Since 1938 Barber & Haskill has been a family owned business serving the Barrie, Midland and Orillia areas. We are dedicated to providing you with the best in products, services and pricing.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Refrigerator Style Comparisons

One of the great dilemmas people face when buying a new refrigerator is - 

which style should you buy?

There are many options available to you, but before selecting a refrigerator that has the look you like, you have to make sure it’s going to fit in your kitchen.

The space you have to work with will often limit your style considerations. So, it is important to know what the height, width and depth of the space you have available for your new refrigerator is before you start shopping. Once you have determined your size requirements, it’s time to look at some of your choices.

There are many sizes and styles available to choose from, so to save you some time, I've narrowed it down to the four most popular models:

The French Door

The French Door is the fastest growing style we sell at Barber and Haskill. It has become very popular and can now be found in multiple sizes. Instead of having a traditional single door, this model has two doors – each half the size of a regular fridge door – with one side opening to the left and the other to the right. The freezer is located at the bottom, below the two French doors.

Here are a few benefits to keep in mind about the French Door model.

  •  Having two smaller fridge doors make it more practical in some kitchens where space is at a premium. 
  • You need less clearance for the door swing, which comes in handy if your fridge is in a tight space or maybe facing an island. When either one or even both doors are open, it still leaves you space to move around the kitchen.
  • Refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom continue to grow in popularity. Studies have shown that most people go into the refrigerator section 10 times more often than the freezer, so this configuration is much more practical. 
  •  It puts the appliance’s most utilized section at eye level, making it easier to see and grab things. While at the same time, preventing back and leg stress and strain from having to contort your body to see what’s on the bottom shelves.
  • There are quite a few models and sizes in the French door model. They start at 30” and go as wide as 36”. Most of the French Door units come with an upgraded feature package, which includes things like glass shelves, meat/deli storage, humidity control on the crispers and some form of water and ice dispensers.
  • You have two choices for positioning your water and ice dispenser: you can have it located on the outside of the door or inside the fridge.
  • There are advantages to both: the exterior dispenser means quick and easy access to water and ice, without having to open the fridge door every time. The only downside is a small ice-making unit has to be installed inside the refrigerator, taking away some space.
  • Having the water and ice dispenser inside the fridge means you have to open the fridge door to gain access, but no interior space is lost. I prefer the built into the door dispenser, just for the convenience.

The Kitchenaid model number KFIS29PBMS is the one I prefer, as the icemaker is not large and gives you more internal fridge space, but you do loose a little door space.

Standard Bottom Mount Freezer
Another model that is still very popular is the Standard Bottom Mount Freezer. As the name implies, it features the traditional single fridge door, with the bottom mount freezer. It comes in smaller sizes than the French Door model. And – on average – is less expensive than its three-door “cousin.” Some models can be found for well under the $1,000 price point, starting around $699. You’ll still have convenient access to your refrigerator, but many models will have a more basic feature package than the French Door model.

Top Mount Freezer

If you are “old school,” you can still get the conventional top mount freezer. It is still a very popular model for many people, as this fridge style provides them with familiarity and a comfort level. To be honest, not everyone is sold on the bottom mount freezer, so this model serves a valuable role for those who like things the way they’ve always been! Plus, it has a very affordable and appealing price point.


If none of the above styles appeal to you, you might be interested in the side-by-side” model. This unit features two equal-sized compartments – sitting side-by-side – extending from the top to bottom. One side is the fridge; the other is the freezer. In the U.S., the side-by-side is still one of the most popular selling styles. I have one of these at home, and the one downside I have found is trying to get a pizza box into it…the compartment is just not full enough for items of that size.

It was initially popular in Canada as it was one of the first units to offer the ice and water dispenser on the outside of the freezer door. Plus, it was ideal for people who had limited physical abilities: this unit allowed them easy access to both the fridge and freezer.

We have all of the above at Barber and Haskill, and it would be my pleasure to walk you through the features and benefits of each and every one of them.

by: Wayne Faris

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