Finding the right stove for your needs
Buying a Kitchen Stove
by Debra Karplus
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Your kitchen gas drop-in stove is thirty-five years old, and for a long time, only two of the four burners have worked. You've gotten used to orchestrating your cooking to incorporate the use of just two burners, but the fact that the kitchen sometimes has a subtle gas aroma has caused concern. The appliance store serviceman helps you identify that the electric igniter on your stove is no longer functioning, but because the stove is so old, the replacement part is no longer available. It may be time to replace the stove.
Eating at home is always cheaper than eating out!
Before purchasing a major kitchen appliance, such as a range and oven, you want to scrutinize your kitchen in terms of function and aesthetics and look at the big picture. Designing a practical kitchen with appliances that have features that suit your specific family needs is an investment that will prove to be worthwhile, both while you live in the house and possibly when you sell it.
Though initially it may not appear that you are stretching dollars, you will save money by making whatever changes you need to make your kitchen more functional by making the changes at the same time. Perhaps you need more storage space with additional cabinets or shelving. Or maybe the kitchen needs a brighter look with a new paint job and some more optimal lighting. If you're replacing a stove, consider making these other improvements, too.
Expect to pay more for additional features.
Begin your shopping for a stove by looking online. You'll notice that electric stoves are usually cheaper than gas, but many people prefer gas stoves. A standard width stove is 30 inches, but 24-inch stoves will do the job if space is a problem, and 40-inch stoves are great if you have a larger kitchen. Kitchens with a countertop ranges and wall-mounted oven are trendy and stylish but not cheap. Built-ins cost less, but for most kitchens, a freestanding stove will be a fine choice. Stoves come in different colors, typically white, black, off-white (eggshell), or in stainless steel. White is usually cheapest. Stoves in colors sometimes cost a bit more, but not always. Stainless steel will always add to the cost of your new stove.
If you plan to buy an electric stove, you'll notice that the glass-top models cost significantly more than those with individual burners. And if you choose a gas stove, don't settle for less than electric self-igniting burners and the self-cleaning features. A basic free-standing stove with these features should cost you about $600. A fifth burner sounds nice as does a stove-top grill, but do you really need these added on features? Additionally, you can add to the cost significantly, if you choose to purchase a convection oven. But maybe that's a feature you can't live without. Your oven should last 20 years or more, so maybe in the long run, the additional price may be worth it if you bake often.
The more you do yourself, the more money you'll save.
A new stove can be purchased at an appliance store, home improvement shop, or big box chain store. Prices will be competitive. Stoves often go on sale or offer rebates. So if you're not in a hurry to replace your old stove, then watch for deals.
Your cheapest option is to replace your current freestanding stove with a new freestanding stove. If you have a way of transporting it home, that will save you from delivery charges. Installing your new stove is relatively easy, too. The manual that comes with the stove will give you the step-by-step process. Don't forget you'll need to get rid of your old stove. These days, environmental concerns make the disposal of large items like a stove much more challenging, so plan ahead.
Changing to a different style of stove will add to the cost.
When you shop to replace your old drop-in stove, you quickly discover that it can't be replaced by a comparable model because they don't make them anymore. What to do. Measure the area where your current stove is. Have a competent carpenter come and take a look. Your carpenter will need to cut away some of the counter area so that your new freestanding stove can easily be put into place.
Additionally, if you'll be purchasing a gas stove, be sure that there is a gas shut off behind your current stove. If not, a plumber can easily make the change. After installing your new stove, you may notice that it doesn't fit far enough back against the wall. Possibly the gas pipe is in the way and will need to be moved. That is also a relatively simple task for a plumber.
Most anyone who ones a home will need to purchase a new stove at some point. As you would with any large purchase, shop online, read customer reviews, and talk to friends and family about the opinions of their stoves. You'll be glad you took your time and shopped sensibly.
Debra is an occupational therapist, accountant, teacher and freelance writer. She is a writer for Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners. She also writes for Grand Magazine, has some items (fiction and non fiction) selling on Amazon.com (kindle), has written several travel articles for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and several articles for freelancewriting.com and volunteers as a money mentor for the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension money mentoring program. Learn more about her at DebraKarplus.blogspot.com.
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