had been available when we were looking, I would have gone for it since there are lots of times when I really want to turn the dishwasher on (if we are out of cutlery or something) but it isn't full enough so I wash by hand. This would also be a great feature for young families who have baby bottles to sterilize.
 
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