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casey101

Independent Appliance Consultant?

casey101
19 days ago

Is there such a thing? How would I find one? (internet search for Kitchen Appliance Consultant isn't getting good results). I'm remodeling my kitchen and would like to hire someone really knowledgeable to advise me about the best appliances for my needs (ovens, fridges, dishwashers, ventilation, etc). I have a designer but they are only interested in what looks pretty, and sales people are, lets face it, primarily interested in making sales (and may not be that knowledgable!)


Thanks in advance for any help!

Comments (36)

  • A Mat
    19 days ago

    Consumer Reports ?

  • Joseph Babcock
    19 days ago

    Yale Appliance and Designer Appliances have helpful YouTube channels.

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  • lharpie
    19 days ago

    We got pretty good advice from a higher end appliance store. most of the induction cooktops and vents and such were plugged in so we could try things out too.

  • darbuka
    19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    On Long Island, Appliance World is the place to go. Their salesmen are thorougly trained, and extremely knowledgeable. Our guy, Simeon, listened to our preferences, considered our budget, explained the differences between the brands we were considering, and never rushed us.

    As a result, we are still quite pleased with our purchases…36” Thermador rangetop, 42”Vent A Hood, Miele double wall ovens…one being a CombiSteam, Bosch 800 dishwasher, and 42” SubZero FD fridge (the SZ was never in question, after having one previously). 8 years later, all are still performing flawlessly.

    Find a high end, independent appliance store in your area. That’s the best place to find quality sales people, who will be able to advise you appropriately. Forget the big box stores, where sales people are moved from one department to another…never becoming fully knowledgeable in any.

  • wdccruise
    19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    @darbuka: "36” Thermador rangetop, 42”Vent A Hood, Miele double wall ovens…one being a CombiSteam, Bosch 800 dishwasher, and 42” SubZero FD fridge..."

    There are all very expensive appliances. That refrigerator is $12,750 alone, (and one Miele double-wall oven is at least $5400) enough to pay for an entire suite of moderately-priced but high-quality appliances.

    I'd start with Consumer Reports ($10/month digital). You'll often see that so-called "high-end" appliances are often inferior to more pedestrian-brand models. Follow up with owners' reviews on such sites as Home Depot and Best Buy.

    That Yale Appliance store can be useful as it does test some products. Be careful, though, of its reliability data as it covers only one year after installation and Yale does not sell many common brands such as Frigidaire.

    Also remember that some appliances are brand twins or even triplets -- particularly refrigerators. For example, there are Bosch appliances rebadged as Thermador and Gaggenau as all are BSH brands. Likewise for GE Appliances (GE, Profile, Cafe, Monogram).

    appliancesconnection.com is a great site for research as it has a wide variety of brands and an excellent search engine which helps narrow down options (e.g., list only 30" stainless steel, slide-in, induction ranges).

  • blueskysunnyday
    19 days ago

    Here! People are happy to share their experiences!

  • Kendrah
    19 days ago

    Sorry your kitchen designer isn't helpful in this regard. Mine was wonderful in directing me towards brands that functioned well, had low repair rates, and were easy to use.


    Research the heck out of what you are looking for on Yale Appliances - videos, purchasing guides, read threads on Houzz, then post on here what you have narrowed it down to and you'll get a ton of opinions.


    I don't like Consumer Reports anymore.




  • artistsharonva
    18 days ago

    I'm not aware of an independent appliance consultant. Cool concept.


    Start with visiting local appliance stores that install & also services their appliances.

    I find thet the appliance stores that also employee their own service techs are very resourceful & appreciated.

    Also, Make a list of appliances you are considering & look up the model #s & read the customer's comments & reviews online. I start with reading the bad reviews 1st, to avoid being misled by fake, good paid reviews. Sometimes you can find great video reviews on youtube too.

    I suggest buying appliances where they service the appliances & get them to install it professionally vs a big box store/online for valuable client support.

