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#Faith s Kitchen Renovation: The Confusing Journey of Buying Kitchen Appliances

Last we checked in with my kitchen renovation, we were wrestling IKEA cabinets  and installing them with (ahem) sex bolts. (See all the posts about my kitchen renovation so far here .) Now I'd like to take a step back and talk about a process that should  be sexy but is actually fraught with confusion, uncertainty, and a lack of resources: Buying kitchen appliances.

Read on to see how we navigated the overwhelming process of buying appliances, and to see what we picked out. I'll talk about how buying a range top can actually save you money, as well as our one amazing Craigslist find!

A note! Thank you to all of you who emailed asking WHERE THE HECK ARE THE REST OF YOUR RENOVATION POSTS. I'm so sorry it's taking me so long to get to the big reveal. My camera had an accident and is in the shop. I hope to get it back, and to finish off my photos and the rest of this series, in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for your patience; I totally appreciate your interest!

Appliance Shopping: It's Like Poking Around in the Dark

Last summer, at the beginning of our renovation, I found myself in a pickle. On the one hand, I had an exciting situation: I needed an entire set of new appliances. We had sold the old dishwasher and gas range to the folks who bought the house's old kitchen cabinets. So we were starting from scratch, and that was a little thrilling.

But let's be honest: I had no idea where to start. Buying appliances is challenging, overwhelming, and expensive.

I often said during the appliance buying process it's ironic that people will read copious reviews and do so much market research on small electronics and other household items like mixers, radios, and speakers, agonizing over the final decision. And yet some of those same people will spend thousands of dollars on a high-end range after they've done little more than twiddle the knobs in the showroom. There are no good websites to read reviews and compare/contrast different appliances, and you usually can't try out an appliance for a month before deciding whether you want to keep it, more's the pity.

So how do you invest in a new appliance? How do you really know whether an appliance is right for you? You go on word of mouth, reputation, and price, which explains why many appliance manufacturers put so much into marketing. And then you take the leap and hope it all works out. Can a stove or a dishwasher ever be anything more than a really expensive yet somewhat arbitrary purchase?

Those were some of the things running through my mind over and over as we began our appliance hunt, searching for not just one new appliance, but five.

Delivering the appliances — an exciting day.

The Budget

I like to think of myself as a frugal person who makes judiciously expensive purchases when warranted and justified. I knew that kitchen appliances wouldn't be cheap, unless we scavenged on Craigslist and bought used, probably unmatching, appliances. This seemed a penny-wise and pound-foolish approach, since used appliances usually don't come with warranties; and when going to all the trouble and expense of building a new kitchen, it seems only right to kit it out with well-working (and beautiful) appliances that would, I hoped, last for many years.

Today I'll walk through each appliance and our decision process, and explain what we ended up with, and how.

Later this summer I will revisit and review each of these appliances to share how they are working out, after six months of use.

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