Cheapskate Confessions: Appliances


Out With The Old In With The New?


We say the opposite for the most part. Look at that sweet stove! It’s probably 35 years old and still plugging away like a charm! Sure, its old, but we prefer to consider it “retro”. We have discussed replacing it in the upcoming years as we slowly remodel our house. We aren’t sure if we will be able to bring ourselves to do it though… After-all, there is NOTHING wrong with it. The kitchen remodel will likely be a few years away since we are focusing on making our backyard a place that we want to hang out, rather than a swampy mud hole with no privacy. When we eventually remodel our kitchen we will certainly get a stone countertop, and replace our 20 year old linoleum floor that always looks dirty. We will also replace the ceiling tiles which apparently we cannot replace sections of because they no longer make them. At some point the ceiling in a few rooms had water damage to them (likely before the roofing was replaced) but we just don’t know if we will be able to replace that ugly, but completely functional, stove when the time comes.

We were curious how long the average appliance lasts and how long people actually keep them. In our experience, homeowners seem to replace their appliances every time they change the scheme of their house, sometimes just the color layout.

From our research, it appears that gas and electric ranges are supposed to last 11-15 years. Wow, our stove has probably doubled that! Dishwashers (we currently don’t have one) are supposed to last 9 years, refrigerators 13 years, dryers 13 years, and microwaves 9 years.

Of course, most of the people reading this are likely like us and are shocked by these numbers. Why? Becasuse 1) it seems like appliances should last much longer than these expectations, and 2) it’s highly unlikely the average household meets these numbers for any of these appliances.


Style comes and goes, but practicality lasts forever


It’s highly likely that the main reason for people not having their appliances last their expected lifespan (or longer) is STYLE. Sure, new technology has probably played a part in the last decade. With scientific innovations in heating and cooling, increasing energy efficiency, it’s clear that some of those old clunker refrigerators had to go, but we doubt this is the biggest reason for the rapid swap-out of household appliances. The greatest culprit is more than likely style. Yes, style. Think about it, have you known anyone who has bought a house and kept the appliances it came with more than a few years? Most homeowners change the color of their walls and trim to suit their style, but it seems like that is a slippery slope. As soon as you change one thing in your house, it makes the rest of it match less, and therefore prompt the thought that it all must be changed. Those changes however, have everything to do with style and next to nothing to do with practicality.


Practicality over beauty?


Expensive and heavy use appliances that are never seen seem to last forever don’t they? Furnaces, water heaters, pressure tanks etc. if you own your house for your entire life, you will likely only have to replace them once, if at all provided you perform routine maintenance and cleaning. So, it seems clear to us that the appliances with less use, but are in constant view, are replaced more often than the ones in the depths of your basement due to style conflicts.

Just like cars, we find it difficult to purchase an expensive item just because it looks nicer if the productivity of it is the same. Is anyone else the same way? Does anyone have an appliance that is shattering its life-span expectancy?… and although it may be ugly as sin, you can’t bear to get rid of it?

2 thoughts on “Cheapskate Confessions: Appliances

  1. Nicole says:

    I feel the same way, I’m even stubbornly holding onto the cook top that came with our house even though it only has two working burners left! I will have to give up on it when it gets down to one.


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