  • blueskysunnyday
    18 days ago

    I bought mine from a small, family-owned shop and they were really helpful to me.

  • wdccruise
    18 days ago

    @darbuka: "There are many folks who are able, and willing to spend for the highest end products. Not everybody is looking to compromise on service and quality."

    What annoys @darbuka is that CR doesn't confirm that "highest end products" "compromise on service and quality". For example, neither @darbuka's beloved Thermador and Miele brand wall oven's were recommended by CR based on performance. Instead it was LG, KitchenAid (a Whirlpool brand) and GE Appliances that achieved the top five spots.


    " It took them 10 years after SZ became a popular brand, for them to include SZ in their ratings."

    Of course, SubZero is not a "popular brand". Sub-Zero Group is privately held so its financials are not public but the US Major Home Appliance Market Leaders (in no particular order) are Whirlpool, Haier (GE Appliances), LG, Bosch and Samsung. Sales of SubZer's pricey refrigerators are tiny compared with these companies.


    "You always assume the various OPs are looking for mid range products, and you disparage top of the line, pricey appliances."

    I don't disparage "top of the line, pricey appliances", I disparage pricey appliances whose performance and reliability isn't "top of the line".

  • vacaytime
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    I second the option to look into Yale Appliance. if you are in their area (Boston?) then go to them, otherwise their youtube is a font of fabulous information.

  • casey101
    Original Author
    18 days ago

    Thank you everyone! I'll check out Yale appliance, try a different high end showroom than the one I went to, and when I've narrowed it down I'll check back in with you all.

  • darbuka
    18 days ago

    Well, duh, @wdccruise. Of course SubZero is not a ”market leader” in refrigeration sales. Many fewer people can afford a SZ. So what?

    There are loads and loads of threads…just on this forum…complaining about Samsung fridges, and folks wanting to get rid of them. What about the threads about Bosch fridges peeling? The poor customer service with LG, Samsung, Bosch, and GE?

    Meanwhile, most owners of SZ fridges are greatly pleased with both product, and customer service. SZ’s customer service is the best in the business, hands down. And, unlike other refrigeration companies, SZ carries the parts for defunct models many, many years beyond what other companies do…even 30 years after a model’s production ended. You won’t find that with any of the ”market leaders” you mentioned.

    So, you stick to the lesser cost, but also shorter lasting appliances, with poor customer service. Try not to let it bother you when others choose pricey products for their homes, despite them not being faves of CR.


  • darbuka
    18 days ago

    @A Mat, nope, just relating my experience, and resulting choices, after getting knowledgeable appliance advice from fully trained staff at an independent appliance store.

  • M Miller
    18 days ago

    @casey101 buying kitchen appliances is analogous to buying a car or a new laptop. You do your own research, geared to what aspects are important to you. There are no consultants to help you buy a car or a laptop, and the salespeople for those things may steer you one way or the other but their recommendations may not be right for you.

    You are own best advocate. You need to do some research, rather than try to find someone as a consultant. Decide things like - size of each appliance, i.e. 30" range, 36" range, 42", and so on. Or whether you want a range vs a cooktop/wall ovens. Do you want your refrigerator paneled or not (that is a whole topic in itself). What kind of exhaust hood can you afford and what size hood does your kitchen have room for. Make sure not to treat the hood as an afterthought, as it is very important; indoor air quality has become a much more important topic in recent years. But most of all, what is your budget.

    This forum can help you. Post your questions! There are also good suggestions on this thread for places for research. I advise you hang out on this forum and read the many threads about different appliances choices. You will become educated that way, and be better able to narrow your choices.

  • bry911
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    This is the same crap every time. Consumer Reports is a data point… it is not the only data point and has problems with their tests.

    They have a great history of consumer advocacy but today there is just a lot more information out there that you should not ignore.

