[This is part of a series of posts on the home buying process I'm going thru. To see the full set, visit the house category archives.]

Well things are progressing on the house. Closing will be sometime next week. In the meantime, I've been slowly getting my stuff together for the upcoming move.


First off, I took advantage of the day off on Monday to go carpet shopping. I had no idea what carpeting a house might cost and what the options are, so that was bit of an eye-opener. The carpet I'm looking at (with installation) is just over $4 per square foot. Plus there's this flat $75 delivery charge. And they need to come to the house to measure and figure out how much of a challenge the stairs will be. That puts the ballpark cost around $5,000 - $6,000 if my math is right.

The hardest part, of course, is picking out the color I want. It's hard to decide, partly because it's difficult to imagine the whole floor covered in it.

After sufficient time, I managed to narrow down the options and bring home several samples so I could stare at them in a futile attempt to decide. Since I got nowhere on that front, I asked a few friends and then enlisted the help of my cats to choose. After all, they're gonna spend way more time on it than I am.

The good news is that they like the carpet! The bad news is that they seem to have absolutely no color preference at all.


On the way home today I stopped off at Fry's (it really is on the way) to check out their selection of refrigerators. Walking in, the only thing I knew is that I didn't want a side-by-side unit. It turns out that that limited my choices quite a bit. They seem to be rather popular.

After opening every non-side-by-side unit in the store, I found that I had narrowed it down to three models. Why? They all have the freezer in the bottom (which is fine), but some have a drawer there while others have a door. It seems that I hate the drawer models and really want a door.

I only spent about 7 minutes looking. I'll need to measure the space in the kitchen to figure out what sort of dimensions I'm working with. Then I'll check out a couple other stores. I'm sure there are places with a better selection than Fry's.

Anyone got a local appliance store recommendation, where "local" is Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, or San Jose?

That's all for now. Next up is more paperwork, including me getting a big ass check form the bank to make the down payment on the place. Oh, I also need to call movers and utility companies tomorrow. Know if any local movers I should avoid?

Posted by jzawodn at February 19, 2004 10:05 PM

Reader Comments
# Charles said:

Don't forget The Estimator's Rule:

"It's always more than the estimate, even after considering The Estimator's Rule."

on February 19, 2004 10:33 PM
# jr said:


Western Appliance. That's where I got my fridge.
Upside, lots of stuff there, more so than Fry's. Downside, it's like buying a car, but less painful.

on February 19, 2004 10:35 PM
# Jesse said:

Best Buy and Sears have a pretty wide selection. Not sure if they are nearby though...

on February 19, 2004 10:46 PM
# Raymond said:

Don't know if you can find it in an "under/over" but, for me, water/ice in the door is a must. For those of you who have never had it, I'm sure it doesn't make much sense to you. (It's kinda like trying to explain how TiVo changes your life to a non-TiVo person). It is, IMO well worth the extra money for the feature and the installation.

on February 19, 2004 11:16 PM
# Jon said:

So out of curiosity, why don't you want a side-by-side?

on February 19, 2004 11:39 PM
# Brett said:

You have a cute cat. It looks like he likes the large grey square of carpet best ;-)

on February 20, 2004 12:03 AM
# Mark Denovich said:

We just went through the same thing. We really liked the Sears Trio... It has a freezer in the bottom, but has split doors for the fridge. Quite nifty for a narrow kitchen. It has water inside the fridge and an icemaker in the freezer.

That said we wound up with a Samsung Side-by-Side. I love crushed ice and water in the door, and it had the nicest interior, and nifty digital controls. It was cheap too (floor model.) The only drawback is that SxS are deep... 36" deep compared to the 30" of our old crappy fridge. It's a bit impossing in our small kitchen.

When you start looking you'll see that many "brands" are exactly that... just a name on someone else's product. Seems like there are only 3 maybe 4 domestic manufacturers + Samsung / LG.

on February 20, 2004 12:06 AM
# Kevin Marks said:

Drawers at the bottom are more efficient. When you open a door, the cold air falls out and warm comes in. A drawer keeps it inside.

on February 20, 2004 12:35 AM
# wil said:

Not interested in a big all-american Smeg fridge?


What's all this about carpeting? All the rage over the pond here is to not put any carpets down and keep the floor wooden, slated or tiled. You don't find many new homes with carpers these days, except maybe the bathroom.

on February 20, 2004 01:14 AM
# rayg said:

the cats probably couldn't help much with color choices: http://www.earthsky.com/scienceqs/browsefaq.php?f=159 . how'd they do on the scratch test? :)

i'm also curious about the no side-by-side choice for the fridge. i love mine.

on February 20, 2004 01:17 AM
# Chris said:

Go with the darkest carpet shade you think you can stand. Hides footprints, muddy cat paw prints, baby vomit (it could matter some day!) etc much better than a light colored carpet.

on February 20, 2004 05:28 AM
# Greg said:

I think any of those colors would look fine, except the blue ones. But please, pick something! That carpet that's there now is a hideous '70s artifact! :o)

on February 20, 2004 06:34 AM
# Charles said:

Carpeted BATHROOMS??!?! How unsanitary.

