When and how to pick appliances when remodeling a home or building a new home

There is often a question about who buys the appliances for your new kitchen and when to buy them.

Appliances are a very personal choice so almost all owners want to shop for them and choose them.  Ideally you can find what you want and provide the “cut sheets” or specs to your architect and/or contractor.

Typically a contractor will say that all appliances are Purchased by Owner and then either installed by the dealer or by the contractor.   When installed by the contractor they should charge an installation fee that is based on the difficulty of installing the particular appliance that you’ve chosen.  The cost of the installation will vary based on the appliances.  Generally speaking much more expensive appliances carry more liability as the contractor carries it through the house and installs it. If they are installing it and they scratch it then they are responsible to fix it or replace it.

Many an architect and contractor have ended up with an unwanted refrigerator by making a mistake in specifying the size or when installing it.

The best practice is to have the appliance dealer do the installation.  Most appliance dealers offer this service.  The contractor typically is happy to hand this work off to the dealer too.  Plus, as the owner, if you pay the dealer directly for the appliance and installation then the contractor doesn’t charge the 15% markup for overhead & profit (OH&P).

The best time to pick your appliances is during schematic design.  That might be a year or more before your they are needed. You don’t have to purchase them at that time.  Small changes in the appliance size can cost thousands or more to retrofit.

We have had contractors move walls to accommodate a refrigerator that “saved” the owner money because it was on sale.  Moving the walls was over $1,000 in effort and it ended up costing the owner more in the long run.  Planning is everything!

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