Buying New Appliances---Oh My!
I have been reading this board for quite a while and am alarmed at the prospect of replacing many/most of the appliances in our 21 year-old kitchen.
We have a nice, but modest, home. Our appliances are slowly dying and, if they hold on until then, we plan to start replacing them next spring/summer. I'm trying to do my homework and getting more and more confused.
Is it really true I will pay much more for my replacement wall oven but cannot use the self-clean feature (exploding doors, ruined electronics, etc.)?
Is the average dishwasher cycle really two hours??!! I'm sure whatever DW we buy will be quieter, but two hours?
It's scary to think we will be paying much more for appliances with much shorter lifetimes.
We will not be buying high-end, professional appliances. We have neither the budget nor the room for those in our kitchen. We are hoping to replace counter tops and sink in the kitchen, as well as all, or most, of our appliances---might be able to get another year or two out of the refrigerator---but keeping the cabinets.
We're facing the following decisions: 27" wall oven, with a separate microwave in the wall above it. Trying to find something that will fit in the space and work reliably. I get such conflicting reports about different brands, I'm beginning to wonder if it really matters which one we choose.
I thought I wanted a Kitchenaid DW, but I'm still a bit afraid of the fire issue. Maybe just follow our local appliance shop's recommendation of Jenn Air? If we buy a Jenn Air package of wall oven, cooktop, and microwave, we can get the DW free. That would leave money to buy extended warranties which are backed by the local shop. I like the local shop, we have bought there before, they have been a fixture in our community for decades, and they have a good reputation. Maybe better to go with their recommendations with the extended warranty than try to shop around at different places (i.e., Sears/Best Buy) trying to save a few dollars. Over twenty years ago, when we bought our appliances from the local company, we got our appliances at a price that was competitive with any competition in the area. Plus I like the idea of supporting local businesses that have treated its customers well.
And speaking of cooktops, I know there's almost 100% agreement here that no one should buy a downdraft cooktop, but we really have no option. We are replacing a downdraft Modern Maid cooktop and there is no way to provide other venting without a VERY major reno of our kitchen. While I would love a brand new, reconfigured kitchen, it's just not possible or practical to do so, and I'm content with the layout I have now---even though I know it could be improved, it works for me.
Finally, my refrigerator is surrounded by cabinetry on all sides and must fit into a space just a bit more than 68.5" high and 36" wide. I forget right now how deep, but I have to be careful about being able to open the door completely with an island nearby. Oh, and I do NOT want icemaker or water/ice in the door, if I can get it without.
Anyone else feeling overwhelmed after reading so much information about various appliances? Twenty-plus years ago, I did my reasearch and went into the store with model names and numbers to reasearch and ended up making my selections from that list once I saw the appliances in person and got more information at the stores. Now the more research I do the more uncertain I've become.
Is it just information overload, or are others finding the same problem?