First Home, First time appliance purchases, Help please!

Zoey_BNovember 5, 2012

Hello everyone. My husband and I are purchasing our first home, and we need to purchase appliances. The current appliances are 'Caloric' brand (never heard of them!) and there is no fridge at present.

Due to budget constraints, we have to stay in the lower tier of pricing for appliances, but still want stainless steel. Our new counters are 25" deep, and the spot for the stove is 30" wide.

We visited our local Sears Outlet for scratch and dent counter-depth refrigerators and are pretty sure we can come up with something to stay in budget, but for the stove I was checking out the KitchenAid Architect 2 series KGRS308BSS.

Anyone have this stove or that style? Our musts for a range include gas, 5 burners (one with griddle) and affordable. LOL... not too complicated. I've never used a convection oven, so I'm a little nervous about buying that over conventional, but my mother assures me that my grandmother loved her convection counter-top appliance (she had an electric stove) and she's heard nothing but good things about them.

Any thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated, as we're also looking to purchase an OTR microwave and dishwasher, both stainless as well.

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I had the KGRS807SSS (four burners) and I loved it, so if you're asking whether KA makes a good range, in my opinion, they're fantastic.

Here are a few things to consider about the model you're considering, though. My oven controls were on the front panel with the burner controls. On the model you are looking at they are on the backsplash panel. I don't love the idea of reaching over my burners to use the oven controls. Also, regarding 5 burners - you're never going to be able to use all 5 at once well. It's still a 30" range, and there's only so much room. That central burner is going to be far less useful than you think. Finally, the cast iron grates on this model are much slimmer and more delicate looking than on the model I chose. That can be a problem. Cast iron can crack. Replacement grates used to run around $50 per grate.

I have a KA dishwasher now - it's OK, pretty, but not great. My favorite was my base model Kenmore available in SS, on sale now for about $380

Here is a link that might be useful: DW

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Congrats on the house. Caloric is or was a basic builder brand owned by frigidaire The kitchen aid stuff is good but more higher end than maybe you want but if you can get a great outlet or close out deal why not get it. I shop sales and such too. Got a ka French door fridge that was a floor model for 1149 and the original price was 2100. My budget was 1300 so I would have never got the Ka at full price. Best advise is shop for deals be patient with items as you can to find a deal that's right for you and don't be too brand picky In time you will get what you wanted or better As far as dishwashers go there is no need to spend $1000. A good basic one should be about $375 - 400. Don't pay for more features than you think you will use

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:38AM
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We bought our counter depth Frigidaire Gallery FGHC2342LF model at Lowes for $1200 we love it. It's very attractive and works well. We like the in door ice and water dispenser. Previously we had a Samsung RSG257AARS at our previous condo (sold with the condo). It was similar in form and function but cost $2400. So far we are just as happy with the less expensive fridge but we have not owned it very long so I can't speak to longevity.

For dishwashers, I will never again buy a Whirlpool or any line made by the same company (that includes now Maytag, Frigidaire, and Kitchen Aide, possibly a few more!). We had a Whirlpool "Gold" dishwasher in our previous home, the motherboard died at 13 months of age - only 1 month out of warranty! Whirlpool would do nothing for us, not even offer us a discount on a future appliance or the part. The replacement part was $250 plus installation labor. Apparently the same motherboard is used in all the dishwashers made by Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Maytag, KA, etc. and it is notorious for failing.

We chose to replace the Whirlpool with an entry level Bosch SHE43P05UC dishwasher, on sale at a local specialty appliance store for $600. I loved that dishwasher, I wish we could have taken it with us when we sold the place! Stainless inside and out, beautiful, whisper quiet, and everything came out clean, even with very hard water, every time. The Bosch warranty is 1 year complete and 5 years for parts including electronics/motherboard (which makes me feel better about the quality of the electronics).

So when we bought our current home it came with a cheap-looking Frigidaire. It's "stainless look" which next to real stainless just looks silly. Anyway it stopped draining and it appears the pump is dead, and the part and labor to replace it is not worth it for a dishwasher that was not great to begin with. So I am at home today awaiting the delivery of our new Bosch SHE3AR56UC, this time in white, but still stainless inside, where it counts. Our cabinets are white so with the stainless version costing about $150 more, we opted for white this time to blend in with the cabinets.

We had a Whirlpool Gold range at the old place and the new place also came with a Whirlpool range. Ours is entry level and just OK. We'll replace it some day but Whirlpool ranges seem OK based on my experience.

We have an LG washer again model WM2650HWA (we had LG also at the previous home - so happy with it we bought another) and a Hotpoint cheap dryer. I didn't want to pay more for a fancy matching dryer since we didn't need to stack it- this one dries just fine! But I did want the front loading water efficient washer for 2 reasons - it is on the second floor and if the washer ever leaks, FL's have much less water in them so a disastrous flood is not as likely. Also water is expensive in CA and saving water is important, and after the $150 in rebates the LG on sale was actually cheaper than a top loader. This model WM2650HWA has steam and gets things nice and clean, they also solved the issue of smelly washers by putting a magnetic seal on the door so that when not in use it stays slightly open to dry, without endangering children or pets.

It seems to me that you can't just choose one brand for each appliance, few brands make quality items for different applications. So you may want to gather some info on each type of appliance and find the best deal/quality rather than looking for a matched set. They tend to look the same once installed as long as the finish is all real stainless (some are just "stainless look" which is metallic painted plastic and I'd rather have white than that!)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:34PM
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Thank you everyone for your posts!! Very helpful and insightful! We are trying to stay at or around $3500 for all of the purchases, so I appreciate the recommendations. At the end of the day, I want these appliances to look great, but function great and last a long time, so reading your experiences got my googling! :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:09PM
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I got this Gas range from Aj Madison back in April. Frigidaire Gallery DGGF3032K stainless steel, has 5 burns, and a basic convection oven. So far I like it a lot. It has burners of different heat output, including two fast boil burners and the center is oval. The price is still good but they were having a bit better sale when I ordered mine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frigidaire gas range

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions!!

This weekend I purchased all of the appliances, and went straight Kitchenaid. I was able to find a side-by-side brand-new fridge with no dents that was last years model from Sears outlet at 50% off the regular price (score!) and found a great deal on a stove that is a similar model to what EAM posted above.. We went traditional oven instead of convection though, and it's 4 burners, as we decided we really didn't need the center one. Sears had a new-in box clearance display micro-hood that I got a great deal on and the dishwasher was for sale everywhere.

Overall, a pretty good day of shopping, and my city is going to be giving me $300 back in rebates and I qualify for a few hundred back in a Kitchenaid rebate.

Thank you again for your suggestions, it really helped!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:30AM
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Great it sounds like you did well Nice scores on the sales clearance and close out deals. That is how we have to do it to get nice stuff on a budjet.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:36PM
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