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Drawer dishwasher—Worth the expense to improve kitchen function?

5 years ago

Hi all,

I’m curious on your thoughts regarding whether it’s worth shelling out for a Fisher Paykel drawer dishwasher for somewhat of an improvement in kitchen functionality. I know the drawer units have mixed reviews but overall the reviews seem more positive than negative.

Here’s some context: we bought our home about five years ago as a former foreclosure. In prepping the house for sale, the bank owner made some improvements—including new appliances—but in about the cheapest way possible. I guess I can’t blame them too much for not wanting to shell out $$$, but I do kinda curse them for painting over all the oil-based painted trim with latex, with no primer or prep. Grrr. It’s a peeling mess now.

Back to the kitchen. So, they put in new appliances, but without a ton of thought about how the appliances would fit in the space. Think for example a French door fridge placed against a wall with a window so the fridge handle would hit against the jutting windowsill. You couldn’t even open the fridge door 90 degrees. We’ve since replaced the fridge.

But this is about the dishwasher. It’s a run of the mill GE, and we’ve had a few minor problems with it over the years but nothing huge. Lately I’ve been noticing the wear and tear the unit is showing—for example finish flaked off at the bottom corners of the door, with rested metal showing underneath. So I’d like to think about replacements now, even if we don’t actually buy a new dishwasher for a while, so I’m prepared in case we have to buy a new one quickly.

I’m normally not so interested in fancy kitchen appliances, because I just don’t cook as much as I should. But my issue is that the dishwasher sits at a right angle to the sink, so the dishwasher door opens right into the spot where you’d be standing to load the dishwasher. We have to stand to one side and reach and twist a bunch. Plus of course you can’t open the cabinets below the sink while the dishwasher is open, which is a minor annoyance (but still an annoyance) when my husband and I are both cleaning up because we always seem to need to get into that cabinet space while the dishwasher is open.

Ideally, the best fix would be a new kitchen layout, but that’s not in the cards for quite a while. I’m not even sure a better layout is possible without increasing kitchen square footage. A set of two Fisher Paykel drawer units would cost roughly twice what I’d otherwise pay for a dishwasher. However, even though the drawers would still pull open into the same spot in front of the sink, I think I’d be able to load part or most of the drawers without having them all the way open the WHOLE time—allowing me to stand more in front of the sink instead of reaching and twisting as much (and being able to open one under sink cabinet without having to completely close the dishwasher).

As it is now, loading the dishwasher is just awkward and a pain. But am I overestimating the difference a drawer unit would make, versus a standard door unit? I wouldn’t want to pay that much and then find that it didn’t really make a noticeable improvement in function.

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