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Mar 20, 2012 10:54 AM

New home, want to get built in fridge, but existing cutout doesn't fit. What to do now?

Hi all,

Just joined the board as it seems it's a very active and helpful place. I have a question about home appliances.

Recently bought a new home, I always imagined I would have a sub zero built in fridge in my new home. However, the new home already has new cabinetry (remodeled in 2010), so I don't feel like redoing all the cabinets.

The current fridge cutout of the cabinet is standard 76*36.5*27.5 ... so standard 36 cabinet depth fridge basically

all built in fridge is 84 high I believe..

so what should I do now?? is it easy to still satisfy my dream (get a built in)? Or should I give up.

it seems to me there are few options

1) get a free standing one that makes it look built in.. i am not sure if subzero makes fridge those sizes, but i think viking does??? not sure how that fits

2) redo the cabinets just for that fridge section, and put a sub zero in there..

I have no clue how the cost would be if i redo the cabinets...

also frankly.. besides the look.. and the "sturdy feel" of a built in.. what else is different besides built in and free standing ones.. is the built in one bigger inside?? (it kinda feels like it, but i never measure)

what should I do?

thanks in advance!

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  1. This is what we just put in our kitchen remodel, it works for us, I have no idea if it would work for your or not, but if you're looking for ideas, here's one.

    we've had it a couple of months and think it's great, not SubZero but a great fridge.

    1. Can you just have the cabinet woodwork above the fridge opening removed/replaced? I had to do that on one of the kitchen remodels I did a couple years ago.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brobuckwheat

        This makes sense to me. If the WIDTH of the cutout is fine, it is trivial to remove the one small "above fridge" wall cabinet, and then order a smaller version of the same that is the correct height to fit above the built-in that you desire (if you even want a small one that high up - I''m 6'6" so I would use it to store large serving plates and such that I didn't need all the time.

        Personally, I really love the french door fridges, since most of what I need is a really huge fridge, with all those wonderful big door shelves and fully adjustable split shelves, so things can be arranged to suit my usual needs but then easily shifted to accommodate really big items as needs arise. I'll be getting a Samsung, either the 26 or 30 cubic foot in stainless. They are also really efficient and have very good reliability reviews. My parents had a sub zero in their old house and wouldn't do that again but Mom did love the matching wood panels. Me? I prefer stainless - at least for the fridge.

        Good luck!

      2. You would likely get better suggestions here if you could provide a couple photos of your kitchen showing the cabinets and existing opening for a refrigerator.

        4 Replies
        1. re: John E.

          I just bought the house, but don't have the keys yet. So the only pictures I have is from the listing:

          Notice it has a standard 70 inches fridge now.. and there's a 5-6 inches gap on top.

          I am not very DIY, so I have no clue how easy / hard it is to remove the cabinets on top, and replace it with a smaller one.

          I actually do like stainless steel too.. but i just love the sturdiness of a sub zero built in.. the weight on those doors.. the vents on top... etc...

          1. re: boxta

            Another option I found is that Viking built a free standing fridge that LOOKS like a built in. Here's the link

            It will probably not require any cabinet work if I go that route.. the fridge would be shorter (70) instead of 84 like a SZ

            1. re: boxta

              To help you clarify the situation, you have three options: keep the stainless refrigerator from the photo, buy a new refrigerator to your liking that will fit into the existing space, or modify the cabinets to put the built-in Sub Zero. What I would to is to price out the specific Sub Zero you would like to have in your kitchen and ask the appliance dealer if they know any contractors that handle the installation. They should give you a free estimate as to the installation costs. Make sure they actually come out to your new house for an inspection before you accept a quote from them.

              1. re: boxta

                I recommend that you have a professional replace/modify your cabinets. I saw them do mine, and there's no way I could have done the doors and cabinets so that they would have aligned well together and with the walls. (My husband could have done it, but he was working in a different city then.)