French Door Fridge - Issue opening it???

dpusaFebruary 6, 2013

Hey all

We are building a home and noticed that as the cabinets are going in that the space where the french door fridge will go has a wall next to it. In the other similar home that the builder built, the wall only extended 6-8 inches from the end of the cabinets but ours looks a lot more. Do we need the wall cut away?

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I wasn't able to understand your question. Are you asking if the opening to the adjacent room should be larger? That shouldn't necessarily be determined by the refrigerator but by the overall layout of the spaces.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:39AM
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I just notice that your question was in the title to your post. There will not be a problem opening the doors but some refrigerators require that the door be opened more than 90 degrees in order to remove interior components.

You need to find out the clearance your refrigerator requires for component removal and the door handle and and give that information to the contractor or kitchen designer.

The clearance will at least need to allow the refrigerator to be removed without removing the baseboard.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:52AM
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Thanks Renovator - I guess I was concerned about being able to open the fridge and whether removing some of that wall while we are in construction would open up the space too?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:25AM
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I would be concerned with opening the left (as you face it)side door, your handle will probably hit the wall, at least that is how it looks from the angle and space.

I have a side by side and when I open a door I take it past 90 degrees so it is easily accessible. If you have kids, I would think the left door will be getting banged up by the wall when they fling it open.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Thanks Laura - that was our worry too. Looks like i need to see our GC ASAP!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:42AM
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I have a SxS and it sits near a corner. I have 5" between the fridge and the counter and that is barely enough. If it was a wall, instead of a counter it would not work, as the wall would block the handle, which in my case has free/open space above the counter.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:05AM
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It wouldn't work with my french door fridge. I need to open the doors past 90 degrees to be able to pull out the fridge drawers to clean them. It's also a lot easier to see everything if you can open the doors all the way.

I would cut the wall away so that the fridge doors stick out in front of it and nothing more. That will give it enough clearance... What's on the other side of the wall now? just a hallway?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:14PM
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When we built our first house I had the exact same problem. I had a side by side frig and couldn't get the freezer door all the way open without pulling the whole darn frig out.

About twice a year, I did that and cleaned it well. It was a royal pain.

The mistake wasn't realized until it was too late.

Fix it now.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:15PM
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I'm another one who had the exact same problem. Fortunately my GC was smarter than me on this one, as he caught it at the design stage. We shortened up that wall, so that the doors could fully open.

Now that I am living with the french door fridge, I love it - but I wouldn't have loved it if I couldn't fully open both doors. There are several drawers in there that wouldn't easily come out for cleaning otherwise.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Put a broom closet or pull out pantry between the fridge and the wall. An actual KD would have caught this and you wouldn't be faced with trying to fix it on the fly. The other issue besides the door opening is if the wall is even slightly out of plumb or has the baseboard molding applied to the fridge cubby. Then the fridge may not even fit in the cubby.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:06PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with the others...ours need to open more than 90 to pull drawers out and that would't happen esp with the generous handles we added as ours has the cabinet front.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:35AM
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So ... similar question ... how much space is needed on the wall side of the door? Would a 12" pull out provide sufficient space?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:52AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I trust you have already selected your appliances...most kitchen designers will not finalize until they have the specific make and model of appliances so they know they are properly accommodated. You should go to the store where you're getting your specific unit and look at the manual or talk to the appliance sales person to get the details for your particular unit as they do vary.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:48AM
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It's brand and model specific to each refrigerator, but usualy is more of an issue to free standing fridges rather than built ins. There is no "generic" answer. Read your appliance specs and make sure your KD has a copy as well. In general though, it's always best practice to have some type of cabinet between a fridge and a wall. That can be a 9" broom closet or a 12" pull out pantry or even larger cabinets. The important thing is to be sure that the depth of the adjacent wall or cabinet works with YOUR refrigerator type and style.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:32AM
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You could even put a filler strip there between the cabinets and the wall. 4 or 5" should suffice. I am not sure taking out the wall will help unless you bring it all the way back to the side of the fridge. As mentioned before, you may not be able to open the drawers at the bottom of the fridge if the door can't open more than 90 degrees.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:37AM
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We have a french door next to a wall so we did a filler strip as well- 8 inches- but our fridge is sitting in our rental garage so we went out and measured how wide the door needs to swing to open. I agree it is a problem that needs fixing! We just visited some friends who have the same issue and they can barely open on side of the fridge. That would drive me nuts.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:07PM
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