Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

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Noobvestor
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Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Noobvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:11 am

I feel a little out of my depth here - have never had to buy more than a microwave to date, and am now in need of a stacked washer/dryer unit and refrigerator in the next week or so. Aside from the dimensions, I'm not working with any particular constraints ... no budget 'limit' per se, just trying to figure out the best 'value for your money' combination and find the range a bit intimidating.

Any specific suggestions (brands or models) or general tips (websites to use for reviews, things to watch out for, typical price range, value/worthlessness of warranties) would be appreciated. I don't want to overspend needlessly, but also would hate to cheap out and buy something that breaks in a year.
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Paulie » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:32 am

Stackables...hummmmmmm
I have had 2 sears top of the line front loader washers and mid range$$ dryers
I know you mentioned demensions were your only restraint so maybe my 2 cents below will help.

If by stackables you mean "all in one" types I would try to stay away because if one goes they both are out of service.I have/had this situation and I am planning now to rectifiy it.
If you are refering to 2 seperate units that stack thats mo better as they are independent of each other.What I will do here as I did in Fl will be to rework the w/d alcove to where the washer is on the floor,front loader super efficient sears, top of the line loved it.
I built a shelf above that high enough to acess the plumbing valves about 12 inches.The dryer which weighs nothing slid right in on that.It worked out great cause it allowed acess to the dryer vent piping,water and also allowed storage on the washer.
Fl and here I was screwed because the alcove was not wide enough to place 2 units side by side they had to stack and I chose front load for more space due to no top loader lid.

In those tight alcove areas I used a piece of indoor out door tight pile carpet cut to the size of the washer foot print and turned it pile side down and put the washer on it.Made sliding the washer in and out a piece of cake.

Cant help on the frig

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Alskar » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:24 am

Noobvestor wrote:Any specific suggestions (brands or models) or general tips (websites to use for reviews, things to watch out for, typical price range, value/worthlessness of warranties) would be appreciated. I don't want to overspend needlessly, but also would hate to cheap out and buy something that breaks in a year.
I usually go to Consumer Reports for appliance reviews. They don't always have the same priorities, but I trust their reviews and they haven't steered me wrong yet.

In 2003 I bought a Frigidaire stackable washer and dryer (gas) for an apartment I own based on the reviews in Consumer Reports. Appliances change too quickly for my experience to apply to yours, but so-far the only thing I've had to do to them is to replace a knob on the dryer that an overzealous renter twisted too hard and broke.

I've found Lowe's pretty hard to beat on price and their delivery service was superb. Getting good sales help is quite another matter.

Consumer Report had a big appliance review just in the past few months. You can access their reviews online for a fee or read the magazine at your local library.

EDIT: I missed the fact that you were looking for a refrigerator as well. I've had a Samsung RF266xxxxx for about 3 years now. Love it! It has chilled water inside (not in the door) and an icemaker (not in the door) so it is relatively efficient yet full-featured. A friend bought a newer model of this same unit (LED lighting inside now!) last December and loves it as well. She thinks it is one of the best purchases she ever made. Consumer Reports gives this frig a great review. It is a so-called "French Door" model (two doors on top and a bottom freezer drawer). I bought my Samsung RF266 at Lowe's and so did my friend.
Last edited by Alskar on Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by bungalow10 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:31 am

For the fridge - do NOT get a standard side-by-side. Get a french door or a top/bottom configuration, but not a side-by-side.

Also, water or ice in the door is nice, but it often breaks. An ice-maker in the freezer is a safe bet though.

PS - search Craiglist. You can save $100s.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by ZANDMAN » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:25 pm

I had a stacked washer/dryer and loved it. But, beware of its weight! Mine was so heavy, it could only be moved safely by professional movers.

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by FlyHi » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:06 pm

I had a Bosch stacked washer/dryer. Stay away from this brand, nothing but trouble.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by englishgirl » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:24 pm

The best value is going to be buying white, standard sized appliances. Stainless steel appliances are often a couple of hundred dollars more. But they look pretty, and for my fridge it was stainless steel or nothing. That thing is on display 24/7 and all the other appliances in the kitchen are ss. I got a "French door" unit with the freezer drawer below (it's an LG). Much better than my old side-by-side fridge! It does have ice and water in the door - I've always read how these aren't reliable, but I really haven't had a problem. And getting filtered water right from the door is SO much more convenient!

