Do you really need a range?

August 28, 2022

I need to buy appliances for the semi-habitable unit before I can rent it out, and I was stunned when I saw the price of a range. They cost anywhere from $600 to $2,000, and even at the low end they have far more capacity than I think most people need. I use my mother’s range maybe 3 or 4 times a week, and when I do I never use more than two of the burners on the stove. I also only use the smaller of the two ovens.

Furthermore, the kitchen in that property is quite tiny, so the idea that I might have to spend a lot of money and waste a lot of space with an appliance the tenant probably won’t really need is not appealing.

A typical American kitchen includes a dishwasher, a refrigerator, and a range. This is what you will find in every new and remodeled kitchen in any house on the market (in the US), but do we really need them?

I don’t think we absolutely have to have a range in the kitchen. There are cheaper alternatives which take up less space and do everything most people will need.

The trick is that you need to split up the range’s functionality. Yes, it has both a stovetop and an oven, but you can also buy those separately.

  • A two-burner stovetop can be bought for under $50 at Lowes or Walmart. When not in use, it can be stuck in a cabinet.
  • A convection microwave can do many (all?) of the things you’d use an oven for, and cost only $200 to $300.

So instead of getting a range, I will be spending around $250 to buy two appliances which do everything the tenant needs and yet take up only a third as much space.

EDIT: Or maybe not. I just ran a Twitter poll, and it showed that a lot of people use 3 or 4 burners on their stove. So I guess this means I have to buy a range.

This blog was launched in order to share one newbie home buyer’s experience in buying and remodeling a wreck of a house.

Like the house itself, this blog is a work in progress.

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