    Also popular doesn’t mean, and never has meant, sells a lot of products. Popular quite literally means liked, enjoyed, or admired by many people. It doesn’t mean owned.

    Edit: I suspect that an idependent appliance consultant has too high a barrier of entry to be popular. If there is such a thing I strongly suspect they only exist in a select few very affluent areas.

  • bry911
    18 days ago

    @wdccruise If you turn around and look behind you might be able to just see the line that you shouldn’t cross.


    Seriously… ”silly woman”

    and that most recent bit of nonsensical hostility…


    The point was valid and didn’t deserve the hostility.

  • casey101
    Original Author
    18 days ago

    Wdcruise and darbuka, please stop fighting. If it helps, I am planning on putting in the more “high end” appliances, because that’s what fits for my home and neighborhood. And because they’re more expensive, it’s more important to me that I make good buying decisions, and end up with appliances that are reliable and will suit my needs, without unnecessarily throwing money away. I also have limited time to do a deep dive into appliances, because I have to demanding job, which lets me earn the money to pay for the pricey appliances 😊. That’s why I was hoping there was such a thing as an independent appliance consultant!

    Cars and computers are so much easier to research and narrow down!

  • Kendrah
    18 days ago

    Make a list of all the appliances you need and post them here. Weed through the insanity comments to make your decisions. In my opinion your can’t go wrong with Bosch dishwasher and Sub-Zero fridge.

  • RoyHobbs
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    @wdccruise calling someone "silly woman" is cyberbullying and sexist. But your next post about that commenter's funeral could be viewed as threatening someone over the internet. As such, it violates United States Code, Title 18, Part I - Crimes, Chapter 41 - Extortion and Threats, §875 - it is a crime under federal law to transmit a threatening message over a communications device, including a computer.

    Under that law, anyone who transmits a communication that contains a threat to another person can be imprisoned for up to five years if convicted.

  • darbuka
    18 days ago

    @A Mat, if you actually read my first response to the OP, you’ll notice I did mention the name of the independent appliance store I used, and recommend…Appliance World. I actually wrote, ”On Long Island, Appliance World is the place to go.”

    I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s what I wrote, word for word: ”On Long Island, Appliance World is the place to go. Their salesmen are thorougly trained, and extremely knowledgeable. Our guy, Simeon, listened to our preferences, considered our budget, explained the differences between the brands we were considering, and never rushed us.”

    Geez, I even gave the name of the superbly knowledgeable salesperson.

    That’s the business and salesperson I recommended for expert consultation. No where did I put myself out there as an independent consultant.

    And, yes, Appliance World, and others like it, are independent…insofar as they’re not part of a large national chain…like Best Buy, HD, Lowes. Independents fully train their staff on the nuances of each appliance brand, and only appliances. Big box stores move their sales people around from department to department. They’ll be selling in appliances one week, and TVs the next. Then on to small appliances, and music equipment…never becoming fully proficient in any category.

    You may not realize it, but you and @wdccruise are displaying reverse snobbery. DH and I spent many, many years in a small starter home, only being able to afford the very basic appliances, and furnishings. After almost 50 years of marriage, and being somewhat penurious in our daily spending, we were able to profitably sell that starter home, and move to a much larger home. So, I give no apologies for finally, after all that time, being able to afford quite the step up from what we lived with during that long period of time.


  • darbuka
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    This is far from the first time @wdccruise has used the phrase, ”silly woman.” Tells you all you need to know about him.

  • blueskysunnyday
    18 days ago

    I trusted our salesperson very much. Here is what I learned back in 2021 (might be outdated). If you go with a drawer microwave, get Sharp brand. They manufacture them all and are the only brand with a tilt-up screen.

    He could not 100% recommend a Cove dishwasher yet but said that the company is being very responsive to the issues. He was very surprised that there were any issues because that family of brands (Wolf/SZ/Cove) usually will not release something that is not perfect. I think I remember they had stopped selling them temporarily until they got everything figured out.

