Last week on Wednesday, I wrote about how our washing machine needed replaced. I went on to explain how we were planning on replacing it and what our options were for paying for it. Rather than using a big chunk of our emergency fund, we were going to open a new credit card and use it for the purchase. The advantages were that the credit card came with a $115 sign-up bonus (which I could apply towards the balance) and a 15-month 0% interest period.
Well, nothing is ever as easy as it seems, and it turns out our appliance shopping was no exception. Here is part two of the laundry saga (I’m hoping it ends here and doesn’t become a trilogy), and I hope someone out there can learn something from it.
Our Original Plan
In case you didn’t read the original post, I’ll give a brief recap. We had a front-loading stackable washer and dryer set that we negotiated to be included when we purchased our house. The washer started acting up, so we had it looked at. While the part could be technically be replaced, they would have to tear apart the entire washer, and it would cost more in labor than it would to just buy a new washer. So, we had to buy a new washer. We decided on another front-loading model.
We went ahead and ordered the new washer from a big-box store, with the idea that we could still stack our current dryer on top of the new washer. Well, little did we know that these kind of appliances really aren’t interchangeable. The delivery guys came to the house, took one look at our old stacked washer and dryer, and said “This isn’t going to work”. Apparently, the washer and dryer we had were some of the first stackable models that came out. There was no way to stack our old dryer on top of the new washer.
I know what you’re thinking. Couldn’t you just have them be side-by-side rather than stacked? We thought the same thing. But, since our dryer had been stacked on top of our washer, it didn’t have the “feet”, “pegs” or whatever you want to call them to be able to put it directly on the floor. When we asked about buying new “feet” for our dryer, we were told that based on the age of our dryer we wouldn’t be able to find them anywhere.
Moving On To Plan “B”
So, the delivery guys took the new washer back to the store, and we were back to the drawing board. At this point, we decided we were just going to buy a new washer/dryer set, even though our dryer still worked. While we really like our stackable front-loading set, apparently the front-loading washers are a lot more difficult to move. I’ve written before that we have our house for sale. We were originally going to leave the new washer and old dryer with the house when we moved, but now our idea was to just buy a nice top-loading side-by-side set and take it with us when we move. So, we picked out a top-loading set that we liked. I measured the area we would be putting them to make sure the side-by-side model would fit, since we had a stackable set before.
Delivery (number two) was scheduled for yesterday (8/13). The delivery guys showed up, hauled our old washer and dryer out to their truck, and started to bring the new dryer into our laundry room. And wouldn’t you know it, the dryer wouldn’t fit through the doorway to the laundry room. I knew enough to measure the area we would be putting the appliances, but it never occurred to me to measure the doorway to the laundry room. My wife would have had to tear the molding off the door to get the new washer and dryer in the room (I was at work). I guess it didn’t help that we picked out one of the larger washer/dryer sets, but my wife loved the way they were designed. They had all the features she was looking for in a set.
Moving On To Plan “C”
So, the delivery guys took the new washer and dryer back to the store (along with our old set), and we were back to the drawing board (did anyone else just have deja-vu reading that?). At this point, we decided to take a step back and think about this. This is really our first major appliance purchase. We bought a new dishwasher when we moved in to the house, but nothing since then. We really didn’t know a whole lot about washers and dryers. Yeah, we read the specs on the various models at the store and read the reviews online, but you can only learn so much from that.
Rather than go back to the big-box store, we went to a locally owned appliance store. The staff there was very helpful. A gentleman approached us as soon as we walked through the doors, and proceeded to tell us everything about washers and dryers. He knew practically everything about every model and brand they carried. He asked question after question about what features my wife wanted most in a washer and dryer, and took the time to show the differences between models. His goal wasn’t to just hurry us into buying a washer and dryer so that he could move on to the next customer. Rather, his goal was to help us find a washer and dryer that fit our needs and budget. We ordered a top-loading washer and dryer set, and delivery and installation is scheduled for this Thursday. I’m confident that everything will work this time.
The locally owned store was a completely different experience than the big box store, where we were on our own to look at the various models, and then had to track down an employee so we could order it. Hardly any questions were asked. The first time we were there and ordered the front-loading washer, my wife and I mentioned that we currently had a stackable set and were planning on just stacking our old dryer on top of the new washer. Now, I can’t say for sure, but I think they should have known that this wouldn’t work. The second time we were there and ordered the large washer and dryer set, I think they should have at least mentioned something about the size being a potential issue. Maybe these were things my wife and I should have looked into more carefully before making the order, but we simply didn’t know.
The Bottom Line
I don’t know how many readers out here have had to replace any major appliances, but hopefully this story has offered some insight in what to do and what not to do. Basically, you really have to know what you want. You also really have to know the measurements of the appliances, the place you plan on putting them, as well as any doors or hallways they have to travel through.
If you don’t know much about the appliances, I would recommend a smaller, local store rather than the big-box store. The experience is much smoother, and you’ll leave feeling a lot more confident about your purchase. From a price standpoint, the local store really wasn’t much higher than the big box store, either. It was slightly higher, but not too bad. Now, if you’re pretty knowledgeable about your appliances, I can see using the big-box stores, as they do offer the lowest prices.
Here’s hoping everything works out with our latest order. And hopefully they’ll last a really long time, so we don’t have to do this again in only a few years from now.