Shallow Space for Fridge - Any other options?


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Old 10-03-13, 12:02 AM
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Shallow Space for Fridge - Any other options?

My new house (still in closing process) has the fridge space in the corner of the kitchen and after taking some measurements I have discovered the space is rather shallow. A nearby doorway and adjacent counter make the space even tighter. Here is a diagram with measurements:



And a picture:



So basically I have 27.5" from the back wall to the edge of the door jamb. Not even considering the 1-2" (or more) of clearance needed behind the fridge, I couldn't find any fridges that are 27.5" deep. Even the expensive counter-depth fridges aren't that shallow.

So I see a couple options: (1) Get a normal fridge and deal with it extending past the door jamb by ~6", or (2) Somehow rearrange the kitchen cabinets to relocate the fridge.

Letting the fridge extend 6" into the doorway will only make the doorway pretty narrow and I think it would look pretty odd. I am curious what the previous owners had in that tiny space...

Moving the cabinets around seems to be the only option. Since I haven't moved in yet I'm only going off of pictures, but I think it could be arranged from (left to right):

Fridge -> Counter A -> Range -> Counter B

to:

Counter B -> Range -> Counter A -> Fridge

This wouldn't be a trivial task since it would involve dealing with the flooring and probably moving/adding electrical outlets and the fridge water supply, but we were already planning on refinishing the cabinets (painting) and tiling the floor in the future...this would just move that project to the top of the list.

I would love to hear some suggestions. I'll try to find another picture that shows more of the kitchen...that's the only one I have right now. The only issue I see (assuming it can be rearranged) would be the fridge would now be the first thing you see as you walk into the kitchen and it might disrupt the openness of the kitchen. Also, the right side of the fridge would be exposed which might be odd.

Sorry for the wall of text!
 
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Old 10-03-13, 05:41 AM
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I would look in the cabinet above the vent hood to see if it actually vents or if it just recirculates (useless). If there is a duct in the cabinet above the vent hood then you also have to contend with the ductwork in the attic to relocate the hood. If it's just a recirculator you can just move it and the electrical supply to power it.

Another option I would consider is leave the kitchen layout like it is now and shift the door opening away from the fridge. It looks like there is 3 or 4" of wall sticking out beyond the cabinets opposite the fridge. That little bit could help a lot to keep the fridge from protruding into the doorway.

I would also look at the layout of that area of the house in general. Is removing that doorway altogether an option? If it leads to the living room it might be an option but if that goes to the dining room it might be weird.
 
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Old 10-03-13, 07:36 AM
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Some questions first:
Is the wall behind the "fridge space" load bearing?How long is that wall, and what room is behind that wall?

I ask because, depending on the answers, another option might be to push the section of that wall back however many inches are required to fit the Fridge, even to the extent of building a second wall, in the adjoining room, parallel to the existing wall.

If I had to guess, this idea would more than likely over-complicate the adjoining room. However, if possible, it might be less costly to build a new wall than to move cabinets, plumbing,etc.

Also, if you could do this, and couple it with Pilot Dane's suggestion regarding a small shift in the doorway,it might do the trick.

Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 10-03-13, 09:58 AM
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If there is a duct in the cabinet above the vent hood then you also have to contend with the ductwork in the attic to relocate the hood.
Yes there is a duct. No big deal, though. Easy access to the attic and I am installing an over-the-range microwave anyways.

Another option I would consider is leave the kitchen layout like it is now and shift the door opening away from the fridge. It looks like there is 3 or 4" of wall sticking out beyond the cabinets opposite the fridge. That little bit could help a lot to keep the fridge from protruding into the doorway.
This was another thought I had. Let's say I can add 4" to the wall (giving me 31.5"). Allowing for 1.5" behind the fridge, I would need a fridge with depth < 30". The pickings get pretty slim at that depth...there are some out there, but they are less common and can get expensive (counter-depth). I really think a side-by-side type of fridge with their smaller doors is best in that area since the space is so tight.

I would also look at the layout of that area of the house in general. Is removing that doorway altogether an option? If it leads to the living room it might be an option but if that goes to the dining room it might be weird.
Removing the doorway is not an option; this doorway leads to a small dining room area and living room, as well as a door to a deck that is off the kitchen.