I will say that in a small space, you should prioritize quietness.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by bungalow10 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:37 pm

englishgirl wrote: Much better than my old side-by-side fridge! It does have ice and water in the door - I've always read how these aren't reliable, but I really haven't had a problem.
I have an LG (Kenmore brand, made by LG) french-door, bottom freezer. Water in the door hasn't worked in years and years. It decided to break while we were out of town and flood our kitchen. It was about 2 years old when this happened.

I won't buy ANYTHING LG ever again.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by gerntz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:47 pm

You must have high ceilings to put a fridge on top of a washer & dryer. :sharebeer

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Noobvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:12 pm

Thank you all so much for the feedback so far - good leads but also great tips on what to avoid and/or worry about.

@Paulie: really good point re:the "all in one" types being "all or nothing" when they break. I do not have space for a side-by-side solution, but could definitely see DIYing the washer-on-floor, dryer-lofted-above solution. Had not even thought about that! We have *plenty* of vertical space (high ceilings, even in the closets) so as long as the controls are reachable this could work with a front-loader.

@Alaskar: I am thinking about signing up so I can see the reviews or stopping by the library (how did I forget that was possible?! Sigh) - since I am getting two (possibly three, now) things, this seems worthwhile. Noted re:Lowes as well - just bookmarked them and started browsing the options there, including the Samsung Samsung RF266/267's :)

@Bungalow: I don't know that I've ever seen the french door/top/bottom configuration until now in real life - I assume the advantage is that the freezer space feels more accessible from the top down, rather than trying to fit things narrowly in and pushing them back? Am also checking Craigslist, though I fear for un-warrantied issues that could crop up :S

@FlyHi: no Bosch - noted. At Lowe's the options seem to be GE and Maytag, with the former getting better reviews, though I'm now thinking too about Paulie's two-separate-unit solution.

@EnglishGirl: we're trying to match black and stainless for the kitchen, so I think we're going to have to go with stainless on that front too. Sounds like the consensus is: freezer drawer below! Really good point re:quietness - and this is not only small but *very open* loft space, so I'll be looking at that with every model we consider (very good tip).

@gerntz: actually, the ceilings *are* high enough that we could actually physically stack all three of these things on top of one another. How quickly I would die trying to retrieve coffee creamer and socks, however, is another matter entirely :(
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Anecdotal evidence ?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:35 pm

Nobvestor:

We have a stacked Kenmore washer dryer about 8 years old. It has been very satisfactory.

Having said that, it is dangerous to rely on anecdotal evidence. Check Consumer Reports.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Alskar » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:38 pm

Noobvestor wrote:@Bungalow: I don't know that I've ever seen the french door/top/bottom configuration until now in real life - I assume the advantage is that the freezer space feels more accessible from the top down, rather than trying to fit things narrowly in and pushing them back? Am also checking Craigslist, though I fear for un-warrantied issues that could crop up :S
(
Forgive me, but I'm an engineer and can't stop myself: I've wondered for years why bottom freezers aren't more popular than they have been. From the point-of-view of efficiency it makes more sense to have a bottom drawer than a top door. Cold air is heavier than warm air. When one opens a top door freezer all of the cold air "falls out" and descends toward the floor, making the freezer work harder to keep the contents of the freezer cold. With a bottom freezer drawer, the cold heavy air stays in the drawer when opened. Obviously, there is some heat gain from opening the drawer but it is less than it would be if there was a door.

Bottom-freezers appeal to my sense of optimal engineering. For me personally, I also find it easier to root around in the drawer than to root around in the back of a top-mounted freezer. It also puts commonly accessed items like milk higher off the floor which makes it easier to get things out of the refrigerator as well.

French-Door refrigerators rock!
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by mlipps » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:37 am

One thing I'd recommend in a fridge is checking the filter replacement costs. A couple years ago, I rented a place w/a GE side by side, and I was excited for the in-door water dispenser/ice maker (hey, I grew up poor, we never had anything fancy like that!) Then I looked in the back, pulled out the filter, and found it was covered in red mold. Checked online, they were $42 and had to be replaced every 3 months. Filled my Brita pitcher and pretended the whole thing didn't exist, although, people still used it during parties, despite my warnings not to...

