When measuring your fridge, decide whether you want it to stick out or be flush with your counters. Either is fine.

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Do you remember the last time you bought a pair of shoes or new outfits online, eagerly tried to slip into them and found out they didn't fit? You sent them back, right? Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to send back a fridge. That's why making sure you have the right dimensions is so important before you buy.

The size of your kitchen will influence the type of model you purchase. Fridges come in traditional top- or bottom-freezer shapes which look like long, skinny rectangles. They also come in side-by-side models, which look like fat rectangles. A more expensive type of fridge gaining popularity is a counter-depth fridge. These are shallower than traditional fridges but wider to compensate. They come in top-freezer, bottom-freezer and side-by-side models. They look more "built-in" to your cabinets than the regular ones but have less capacity. You basically trade functionality for beauty.

Before you start measuring, check a couple of refrigerator-model installation guides. This tells you if your kitchen fits the right power requirements for the type of fridge you want. But don't add that fridge to your online shopping cart just yet. There's still measuring to do, as we'll see on the next page.