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Really perplexed on Appliance Package
Old 03-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
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Really perplexed on Appliance Package

Going nuts trying to decide on appliance package. I just moved into a house that needs all new appliances. I have gas for a stove. I want stainless steel for the "look", but I'm really not into cooking beyond basic stuff (to stay alive), so expensive stoves do not interest me. It is depressing trying to decide which appliances.

Most reviews for appliances on Consumer Reports are bad reviews. Kenmore is made by one of any of the major appliance manufacturers. I don't want to spend a bunch of money if I can help it. I lean towards Whirlpool strictly for the reliability issue, though they sorely lack in style and attractiveness. I wonder in the gas stove for instance, if the single grate is a good or bad thing.

Appliances used to last a long time. But newer appliances don't seem to last that long according to what I have been reading and my last experience buying new appliances in my last house. My GE stove only lasted about 1 1/2 yrs. before needing a major repair. My Samsung refrigerator after 3 years needs new door seals. The cost of the appliance looking at Consumer Reports does not insure reliability, which makes me think it is foolish to spend a lot on any one appliance.

Any insights or considerations I should be thinking about before I take the plunge?
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter
Going nuts trying to decide on appliance package. I just moved into a house that needs all new appliances. I have gas for a stove. I want stainless steel for the "look", but I'm really not into cooking beyond basic stuff (to stay alive), so expensive stoves do not interest me. It is depressing trying to decide which appliances.

Most reviews for appliances on Consumer Reports are bad reviews. Kenmore is made by one of any of the major appliance manufacturers. I don't want to spend a bunch of money if I can help it. I lean towards Whirlpool strictly for the reliability issue, though they sorely lack in style and attractiveness. I wonder in the gas stove for instance, if the single grate is a good or bad thing.

Appliances used to last a long time. But newer appliances don't seem to last that long according to what I have been reading and my last experience buying new appliances in my last house. My GE stove only lasted about 1 1/2 yrs. before needing a major repair. My Samsung refrigerator after 3 years needs new door seals. The cost of the appliance looking at Consumer Reports does not insure reliability, which makes me think it is foolish to spend a lot on any one appliance.

Any insights or considerations I should be thinking about before I take the plunge?
Wow, you have had some bad luck Modhatter. When I bought my brand new home 10 years ago, I got an electric stove, fridge, and dishwasher altogether for under a $1000, ( a cheap Kenmore set). They have the fake looking stainless steel, but it looks like it to me. The only thing I have done to any of them is wipe them clean. I have great luck buying cheap. My $200 dryer and $250 washer I bought over 15 years ago are still purring right along. So I am not an advocate of paying much for appliances. In fact the only thing I will go top of the line on is a mattress.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:52 PM   #3
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Wow, you have had some bad luck Modhatter. When I bought my brand new home 10 years ago, I got an electric stove, fridge, and dishwasher altogether for under a $1000, ( a cheap Kenmore set). They have the fake looking stainless steel, but it looks like it to me. The only thing I have done to any of them is wipe them clean. I have great luck buying cheap. My $200 dryer and $250 washer I bought over 15 years ago are still purring right along. So I am not an advocate of paying much for appliances.
+1. That sounds like my setup.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:54 AM   #4
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I used GE appliances in the development homes I built for 6-7 years without callbacks or problems. Obviously your experience was different.
I will say that the big box appliances are constructed to a different spec, (read cheaper) than the true appliance stores. I did not believe this for a long time but do now.
Good luck with purchase. I would look at direct GE or other mfgs in an appliance store to have that relationship when/if things fail in a short period of time.
I have middle of the road appliances and love them.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #5
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I'm not impressed with current appliances either. In our 10-year-old home we've replaced a Sears gas clothes dryer (18 months!) GE dishwasher, GE over-the-stove microwave, and stainless kitchen sink with a porcelain one. And in the next two months we're going to have to buy a new central A/C. The old stuff may not have been as energy efficient but they sure chugged along for a lot longer.

Apparently major appliances are now disposable.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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Consumer Reports generally has a reliability by brand bar chart with every appliance report. I'd check that out.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #7
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I put GE Profile appliances in the last home I built. They had to replace the refrigerator twice, the oven twice, the microwave died after three years, only the dishwasher is still running.

I had also gone with an LG washer/dryer set and had issues with the washer after just two years.

Next house, went with Frigidaire Gallery series appliances. Much less expensive and absolutely no problems at all after almost 4 years now.

I've been told that the higher end the appliance, the greater the risk of problems because they simply don't make enough of them to realize the engineering efficiencies achieved when selling millions of them. In other words, many of the lower end appliances are much more reliable than upper end.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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Any insights or considerations I should be thinking about before I take the plunge?
There's no denying that vetting new appliances is tedious and frustrating, but in our experience & opinion, there's no better way, and it's been worth it for us. YMMV.

