Remodel and Design – Quality Appliances

Fair Oaks Project – Appliances and Remodel Choices

When planning a Home Renovation choosing the right Appliances can be a bigger deal than a lot of people realize. Sure, you want them to look good and have great features, but you also need them to last. Figuring out which brands and models will last can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. It’s a good idea to listen to the advice of the specialists when it comes to reliability and ease of repair.

John Webb Construction & Design have been designing and building new homes and remodels in Oregon & Washington for over 20 years. This full home remodel with Master Bedroom and Guest Wing Additions, is a great example of his knack for practical design and beautiful finishes. At this stage in the project he is going over the foundation of the redesign, taking stock of the existing appliances and determining whether or not to encourage the owner to keep them.

Quality Appliances – to Repair or Replace

You know this stove is 15 years old, but there’s nothing wrong with it. The stove, it’s a Wolf stove, it’s a high end product, and it’s timeless. This stove in 40 more years, as long as they still have parts for it, it’ll always be in style. Same thing with the refrigerator, it’s a SubZero. You know it kind of fades away when it’s all put in just like the cabinetry, and it’s the color of the cabinetry, so it’s nondescript.

But when you’re dealing with refrigerators and appliances like this, they’re timeless. And they’re just designed really nicely. I mean, everything moves. I mean this is 15 years old… look at the condition it’s in. I mean, it’s got really nice glide, it’s just really well thought out.

So, these are the kind of appliances that the come with a warranty in the beginning. And you might have to change a compressor in 20 years, but that’s a couple thousand bucks. And you can’t hardly buy a regular refrigerator that shoves in the wall for $2,000 these days. Or anything of this quality would be at least 5 to 6 times that. So you’d be in the $10,000 to $12,000 price range for a refrigerator like that.

So, over the years it comes back down to quality and having to replace things. It’s sad that everything is made so you have to spend more money. And you watch when things come out unless you buy a better quality. They only want them to last 10 years and you’re off to the store to buy another one. And they being the manufacturers. They have a plan. Not all of them, but quite a few of them.

Appliance Quality and Ease of Repair

When you are ready to build or remodel your home it’s important to realize that since early 2020 the Construction Industry has experienced significant, sweeping changes. Not only has there been increases on overall costs, the availability of of a lot of materials and appliances has a lot of contractors and clients reconsidering a wide array of things. While you might be able to compromise on timeline, a finish here or there, it’s never a good idea to compromise on quality.

John Webb has redesigned quite a few homes over the years, so he knows a thing or two about the quality and ease of repair of a lot of these appliance brands. In this clip John explains just how much has changed since COVID hit, how it has impacted supply chains, and how that in turn impacts the availability of certain items his Clients often ask for.

Appliances and the Cost of Repair

This is pretty good refrigeration built in. Overflow. This is going to be a great family house and for entertaining. This has some good compartments here. Everything is built in. There’s some good limestone we tool out. It came out in pieces, I couldn’t get it out in one piece. It was sad. Some extra floor.

I believe this is a Miele dishwasher, but it’s 15 years old. And some of the problems with some of the things here in Eugene is that it’s difficult, when things do happen, to get anybody that knows how to work on them. They have to come out of Portland anyway. And you have to wait sometimes. There are some appliances that are pretty cool appliances – beautiful refrigeration and stoves, you know, that I’ve run into – but there’s nobody that to take care of maintenance on them if there’s ever a problem. If something broke in some of them you might not get a part for 6 months.

So, it’s a no-brainer to me I just don’t touch them. Unless you’ve got somebody that’s in a bigger metropolitan area that will service and can get the parts, and they know the problems that they have. But sometimes we know that there’s problems, but the beauty or whatever that people can’t get past, just so beautiful and streamlined, how organized they are and how well they operate.. So, you know, with any machine these days, all you can do is…

What I do is what I know I’ve been using for the last 20 some odd years: what lasts and what doesn’t last. And, I have good luck with a lot of them, with these higher end appliances, but we have had things where one thing has been a problem. For instance, say an ice maker broke and wouldn’t fill with ice, it would flood the floor. You know, you’re paying $12,000 for a refrigerator you don’t want that. And you don’t want them saying “Oh there’s nobody here that can fix it. Or “It would take us three weeks to get there. And another 3 weeks to get the part.

Changes to Remodel Costs and Supply Chains

And with COVID, it’s just been treacherous out there. I mean, it still is. We try to look, when I’m making suggestions, it’s really about what we can get. And if you steer off that then you’re on your own. I mean, I’ll get it for you, it just might be 6 months down the road. And, to think we’re going to get it installed at that time for the same amount? Everything is going to go up because now we’re pulling people off different jobs, coming back and resetting and getting it going.

You’re going to have at least a little bit of an increase in cost. And, sometimes that’s alright and sometimes it’s not. It just depends on how a client has an attachment to something that they’ve absolutely loved. And I think it’s important that they have that. So I’ll go the whole mile for them, but COVID has not helped anybody in this industry, trying to get the parts for anything. They just got dishwashers moving again. I mean, we’ll order specialty ones, lets say we oder specialty dishwashers that take wine glasses, and big wine glasses. I mean with the configuration inside giving you more options on how to put things in the dishwasher, that can cost you months and thousands of dollars.

I think they went back into operation in November of last year. And if you had anything on the rack you could find one. I did find one last year and we had to put our own front on it, but we didn’t care at that point. I got it to blend it and everything matched up perfectly. But that’s not always something that people can do.

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Written by Todd Zimmerman

Producer of the John Webbccast