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Washer and Dryer Shopping :: Sizing Considerations



To install a washer and dryer first purchase a washer and dryer

There is probably nothing that makes me feel more like an adult than shopping for appliances. That’s probably no more true than when washer and dryer shopping.

I am repeatedly amazed by my experiences with Sears. With all that has gone wrong in the business world recently and I know that this company went through some tough times in recent years. For me it is one, this company, that has always re-invented itself – changing when it must.

Sure – I do feel like I am stepping onto a used car lot when I am in their appliance department. But everything is clearly marked, the salespersons are knowledgeable, they have in-store informational tools, buyer’s protection, and on I could go.

Zero-percent interest-free financing (like competitors), ease of pick up (automated now), and, well, they have their Sears support systems, including online tools like Parts Direct. For me, Sears (an American institution at that) is just a joy to work with. And no, I am not on payroll, yet.

Galley Kitchen to Laundry Room Means Tight Space

As with everything in our house, there is some sort of space consideration that must be made. Because we converted the original kitchen into a laundry room, and because this portion of the house was built as an addition, the space within which the washer and dryer combo was going to sit was, guess what, limiting.

The wall and it’s interaction with the nearest window measured at approximately 29 ½ inches. This space was designed to receive a standard free-standing range and a countertop. (Standard counter depth, as we know – is approximately 25 ¼.) Any appliance much deeper than that would have concealed a portion of the window’s trim there. And I didn’t want that.

Editor’s Note: To read more about installing this dryer, the article – Side Venting a Gas Dryer.

You would think that she was a kid in a candy store

To be fair – Jenny has, for the 18 months that we have lived in this house, endured the long, cold, dark walk into the basement. Down there, next to the utility tub, sit the appliances that conveyed with the house. Antiquated and not well maintenanced, at times, you would think she was using a washer board and her hot breath to pull off a load of laundry.

It was not surprising that she was eager to pick out her new washer and dryer. Plus, she knew what she wanted – front load on a pedestal and in a color that matched her eyes. Ok, I am just throwing in the part about eye color, but she did want a color to add a little zing; something to coordinate with the paint, and other surfaces found in this, and adjoining, rooms.

But there was that depth requirement. There is actually a wide variance in washer/dryer depth. Washer and dryers can vary anywhere from 27 to 34 inches typically. These things couldn’t stick out in front of my window — that would be poor design.

Due diligence

So we broke out our double Ds: Due Diligence and we did our research. We humped it up to Lowes. What we found was that most full-sized units, that is – 4.0 cubic whatevers for the washing machine and 7.0 cubic thingamaspace for the dryer made these appliances slightly too deep. For the record — some measured, including their thick bubbled doors, around 30 inches, more, though, were closer to 33 inches in depth.

So, we had to fine tune our search. We narrowed it down to two models: Whirlpool‘s Duet Sport and Frigidaire‘s Affinity Series. There were others, including a Kenmore (Sear‘s signature brand) that were ruled out because they were only available in white and/or black. The Whirlpool and Frigidaire however both had a blue that we liked.

These smaller units — 3.5 cubic and 6.0 cubic respectively, were originally designed for second story installation. They apparently do well when stacked. (I sure do miss the second story laundry room we had in our last house). For me, in and of itself, this trait is one of the greatest advancements in washer and dryer technology — this century. You either set these fancy machines side by side, or get this – on top of one another.

From there – we pulled up Consumer Reports on each model. We noted that these units as a whole (especially the high speed turbine washer) have a tendency to walk and, well, to smell. We (well Mrs. Moxie) weighed pros and cons, read comments and reviews, and in the end decided that it was six or one and half dozen of the other. That decided, we were going to go with the Frigidaire; the wife liked their Glazier Blue a little bit more.

Target acquired

Once we had our minds made up, and this is how we often proceed with things like this; we had to find the best deal. I will admit — I am from the school of thought — it is a delicate balance — you can waste precious time on the internet, and/or driving from dealer to dealer trying to save every couple of dollars. That kind of madness does not necessarily make for the best deal. Time is money after all.

For us, we started at the Sears Appliance Outlet on York Road. If you live in the Baltimore area and if you have never been there when shopping for appliances or other fixtures (huge array of tractors), it is a must.

We walked in that day, a Saturday; I called first, and there it was. The dryer we wanted, including two, count them two, matching pedestals.

Now, what exactly this appliance went through to get to this scratch and dent location – I am not sure, but that was not what had mattered this day. What matter was that this dryer – which of course would sit on the right, had only moderate damage to its sides. AND it was gas; just what I needed.

Our plans — stuffing it tight to the outside wall. Pairing it with a washer as a shield, it would do just fine. $1050 to $790, and then just because I asked, $690. I don’t bring this up because I think I got an amazing deal, but it did make me and the wifey feel good. I am sure the appliances guys were still well above margin. Win-Win.

We completed are set by visiting the nearest Sears location and purchasing the washer new. That new shiny bright blue machine would be the first thing that most will see when they enter our laundry.

More Moxie (Related Links):

Your Appliance Specialist :: Warners’ Stellian. Stock photo courtesy of Warner Stellian. (Thanks.)

Check out Sears Appliance Outlet for possible deals on appliances.

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