As the popularity of Outdoor Rooms and Outdoor Kitchens grow, I often get asked by home owners if they should purchase an outdoor dishwasher.
Outdoor Dishwashers are different from the standard dishwasher you would install inside the home. They are specifically designed to hold up to weather extremes, dirt and have a special wash cycle for tough to clean items.
There are two manufacturers to choose from – Kalamazoo, which holds the bragging rights for being the first to introduce the outdoor dishwasher and Asko. (Note: Asko’s website also says they were the first but Kalamazoo debuted theirs at KBIS 2011)
Both offer dishwashers with stainless interiors and exteriors, adjustable racks that will hold 12 place settings, weatherproof electronics, water safety leak protection and winterization steps.
Kalamazoo offers separate finished sides and back for the dishwasher to build it into their stainless cabinets. The Asko model includes a finished stainless exterior so it can be built-in or free-standing.
So, should you include one of these in your plans to upgrade or add an outdoor kitchen?
Most homes have a single wall outdoor kitchen that has barely enough room for a grill, sink and undercounter refrigerator. So if you fall into this category I’m sure you’d rather have the refrigerator than a dishwasher.
If you have a large outdoor kitchen area and plenty of storage space then the question comes down to the size of the budget. An outdoor dishwasher is about $4,000. That may be a quarter to half of the entire budget so it is a big decision.
If you have the space and money is no object then I factor in the location of the outdoor kitchen to the house.
If your outdoor kitchen is very far away from the home then you may actually want to consider using an outdoor dishwasher. A perfect example is a lakefront home.
If the outdoor kitchen is positioned near the water because that is where everyone hangs out and the home is set back from the water’s edge and possibly elevated; then carrying a lot of items back and forth may be very inconvenient.
One last note, you may be the ideal homeowner for an outdoor dishwasher but local building codes could also be a factor – especially in flood zones.