In 2019 we had no concerns about our ability to get our high-end kitchen appliances, such as Thermador or Subzero/Wolf in a timely manner. Or ANY kitchen appliances for that matter. Our lead times were typically a few weeks and we experienced none of the challenges of damaged product that we are currently experiencing. We were able to sign a remodeling contract and receive the kitchen appliances when needed.
Years into the pandemic, Americans are still clamoring to replace large kitchen appliances. Though mortgage interest rates are rising, pent-up home-buying demand, coupled with strong remodeling and building activity continues to fuel an appetite for new large appliances, experts say. Per Consumers Report, “a variety of forces, some related to COVID-19 and some decades old, have put kinks in the country’s supply chain and made it hard for appliance makers to meet that boom. Most notably, the computer chips or circuits in new appliance control boards aren’t being made fast enough. Bottlenecks at West Coast ports have left cargo ships carrying foreign-made appliances and parts languishing at sea. And once those goods are unloaded, there aren’t enough truckers or shipping containers in the right places to carry them around the country, industry observers say.”
Jeremy Konechne, Indiana Residential Sales Manager for Ferguson Enterprises, states, “appliances will continue to be a hardship for at least another year. As manufacturers continue to take orders for product they do not have, backorders are getting to be a huge problem for the manufacturers to fulfill. Regarding premium brands such as Thermador and Subzero/Wolf, lead times have various date ranges based on the individual appliance. In general, Refrigeration with Subzero can be as long as a year at this point. On the Wolf side, cooking is upwards of 6 months and beyond. Thermador is seeing similar time frames and dishwashers in the Thermador line are extended. Bosch and Miele recently sent out an email saying they would not be taking any more orders for dishwashers this calendar year.”
During our discussion, I asked for options to give our homeowners who want Thermador and Subzero/Wolf appliances without having to wait 12-18 months to get them. I have been told by numerous sources, that LG, and SKS (Signature Kitchen Suite, their premium side) is a great option. Per Jeremy, “they make some of the parts that these other manufactures cannot get to complete their products, meaning lead times are shortened. That said, everything is not in stock (and may still take 3 months or so for refrigeration). The other great thing about SKS is their warranty. If a unit goes down and is not able to be fixed/diagnosed in 5 days, they will swap out the unit completely. (Now the fine print on that is the diagnosed portion. If a part needs to be shipped out and is shipping in that week but not to you by the 5 days, they will not swap the unit out. In addition to this, if the replacement is on backorder and a fix over 5 days is still faster, they would not swap out)”. Additionally, I discovered that LG and SKS won numerous awards at the KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in January.
For some client’s, kitchen appliances are extremely important, and they prefer to wait until their Subzero/Wolf or Thermador appliances are available. Be mindful that a kitchen remodel may be delayed as much as 9-12 months and will require your contractor to get updated pricing prior to beginning your remodel. Vendors and subcontractors will only give price guarantees for 30-90 days from their quotes. This may result in an increase in the pricing to get your remodel completed. We also find ourselves completing remodels with homeowners using their old refrigerator and dishwasher until theirs arrives, sometimes living without a cooktop or oven.
For other clients, kitchen appliances are simply a functional aspect of their kitchens, and they prefer to get the remodel done ASAP and have no hesitancies in using another brand that is not only available but has a great warranty. We miss the days of clients simply having the luxury of choosing the kitchen appliances they like without having to check on PROJECTED availability. Appliances are a big decision and a costly investment. Our goal is to inform you of the current state of the union on appliances and enable you to make an educated decision. There is no right or wrong decision. Only what works best for you and your family’s needs. If considering a kitchen remodel, give us a call. We’d love to help you love where you live!