Is the wall behind the "fridge space" load bearing?How long is that wall, and what room is behind that wall?
Yes, the wall is load bearing; it is the only wall running down the center of that section of the house (tri-level house) and it runs perpendicular across the ceiling joists. On the other side of the wall is a living room area, but adding another wall parallel to the existing wall might not impact that room as much as you think. I would have to be there to really see...and take measurements.

I do like that idea: basically build that parallel wall which will allow me to create a pocket for the fridge. For a average sized side-by-side, I would have to make a pocket around 7" deep. But, shifting the doorway would reduce that, too.

Good ideas! Hate it that I can't go look at the place until we get the keys!

Here are some more pictures:

Doorway:


Kitchen:


Living Room (wall on left)



After seeing that other picture of the kitchen, I don't think rearranging the fridge/range/cabinets would look to good with the fridge on the end...it would close off the kitchen.

I think right now I am leaning toward the parallel wall idea...
 

Last edited by jstluise; 10-03-13 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 10-03-13, 02:13 PM
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I think right now I am leaning toward the parallel wall idea...


As I suggested the Parallel wall idea, a few things to keep in mind:

As the existing wall is load bearing, you'll have to install a header of some size (determined by an engineer?) at the cutout in the fridge area, to keep the house stable.

You should be sure that the new wall doesn't impact the adjacent room(aesthetically/furniture placement/paths from room to room,etc., more than you can be comfortable with. A buddy of mine was "sure" that extending a wall in his house would not be a problem, until he put up a cardboard mockup of the wall, and tried to live with it for a week-it didn't work out!
Good luck, and please keep us posted.
 
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Old 10-03-13, 02:40 PM
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As the existing wall is load bearing, you'll have to install a header of some size (determined by an engineer?) at the cutout in the fridge area, to keep the house stable.
Absolutely. I'm sure there is some basic info out there for sizing a header, since this is essentially like adding a doorway to a load bearing wall.

You should be sure that the new wall doesn't impact the adjacent room(aesthetically/furniture placement/paths from room to room,etc., more than you can be comfortable with.
Yeah we'll have to take a look once we get moved in. The wall in the adjacent room (formal living room) is really only big enough for a TV or bookshelf...maybe a small couch. So it may not have a huge impact, but that all might change once we take another look.

Another thing I was thinking about: if I am able to push the fridge back without relocating the doorway a little bit, then the fridge face will be flush with edge of the counter. I've always seen the fridge protruding a little bit past the counter so there is clearance for the door when opening. I dunno, it might be fine...hard to say without seeing it.
 
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Old 10-04-13, 12:49 PM
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I may have given up too early on finding a fridge that fits. I found a GE fridge (GSCS3PGXSS) that is 26.75" deep (excluding handles) and is still reasonably priced...still more expensive that some of the more standard sized side-by-sides. With the recommended 2" behind the fridge that puts me at 28.75". The face of the fridge sticking out 1.25" might not be a big enough deal. And if it is, moving the doorway over a bit would be easier than adding in another wall like we discussed.
 
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Old 10-07-13, 02:56 PM
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I've never purchased anything from AJ Madison's website, but here's the search results for fridges that say they are 27" deep. I think that could work depending on how you orient the doors/handles. The only real issue is that it's not going to be a cheap Kenmore or something--this is probably considered a specialty size and is priced accordingly. That said, at least now you know there's a couple of options.

Depth without Handles: 27" - 27.9" Refrigerators
 
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Old 10-07-13, 03:01 PM
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Thanks for the link. The GE that I was looking at popped up in that search...I actually found a local distributor that has a floor model of that fridge that would save me ~$400. I decided that I am going to wait until we move in to select a fridge, just so I can assess the situation better and take some measurements.
 
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Old 10-07-13, 03:28 PM
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Fingers crossed that the floor model doesn't sell before you get to it!
 
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Old 10-07-13, 03:31 PM
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I know! Now that you mention it I think I will call and see what their return policy is!

Better yet, Sears has a reconditioned model for about 50% off...always a little unsure about remanufactured/reconditioned items...
 
 

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