July 2020

APPLIANCE & ACCESSORIES: HOW TO BUY AND MAINTAIN FOR YOUR HOME

After a few years of renting a fully furnished apartment, you and your family are now ready to move into a new home with more space. The family is growing. The kids will soon need a room of their own. Apart from upgrading into a modest home, you have finally decided to purchase rather than rent. It is a big leap, but you say it is now or never.

Now is the time to make plans. Since you will be leaving behind a rental apartment, including appliances and furnishings, you have to plan the appliances and furniture you should be purchasing now. Planning includes listing down which appliances and furnishings are critical at the moment. It also involves determining how much money you need to allocate for these purchases. The task at hand is daunting because you have to weigh a lot of things, including your current budget, needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

To help you plan, here is a list of what you must consider before going on an appliance and furniture-buying spree:

Stick To Your Budget

There are a host of brands and models out there. And you must admit, it is difficult to resist the urge to look for brands that offer the most modern and sleek models. Make sure you do not give in.  Stick to what you can afford. But this does not mean making do with a low-quality brand and end up calling an appliance repair Frisco company, just two weeks shy of the warranty expiry date.

If you need a whole line of kitchen appliances (fridge, cooktop, dishwasher, washer, and dryer), you might get discounts by buying them from a single retailer. Another good thing about buying in bundles is that most of these appliances will carry the same look. You do not have to worry about uniformity and seamlessness.

The same goes for buying furniture. You can postpone buying expensive dining sets for now. There are a lot of stores that offer discounts too on furniture that have slight scratch or dent. If you think the markdown price far outweighs the cost of repair, then go ahead and purchase that center table.  For a minimal amount, you may restore a slightly damaged carpet that is selling at a discount. You can also build simple shelves using wood planks and brackets. Be open to restoration and DIY ideas. It could save you from spending on brand new furniture and home accessories.

Measure Your Space

Jot down the measurements of your kitchen space. These numbers will guide you when buying appliances.  Most cooktops and dishwashers come in standard dimensions, but there are appliances, a refrigerator, for instance, come in several sizes. When allocating space, you need to consider two aspects – the spot to fill in with appliances (including cords and cables) and that you leave open for airflow and traffic.

Furniture like beds occupies much space. When buying beds for your little ones, consider a double deck. Allocate the extra space you save for study tables as well as closets for toys, books, and other personal items. Measure the dimensions of the bedroom for kids. Make sure there is enough headroom for a double-deck.d bed if you are planning to buy one. Do not be too sure about standard bedroom floor to ceiling heights. While there is a standard that is followed by builders, it would not hurt to take out your measuring tape to get the actual room dimensions.

Another important consideration is the size of your doorways, halls, and stairways. Make sure that the delivery staff will have ample space to walk through and bring in your newly purchased appliance and furniture without causing damage. These people have years of experience in moving large appliances and bulky furniture. But space constraints are beyond the control of even the most efficient of movers. 

Utilize Online Reviews

Some find it hard to rely on online product reviews. But bear in mind that there are trusted sites that conduct rigid tests on appliances in the market.  These groups disclose which are sturdy, reliable, and cost-efficient. They practice transparency when reporting negative feedback after testing a specific brand, make, or model. 

Reviews serve as a guide. You will still have to practice prudence and common sense when using the information they publish about certain appliances that you are planning to purchase. You can also read feedback from customers on the brand you are eyeing. But be wary. Most consumers leave reviews when they are frustrated about a product bought. They often outnumber those who are happy and seldom share positive experiences. In the end, it is up to you to decide which reviews are credible and which ones are simply out to bash.

Reviews and feedback may also include the availability and affordability of replacement parts. Always look into this aspect because you might one day deal with parts replacement. 

Ask for Advice

Parents, friends, and coworkers are a great source of advice. They have been there and done that. A parent may offer you hand me downs meantime that you are building a family. They may offer their relatively new dishwasher. They can be empty-nesters who do not see a need for a dishwasher. Doing the dishes by hand may be more practical at this point in their lives. Friends who have been homeowners longer than you have can give you expert advice on the best retailers they have been a client of for years. They can even refer you to a salesperson who has earned their trust. Colleagues or coworkers may share with you experiences about a brand or product which you are eyeing at the moment. They know which appliances last longer and cost less to maintain.

Remember, asking for advice from friends and family is free and will not cost you a cent.

Consider Your Personal Needs

Do you have health concerns? Although you do not belong to the generation of baby boomers, you and your spouse have specific needs. For instance, if you have lower back issues, and you do avoid bending too much, why not purchase a fridge with the ref section at the top and the freezer section at the bottom. That way, you do not have to bend over to get items from the ref many times in the day. 

If your space is cramped, get a washer that opens at the top. Are you a multi-tasker? You might want an induction stovetop equipped with a timer. Induction stoves are also popular because the risk of catching fire, unlike gas cooktops, is low to none. When you have young kids around, you will also want these features available to you.

Also, If you have small children or pets in the house, expensive furniture regularly exposed to bumps and scratches may not be too smart a move. Avoid buying furniture that has delicate surfaces. Instead of buying dining tables and center tables made of wood, why not opt for glass tops. They are easy to maintain and will not scratch easily.  Buy glass tops with curved ends or edges. That way, you protect your children and even pets from accidentally hurting themselves with sharp corners.

Do you often have guests who sleepover? If so, get a daybed or a sofa that can is convertible into a bed. It is a practical solution when your home does not have a guest room.  

Read All Warranty Clauses

A lot of buyers make the mistake of just looking at the warranty period and stop from there. Do not ignore the other stated policies. Know what your rights are as a consumer. Understand the responsibilities of manufacturers and retailers.  Determine the situations or events that are not covered by the warranty. 

It is typical for manufacturers to limit warranties (on parts and labor) to up to a year from the date of purchase. You don’t have to go for an extended warranty period as this feature calls for an additional cost on your part. 

Buying appliances, furniture, and accessories for your home may be stressful if you have a lot of things to consider. After all, you are not buying stuff for yourself alone. Your spouse will also have a say on which ones are wants and which ones are needs. You may have a different take on these two. Your children, though young, have a voice too. It’s good to involve them in some of your discussions. They may be young, but they can also be a source of fresh ideas. 

These ideas about buying appliances, furniture, and accessories for your home will help you through this exciting journey. Decisions about purchasing whether they be big-ticket items or not will have an impact on your budget and your family as well. Make a smart choice. Don’t rush. Wise decisions should not be in haste. Take your time, plan, ask for advice, and weed out the wants. If you do this, you will be happy with your choices!