    As far as DWs, Miele is built to last the longest but people are happy with Bosch (has the floor light indicator when it is running). I brought dishes in to try in the dishwashers. Went with Miele.

    Wolf for range, SZ for refrigeration/ice, Miele for steam oven. However, the Miele service is not as easy to find in our area.

    Hope that helps!

  • darbuka
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    Casey, now knowing what you’ve budgeted for…as @Kendrah and @blueskysunnyday said, definitely Sub Zero for refrigeration. There's just no other brand that compares. Highly recommend Bosch for dishwasher. We have the Bosch 800. Others on this site praise the 300 model. Many folks here, swear by their Miele dishwashers. Of all the dishwasher brands on the market, those are the two best. You won’t go wrong with either.

    Are you looking at rangetops, cooktops, or ranges? Gas, or induction? We have a gas rangetop, only because DH is the cook in our home these days. He loves the flame. And, was concerned about induction, as we live in an area that loses power often. I wanted induction, for it’s easy cleanup alone. So, if it’s induction you want, I’ll let others pipe in, as I have no experience there.

    If gas is what you want, then it’s a matter of the high BTUs and open burners of Bluestar (those that have it, rave), or a high end closed burner, like Thermador. We have the Thermador rangetop (not cooktop), which does all we need it to do. The thick enameled surface under the grates, cleanup easily. No issues in 8 years of use.

    Don’t forget about ventilation. You can purchase custom hoods…many high end independent appliance stores sell them…Modenaire and Vent A Hood are two such companies. Ours is a Vent A Hood, which performs as it should, and is very quiet, even on high. The only negative about VAH is, their hoods are more difficult to clean. VAH uses a ”squirrel cage”, instead of baffles to collect effluents. Baffles are easy to remove, and stick in the dishwasher. The squirrel cage needs to be taken appart, to clean.

    We’re most pleased with the Miele double wall ovens. The CombiSteam is versatile, and is awesome for veggies, fish, and meats. The convection oven preheats in a minute, cooks and bakes evenly, and has the quietest fan when cooling down.

    Our microwave is a large GE counter model, which we’ve put on a shelf. Many people love their undercounter MWs. Sharp makes them all, and just rebrands them.

    Hope that helps.

  • vinmarks
    18 days ago

    @darbuka nothing you said in your posts requires an apology. I have to wonder if wdccruise gets kick backs from CR because they mention it so often in posts.


  • darbuka
    18 days ago

    @vinmarks, thank you.

    I’ve often wondered about his totally biased and unyielding defense of CR. It’s just strange.

  • darbuka
    18 days ago

    Looks like wdccruise deleted the two offending posts.

  • Kendrah
    18 days ago

    Seeing how out of hand this whole conversation has become, I see why the OP wants to just hire a consultant and be done with it.

  • bry911
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    I don't have a "unyielding defense of CR". I have an unyielding offense against the wholesale rejection of test data and a bias against exclusively relying on anecdotes.

    Consumer Reports doesn't publish test data. They publish an assessment of their tests, which is quite different and one of the regularly noted concerns with Consumer Reports. If they actually published data it would be a much better source.

  • RedRyder
    17 days ago

    Ask an appliance repair person.

    We have a terrific, honest guy who has had to visit us (unfortunately) for more than one DW and one washing machine. He tells us the longevity of various brands, which are hard to find parts for (as in the JeenAire double oven that came with the house) and which reputations are bunk.

  • blueskysunnyday
    17 days ago

    Yes, I second Red Ryder’s suggestion! We ended up re-using our 10+ year-old Wolf range in our renovation and had someone come do a tune-up. He was very pro SubZero and Wolf (that is what he chose for his home) and said Miele are good products but they don’t like doing repairs for them — they are hard to work with.

  • bry911
    16 days ago

    My 2 cents on appliances... guaranteed to be worth at least half of what you paid for it.