I just went through the Great Fridge Hunt, I ended up with a side-by-side. I was surprised but it worked out great, because it only takes half as much room to open the door, it's not like the full-width door that swings way far out into the kitchen. I was surprised at the lack of capacity in the over/under freezer with the drawer, the store had some frozen pizza boxes and one box basically took up the whole freezer drawer, but I could have easily fit dozens of em into the side-by-side. It's not like I ever eat frozen pizza, but it was a good indication of storage capacity. If you use bottled water, skip the icemaker/water dispenser. I like to make bottled water ice cubes, they taste better.
And BTW, if you're scrapping an old fridge, don't just dump it and let the ozone-destroying freon leak out into the environment. Fridge recyclers will buy your old unit, just to suck out the freon.

on February 20, 2004 06:37 AM
# Barnaby James said:

I didn't have to buy a fridge (it came with the house I bought) but I thought I would so I did alot of research. I found Western Appliance to be overpriced, filthy and like a used car lot in sales tactics ("what will it take to put you in this fridge, today?") -- YMMV.

Sears seems to be pretty reasonable and they will match other stores sales price if you bring in an ad -- (I got a good deal on a TV this way -- Fry's had a one day sale on the TV, limit 1 per customer but we all know what actually buying stuff from Fry's can be like). They also have sales frequently so play the waiting game and you can definately negotiate on the price on a big ticket item.

on February 20, 2004 07:17 AM
# George Schlossnagle said:

Amana easy-reach (http://www.amana.com/). Best refrigerator ever. Not too expensive either.

on February 20, 2004 07:57 AM
# pete said:

Carpet? You bought a house without hardwood floors! You fool!

As for the bottom freezer, the drawer will make it easier to find things if it's jammed full, like ours always seems to be. (Who am I to talk, we have two refrigerators, a top-freezer, and a side-by-side, they both suck in their own way...)

on February 20, 2004 08:42 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Yes, they all pass the scratch test. The cats like scratching the carpet squares.

on February 20, 2004 10:08 AM
# b said:

meyer appliance in mt view. castro and villa maybe?

on February 20, 2004 11:26 AM
# Philip Tellis said:

no idea about carpets - we don't have any at my place.

freezer at the bottom is a better idea, since you're more likely to be rummaging through the fridge, and it's easier to stand up than it is to bend.
the bottom of the fridge should be a drawer and not a door. apart from keeping the heat out (hot air rises), it's also easier to look down than it is to get down on your knees and try to peek inside... unless of course it's a top opening drawer, in which case, it shouldn't be in the fridge.

on February 20, 2004 01:08 PM
# Jane said:

Be bold with the carpet. Trust the cat and go with something that brightens a room. Besides, it can't get worse than the brown 70's high-low sculpted. Cute cat, by the way.

on February 20, 2004 01:46 PM
# Tim A said:

Depending on the fridge drawer model you'll find that it is a lot easier digging through stuff to get stuff out when you have it jammed with stuff (and even when not).

on February 20, 2004 03:47 PM
# Ferg said:

Costco dude!

I'd second the comments about the in-door ice and water thing -- it really is like converting to tivo.

Of course maybe you don't even have to decide on side-by-side versus drawer.

on February 20, 2004 05:26 PM
# dws said:

Consumer Reports likes the Sears Kenmore refrigerators, and Sears is always having some sort of sale. We went with a standard model, and have been fairly happy with it. Ice/Water in the door is one more thing to break, but friends who have it love it. The consumer info labels talk about how much power each will use (in terms of $/year), but I think they also talk about much noise a unit will generate. We went with a low-noise model.

on February 20, 2004 05:45 PM
# Jeff Boulter said:

We recently bought a freezer and went to Best Buy, Western Appliance, Fry's, Sears, Home Depot, Expo and a few others. I like Western Appliance (on el camino in MV) as the people are nice and it's never crazy in there like a Best Buy. You feel like a piece of meat at Sears, at least in MV. We ended up shopping around a lot, figuring out what we wanted, then buying it online for pickup at Sears, this avoiding the annoying salespeople and getting exactly what we wanted.

on February 20, 2004 06:09 PM
# rr said:

According to what I've read, ice/water in the door loses more cooling than the entire rest of the fridge (even accounting for the loss to open it when you do need ice/water). So if you want the greenest, skip it. BTW, do you already have a water connection there? If not, then ice-maker/water is, of course, more difficult.

on February 20, 2004 06:44 PM
# Jane said:

A plumber once told me you should hook your refrigerator ice maker to the hot water if the connection is a significant distance from the water heater. The water heater helps to filter the water and keeps the ice maker from building up sediment. The distance from the water heater allows the water temperature to cool somewhat before reaching the freezer. Any truth to this? By the way, I opted not to take his advice.

on February 22, 2004 08:35 AM
# Jerry said:

It has been my experience you can tell the surface a cat prefers best by it being the one they put the hairballs on. ... Maybe you can induce one and see which one they pick?

on February 22, 2004 03:01 PM
# Commercial Carpet Cleaning said:

Shopping for carpet can definitely be a pain. Looks like your cat helped you out though.

on March 30, 2008 10:39 PM
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