Vet each appliance separately, and try to narrow your choices of each appliance (stove, fridge, etc.) down to 2 or 3 finalists that you'd be satisfied with (if possible). If there is one clear winner head & shoulders above the rest, go for that one.

For price only, web-based stores may have the best deals, but shipping & hassles may outweigh them. If you're in a metropolitan area, you may be able to get a deal on 2 or 3 appliances (even if different mfrs.) at a local appliance store. IME that's not possible with big box stores. YMMV.

One good thing about a bad economy is that it's often a buyer's market.

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Old 03-02-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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I'm usually able to fix most stuff myself, but when I do buy a new appliance I use the old rule of thumb "you get what you pay for". (within reason of course) However, when possible, I also try to stay away from to many fancy gadgets unless it's a feature I really want. They just cost me more money and can cause more problems down the road.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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We are also assembling a package. From our current LG washer and dryer we are inclined to go with that brand. We have previously ordered from fullhouseappliances.com and it seems considering tax and shipping its still hundereds under local sources.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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I just ordered a new stainless gas range, refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher and built in microwave. I relied on the Consumer Reports Jul 2012 appliance issue mostly, I also didn't want to spend a lot, so their best buys were appealing. We went with all GE to match for resale, even though we know that's not necessary. Our current appliances are all 15-20 years old, mostly GE, no issues with any of them. Spent $3186 (almost half fridge), could've spent less, could've spent a LOT more. YMMV
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #12
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Three years ago we bought our home that was 20 years old. Gutted it and replaced the kitchen in total. New cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc . At the time we were being cost conscious while wanting looks. We went with stainless steel but not the same mfgs. Samsung French door fridge, Kenmore electric slide in range/oven, Kenmore dishwasher and GE Profile microwave. This is the high end stainless look. I think we spent $4500 which included a garbage disposal for our new sink. Big sale! We're happy with the choices and bought extended warranties at reasonable prices. Just this week we had a service call on the fridge which turned out to be nothing. The service man talked to me about the electronics on the appliances. One problem with the electronics and you just spent the extended warranty cost. I'm opting for $200/yr for the extended warranty on the appliances. I sleep good.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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We are in the middle of a total kitchen remodel. Read lots of reviews and finally went with all LG including a counter depth fridge all based on looks. Approx $5K for the four pieces. Granite countertops yet to be installed.

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Old 03-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #14
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When I searched for my appliances about 2 years ago, I found some great steals at the Sears Factory Outlet. It was during their Labor Day clearance sale - items marked down an add'l 25%. Meaning I bought a model closeout Frigidaire dual fuel range (original list price $2,200) for just $750! (although this was about 2 years ago, when the economy was still in the crapper). I believe it was previously bought and returned, but it was obviously never used. It didn't come with the owner's manual, but for that price, I could live with it.

Also picked up my dishwasher there.

Do some searching around your city for scratch and dent places. There's one company that has 2 locations in my city that buys truckloads of these, and sometimes they presell most of the truckload before it even arrives! You can get great deals on some that might have a tiny scratch or other cosmetic defect (many are either too small to even really see, or are on the side where you'd never see it).

Also check Craigslist. Some of these scratch and dent places advertise on there. Or check your local Lowe's/Home Depot for some. Model closeout sales might not be big right now, if possible wait for towards the end of the year.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:34 AM   #15
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We remodeled about 2 years ago and ended up going with Kenmore (fridge, propane stove, microhood and dishwasher). The fridge is made by LG and the dishwasher by Bosch.

While we've generally been happy, they don't make 'em like they used to. Our Kenmore/LG fridge died last week and needs a new compressor (warranty is only one-year) so that's gonna cost me ~$400-450. On one hand I'm not happy to have to have such and expensive repair so soon, but on the other hand I got a pretty good deal on the set of four ($3,100).
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #16
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I did check Consumer Reports of course. What their ratings don't include in their recommendation is the repair prone issue. It you click on a link at the top of the screen you can pull down a reliability tab. The good or bad reliability rating are not included in the recommend lists. So their ratings are based solely on new working appliances and how well they work when they are operational. I think they should include the "repair issue" as one of their criteria in the column. But I suspect tracking each individual appliance's repair record would be tedious, so I understand why they just lump them together.

For instance LG makes some nicely made and attractive appliances, but has the worst track record on repairs. Samsung side by side refrigerators are very repair prone. Also they state in a separate article, GE are very repair prone, but make good stoves. Whirlpool is the clear winner in reliability pretty much across the board, but is not the most attractive line.

