A few weeks ago I contacted Dennis Trigg , Appliance Specialist at Ferguson Enterprises in Chantilly, Virginia. He graciously afforded me some time to answer a few questions I had about the latest and greatest on appliances.
First, a bit about Dennis. He has been working in the appliance industry since 1988. He is a gastronome in every sense of the word as he cooks from scratch every day and uses only the freshest ingredients. He is often so excited about his culinary creations that he sends pictures of them to his friends. And, from my perspective, if you get the chance to meet him, you will no doubt come away thinking: “Wow, he truly is an appliance “guru”.
For the Homeowner Shopping for Kitchen Appliances: What Comes First?
When asked, What is the most important thing (or things) that a homeowner should consider when shopping for appliances? Dennis had the following suggestions.
- Establish a realistic budget. This will help you shop more efficiently for what you want and need.
- Consider your cooking style: Do you cook every day or just once a week?
- How many people live in your home and what is the size of your kitchen?
- What type of kitchen do you have presently? What do you like or dislike about your current kitchen?
- What kitchen appliances do you want to have and why?
What Drives the Cost of Kitchen Appliances?
Often, homeowners do not understand the factors that affect the cost of kitchen appliances. For example, why is a Wolf gas rangetop more expensive than a Kitchen Aid?
Dennis states that kitchen appliance prices are driven by the production and materials costs, volume of appliances being sold, and the level of technology built into the product. For example, a smaller volume company might have higher production and materials costs than a company with a huge volume of sales. Companies that sell in large volumes may also have a larger R&D department.
Brand name also plays a part: luxury brands come with a luxury price because the materials incorporated into the product are of a higher quality.
The Evolution of Kitchen Appliances
Dennis believes that in 5-10 years we will be seeing more “smart” technology built into kitchen appliances, such as user-friendly Droid or IPhone controls and WiFi-enabled self-diagnosis features that can alert you when a problem arises or service is required. This would help ensure that maintenance and repair issues are addressed in a timely manner before significant damage occurs.
Cooking appliances will be equipped with apps that allow you to monitor the cooking mode from your phone. For example, if you have a beef roast in the oven, and you need to make a quick trip into town for another errand, you could “connect” to the temperature probe with your phone while you are away and, if needed, adjust the oven’s temperature setting remotely.
Stainless Steel Finishes: Are They Going Out of Style?
The fate of stainless steel finishes has been hotly debated in the media. For years we have read or heard, “stainless is going to go out of style.” From my viewpoint, stainless continues to be a dominant finish selection for almost every appliance. Dennis agreed with me that stainless steel will never go out of style. He noted, however, that there is an upturn in the return to “color” for appliances. Because homeowners are remaining in their homes longer, they wish to “personalize” their space with customized color choices. Some homeowners are choosing to have one appliance piece in the kitchen, such as the oven range or refrigerator, “stand out and make a statement with color.”
Consumer Reports: Yay or Nay?
Consumer Reports “is a a good guideline and reference to start the research,” says Dennis. But in his opinion, and mine, Consumer Reports and similar publications will never beat the expertise of an educated local appliance professional who can guide you through the selection process and be available to consult after your purchase if service needs or other issues arise.
Induction Cooking Technology: The Biggest Leap in the Industry
Dennis and I agree that the biggest leap in the appliance industry in the last 5-10 years is, “The return of induction cooking technology in the North American market!”
A big thank you to Dennis Trigg from Ferguson Enterprises for taking time out from his busy schedule to help educate homeowners everywhere.
Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.
Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.