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by bungalow10 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:48 am

mlipps wrote:Filled my Brita pitcher and pretended the whole thing didn't exist, although, people still used it during parties, despite my warnings not to...
Slight threadjack, but we use an under-cabinet filter made by 3M Filtrete. It hooks up in line with the plumbing to the kitchen faucet. The filters are $18-30 (depending on model) and last six months. Completely unobtrusive, easy to install, and filtered water is at your fingertips for drinking or cooking. We are super happy with it, and highly recommend it.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by englishgirl » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:02 am

mlipps wrote:One thing I'd recommend in a fridge is checking the filter replacement costs.
And timing. I think most require 6 month filter changes, not 3. The LG-style filter seems to be a comparable price to the GE-style filter so there's probably some filter pricing racket going on somewhere.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by bru » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:03 am

All my appliance purchases have been Kenmore. It's what I grew up with so I gravitated to them. Kenmore is made by other manufacturers and I believe both my refrigerators (over 21 years) and washer/dryer (21 yo and counting, knock wood) were made by Whirlpool.

Regarding style of fridge I've always purchased top freezer. Bottom freezer is the most energy efficient but believe it or not certain styles predominated in regions of the country, mine being top freezer. This has changed somewhat but still when you look in a store here they show very few bottom freezer models. In my first house I inherited a side by side (Montgomery Ward). Being single it was ok but other styles have more space.

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Bengineer » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:10 am

Stacked W/D - agreed with the above negative opinions on the all-in-one. Owned two, disliked them both. Stacking front-loaders: many are stackable and an (overpriced) stacking kit is available to mount the dryer on top.

Fridges: Agreed on the quiet. Didn't think of this on an earlier model, kind of annoying. French-door bottom freezers are all the rage here on the west coast. I agree on the bottom freezer, though the "drawer" is more of a face-plate, open top and bottom, so it's unclear how much more efficient it is. I'm all for the bottom-freezer though. Having the coffee creamer at eye-level is a good thing. French doors, not so much. I prefer the single door - simple, self-closes. The french doors are complex and need to be aligned properly. Both have to be opened to get at the lower fridge drawers. Most won't self-close due to the flap that seals between the two, which really annoyed me on the last one. This time around, we did find a Frigidaire that has self-closing doors (meaning they will close themselves from a few inches out).

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by pshonore » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:19 am

I'd be wary of French door models (with bottom freezer) with ice/water through the door. Icemakers belong in the freezer compartment. We bought a new Maytag and it took five service calls before the refrigerator compartment stopped freezing everything. Too much duct work and too many damper doors to route cold air from the bottom freezer to the top located Icemaker.

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Alskar » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:50 am

Bengineer wrote:Stacked W/D - agreed with the above negative opinions on the all-in-one. Owned two, disliked them both. Stacking front-loaders: many are stackable and an (overpriced) stacking kit is available to mount the dryer on top.

Fridges: Agreed on the quiet. Didn't think of this on an earlier model, kind of annoying. French-door bottom freezers are all the rage here on the west coast. I agree on the bottom freezer, though the "drawer" is more of a face-plate, open top and bottom, so it's unclear how much more efficient it is. I'm all for the bottom-freezer though. Having the coffee creamer at eye-level is a good thing. French doors, not so much. I prefer the single door - simple, self-closes. The french doors are complex and need to be aligned properly. Both have to be opened to get at the lower fridge drawers. Most won't self-close due to the flap that seals between the two, which really annoyed me on the last one. This time around, we did find a Frigidaire that has self-closing doors (meaning they will close themselves from a few inches out).
I have a Maytag Duet washer and dryer that I've stacked. The stacking kit for these was really cheap. So cheap that the salesman threw it in for free. However, it wasn't until I got them delivered that I realized that I also really needed a kit to reverse the swing of the dryer door to match the way the washer door opened. The kit to reverse the swing of the dryer door was $150! So the stacking kit was cheap, but the kit to reverse the swing of the door was ridiculously priced.

The freezer drawer on the Samsung RF266 French Door refrigerator is solid. I have seen the type you're talking about. The RF266 is pretty quiet. I don't noticing when it's running like I did on the previous frig I owned.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by af895 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:55 pm

I've had good luck with a Samsung stackable washer dryer pair as well as a Samsung fridge freezer.

In the case of the washer dryer, they were actually made in the same factory as Maytag models, just having a different logo stenciled on. They're front loaders that we have stacked one on top of each other.

The fridge model we got was a Samsung RB194ACRS. The interior looks like this:
http://www.taappliance.com/uploaded/pro ... x400_2.jpg

One thing: though extended warranties usually aren't a good value, you might consider getting one on the washing machine. It's the only device in the home that has to stand up to: heat, water, dirt, chemicals, electricity, and vibration. One service call and it's paid for itself.