I don't know how you can buy an appliance package for $1,000. Three years ago I was able to buy a package for about $3,000 with a smaller refrig. Today, I can't walk out the door for less than $3,400 before tax (8.1%) Of course the gas stove adds a couple hundred to the price. I haven't even addressed the washer/dryer to that figure. That's another $1,500.

And as another poster mentioned, price does not predict reliability in appliances. In fact in most cases, it's just the opposite.

Spending more for good furniture, clothes etc. usually insures it will last longer. Even more expensive TV's tend to last longer. Not so on expensive appliances. Also, I agree with another poster. I think they are building new appliances today to be disposable. I have never seen so many complaints (one star) for appliances before. Everyone complaining about their new appliances breaking down right away or within a short period.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by modhatter
I did check Consumer Reports of course. What their ratings don't include in their recommendation is the repair prone issue. It you click on a link at the top of the screen you can pull down a reliability tab. The good or bad reliability rating are not included in the recommend lists. So their ratings are based solely on new working appliances and how well they work when they are operational. I think they should include the "repair issue" as one of their criteria in the column. But I suspect tracking each individual appliance's repair record would be tedious, so I understand why they just lump them together.

For instance LG makes some nicely made and attractive appliances, but has the worst track record on repairs. Samsung side by side refrigerators are very repair prone. Also they state in a separate article, GE are very repair prone, but make good stoves. Whirlpool is the clear winner in reliability pretty much across the board, but is not the most attractive line.

I don't know how you can buy an appliance package for $1,000. Three years ago I was able to buy a package for about $3,000 with a smaller refrig. Today, I can't walk out the door for less than $3,400 before tax (8.1%) Of course the gas stove adds a couple hundred to the price. I haven't even addressed the washer/dryer to that figure. That's another $1,500.

And as another poster mentioned, price does not predict reliability in appliances. In fact in most cases, it's just the opposite.

Spending more for good furniture, clothes etc. usually insures it will last longer. Even more expensive TV's tend to last longer. Not so on expensive appliances. Also, I agree with another poster. I think they are building new appliances today to be disposable. I have never seen so many complaints (one star) for appliances before. Everyone complaining about their new appliances breaking down right away or within a short period.
My appliance package keep in mind is 10 years old that I bought for $1000. But, still I am sure I could go under $1500 easy now for the three. A low budget maytag w/d combo was on sale this week around $550, but I will go with a cheaper brand for around $500 if and win mine ever goes out. Personally my opinion is the more the gadgets the more chance it has to break down. Every appliance I own in my house are cheapos, all between 10-15 years old all without a problem. But, I do understand, buying appliances mean different things to different people: form, function, aesthetics all come into play differently for people and that is fine. I have to be honest, I get as much enjoyment spending money on them as I do paying for gasoline. Maybe I am just lucky. I would be extremely upset if I bought nice appliances and they were wearing out on me in a couple of years like some posters here have unfortunately had to deal with.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:28 PM   #18
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I did check Consumer Reports of course. What their ratings don't include in their recommendation is the repair prone issue. It you click on a link at the top of the screen you can pull down a reliability tab. The good or bad reliability rating are not included in the recommend lists. So their ratings are based solely on new working appliances and how well they work when they are operational. I think they should include the "repair issue" as one of their criteria in the column. But I suspect tracking each individual appliance's repair record would be tedious, so I understand why they just lump them together.
That's odd. I don't have an online subscription, but the CR July 2012 Appliance paper issue (from my local library) that I consulted provides "Most and least reliable" by appliance by brand in great detail. The refrigerator section even shows separate reliability charts for top freezers, side-by-sides and bottom freezers. The range section separates gas and electric. I thought it was most helpful, in addition to the individual performance ratings.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:48 PM   #19
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I have found that the weak point in appliances is the electronics. Bosch, Frigidaire gallery, Maytag & Amana have all failed for me due to electronics. These are units that are all between 12 and 7 years old. Older appliances do not contain as many boards, etc, and can survive until you tire of them. Otherwise, the units I mentioned work well and have nice features, but no matter the brand, the pc boards seem to be the failure point. gas cooktops usu. only have ignition switches even now. Ovens have boards.

I would think it was very tough to beat $3k for a kitchen full of any brand these days unless you went used.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:18 AM   #20
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Avoid high-tech gizmo whenever you can. If possible, I would pick analog over digital ones, or mechanical over analog ones. For instance, laundry washer is laundry washer. It doesn't use ultrasonic wave from generator heads for cleaning. Why do they come with fancy digital display with "smart" brain inside? For those surface mount circuit boards, repair would be almost impossible once they're broken or fried.
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