New Home Appliances: A Design Priority

by Jon Nunan

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When remodeling a kitchen or laundry room, the appliances you choose will have just as much (if not more) of an impact as your new counters, flooring, and fixtures. In fact, appliance replacement is the one aspect of these rooms that will play a role in every facet of how the roof functions as a whole, from appearance, to comfort, to performance. Though you don't necessarily need to design your kitchen or laundry room around your appliances, they should be the items you consider first, since their impact on the space will be more noticeable than nearly any other facet of the remodel. Making the right appliance choices will leave you with a space that is as comfortable to be in as it is attractive and efficient; the wrong choices, however, will leave you with a space that is soon obsolete or prematurely dated.

Appliance Replacements That Fit
A major appliance replacement is not something to take lightly. Large appliances like refrigerators, ranges, and washing machines are extremely expensive, so you want your investment to go the distance. However, having a workhorse of an appliance is not as appealing if it doesn't look good where you put it! For this reason, when you are planning an appliance replacement as a part of a larger remodel, it is important that you find the model you will purchase early; this will allow you to create a space that is cohesive rather than a kitchen or laundry room that looks like it was outfitted at the last minute.

Another thing you should be careful about when planning appliance replacement is going too "fashionable". While the look of an appliance might look extremely contemporary right now, new advances in the next decade could quickly make that piece looks less than appealing! Remember, the same goes for the "far-out" features some appliances come with. While some innovations will be around for a long time, there are many "innovations" that present themselves every few years that wind up severely dating the appliances that included them.

Efficient Appliances: Replacement that Pays Off
Today's remodels focus on efficiency in addition to attractiveness, and nowhere is this trend more apparent than in kitchens. If appliance replacement doesn't enhance the efficiency of your home, you're doing something wrong!

Though fridges have gotten larger, microwaves have gotten more powerful, and ovens have more features that were ever imagined a few decades ago, each of these appliances has also gotten much more efficient. By choosing replacement appliances that carry the government's Energy Star label, you will reduce energy consumption and your monthly utility bills at the same time. Many major brands have a wide selection of Energy Star approved appliances, so there's no limit to the options available for your new space. Not only does energy efficient appliance replacement offer you immediate savings on your monthly bills, it also prepares you for any hikes that may come in the future!

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Appliance Installation Services
Some homeowners would rather hook up their own appliances, but appliance installation services are a must for any large purchase for reasons you might not expect. In many cases, professional appliance installation services are preferable for safety issues, but even more important is the role professional installation may play in your warranty. Remember to check out the warranties as you replace your appliances to see if professional appliance installation services are required to keep the warranty in place. While some homeowners are perfectly capable of hooking up anything their appliance will need to function properly, some manufacturer's warranties will recommend professional installation. Conforming to all of a manufacturer's guidelines may seem like a pain, but when it comes to warranties, safe is better than sorry!

Appliance Recycling
Just as appliance replacement should enhance rather than detract from your home's overall energy efficiency, the way you dispose of your appliance should also be environmentally conscious. In many areas, appliance recycling is available for nearly everything you're likely to get rid of. In fact, some companies who sell appliances will include removal of old appliances and transport to an appliance recycling center in the bill. The local landfill is no place for your old fridge or stove, especially when appliance recycling is an option; make sure that your remodel beautifies the space inside your home, but don't let it detract from the appearance of the outdoors!

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.