Replacing appliances is a major part of most home remodels (especially kitchens and laundry rooms). There are a near endless array of options available to suit most budgets, but is it worth spending the extra money on premium, high-end appliances like the offerings from Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Thermadore?
For the most part, when people purchase premium or luxury appliances, they do it for one of several reasons.
For these reasons alone, high end appliances are worth it if your budget allows and the value of your home is commensurate with the cost – i.e. people expect to see them in million dollar homes. But there are other things to consider as well; is it just you in an apartment/condo or do you have a family in a house? Do you eat out all the time or do you cook a lot? How much you will use a certain appliance should dictate how much money you spend on it. You’ll want to spend more on a high-end appliance if you’re going to be using it all the time in order to mitigate maintenance costs down the road. So here’s what to think about with each appliance.
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This mainly involves consideration of your lifestyle; what do you eat? How often are you home? What do you cook? How many other people live in the house? If you’re buying organic food for a family of five and you cook almost every night of the week, then you’re going to need a top-of-the-line, dual-door, dual-drawer, dual-evaporator, spare-no-expense refrigerator that can keep up.
The features of any appliance are important to note. For example, most refrigerators have just one evaporator, or compressor unit. This limits the length of freshness of your food. Two compressor units will keep all that organic food you buy fresh for longer, thus bringing down grocery costs. It’s things like that which make one refrigerator cost hundreds of dollars more than another. But that extra money spent on the refrigerator will mean less food going to waste and less money spent at the grocery store.
This Marvel six foot tall refrigerator comes with FreshFlo freezer shelves, metal framed glass shelving and LED lighting. Conveniently priced at $15,469. Other high-end brands, such as Thermador, come in the double-door fashion with a bottom-drawer freezer, which is a very popular style. The possibility of custom door sizes is what draws most people to Thermador, as a refrigerator that fits seamlessly into your kitchen makes for optimum space-saving and a sleek design.
It’s possible to spend $500 or $5,000 on a new washer/dryer, so it’s important to assess how much laundry you usually do. Many expensive ones are larger, have more settings and are more flexible (throwing clothes in after the wash has started, color bleeding prevention and quicker wash or drying cycles). You can get front loading ones, stacked ones, matching ones; the possibilities are almost endless.
Even if you are living on your own, the more expensive washer/dryers are a great option because you never know when you’re going to need to get a stain out of your shirt right before a business meeting. The capability of washing and drying that shirt within a half hour, plus the reduced need for maintenance, means the up-front costs will pay for itself in the long run.
Dishwasher technology has advanced exponentially in just a few short years. Many now come with the capability to scrub off even hardened stains, and can safely wash pots, pans or baking sheets. These capabilities are vast improvements over where dishwashers were even 10 short years ago, and have greatly reduced water usage.
The Miele Professional model costs $5,699 and can perform up to 40 cycles a day. Even if you use it six times a day, six days per week, it will still last you 13 years. Most people, even those with large families, use it once or twice a day, so this truly could be the only one you ever purchase. Viking added dishwashers to its lineup of luxury appliances, which is available in customizable panel designs, along with an adjustable top rack, which means those tall wine glasses will now fit.
You probably don’t need something with a dozen burners and a three-foot wide griddle, but even if you’re living by yourself there are many things to consider when purchasing a new stove/range oven. Cook time, pre-heating speed and durability matter, especially if you host holiday parties, and the more expensive sets can help with all three, rather than just one or two.
Of course it is possible to have two ovens stacked on top of each other in one part of the kitchen, and the stove/cooktop in the other. Whether you want gas or electric, or even a dual kind, is something to consider as well.
Wolf, perhaps the most well-known high-end cooking appliance brand, has cooktops, oven ranges and stacked built-in ovens from which to choose. From chocolate chip cookies to prime rib and everything in-between, the even cooking of anything you put in a Wolf oven is what makes the extra money worthwhile.
When it comes time to upgrade the appliances, evaluate your usage. If you’re going to be using something all the time, then a more expensive product will usually cut down on the need for maintenance later on, thus saving you money in the long run. Annual maintenance costs can be rather high if your appliance is faulty, so saving money now does not necessarily translate to saving money down the road.