Appliance Shortage: Year of the $47,000 Stove

handsome kitchen with blue drawers, wood floor, and steel stove with fan

Buried in all the headlines about fires, floods, and vaccinations, there's another huge problem getting far less attention: the appliance shortage. Homeowners who need appliance repairs or brand-new appliances are finding that it's getting harder and harder to find them. Many have turned to the expensive solution of purchasing luxury appliances. But is it worth it to pay a whole lot more to solve a temporary appliance shortage problem? c

A Perfect Storm

Many factors came together in exactly the wrong way to create an appliance shortage that, for many, has become a full-blown crisis. Many homeowners are sitting on waitlists for weeks or months to receive appliances and parts for appliances.

One factor leading to the shortage is the demand for appliances, which is up. So many Americans spent so much time at home during the pandemic of 2020 that they put wear and tear on their appliances, which means they need newer items to replace the old ones. Homebuilding and home buying have actually gone up thanks to low interest rates, and these new homes all need appliances. Meanwhile, manufacturers and suppliers have slowed down and even ceased operations at times due to increased safety protocols and employee shortages.

These are fairly natural symptoms of pandemics. However, some uncommon problems have arisen as well. In February, problems with the state electrical grid led to a temporary shutdown in oil production. This led to a shortage of plastic, which is used to make many appliances and appliance parts. This problem also led to shortages in shipping containers and computer chips. This caused congestion at ports throughout the West Coast.

Then, an extremely bizarre accident happened on the other side of the world, affecting your ability to purchase a brand-new refrigerator. As odd as it sounds, it's true. A ship got stuck, well and truly stuck, in the Suez Canal in Egypt. This blocked a heavily trafficked shipping lane and caused massive shipping delays all over the world.

large refrigerator in kitchen with wood design

Solving the Problem

There are some ways to try to find appliances. Independent dealers and secondhand stores may have something that can tide you over while you wait it out on a list. However, many homeowners are turning to high-end, luxury appliances instead. Is this nothing more than a costly way to solve a problem or an elegant solution? Are luxury appliances worth the extra money?

In the crush of these market forces, some wealthy homeowners have been shelling out over $45,000 for a stove. Specifically, La Grande Cuisine 2000 from L'Atelier Paris has been the must-have item for new luxury kitchens. Demand for high-end appliances like these has skyrocketed as more standard models become scarce.

long, elegant professional stove with gold lines

Is It Worth It?

To command a high price, these luxury appliances offer a little more oomph. Some high-end appliances are also fully installed with custom cabinetry that is designed to high the appliance. This creates a very nice, high-end look that can truly elevate the entire room.

Luxury appliances do have additional features that more standard versions don't have. Sub-Zero refrigerators and high-end stoves can do more than your traditional appliances, which makes it possible to explore gourmet recipes, exotic ingredients, and new cooking methods that aren't available with other types of appliances.

These appliances are intentionally made with all the bells and whistles, features, and upgrades. They've got the high-end tech. And this means they are made to function well, run perfectly and stay this way for a long time. Consumers who pay a ton of money on an appliance expect quality and durability, in addition to beauty and function. Luxury appliance makers strive to provide this.

High-end washers and dryers have a larger capacity than their less expensive counterparts. They also have additional features, such as steaming clothes to prevent wrinkles or sanitizing clothing, something that's very useful during a global pandemic. Luxury appliances also tend to be extremely quiet. High-end dishwashers are much quieter in general than more affordable models and have all sorts of little extras as well, such as a rack for cups.