Tag Archives | new appliances

Upgrades in the kitchen

We’re just getting all sorts of new things here at the Toburen household! Last week I introduced Audrina, our new sofa. Well, as if that wasn’t enough excitement, we also had to go out and buy all new appliances! Now, don’t judge…let me explain.

We were really glad when we bought our house that all the major appliances conveyed, but they were pretty mismatched. We had a freezer-on-top white fridge, a black dishwasher, and a black and white range. Seriously, I do not know which it was supposed to be.


Not to mention that our microwave was all the way on the other side of the eat-in area.


We’re planning to do a full kitchen remodel in the future, but that’s not going to happen for a while. Since appliances are a large part of that budget, we figured we may as well keep an eye out and replace them one at a time as we found good deals. Our goal was to stay under $2000 for all 4.

So I’ve been watching Craigslist for over a year now…with no luck. Dishwashers all seem to have leaks, the stainless ranges look cheap (I wasn’t opposed, but saw them often and figured I’d wait to see if anything better came along), french door fridges are rare, go really fast, and usually have something wrong with them, but are still listed around $1000! And I never see over-the-range microwaves in working condition. I was getting discouraged. And then I got an email from Home Depot about Black Friday appliance deals.

And that’s how we ended up with these: a Whirlpool stainless steel french door fridge


A Whirlpool Gold stainless steel dishwasher


With the buttons on the top! Which I love!!


And a stainless steel Samsung electric range with convection oven and over-the-counter microwave with sensor cooking!


Aren’t they pretty? Home Depot and Lowe’s both had some serious sales that actually made these brand new appliances comparable to the used ones on Craigslist. After a little hesitation, some scouring of Craigslist, and a trip to the scratch and dent store to evaluate prices, we realized we were not going to get deals like these anywhere else! We already had the cash saved in our designated “house fund” (which is also our kitchen fund), so we decided to go for it!

At normal prices after tax, we would have spent a total of $3,992 for these 4 appliances!! Here’s what we actually spent.

  • Refrigerator: $998 (normally $1699)
  • Dishwasher: $398 (normally $599)
  • Range: $698 (normally $999)
  • Microwave: $198 (normally $319)
  • $21.96 for some add-on part needed to install one of the appliances (can’t remember which)
  • Less 5% discount (to compete with 5% off using Lowe’s credit card – ask about this at Home Depot! They have a specific code to scan for it!)
  • Less $100 discount for spending $2000-$3000 (special promotion running at the time)
  • Plus 9.75% Tax

TOTAL: $2,302.84

But we’ve also already sold our old dishwasher for $175 and our fridge for $165 (which will all go right back into our house fund), effectively making our total…$1,963! Under $2000 like our original goal for used appliances!

I suppose we would have gotten the 5% discount off the full-prices (making it $3793), but even still we saved nearly $1500!  I call that a success. Plus, they look so pretty! Here’s the before (including before we tore out that bulkhead).


And after!


For the most part, the appliances were fairly simple to install. The delivery guys brought all the new ones in and all the old ones out, and they installed the catch for the range that keeps it from tipping should weight be put on the door while it’s open (think child climbing onto it). Andrew hooked up the fridge water line…because we have an ice maker for the first since we’ve been married!!


I am way excited about that. We are moving up in the world, let me tell ya. The dishwasher was fairly simple for Andrew to install, too, since everything was already run for the previous dishwasher. The microwave, though, was a bit more complicated. Before, we had this old range hood there along with a tile backsplash that we don’t exactly love.


First, Andrew took out the range hood, and then fished the wires through the wall up to the cabinet above.


Using these wires, he installed an outlet in the wall in the cabinet. We were worried that the microwave might stick out too far and we wanted to give it as much extra room as possible, so we decided to take out the tile and sheetrock behind where it would go.


Andrew carefully chipped out the tiles up until just below where the microwave would hit, took out the drywall…


And then drilled a hole through the bottom of the cabinet for the plug using the paper guide that came with the microwave. You secure the microwave by both mounting it to the wall and screwing it into the cabinet above, so Andrew reinforced the shelf of the cabinet above (before it was only held in place with finish nails!) and installed a horizontal piece of wood between the studs to for the bracket.

Once it was installed, we cut a small piece of wood to fit in the gap, painted it the same color as the walls, nailed it up and caulked the edges.


And luckily, it doesn’t stick out very far at all!


Here’s another before.


And after!DSC_0028

So far we are loving our new appliances! Our oven is huge! Seriously, you could cook a kid in there. And our fridge. It has been life-changing having our food at eye-level! Seriously, amazing! I’m so glad I was patient and didn’t settle for a side-by-side on Craigslist (most of which were not much cheaper anyway!)


Plus, it fits in the space perfectly, which I think looks so much better! The old fridge had a larger gap at the top and several inches on both sides.


I never really noticed before how annoying it was that the microwave was across the room, but now I can’t believe we lived with it for so long! It’s awesome having it in the kitchen!


Of course, now instead of a microwave and cart…


This corner houses a random assortment of things…we haven’t quite figured it out yet. Ultimately, we would like some kind of dry bar here with a cabinet on the bottom and a “counter-top” and then maybe some floating shelves above? (the frame isn’t crooked, I promise!)


But we’ll see. Also, since the pretty new appliances don’t make our dingy cabinets look any better, I’m considering repainting them as a temporary solution, including fun, bright colors on the inside! Funny how you forget so quickly…after redoing my mom’s cabinets I said I’d never do it again!

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New Washer & Dryer

Our first project in our new house was our laundry room. We thought we were done with it only to discover that our dryer wasn’t working. So we bought a new dryer on Craigslist for $50.

