Kitchen appliances are great… until they don’t work anymore. At some point, the time will come when a hob, fridge, or oven has reached the end of its life. Then it’s time to find a new one to replace it. But how should you set about doing this?
There’s more to do when you set out to change a kitchen appliance than simply buying a new one. You need to get plenty of specifications right, from the size to ventilation needs and electrical supply.
Wondering what to do first? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you – but there are a few things to keep in mind, so how about we go through them together?
Before you change a kitchen appliance
Start by measuring up in your kitchen. This feels very obvious, I know, but I can’t stress how important it is to be as exact as possible.
Ovens and fridges, for example, need ventilation, so it’s crucial that the new model you buy isn’t too big for a housing, if you have one. At the same time, you don’t want it to be too small, because that won’t look good.
So get out your measuring tape and get to work. Once you’re done, it’s advisable to repeat the process and take the dimensions again, just to confirm that they’re correct.
Of course, when you change a kitchen appliance, you also have to get it into the house. What do I mean by that? Make sure your appliance fits through your doors and ensure you can navigate around any corners or, if applicable, up the stairs. You’d be surprised at the shock many homeowners get when their space is too narrow for a bulky appliance.
Why should I check this?
Because, while you can take doors off the hinges if it’s a *little* tight, you can’t magically make a super-sized range cooker fit around a tight bend or through a slightly narrower door. And you probably don’t want to knock through a wall, either…
120i range cooker in Fandango Pink, £10,800, Everhot.
If you’re not on the ground floor, check the floors are strong enough to carry particularly heavy models, such as (once again) an extra-large range cooker. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so check with a structural engineer.
When you change a kitchen appliance, don’t forget to check the right services are in place. Make sure you’ve got the right electrical connections, for example.
For example, if you’ve selected an American-style fridge-freezer with a water or ice dispenser, you’ll need to decide on whether you want a plumbed-in model or one that needs refilling with water. If you want an easier life, option A would be a good shout – but these designs will need access to water mains, so bear that in mind.
The next steps
So you’ve established the dimensions, taken stock of all available mains services, and you might have an idea of the kind of design you’re after too.
The next step to changing a kitchen appliance is, of course, to actually pick one. Browse in store and online, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions – you can’t be too prepared. Many showrooms will regularly hold cooking demonstrations, and you might even be able to try out different hobs during a standard visit.
And yes, I recommend taking your measuring tape along. It might feel weird at first, but five seconds of feeling awkward are much better than realising your new appliance won’t fit into its dedicated spot.
Double-check any necessary considerations – such as, once again, ventilation space – before you 100% commit to changing an appliance, and then sort out installation.
If you’re unsure in any way, always call in the professionals. Yes, a freestanding fridge-freezer is basically plug and play, but things like the feet might need adjusting.
Of course, there are appliances you should never replace yourself. A gas hob is the prime suspect here – unless you’re a gas safe engineer who knows what they’re doing, it’s hands off for you. It’s a matter of safety, so let the pros handle this.
How to change a kitchen appliance: the epilogue (aka what to do with the old one)
Excuse the dramatic heading, but if you’ve made it down to here, you’re now probably left with only one question: how do I get rid of my old hob, oven or fridge…?
Clearly, you can’t just put it in the bin, but where else can it go?
When you set out to change a kitchen appliance, always – always! – ask if the retailer you’re buying from offers a recycling or disposal service. If they do, they’ll take your old model away when they deliver the replacement, so you’ve got peace of mind.
These services might be free or require a small fee.
If this service isn’t offered, there are still a few options.
First of all, if you’re simply upgrading and the appliance is still in great shape, why not pass it on? Give it a good clean and either donate it or put it up for sale on websites such as eBay. Someone is sure to offer it a new home, and you’ve solved your problem too.
But if it definitely is at the end of its life, it’s time to take it to a local recycling centre. Also check with your local council, as they might offer a pick-up service to make life easier.
Featured image: X BO oven, from £5808, Bora.
Now you know how to change a kitchen appliance, why not view the latest appliances from Milan Design Week?