If you need a new major appliance, you’ve got a lot of decisions to make—like what to buy, and where to buy it.
But don’t forget about delivery. Before your new appliance arrives, you need to make sure you and your home are prepared for the delivery—or you’ll end up with some major headaches.
Here’s what you need to know before you buy a major appliance.
1. Measure once, then measure again. Ensure that your doorways, hallways, and ceilings are clear and large enough to fit the new machine. If your stairway is angled, and the appliance is coming upstairs, make sure that there’s enough room for the appliance to fit around it.
2. Check your connections. If your appliance requires a gas hookup, coordinate it beforehand. Most installers can’t connect to a gas line, and some states and municipalities require you to hire a licensed plumber.
3. Protect your floor. If your appliance isn't going to be carried in, but delivered on a two-wheeler, all the bumping around can damage unprotected floors.
4. Make plans for the old appliance. Either have it hauled away at the time of delivery of the new appliance, or determine whether your community will do curbside pickup of old appliances. Some utility companies may do pickup as well. Research this before the new appliance shows up.
5. Empty out your old appliance. You’d be surprised how many people realize that their last load of laundry is gone, after they pay to have their old dryer hauled away.
6. Find out whether the delivery service will remove packaging. If they won’t, figure out how you will discard or recycle it. You wouldn’t believe how much cardboard and styrofoam comes into your home with an appliance.
7. Inspect the new appliance for damage inside and out. And do that before signing for it! If the appliance is damaged when it gets to you, contact the retailer while the delivery people are there, and take pictures.
8. Test the new appliance. Make sure your dryer spins, the washer fills, and in the case of a refrigerator with an icemaker and water dispenser, check for leaks. Most “white glove” deliveries will do this for you, although some paid deliveries just drop off the boxed product at your front door. The sooner you discover a problem, the sooner you can have it addressed.
9. Make sure you received the appliance you actually purchased. Check to make sure that the model number on the receipt matches the one on the machine. If you don’t do this, and you took delivery on the wrong appliance, you may have trouble returning it.
10. Call a plumber if necessary Don’t be alarmed if your installer tells you that your appliances can’t be hooked up until you do some plumbing work. You might think they’re trying to make a few extra bucks, but parts wear out and codes change. If in doubt, call the plumber you usually use.
11. Check your outlets Check to make sure you have the required utilities (gas, 220v outlet, standard outlet) where you plan to install your new appliance
12. Expect to replace connectors Drain hoses, cords, and vents wear out over time, and can cause costly damage if they fail. If you’re replacing an appliance that plugs into a 220v outlet, check to see if you need a three or four prong plug.