Re: Private home dishwashers: 18" vs 24"
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 09:08:47 -0700 (PDT)
I'm an amateur cook and a professional architect (although not one having Mr 
Durrett's coho experience).  Your question is one of several hundred thousand 
design questions for which there is no one-size-fits-all answer.  Here are some 
things to consider:

Number of common meals per week may not be your best clue.  First, what you 
think you will do, and what you end up doing, could be different.  Second, some 
cooks choose to prepare their contribution in their own home kitchens, in their 
own dishware, and to clean that dishware in their homes after the meal.  
Instead of common meal estimates, I think you should evaluate:
LOAD:  If your household is small (one or two people); and/or your cooking is 
simple (e.g., heat a store-bought can of soup); and/or you don't mind doing two 
(or three?) loads a day — then the 18" may be appropriate for you.  Otherwise, 
you'll likely find the 24" to be more serviceable.
PRIORITIES:  If your kitchens are really small, then you need to prioritize for 
space — and again, 18" might be the best choice for apportioning scarce linear 
feet of work zone.  So might a 32" or 28" refrigerator, and/or a 30" sink 
cabinet.  I've designed mini-kitchens, and they can work — again, provided your 
meals are simple, and team cooking with a significant other is not often part 
of the menu.  But speaking of priorities ...
Are you really sure a mini-kitchen is the best way to use your limited floor 
plan?  What about a mini-bedroom, or European-style mini-bathroom, instead?  
Some communities shun privatized clothes washing/drying machines (real space- 
and dollar-eaters, those), and go with shared laundry facilities out-of-unit.  
Finally ...
I tend to recommend that you design and live in the space you want, not the 
space that might appeal to an imaginary future buyer.  Even so, you should make 
your choices with an awareness that the more atypical your unit design — like, 
with a mini-kitchen — the more limited the pool of future buyers you will have. 
 (Unless, of course, your community is in Manhattan.)

Hope this helps.

R Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

On Oct 18, 2013, at 3:48 PM, Taryn Leigh <taryn_leigh [at]> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Our group is in the design development stage and are nailing down the last 
> issues of our building plans.
> One question that has come up is dishwasher size in the private homes.
> Our architect, Charles Durrett (extensive cohousing experience) recommends an 
> 18" unit however our developers/project managers (extensive small strata 
> development experience but no cohousing experience) say 18" is too small and 
> to install 24" units.
> Some context:
> We have designed 31 units, studios, one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom 
> and 1 four bedroom unit. 
> Our private kitchens are small, a few have only 3 upper half-cabinets.
> Our group hopes to hold 3-5 common meals per week.
> We are four member households away from being sold out and so far the largest 
> family size is two parents and two kids.
> I am inclined to think that with the number of common meals and family size 
> the 18" units will be sufficient. I see myself running a wash perhaps every 
> night is it fills up enough.
> I would love to hear your thoughts and experience on this.
> Kind regards,
> Taryn
> Vancouver Cohousing
> Sent from my iPad
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: 

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.