EDIT - a couple of points I forgot, one of which was brought up below. 1) energy efficiency - we figure the fridge will pay for itself in under 5 years based on energy saved vs. our old fridge. (we hooked up an inline ammeter - the "KillaWatt" gizmo - it draws about 1/3 the power of the last one) and 2) Samsung human interface. It's like they got Apple to design it - every button and dial is completely intuitive. No manual or decoder ring needed.
Last edited by af895 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by fsrph » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:26 pm

Noobvestor wrote:I feel a little out of my depth here - have never had to buy more than a microwave to date, and am now in need of a stacked washer/dryer unit and refrigerator in the next week or so. Aside from the dimensions, I'm not working with any particular constraints ... no budget 'limit' per se, just trying to figure out the best 'value for your money' combination and find the range a bit intimidating.

Any specific suggestions (brands or models) or general tips (websites to use for reviews, things to watch out for, typical price range, value/worthlessness of warranties) would be appreciated. I don't want to overspend needlessly, but also would hate to cheap out and buy something that breaks in a year.

General tips are buy Energy Star rated appliances. WIll save you lots of $$ in energy usage over the years. Also, check with your power company. Many offer rebates for replacing old appliances. Check what the rebate rules are. For example I recently bought a Energy Star Fridgidair refrig and to receive the rebate the electric company contracted with a recycling company to remove the refrig. If I told Lowe's to remove the old refrig when delivering the new one I would NOT have received the rebate.

Francis
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by Noobvestor » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:35 pm

Just want to say thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. Thanks to feedback, I (among other things) broadened the scope of my research to include stackable washers/dryers and went with that solution instead of a built-together pair in case one unit breaks. Found a well-rated discounted last-year's-model pair for slightly more than the combined solution would have cost, but of higher quality and worth the extra money I believe. I will also be buying a water-filter bypass for the fridge so I don't have to worry about replacing (or forgetting to replace) filters on the fridge.
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:38 pm

I typically use Consumer Reports when choosing appliances. I've found that they're not infallible but are the best source available.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by joe8d » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:56 pm

Also, check with your power company. Many offer rebates for replacing old appliances. Check what the rebate rules are. For example I recently bought a Energy Star Fridgidair refrig and to receive the rebate the electric company contracted with a recycling company to remove the refrig. If I told Lowe's to remove the old refrig when delivering the new one I would NOT have received the rebate.
Yes, Just bought new refrigerator from Home Depot last week. National Grid will give me $30 and haul away old one for free. Refrigerator must be running,be at least a certain size,been operating in garage or basement for at least 6 mo :wink: and you have to wait at least a couple weeks for pickup. Also, ask store if they can give you a better price. always gets me at least $50 knocked off on appliances.
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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by stupidkid » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:06 am

+1 on the Samsung RF26XXX. I picked a floor model up from Best Buy two years ago, saved a couple $100, and it's a great design. I got the "platinum" over SS as SS smudges and platinum looks close enough to my other SS appliances. I specifically did not want water/ice on the outside due to the possibility of problems reported here and elsewhere. I really like the french door/bottom freezer design, and as the engineer commented before, it just makes more sense. I'm relatively tall and I never understood why someone would design a fridge so all the commonly accessed stuff is two feet below your eye level so you have to stoop to root around and find things. The french door samsung has warm LED lighting, a good layout and everything is right at my hands. The freezer capacity is great, I fit a 1/4 cow in it last fall, 150 lbs of meat, plus other things.

I have an old integrated stacked washer/dryer unit that I've been thinking about replacing. To the other comments here, I would stay away from the integrated versions, as stated, if anything breaks both are out of commission. I've been looking at the washer/dryer combo machines, just put your laundry in and walk away. They seem more popular in Europe than here.

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by SurfCityBill » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:38 pm

Already been said but I'll re-iterate. Check Consumer Reports particularly the information on frequency of repair. I almost always choose an item based on it being on the lowest or close to lowest end of this chart.

-B

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Re: Buying First Appliances [Stacked Washer/Dryer + Fridge].

Post by mrpotatoheadsays » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:40 pm

Another vote for Consumer Reports... I used it to purchase my appliances. Samsung HE front loader and dryer (both with steam) and Samsung refrigerator (bottom freezer). They were all highly rated and fair in price. I got them all on sale: washer and dryer from Best Buy and frig from Sears. Also have a Samsung HDTV.

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