Unfortunately, the washer broke a few days later. The broken piece would have cost over $100…We flip-flopped back and forth between buying just a used washer or a used set. Somewhere along the way the idea of a new set was thrown in and was just as quickly discarded when we looked at some new sets and saw that the machines cost upwards of $600 each. Yikes…and those weren’t even the nice ones. (Some front loading sets were around $1000 total, but for reasons I won’t go into here I was not going to get a front loader.)

After more searching on Craigslist, we found an ad for a 4 month old Kenmore Elite washer (top loading!) and dryer set. They were listed at $1500, but Andrew got them down to $1100. This model currently runs about $1250 per machine, or $1000 on sale. We figured a 50% discount was cheap enough to make these a good deal. Also it comes with a 1 year parts and labor and 10 year power drive warranty. (Not sure what all that means, but apparently it’s good) The sellers happened to be moving that night, so they delivered them in their U-haul. Don’t they look so pretty in my laundry room?

New Washer and Dryer

I’m still figuring out how to use them. You don’t set the water level cause it measures that on its own. No more guessing what size my load is. 🙂 They both have over 10 normal settings plus “add-ons” like stain treat, extra rinse, save energy, wrinkle guard, static shield…They both have sanitize settings, and the dryer even came with a steam shelf! Another plus: the washer is huge! I put a load in the other day and it looked empty, so I picked up another load and tossed it in, too. It still wasn’t full – 4.5 cubic feet and no agitator to get in the way. But don’t worry, the bottom of the drum spins and “agitates” in a less destructive way. 😉

All that to say that I am very pleased with my new washer and dryer. 🙂 Now hopefully these last us a long time!

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Our First Project

Since we knew we wouldn’t want to change the laundry room after putting the machines in, we decided to tackle it as the first project in our new house. We started tearing the nasty, peeling shelf liner off  the shelves as soon as we moved in and unfortunately never got a before picture with it on. You will note the awful blue and white checkered tile that is in our kitchen, but don’t worry, we will get to that!


After dismantling the shelves we found that the previous owners had used dry wall anchors and then pulled them out so our “quick” project was going to take a bit more work than expected.

Oh no! Holes in our wall!

After running to Lowes to pick up some mud, we proceeded to make the holes even bigger!

Hope we can fix this!

While I worked on the drywall repair Arielle got to work refinishing the shelves. They had a layer of adhesive shelf liner over a layer of wallpaper that had to be scraped off. Then she painted them with an antique white paint that we already had.

That floral pattern had to go.

Even though I have seen a lot of mudding done, I really had never actually muded myself. The truth is, the experts are good because they practice a lot. It is very difficult. The practice in this room was good because most of this work will be hidden. After scraping and painting the ceiling, repainting the room, and adding an updated flush mount light fixture ($10.00 at Lighting Emporium on super super super clearance) we were ready to add a touch of style with these fantastic and cheap pulls.

After all of the work was done, we realized we needed a gas shut off to hook up our dryer. It took three trips to Lowe’s, tightening the bolt instead of loosening it (for 5 minutes), and a small hole in the sheet rock near the trim to attach the shutoff so we could connect our dryer, only to find out it wasn’t working! They had been in storage for a year, and it made a loud rattling noise when burning gas. We decided not to risk setting our new home on fire, and found a used one on craigslist for $50.00. Here is the finished product:


We were lucky enough to find a dryer of the same brand as our washer. They are almost a perfect match, and it’s far better than our old, rusty dryer. The total cost of this project (without tools- hey we’re new homeowners and we had to purchase a few we didn’t have) was $92.47. Here is a break out of how we spent it:

Paint: $10.97 (we bought flat and we have a whole gallon, so we can touch it up whenever there is a scratch or spill, but since it is a laundry room perhaps we should have done satin or semigloss)
Ceiling Paint: $3 (We bought a whole bucket for the rest of the house $49, approx)
Lumber for new shelf joists: $5.18 (two 1x2x8′ used about half of it, there is more for other closets in the house)
Sheetrock: We used the extras that were in the garage! Free!
New Light Fixture: $9.97
New Door handles: $2.44
Gas Shut off valve: $7.97
Gas Flare Joint Hookup: $1.12
Thread Seal Tape for gas joints: $1.07 (for whole roll, will use forever)
Dryer: $50
Mud Joint Tape: $.25 ( $1.55 for a role that will use forever- although in retrospect i recommend the self adhesive kind)
Drywall Screws: $.25 (unfortunately you cant just buy the 5 or 6 you need so we bought a box $6.47)
Masking Tape: $.25
Mud: We bought a bag for $7.98, but we used some leftover from the previous owner in the garage for this project.

Total without Dryer: $42.47

Here is a list of tools we used, and which ones we had to buy:
Cordless Drill
Pipe Wrench
Drywall Saw ($9.98 at Lowes)
Skill Saw($10 at garage sale- used to cut shelf holders, but you could use a handsaw)
Skill Saw Blade($5.38 again you could use handsaw)
Goggles ($5.94 at Lowes for 2 pairs- but we will use them for the whole house as we scrape ceilings!)
Trowels and Mudbucket ($7.98)
Laser/Level($14.97 a must for hanging the shelves straight, although you could use a chalk line as well)
Paint Brushes
Paint Pad ($6.00)
Paint Pad Tray($1.74)
We really enjoyed our first project. We certainly have acquired quite a collection of tools, but they will continue to be useful as we fix up the rest of our house.


UPDATE: We thought we were done with this project, but just a few days later we encountered another problem and ended up making big changes to our laundry room! Read about it here.

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