Updating Kitchen Appliances in Older Homes

Don't Let Unexpected Costs Catch You Off Guard

New Appliances, Old Kitchen
Credit: iStock

Secret Costs Associated with Updating Old Appliances

Updating Appliances in Older Homes Can be Costly in the Beginning

You may be taken by surprise by unexpected costs when you update appliances in an older home if you don’t research and plan properly. If you have an old home with outdated appliances, you are probably in for some pretty big installation costs. You can try to catch good deals on appliances during the fall and winter (many manufacturers are getting ready to make room for new models around this time), but don’t be surprised if that doesn’t even offset the extra costs of installation in an older home.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

These are often referred to as a GFCI. They’re a safety precaution put into homes that were built after 1973. If it senses that there’s any kind of problem in the wiring, it will shut off the current. Therefore, hopefully preventing any serious shocks or dreaded electrical fires. An electrician will normally insist on installing one if he’s doing work in your home and he doesn’t see any.

Size of Appliances Have Changed

Older homes, those that were built up until the 1980’s, were normally built to accommodate a stove range up to 28 inches. However, today many ranges are 30 inches. That means you’re probably looking at doing some renovation and modification of cabinets and counters, too.

Ranges aren’t the only appliances that are larger, either. If you’re replacing a fridge, keep in mind that they’re both wider and taller than they used to be. If you’re replacing a microwave oven, you need to realize they’re bigger, too. So again, you’ll have to modify or remove any cabinets you’re trying to fit it into.

New Appliance Power Cords

You could be looking at having to bring in an electrician, too. If your current stove range is hardwired right into your wall right now, then you can pretty much count on it. Why? Because many of them today come with separate power cords. You’re looking at the cost of the cords, plus having to have an electrician put in a female outlet end that will work with the newer, heavy-duty, grounded cord.

To try to cut some of the costs, be sure to know what you're getting into. Also, use Sear's coupons and try to buy during the fall or winter.