16 May 2012

Planned kitchen obsolescence?

Our house was built in 1962. It is a "split-Colonial", whatever the heck that is. The house was built during the heyday of teeny galley kitchens in nicely-sized houses (and let's not even mention the size of our master bath...). It isn't a generous space, isn't a "cook's kitchen", and is NOT set up for more than one cook at a time. Not a social kinda kitchen.

We renovated the kitchen in spring 2003, because we had to. Some of the drawers in the cabinets would literally fall out if they were pulled out too far. Note that "too far" was a little more than halfway. I nearly lost a foot to the silverware drawer one night. When the contractor pulled off the countertop, the entire lower cabinet section fell in pieces to the floor. He had no idea how it had been held together. I will admit that the appliances were new -- purchased by the son of the owner in order to make the house sellable. The whole family was a bunch of cheapskates based on the quality of the work that had been done to the house over the years (they owned it from ~1965-2000, when we bought it). The dishwasher was the cheapest model that Sears sold at the time. The fridge was pretty close to the bottom. There was a teeny little wall oven. The only nice thing was the cooktop -- a flat radiant heat cooktop that worked well.

So we decided on a budget for the renovation and made some cuts to keep the costs under control. I think we went about $50 over budget, which was great. What was not great were some of the decisions that I (fine, *we*) made to control the costs. We kept the white linoleum floor, which was a reasonable, but not pretty, choice. However, it's still in decent condition, even 9 years later. We went with white cabinets instead of wood, which I regret. We didn't get the cabinets with those fancy no-slam drawers. I regretted that decision too, because I did slam a drawer once, and the face fell off (not my face, you silly readers, the drawer's face). TheHusband was highly displeased. Instead of solid granite countertops, we used granite floor tiles and have a tiled look for the countertop, as well as the backsplash. (It cost ~$400 instead of $3000). I hate the way it came out. The contractor did a good job on it, and it looks just as he said it would. But I had buyer's remorse within the first week. TheHusband said that I had to live with it, but that we could replace it after 10 years. I agreed (crabbily) and am looking forward to getting new countertops next year.

We chose well-rated appliances that were middle-of-the-pack appliances based on cost. The only item that was more expensive than should have been was the fridge. I really, really wanted the upside down refrigerator (freezer on bottom). The drawer-type freezer has turned out to be highly annoying, as I can never find anything in it. But that's a different issue.

A bit over a month ago, the diswasher died. So we bought a new one. I don't like some aspects of the new one, but, boy, is it quiet. Two days ago the microwave died. Why it couldn't be the fridge that died, I don't know. Is there some sort of planned obsolescence about kitchen appliances for the 9-10 year mark, nowadays? Mind you, my grandparents are using a 30-something year old dishwasher. Things were made better in the good old days (said in crotchety-old-lady voice).

I wonder if I can convince TheHusband to get a new fridge this weekend, too. Nah, didn't think so. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

1 comment:

Xine said...

Last December, our fridge started to act up - water dripping from the freezer into the fridge (top freezer model, somewhere between 15 and 20 years old). Some of the door shelves were getting cracked. So we figured was time to start looking around. Andrew did manage to fix the drip, so we weren`t desperate. The catch was, once we started looking, well, you know, there were these really nice gas ranges beside the new fridges. And Andrew has wanted a gas range since forever.

We decided, at the time, to wait and manage, not wanting to spend the money on a new fridge and stove at the time.

Well, come January, Andrew got fed up. We went out, found a reasonable sale and thus have a new gas range, and a new fridge (bottom freezer drawer, top fridge with two doors). We`re happy with both.