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Help me choose EE appliances that will work best for my large family?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We're looking for a home. It looks, atm, like we'll probably choose something that's about half our budget needing repairs and/or updates, and do a 203K and/or an Energy Efficiency Mortgage. We'll do things like insulation, efficient furnace and water heater, etc. But as far as the appliances I'm not sure. I don't know much about them, and I don't think a big box store is going to be able to do outfit our "special" family very well.


I have 5 children and 3 adults. Most of my choices are balancing the EE aspect with the fact that I fell like we are a small army, and have SO MUCH MORE to ask of our appliances than most families.


Dishwasher: We do dishes all. day. long. Since I saw it on a home improvement show for a large family several years ago, my dream has been to have 2 dishwashers. When you're standing at the sink loading one, you load the second, and you get your dishes done in half the time. They don't take any more resources than one, just the upfront costs of purchasing the second and outfitting the kitchen to accept it, which we can do if we're renovating. However, maybe there are large capacity dishwashers that could do the same job, and possibly be more efficient? I know restaurants have them, but I think they are a whole different setup that I'm not sure you could accomplish in a family kitchen...


Refrigerator: We have never had a big enough fridge. Doesn't seem possible. My kids will clean out our "average sized" fridge in 3 days. I can't and don't want to refill the fridge every 3 days. I want to at least keep 1 week's worth of refrigerated items. Plus, we do TFs and many of the fermented things need to be kept refrigerated, and most of our food is perishable. Pantry space, not so necessary, Fridge necessary. Where can I find a somewhat economical fridge (not a restaurant walk-in) that will fit my family and be EE?


Range and oven: Need more than the typical 4 burners. Because of the TFs I cook almost everything from scratch. I often have all 4 burners going, and a crockpot besides. I'd like the option of having it all on the stove. And the oven just isn't big enough... Also not sure where to find this item, for energy efficiency and frugality, or what else to look for than size.


Washer and dryer: If you think we do a lot of dishes, you should see the laundry. One day's CLOTHES is more than a single load in our current washer. Then the towels, washcloths (we use instead of paper towels), cloth diapers, bedding, etc, we're ALWAYS SOOOOOO behind on laundry. I need a washer and dryer with a VERY large capacity, and SPEED. If I could get 3 loads done, in 30 minutes, I would be walking on clouds!  But I don't know anything about HE washers, or what else might help me, but I want to learn.


I think that's it, but if anyone else has ideas for things that would help this large family get things done more efficiently, we'll pay the upfront costs to save us both time and money in the future. TIA


post #2 of 7



Well, we are a family of 2 adults and 4 kids--with another one on the way.


We have a HE washer and dryer, which fits a lot of clothes, probably a weeks worth of clothes for 3-4 kids per load.  Its an LG and I don't remember the capacity.


The one thing I don't like is that it is more difficult to get cloth diapers clear and free of build up in it--and the wash cycles are waaay longer then an older machine. 


But we try to wear a pair of pants a few times, if not visibly dirty, etc.


6 burner stoves are pretty common, and not that hard to find. 


That's all I can think of now... Sorry!

post #3 of 7
I love remodeling. Everything you're talking about in kitchen appliances is easily available if you have the money to spend.

Range: A 36-48 inch range will have 6 burners and probably two ovens as well but you have to replace cabinets so that it will fit. An example: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Premier+-+36%22+Freestanding+Gas+Range+-+Stainless-Steel/9115398.p?id=1218025524479&skuId=9115398

Refrigerator: Built in refrigerators can come in widths up to 36 inches I think (just for the fridge, you get a separate built in freezer), but the companies that make them are very high end (SubZero, Viking) so that is probably $15k at least for refrigerator and freezer. It would probably be cheaper to just have two fridges if cost is a major issue.

Dishwasher: The dishwasher doesn't really come any larger for home machines; you would have to install two. Commercial dishwashers tend to be really hard on the dishes, require identical dishes, and thus are impractical for home use. I think if you look though, there are dishwashers with a cycle time as short as an hour.

Washer/Dryer: I really know nothing, sorry! I will say that my front loader works just fine and doesn't grow mildew as long as I leave the door open as long as I am not using it.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I found these Xtra Large capacity dishwashers that fit in a normal space http://www.askousa.com/ Watch the video on the homepage. It looks very cool. That's as far as I've gotten in my search for the ultimate in clean and easy life appliances.

post #5 of 7

We are 2 adults and almost 5 kids.  We were killing time at Sears and randomly saw a Kenmore commercial fridge for like $900- it was awesome!  It had a glass door- so you could see everything at a glance (but would have to probably keep the inside pretty tidy..)  No drawers or bins or anything- but that is my next fridge.  I have several deep freezes that I use to store all of our grains and meat and butter and whatnot- I have them fairly well sorted too- so I know which I need to get into.  I dream of a dish washer... or 2.  I have a Maytag Bravos washer I think the capacity is 5.1 cf.  It gets my diapers clean- and we probably run a couple of loads a day through it at least.  We also try to save our towels for about a week and change our sheets infrequently to minimize laundry.  Of course in the summer everything gets washed more- but then I use the line to dry anyway...


I think that fridge you should look into...I would imagine it would be cheaper to run 1 good one than 2 smaller ones...  And as a Viking or something like that.

post #6 of 7

Dishwasher: I think 2 is the way to go.


Refrigerator: 60 or 72 inch. Or a typical fridge and drawers?



Range and oven: Extra large range (possibly in island?) and double oven would be by choice.


This will be a very, very large kitchen! Set up could be tricky too. I would also suggest a regular sink and a prep skin.


Washer and dryer: no advice! My MIL once had 18 living in her home and did it with 1 set. Amazing.


I would google and ask around, find out what outlets are in your area, auctions, that sort of thing. If you have appliances now that you could take with you until you find the right thing on some of this? I would speculate that the refrigerator will be the most difficult to find.




post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, actually we have all  (older, small) appliances in storage. And, the houses we've been looking at have appliances. So, we'd be able to make due until we find the right ones. I realize people did it with many kids. I mean, they used to wash clothes int he creek for 20 kids. But that doesn't mean I want to! :) I have better things to do with my time than babysit the TINY washer and dryer like I do now. I HATE setting the timer to run downstairs every hour and start a new load of 4 pair of jeans, and all that water and electricity...

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