Fixing a Critical Design Flaw in our Kitchen (New Range!)

We got a new range, ya’ll! It wasn’t really a planned purchase, but I’m glad we did it. When we bought our house, we knew it had a couple of quirks. One was pretty annoying but meant either changing our cabinets or replacing the range that we thought worked perfectly well. See…the drawer right next to the range couldn’t be opened unless you took the knobs off, opened the door, and prayed to the kitchen gods. I don’t think the previous homeowners measured very well when they were shopping for the one that we replaced. This is what we were working with for a LONG time:

The Spice Drawer Debacle

Not the best use of space, right? We ended up putting our spices in there, since they’re small, and to be honest I don’t cook that much. I really should, but there are other things I’m more worried about. Anyway, we just made do. The stove was going to get replaced when we re-did the kitchen, so I wasn’t in a hurry to replace it before then. A few of the burners stopped working a few months into living here, and then one day Aaron and my Dad (while visiting from Kentucky) smelled gas in our front foyer. I didn’t smell anything and decided it was fine. If we still smelled it tomorrow, we’d call.

Gas Leak!

Turns out, they were right. The center burner was basically leaking a TON of gas into the house and causing the smell. We called out our local gas company, who were very prompt and quick to diagnose the problem. I think they were there in 10 minutes or something. They use a really neat machine that I can only really describe as a Geiger Counter for gas leaks and walk around your house. He also did a check on the exterior just to be safe.

Anyway, the gas technician said that we could just turn off the center burner for now, but would probably need a new stove. Not great news to new parents with not a lot of disposable income, but it had to be done. Turns out he couldn’t turn off just that burner and had to turn off the gas to the whole stove, but didn’t realize that’s what he’d done. You never realize how much you use an appliance until it breaks! Trying to make dinner that night was interesting…it only got to around 150 degrees, which isn’t that much hotter than what it is in Texas in May!

Shopping for the New Stove/Range

I did a ton of research the next day, looking at lots of ranges. In an ideal world, I’d love a slide in model, but it was just out of our budget this time. We needed several things: a super low price, slim profile so the spice drawer would open, and stainless steel. It was just a plus that it would cook our food more evenly, too, since the current burners weren’t working that well.

After looking at lots online at several different retailers, we landed on the Whirlpool unit below and decided to go out and look at it that night. It was on super sale (I think we paid $459, plus install and removal of the old one). I love it because of the clean lines of the grates, slim profile, and larger window. But really, we loved the price. After talking to the appliance specialist at Lowe’s, we decided to pull the trigger and scheduled our install for Tuesday of the next week.

Installation Day

That meant lots of crock pot meals and breaking out our old dripping coffee maker instead of using our french press, but it was well worth the wait. The installation technician came out towards the end of the day on Tuesday and did all the scary work of hooking up the gas. I know this probably could have been DIY-ed, but gas leaks scare me. I would be so worried that I didn’t do it right, and either blow up my home or ruin my brand new stove. Better to leave it to the pros, sometimes!

Just look at this beauty! See what I mean about the clean lines of the grates? The stainless steel matches our fridge (the only other updated appliance in here) really well, too! I don’t actually mind the black of the cooktop either, it’s a nice clean look. It actually matches our microwave pretty well, too. That’s one perk of stainless steel, I guess, since no matter the manufacturer, it’s all pretty much the same. We now have a GE microwave (that’s seen better days, but I’m holding on to it for as long as possible!), a Whirpool range, a Samsung fridge/freezer, and a Whirlpool dishwasher that’s probably original to the house.

New Range Features

The bigger oven window was really just something that happened to come with the unit, but I actually really like it! I think it makes it look so much sleeker and it is easier to see inside. The knobs come with 1/32″ of the spice drawer, but it still opens. Our installation technician didn’t believe me, but I knew my research would pay off. I found spices in there I didn’t even know I owned!

Another weird thing I learned while shopping for an oven: that drawer below on most ranges isn’t there for storage. It’s a warming drawer. I would never have known that! Mine will still be storage because I’m usually too ravenous to keep something warm and not eat it right then, but it’s cool to know. Sorry about the messy counter – those are the contents of the warming drawer that I just hadn’t put back in yet.

If you’re wondering what we did with the old stove, it went to the junkyard. I would have loved to give it to ReStore, but with the broken burner, I would lose sleep over someone’s home or business potentially having a gas leak because of a faulty center burner. It’ll get scrapped for parts and go on to range heaven if that’s a thing.

I can’t wait to update some other areas of the kitchen – mostly the backsplash and countertop, but that’s a little down the road. For now, I have all of my major appliances working (knock on all the wood!) and a brand new stove. Now excuse me while I go make some brownies. Yum!



  1. It’s GORGEOUS!! I’ve always wanted a gas stove since it translates into being able to cook when the power is out AND being able to properly grill some red peppers to can toward the end of the summer when the grocery is practically giving them away! Sadly, no gas lines anywhere near our kitchen. Our stove is just a few years old, and I don’t think I’ve ever opened the drawer underneath. If it happens to be a warming drawer I will be SO excited! Lydia just got a new fridge/freezer that I ADORE. I’ll take you on a video tour of it next time I babysit!

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