Author Topic: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?  (Read 1569 times)

letstalkaboutdune

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What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:45:23 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians,

As a brand-new homeowner I'm having to deal with some challenges in order to get our house configured to our liking. One of the more pressing issues is how to get our fridge cleanly installed in our kitchen and connected to its water line. Unfortunately, pre-closing we didn't have good access to the home for accurate measurements when we were shopping for appliances, and we bought a 36" wide refrigerator for a space which is only ~34" wide at its narrowest point. Apparently 39" is standard for fridge space here in the States, so I'm not sure why this was chosen.

It seems like I have two options:

1. Buy a smaller fridge and try to sell my current one, which is non-returnable as it was purchased at a refurbished appliance shop. The current one cost me $800 and is super-nice (it's actually new and was a floor model). I'm not sure what my net loss would be here as my guess is fridges in the 33" range are less common. My wife and I cook every meal at home, so we take full advantage of the space a bigger fridge offers.

2. Remove the pantry cabinet on the left, which is 24" wide, and replace it with one that's 21" wide or so. This will leave me with a gap as it will no longer meet the top cabinet which goes above the fridge. It also seems like the cost of this option could vary widely depending on what kind of cabinet I get (the current ones are Koville) and who installs it.

Can anyone savvy in home remodeling/appliances please give me some guidance? Any suggestions are welcome.

CNM

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 04:51:57 PM »
The least expensive option would be to keep the fridge, remove the pantry, and then install open shelving to fill the space that was the pantry.


letstalkaboutdune

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 05:00:16 PM »
The least expensive option would be to keep the fridge, remove the pantry, and then install open shelving to fill the space that was the pantry.

Thanks, that's a good idea. Another option to think about!

gooki

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 12:29:10 AM »
If you can find a fridge that fits, that will be your lowest cost option.

If you want to keep your fridge, do it right and replace both the pantry and the cabinet above. You can save a few dollars by installing the cabinets yourself.

lthenderson

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 07:52:48 AM »
What's the other end of cabinets bordering? Can the entire line be moved down two inches and then you just have to add filler strips to the edges of the cabinet above the refrigerator? Are there filler strips in there to begin with that can be removed to make up the two inches? I almost always install a filler strip somewhere in a line of cabinets because you want to be close without going over on your dimensions. Sometimes cabinets have lips on them for spacing purposes and these can be ripped down to get you the extra space. There are a lot of possible options to consider before I would go with selling the new fridge at a loss and buying another one.

Roboturner

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 08:38:38 AM »
The least expensive option would be to keep the fridge, remove the pantry, and then install open shelving to fill the space that was the pantry.

This would 100% be my suggestion. If you don't like the open-shelf look you can replace the cabinet

letstalkaboutdune

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 09:17:54 AM »
What's the other end of cabinets bordering? Can the entire line be moved down two inches and then you just have to add filler strips to the edges of the cabinet above the refrigerator? Are there filler strips in there to begin with that can be removed to make up the two inches? I almost always install a filler strip somewhere in a line of cabinets because you want to be close without going over on your dimensions. Sometimes cabinets have lips on them for spacing purposes and these can be ripped down to get you the extra space. There are a lot of possible options to consider before I would go with selling the new fridge at a loss and buying another one.

To the right of the area shown in the pictures are a line of cabinets and granite countertop with the dishwasher and sink installed. I'm a total novice at home improvement but it seems like that would complicate trying to move the entire line.

letstalkaboutdune

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 09:22:49 AM »
If you can find a fridge that fits, that will be your lowest cost option.

If you want to keep your fridge, do it right and replace both the pantry and the cabinet above. You can save a few dollars by installing the cabinets yourself.

I think keeping the fridge is the way we're going to go. Having the extra fridge space, and giving future buyers the option of a 36" fridge, is worth quite a bit to us.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 04:58:45 PM »
The least expensive option would be to keep the fridge, remove the pantry, and then install open shelving to fill the space that was the pantry.

Personally I like well done open shelving, so this would be the route that I would choose to go.

But, the practical side of me has a few questions:

1) How are you at painting? There is a good chance that when you take the pantry out you will find that you either need to patch a few screw holes or that the area behind the pantry is a different paint color/unpainted.

2) Can you find baseboard that matches or come up with an alternative for your open shelving? Baseboard doesn't run behind or beside cabinets (or at least it doesn't usually)

3) Can you tell if the current flooring runs under the cabinets? Sometimes to cut cost cabinets are simply set on plywood rather than the final floor or in the case of a reflooring the new floor is simply run up to, but not under, the existing cabinets.

SquareD_01

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 05:42:03 PM »
We were in a similar situation last year when we moved to our current house. Previously we owned a large fridge, the kind with double doors and the freezer below, but the current configuration requires a small, single door fridge with a side freezer.  Our layout is almost identical to yours and I regret not tearing the pantry out.  Smaller fridges make platters impossible and you are constantly juggling from front to back because of how narrow they are. (I'm reminded of my decision by my lovely wife on a fairly regular basis.)

Fishindude

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 09:12:11 AM »
A skilled carpenter could narrow that Pantry making the space wide enough for the fridge.
This would be the most professional and best looking way to do it.

letstalkaboutdune

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Re: What should I do with my too-big pantry (or too-big fridge)?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 09:25:45 AM »
Thanks all for the suggestions. After debating and contacting different professionals in our area we've decided to "wuss out" and get a new fridge. I found a 33" wide model that fits the space perfectly and actually has 0.1 cu ft. more room than the 36" wide model we currently have. We'll sell the current fridge, hopefully recouping most of that expense. The second-hand appliance seller is allowing us to transfer their 3-month warranty to a buyer, and the fridge is practically new, so I don't think it'll be too bad.

On to the next project... a sliding glass shower door and corner shelves... :)