We were about to buy the new matching Frigidaire Professionals (or the Electrolux copy) when I discovered a simpler option. Some bottom freezer fridges can be bought in both right or left openings. Some of which are different models with openings set in factory not just a handle switch using factory door cutouts. Mind the difference as you may not want two little circles (cutouts) on the doors and non-symmetrical labels. The Whirlpool models (WRB329RFBM and WRB329LFBM) were a good choice. Maytag also may have a pair available (probably made in the same factory).
- More fridge space: I ended up with 26 cu ft of fridge versus 18 in the professional (11 cu ft versus 18 for the freezer space).
- Less wasted ice maker space. I installed an ice maker in one freezer ($140). If it breaks I either get another or throw it out and reclaim the space.
- More door shelf space and partitions
- Four doors is more energy efficient
- Cheaper (by $1000)
- Shorter (thus allowing more useable, over fridge cabinet, space).
- Less depth than a large fridge (but more than the professional twins)
I decided to enclose it in a home made cabinet. I wanted a built in look. I needed to match the existed Ikea kitchen I put in in my last renovation. They did not have a deep double fridge cabinet of course. Luckily I found 3 large fridge cover panels (36x96) for $20 each and one deep cabinet ($10) in Ikea as-is. In the end all I needed to buy was one more cabinet, four cheap doors and four sets of hinges. I cut the panels down to 30" using Lowe's big wall saw - easier than my table saw. Normally I would mount the cabinets on the wall directly, but the cabinets were 24" deep and the fridges 30". Thus I needed a self supporting setup. I put an additional top shelf 30" deep above the Ikea cabinets and screwed that above a 2x2 which in turn was screwed into wall studs. It strengthen the whole structure right up. For the curious the opening is approximately w61" x h67". I am happy with the end result. I will be adding one more piece of trim work below the cabinets to enclose it a little bit further. The fridges may be tied together with a home made plate using the door holes on top of the fridge, however I may just "strap" them together using straping ribbon for now.