Make Sure It Fits

You'd be surprised by how many otherwise intelligent people place orders for appliances that won't fit in their allotted space—assuming their new fridge, washer, or whatever doesn't get wedged up against the ceiling of the foyer. Appliance salespeople are full of stories about savvy customers who fail to note that the only way to access the kitchen is up a set of steep stairs, through a narrow doorway, and down a hallway that takes a sharp turn before dead-ending in a spot too small for its hoped-for purpose.

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Do a Door Inspection

Fridge doors can open on the left or right, so resist a deal on a floor model if the door opens on the wrong side (or ask if the door can be rehinged). And by the way, does that door stick so firmly only Superman can open it, tempting you to leave it open while you finish making dinner? Sticky doors may help save energy—and keep you on your diet—but after I'd yanked open my new fridge one time too many the handle came off in my hand.

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