    Refrigerators: I have Sub-Zero and Monogram refrigerators. IMO, Sub-Zero makes the best $12,000 refrigerator you can get for only $20,000. Monogram is the best $12,000 refrigerator you can get for less than $12,000. I honestly think some of the hype for Sub-Zero is overblown. They made a much better product than anyone else for 30 or 40 years and that is commendable, but they did so by sticking to high quality durable parts for a high price as other brands raced to the lowest price. However, today they have been forced to add many of the complications that are invariably going to reduce the life of the product. They are using computer boards with capacitors and the caps are going to go bad. They can certainly be repaired, but I suspect the days of chugging along without repairs for 30 years are gone. To that end my Sub-Zero has already had a repair and my Monogram didn't at that age. However, I also have access to the GE friends and family discount so my Monogram appliances were much cheaper than retail. If I couldn't find a closeout or sale then I would probably just buy Sub-Zero if I could get it in a reasonable time.

    Having said that, the wait time for Sub-Zero is ridiculous and unnecessary right now. The company just refuses to expand capacity to meet the demand and I am not really a fan of the wait.


    Cooktops, Ranges, Ovens: I think the way you cook is far more important than anything else for this decision. My wife and I cook a lot and we cook together a lot and so we wanted particular features in our cooktop that drastically limited our selection and increased the price. So I would take any recommendation with a grain of salt, because odds are the things we love most about ours may be unimportant to you.

    We don't really bake and so most of the features of the oven were immaterial to us. We do have the Monogram French door oven and everyone comments on it and we actually do like the French door but I am not sure I would love it if our kids were younger. You can burn yourself on it if you are in a hurry.


    Speed Oven/Microwave: GE Advantium is by far the winner here. The drawer microwaves are cool and all but Advantium is the only appliance that I had in one home, which we decided we couldn't live without in the other home. I am waiting for someone to beat it, but until they do, every home I own will have this in it before I move in.


    Steam Oven: People love them... I don't get really get it.


    Dishwasher: I have had a bunch of brands (Bosch, GE, Kitchenaid, Maytag) and it really just doesn't matter to me. I am sure the one we have now is better than the one we paid $400 for, but for the life of me I can't tell you why.

  • casey101
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    Thank you bry911. My husband and I cook together as well, so I'm curious about the features that you wanted for your cooktop.

    I've heard good things about the Advantium ovens as well, especially the 240v ones, but those seem hard to find right now in the Cafe version - I don’t know if it’s because GE is discontinuing them or some other reason.

    I’ve read the steam ovens are great for veggies and keeping things like chicken moist but browned, but have no idea if that’s hype or worth the high cost.

    I loved the heated dry and food grinder (no filter to clean!) on my old KitchenAid dishwasher, but it died. I have a Bosch 500 now and hate it - it has a tendency to get smelly no matter how often I clean the filter - which is disgusting to do and I'll never get used to it - and fitting dishes in it is awkward, and unless you take the dishes while they’re still hot they often feel slightly damp.

  • blueskysunnyday
    16 days ago

    I roast a turkey breast in my steam oven for sandwiches every week — the master chef program does all the thinking for you. You just tell it you are cooking turkey and put the probe in and it always comes out browned outside and juicy inside. I do all oven meat in there now. And it is way better than a microwave for reheating food. Awesome for cooking burritos and rice too. People love it for bread. You don’t have to use steam. If I am reheating pizza, I don’t use the steam function. I use jt 5 times a day I bet.

  • bry911
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    We have a family farm that has gas but the home we live in most of the year is all electric and we needed induction. My wife and I often hand dishes off to each other, so we fell in love with the Thermador Freedom (particularly the Movemode feature). We are constantly moving things around on the cooktop and just love the way we can hand each other pans for a few minutes and then hand them back. Or move things around to fit where we want to cook on the top versus where the manufacturer thinks the pans belong.