Speaking of dishwashers

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Does anyone have experience with "alternative" size dishwashers, such as drawer models, narrow models, and so forth? I'm currently using a trusty old Kenmore apartment-size portable that I hide in the pantry; when it gives up the ghost, I'd like a built-in (not just for my convenience but with an eye to home resale value eventually -- someday when homes have resale value again, ha ha ha). I have a seriously small kitchen, about 5 x 10, and only three base cabinets not counting under the sink, so I want to give up as little space as possible. I've thought about installing a single drawer under the sink, but wonder if it would hold enough dishes to be practical (two drawers wouldn't fit there). A narrow model might allow me to keep half of a base cupboard. I've looked at new portables, but it has to be apartment size, which cost nearly as much as full size and have nowhere near the features (new ones don't even have as many features as my old one does). I'd like to use the pantry space for something besides dishwasher storage, too. Any suggestions? Pitfalls to avoid?
Jo Ann
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On 01/02/10 02:50 pm, Jo Ann wrote:

The only drawer-type of which I am aware are by Fischer & Paykel. When we needed a new DW, I did investigate these -- despite the high cost -- and found many complaints about breakdowns and poor after-sales service.
Perce
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On Sat 02 Jan 2010 01:30:14p, Percival P. Cassidy told us...

There are other brands besides Fisher & Paykel.
There is also a sink/dishwasher option:
    http://www.beststuff.com/housewares/kitchenaid-in-sink-dishwasher.html
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Holy crap, half the size at twice the price. Proabably handy for some people though.
I've seen other drawer machines, but they are the F&P with a different label on them..
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wrote:

Wow, if somebody knows a place where I can look at this, I'd love to check them out. The price is steep, but it sure is a creative idea for my situation.
Jo Ann
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The only small 24" wide units I've ever seen are the Fisher & Paykel models. Typical small built in dishwasher is standard height and 18" wide. I'm pretty sure most manufacturers make at least one model. years ago I had a Maytag 18" unit, which was great
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Wow, I googled 18-inch dishwasher and found there is a whole website dedicated to reviewing the various models. Thanks!
Jo Ann
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wrote:

Your house may hurt without a standard-size built-in DW at sale time. The cost of new installation will likely be 3 or 4X the cost of a portable unless you can do the plumbing and electrical work yourself. Features mean little unless they can get your dishes cleaner faster using less energy, if cost is a concern.
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Good considerations, thanks. What does everyone think about losing a cupboard vs. gaining a dishwasher? There's really no good compromise here, as it would take major remodeling to change the kitchen in order to have both. Would you rather have more storage (i.e., cupboard) space in your kitchen or better automatic dishwashing capability?
Jo Ann
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wrote:

Depends on what the cabinet situation is like. If it is short to begin with, I'd keep the cabinet. Also, think outside the box; could the refrigerator be anywhere else in the house with a nice set of cabinets where it is currently located?
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Chris Hill wrote:

You mean outside of the kitchen? That would be nuts considering how many trips we make to the fridge during a typical meal preparation and cleanup with leftovers. Most efficient layout is a triangle composed of the sink, fridge, stove with some prep space next to each. My cousin had a big kitchen with the sink on one side and the stove and fridge on the opposite wall, 16' away. It was very tiring to prepare a meal. The room also had four doors. To outside, to dining room, to basement, to pantry/laundry room.
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wrote:

Depends on how close to the kitchen the refrigerator could be placed. Sounds to me like we're dealing with a sub-optimal situation here to begin with. Last time I was in such I moved the refrigerator to the dining room and put a portable dishwasher in its place. The main advantage was that you didn't have to roll the dishwasher over carpet to get it into the dining room that way. The second advantage is that we could use the top for counter space, there was very little in that kitchen. If the house would have been mine, I'd have knocked the wall out and made the dining room into an eat in kitchen.
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You're right that it's suboptimal no matter how it's approached. Here's the layout: Picture long, narrow kitchen with entry doors at both ends. At one end is the entryway from the utility room (houses furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer). On the left wall at that end is the doorway to the dining room; on the right, the stove. Going through the kitchen from that end, on the right is stove, drawer stack/ narrow upper cupboard, sink, upper/lower cupboard. On the left is dining room doorway, refrigerator, upper/lower cupboard. At the end is another upper/lower cupboard and the door to the pantry, walk-in closet, and bathroom (picture a small landing with pantry on one side, closet straight ahead, and bathroom to the right). The closet is built from the space under the living room stairs and, if the house had a basement, is where the basement stairs would be (house is on a stone foundation over a deep dirt-floored crawl space that looks like it was probably excavated as an after-thought when they installed indoor plumbing).
Currently, I use a portable apartment size dishwasher that rolls into the walk-in closet (barely passing through the narrow door; full size portable would not be an option here). The dishwasher can't go into the utility room because there are two stairs down from the kitchen to the UR; it can't go into the dining room both for aesthetics and because there is about a 1-inch drop between the old wood floor in the dining room and the new tile floor in kitchen (yes, I know I can fix the drop-off, it's on the list).
The refrigerator could conceivably go into the dining room, but it's hard to imagine that a future owner would prefer another cupboard or a good spot for a full-size portable dishwasher rather than a refrigerator in the kitchen. Also, keeping in mind that this is a very traditionally styled, Victorian house, there's not really a good way to disguise a refrigerator in the dining room without its looking ludicrous.
Knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room is something I've thought about, as is expanding the kitchen out over what is now the side porch -- thus my earlier reference to major remodeling. Neither of those is an option at this point.
So, what it comes down to in my mind is either sacrificing a base cupboard for a dishwasher or continuing to use an apartment-size portable that's stored in the closet. Given the options, I'm not terribly unhappy with the current arrangement, but when the dishwasher stops working and being repairable (it's OLD), I wonder which would be better in terms of resale: A built-in dishwasher or an extra base cupboard. Jo Ann
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wrote:

How many bedrooms? I guess for a single person, that kitchen might be adequate. For a family, it would reduce the value no matter how you re-arranged it. If I were in that position, I'd either leave it alone and suffer, or see if the wall to the dining room could be disposed of. It would seem to me a decent-sized kitchen would be more valuable than a dining room with a kitchen only fit for a submariner.
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Technically, four bedrooms. The one downstairs is very small and has no closet. I use it for a home office. Of the three upstairs, one is very small and has no closet, and I've converted it to a walk-in closet and storage area (with easily undone closet kits in case someone wants to change it back to a bedroom someday). The other two have closets, which are rare and welcome in this type of house; the builder made smart use of a little bit of over-stairs space. The master bedroom takes up one whole side of the upstairs space, and the other side is split into the two small bedrooms.
If I were going to take on a single big remodeling project, it would be to convert part of the master bedroom into an upstairs bathroom. I think having only one small bathroom, which is downstairs, is at least as big a drawback as the submarine kitchen, probably more so. This is actually on my to-do list, right after "finish plumbing replacement" and "new furnace" (every fall my HVAC guy shakes his head when he tunes up my 40-year-old furnace and makes dire predictions about the so-far unexpanded crack in the heat exchanger. Every year he decides he doesn't have to red-tag it "quite yet." Yes, I have CO monitors and alarms in almost every room.)
My first choice for expanding the kitchen would be to move the exterior wall out over the side screen-porch (porch is at a lower elevation than the kitchen, matching the two-steps-down level of the utility room). It would be a much bigger remodel, but would be truer to the house's design (not turning the kitchen/dining into a "great room") and would still leave a screen-porch, albeit a small one. The porch walks out onto a big deck, so making the porch smaller isn't a deal-breaker; I just need a little space to sit out on hot evenings during skeeter season. The space below the kitchen (between the kitchen floor and the porch floor) in this imagined expansion would also create some much-needed storage space. And then, the second time I hit the lottery, I'll turn the deck into a 3-season room. Jo Ann
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Technically, four bedrooms. The one downstairs is very small and has no closet. I use it for a home office. Of the three upstairs, one is very small and has no closet, and I've converted it to a walk-in closet and storage area (with easily undone closet kits in case someone wants to change it back to a bedroom someday). The other two have closets, which are rare and welcome in this type of house; the builder made smart use of a little bit of over-stairs space. The master bedroom takes up one whole side of the upstairs space, and the other side is split into the two small bedrooms.
If I were going to take on a single big remodeling project, it would be to convert part of the master bedroom into an upstairs bathroom. I think having only one small bathroom, which is downstairs, is at least as big a drawback as the submarine kitchen, probably more so. This is actually on my to-do list, right after "finish plumbing replacement" and "new furnace" (every fall my HVAC guy shakes his head when he tunes up my 40-year-old furnace and makes dire predictions about the so-far unexpanded crack in the heat exchanger. Every year he decides he doesn't have to red-tag it "quite yet." Yes, I have CO monitors and alarms in almost every room.)
My first choice for expanding the kitchen would be to move the exterior wall out over the side screen-porch (porch is at a lower elevation than the kitchen, matching the two-steps-down level of the utility room). It would be a much bigger remodel, but would be truer to the house's design (not turning the kitchen/dining into a "great room") and would still leave a screen-porch, albeit a small one. The porch walks out onto a big deck, so making the porch smaller isn't a deal-breaker; I just need a little space to sit out on hot evenings during skeeter season. The space below the kitchen (between the kitchen floor and the porch floor) in this imagined expansion would also create some much-needed storage space. And then, the second time I hit the lottery, I'll turn the deck into a 3-season room.
Jo Ann ==wouldn't it just be easier to move, or raze it and start over?
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holy hell, are you living in my house? Seriously, it's kinda creepy how well you described where i live.
nate
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LOL! I have a friend whose house is laid out just like mine, too. When I bought mine, she could have found her way around it blindfolded. I think it must have been a pretty standard plan at one time.
Unless I AM living in your house...this whole think isn't some weird Twilight Zone episode, is it? (Maybe I'll wake up and discover I really have a huge kitchen and an upstairs bathroom!)
Jo Ann
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Your place sounds really neat although I don't envy your issues & tasks. As I said previously, my bud has an old house like yours including stone foundation. Stall is attached to the side of the kitchen and down a few steps. Has a split door. Horse head often in kitchen. Very social. It's just a way of life I think is cool.
No digital camera? Might help with some of your posts.
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This doesn't help I know but just a comment. When we built this house (1970) following the plan somewhat loosely, as we went along; having more that adequate lot width, we added two feet to the kitchen end. Thus acquiring another 8 foot counter, top, lower and upper cupboards and and a place fort the fridge at end of it next to the back door. What a BIG difference that made! We also added two feet on the other end of the house, thus enlarging three of the bedrooms and increasing two built in closets to double. The total cost increase was two more roof trusses and a certain amount of extra 8 foot basement wall form and pouring and eight feet of additional outside framing etc. And of course the roof is four feet longer than it would have been! Both additions were well worth while.
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