At these test kitchens, you can try out stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances. There’s no pressure to buy; because the kitchens are wholesalers, no products are for individual sale. Frequently a dealer or designer refers clients to a showroom, but you can also set up an appointment directly.
9204-H Berger Rd., Columbia; 866-987-2123.
This showroom, open by appointment, has high-end lines such as Sub-Zero, Asko, Franke, and Wolf.
45150 Business Ct., Suite 420, Sterling; 703-478-9301.
Offers demonstrations and after-purchase care-and-use classes. Call for reservations.
These services offer free referrals to remodelers and other home-improvement businesses they have screened:
Urban Referrals, ServiceMagic, and Home Connections serve the Washington area. Home Solutions Connection focuses on suburban Virginia and Maryland.
Each Delbe Home Services customer is assigned a service representative, who provides referrals to contractors, manages any projects, and can let the contractor in if you’re not home. The 24-hour service ensures that a contractor can be sent to your home at any time—even for a flood at 2 in the morning. Membership is $175 a year ($150 for Washingtonian readers).
This list first appeared in the October 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.