Over the past 7 months of living in the tiny house there are a few things that we’ve noticed that need improvement. The tub I’d built isn’t ideal for a couple of reasons (more on that when I get it fixed up), the hot water heater leaves a bit to be desired because it isn’t intended for what I’m using it for, the wall storage (because its open) makes the small space appear cluttered, and the fridge/freezer we’d had wasn’t able to keep up with our needs. Each of these will be resolved in the coming year in the order of most impact to our daily lives, but the first item up was the fridge/freezer.
The fridge/freezer we had was good (more about that in our previous post) and didn’t stop working or anything but wasn’t able to keep up with our high volume of food. If you eat out primarily and/or are single the fridge/freezer we had before will more than keep up. We on the other hand make 95% of our meals from non prepackaged sources and are a family of 3 (4 when my oldest comes over). In addition we like to throw little parties for friends occasionally. The old fridge was just not up to the task as we’d had it crammed full and opened it often. This meant that airflow was poor and suffered more as the door was opened. We needed something bigger.
As our previous fridge/freezer was about 5.5 cubic feet and a typical house size fridge is 20 CF we figured we’d could do with something in between. We started looking for deals on 10 CF fridges and waited until the sales around Black Friday began. We were able to score a new Whirlpool 10.7 for just under $400 (less than what we paid for the original refrigerator) and added a 5 year warranty to it just to be safe. It is 5 inches narrower than our previous fridge, about 5 inches deeper, but about double the height. This meant that we’d need to give up use of the small window behind the fridge (worth it), and we’d have to extend out the fridge platform a bit.
This was a multi step process as I had to first remove the trim work around the front of the original platform (remember the platform is because there is a wheel well behind here so unless I want the fridge jutting well out into the walkway, it is needed to move it up rather than out). After the trim work was removed I then built a small box using the Kreg Jig System. The great thing about the Kreg system is that it also allows you to connect the box to the box behind it as well. So with the platform extension built and attached firmly to the original platform it was then just a matter of filling in the holes with wood putty, sanding, painting, and then putting in the trim (which is beyond easy if you have a miter saw and some trim nails). What I ended up with was a bit of an extension on my storage platform beneath the fridge and a lot more storage within the fridge.