Measuring the space for a new refrigerator involves determining the height, weight and depth of the available area. In many cases, this involves measuring between cabinets, from the floor to upper cabinetry and from the back wall to the cabinets' front.
It's also important to remember that a refrigerator door has to open more than 90 degrees to permit complete access to the bins on the door and the vegetable bins. In a side-to-side unit, the doors need to be able to open to that degree on both sides of the unit. The refrigerator needs approximately 2 inches of additional space on any side with hinges in order to accommodate this.
Refrigerators also need room for ventilation. The refrigerator needs at least an inch, possibly more, in the back of the unit, as well as between the top of the unit and any cabinetry above it. It's also necessary to pull the refrigerator out and clean it from time to time, and having a couple of inches of space on each side makes that process easier. Another important measurement involves the front or rear door of the house. To get a new refrigerator into the house, the customer must have a door through which the refrigerator fits.