Sep 28, 2011

Our next project: Building a laundry room

Hey, all! Hope you're having a great week so far! Can you believe it's almost October? Where did September go anyways?

So, I have mentioned before that we are planning to move our washer and dryer from our entryway to the basement. It's something we've wanted to do from the day we moved in, but since it involves some plumbing and neither one of us knows anything about that, we've kind of procrastinated it. But, with another winter headed our way sooner than we'd like (see above, re: it's almost October!), the image of wet, snowy boots and gloves piling up in our tiny entryway has us again craving extra space -- and wanting to boot the W&D to the basement.

I know, it seems kinda crazy -- why make it so we have to cart laundry down two flights of stairs instead of one? Maybe some visuals will help...

Here's a shot of our entryway, looking from the kitchen. You can see it's a tight space. The door you see is our side entry that guests use, while a door not seen on the right is the garage entrance we use, and a pair of doors on the left hide the W&D. We also have a tiny closet around that corner where the cubbies are. Here's a better shot...

The door on the right is the closet, while the one of the left is the garage entry. You can start to see our dilemma here. We walk in through the garage, and when you're standing there, you can barely open that closet to put your stuff in, and since we're lazy busy our shoes just end up kicked off and left in the way. And in the winter, snowy boots just get left out here to dry, since the closet is too small to accommodate them, which means we're always stepping over them and getting our socks wet. Is there anything worse?

A much better option would be to use the twice-as-big closet where the W&D are. These doors are directly across from the garage entrance, and there's more room here to wiggle out of your shoes. And look at all that storage space!

And of course, another obvious reason to relocate these puppies is the inevitable laundry back-up. You know what I mean. We don't even have kids, and already on laundry day (or even not on laundry day...) our entryway starts to look like this...

Like our ghetto electrical- and packing-taped laundry basket, 'cause we're too cheap to buy another one??

See the shoes in the mix? Please don't judge me...

Can you grasp the situation now? This is not what we want guests to see when they show up. Plus it's just dang annoying to step over this all the time, and no fun to look at, and I'm sure our laundry piles will grow once we have kids. Yes, we could pile it all on top of the machines and close the doors, but then stuff would be falling behind the machines, and plus we leave our washer door open to dry before we close it to avoid a mildewy situation, which means the closet doors stay open too.

So, you hopefully can see why we're positively giddy at the thought of relegating this disaster to the basement, where we'll have lots more space for hoarding storing laundry, laundry baskets and the like. And we'll also gain much-needed closet space in the entry.

I'm not going to go into the details of the plumbing right now, mostly since that's what the hubs has been looking into, so I don't know much about it. For now, I'll just say we need to install a pump in the basement to help pump the water from the washer up to our discharge pipe and into our septic system, which will run us about $300. We'll also need to put in the valves, plugs, etc. that are currently in the entryway:

We'll be leaving these in the entryway, in case we sell someday and the next owners are really jazzed about first-floor laundry (I'm already trying to think of a cute way to disguise these once this becomes a closet...).

And while we could just do the plumbing and plop the W&D in the basement, we decided we'd like to make it more of a laundry room -- separated from the rest of the basement, with lots of storage and places to hang our drying clothes, since we hang a lot instead of drying it. So we'll be putting up some walls, installing flooring and picking out some storage options. The room will also include a utility sink (another reason we need the pump), for the hubs' brewing operation -- in case you don't recall or are new here, the hubs makes his own beer, with most of it happening in the basement, and the sink is a big part of the process. This way, he won't have to cart all of the stuff up to the kitchen and make a mess, yay!

And here's the corner where the laundry room will go. And yes, it does still look like that. You can see our work is cut out for us.

It's not a great pic, but the W&D will be up against that concrete wall on the left -- you can just see at the very top the bottom of the white discharge pipe we'll be hooking into. We'll build walls from that wall to the pole and beyond to separate it from the shelving and storage you see in the center and right of the picture. It'll be about a 12' x 12' space.

Ready for some inspiration pics? I know you are!

I love the counter over the W&D, and how it includes a sink as well (although ours will be an ugly utility sink, not a pretty sink). The cabinets above are just what we need too.

Here's another one that includes a sink. I love the cabinets' built-in look and that bar to hang things...genius!

Source: via Mindy on Pinterest

Also really digging this pedestal to stow laundry baskets...we may be making one of these!

I'm really liking this one -- and it has a utility sink, so it's a better representation of what we'll end up with. I'm loving the vertical storage on the side and cabinets along the top. We've got space for vertical storage on one side too, so we'll probably do something very similar to this. And that wall color? Gorgeous!

Not sure what colors we'll end up doing down there, but we did start to look at flooring, to begin pricing it out and seeing how much this project will cost us. The floor has to be somewhat durable, since it will get wet, more than likely, but we're not looking to drop a big chunk of change, so affordable is also a must (oh, and though utility is more important here, it really does need to be easy on the eyes). 

After some research and a chat with the Home Depot flooring guy, we're leaning toward resilient vinyl plank flooring by TrafficMaster. It's pretty durable, easy to install and can go over concrete, and it's only $1.79 a square foot. We thought about laminate flooring, but since there's a possibility of water, the guy said we'd risk water getting between the cracks and warping the boards. The laminate was only 70 cents a square foot, but since it also requires a vapor barrier that was about the same price, it's not really a better deal in the long run.

After reading reviews that said the dark colors show up lots of lint and dust, and since the laundry room won't have a window, we've decided to go light with the flooring. We're liking the blonde maple:

and the bamboo:

So that's our laundry room plan. First up will likely be building the walls and then putting down the floor before moving the W&D and hooking them up. Oh -- actually, first up is cleaning up the basement so we actually have room for the stupid things. And we'll also be figuring out how to do plumbing. I'm kind of scared for that one... Since we're trying to do this on the cheap, we're also planning to scour our local ReStore for some cabinets, countertops and other storage solutions we can find. I love a good thifty hunt!

Our pipe dream for the entryway is to knock out that tiny closet and open the space up a bit, but who knows when we'll get to that one (since it will include relocating baseboard heating, outlets and light switches, and probably putting in new flooring since there will be gaps in the tile floor from where the walls used to be). For now, we're focusing on getting the laundry room done enough to at least move the W&D before wintertime -- which will be here before we know it....

Wish us luck! You know how good we are with finishing projects (remember that office redo?? neither :) ). 

P.S. I'm on Pinterest now! I'm still figuring out how to use it, but come and follow me and watch me muddle through... :)


Allison said...

As I prepare to schlep to the laundromat with two weeks' worth of laundry and an L.L. Bean backpack full of detergent and such, I am SO JEALOUS of this dilemma. ;) Miss you and hope you're doing well!!

Erin @ Domestic Adventure said...

I am still amazed at how similar our houses are! Our laundry is in the entryway, but our set up must be just a bit different because we don't have to actually walk through the laundry area en route to the door. But we definitely do get laundry back up... what I REALLY want is laundry in a second-floor closet!

Christina said...

looove your washers & dryers...and your inspiration pics!! Can't wait to hear how it all goes :)

And now I'm following you on glad you're on!!! :)