We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen. One of the bigger tasks is to take an existing tiny pantry area (10" deep) and expand it to become a refrigerator enclosure.

I know the standard refrigerator dimensions are roughly 36" wide x 70" tall x 30" deep but what dimensions should I make the enclosure? I know some people build around a specific refrigerator or try to make it as tight as possible but I'm not building around a specific model and I'm more concerned about ventilation, generic sizing, etc. than I am about squeezing it into a custom made enclosure.

I could obviously just bump everything up and make it 38" x 72" x 34" but am looking for some input from the community.


Why not build it around a specific model? Refrigerators are made to be long-lasting, almost like a fixture, not something that changes frequently and needs a universally-sized nook. If you pick a fridge now, you can get its exact dimensions and ventilation clearance requirements and build your enclosure to those specs. What if you picked "standard" dimensions now, and then select your dream refrigerator only to find it won't fit?

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