Help! Too many doors on my layout!

lovetogarden_oakFebruary 13, 2014

Dear GW-ers,

We are embarking on renovating our guest-bathroom in the basement.

Would you be willing to help me with some ideas on how to change my layout so that it has less doors (other than not installing doors :)

We are thinking of not stacking the laundry/dryer units but maybe we should?

Per my calculations, there are at least 6 doors (interior and cabinet doors) in a 10'x3' hallway. It is not looking good to me.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Here's the layout:

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The trend is to save space by reducing long hallways, thus all the room entrances are bunched together. The immediate easy thing to do is to redesign the laundry and storage area to reduce the doors. Stack the washer and dryer. You can put the w/d in a separate closet and have built in cabinet storage in the rest of the space. The configuration for the built in storage is endless and would be based on your needs - tall cabinets, drawers, counter space, etc. Or you can combine the storage closet with the washer and dryer closet and put sliding doors on this area. You can look at and see a lot of different ideas.

Why do you have a separate storage room but not a separate laundry room. Can you combine them?

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 16:00

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:11PM
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Hi, Anna!

Thanks for your input. I was thinking of built-in cabinetry as well for the laundry/storage area. But, with the existence of interior doors #1, 2 and 4, the tall cabinet doors #3,5 &6 are just way too many for me. Even if we make # 5 and 6 into uppers and base cabinet doors.

I am looking for ways to change the layout so that perhaps maybe one of the doors #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 be eliminated? Door #6 is currently an existing access route to the furnace/ water heater/tools room. Maybe this has to go too?

The door on top of the stairs is an exterior door, so it needs to be there as we are not changing the exterior layout.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Stack your w/d. You don't need a door for them. Pocket door for door 4. Whether you can eliminate doors is a decision that only you can make. Do the doors that swing into the rooms really bug you (1, 2, 4). Maybe just the doors that swing out into the hallway are the ones that bother you. If so, leave the w/d open and put sliding doors on the storage next to it. But then the doors on the wd swing out too.

Are you wanting to move walls or just reconfigure your w/d area. I still think that using the hallway for your laundry room makes things pretty tight all around.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:36PM
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Would it be possible to move the washer/dryer into the big storage room (back to back with the bathroom, the plumbing should be easy) - that would eliminate the W/D doors. Also, would it be possible to extend the walls to what appear to be stairs next to the chute, so that the chute can be inside the same door instead of having its own door?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:42PM
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Or move the w/d on the other side of their back wall - the plumbing is already there in that wall. Then convert that space into closet storage with sliding doors or cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Hi, Anna and sjhockeyfan!

Firstly, many thanks for your feedback.

Secondly, I made a mistake. It is door #4, not door #6, that is the entry door to the furnace/hot water storage area. And, that space is currently where the w/d units reside.

So, the new floorplan above is an attempt to get the w/d out of the dark rat-infested storage room where the furnace and water heater are located (despite the relative unpleasantness of doing laundry in that room, I must say it is warm in there :)

So, moving the w/d to the other side of the back wall of the new w/d nook means the w/d will be back where they currently are.

That's actually, something I am very tempted to do: keep the w/d where they are if we can't figure out how to reduce the number of opening and/or doors.

And, sjhockeyfan, the area under the stairs, alas is only 3' in height and there's a load bearing wall between that door and the chute.

DH was commenting perhaps my question was badly phrased. Rather than asking for help in reducing the number of doors, I should ask how can I reduce the number of opening? In what way can I bunch up the functions of these separate things (storage, w/d, furnace/heater storage, chute, bathroom) so that we don't have so many separate entries or openings to access them. Is that just a bad idea? It feels really ridiculous to me to have so many doors in such a short hallway.

Thanks so much!

P.S. In case it helps give a context of where we are now and what we hope to create spacewise for this basement bathroom/storage area, here's the floorplan of our existing space:

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 7:20PM
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Keep the w/d where they are - so eliminate doors 5 and 6. Do you want a separate laundry room in that area or maybe dress up that corner in the furnace/water heater room - storage, countertop, lighting, etc?

Shorten the hallway by eliminating the wall at the end and pivot door 1 to where it is perpendicular to door 2. This will make the storage room square.

Move door 4 over towards the stairs?

Just work in progress ideas.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 21:38

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:29PM
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Anna, thank you so much! It made so much sense to pivot door 1 to be perpendicular to door 2. Yes!!! Making the storage square makes so much sense. It feels yummy already!

I am thinking we would eliminate door #6 completely and the storage behind it.

What do you think about this idea: turning door #1 into a pocket door that runs north south along the east wall of the storage area.

Also, if we were to keep the w/d in this new layout where the storage is now square, door #5 can also be a pocket door that runs west-east on the south wall of the storage area. Hm, maybe that's way too many pocket doors in the same corner. I don't know about this one. Have to think about it a bit more.

As for door #4, I am toying with two ideas: (1) rather than a tall cabinet door for it, we could use plywood door painted the same color as the wall to make it blend with the rest of the wall on that side and we can use the "push door to open" technology, or is that just tacky? Idea (2) wall off door #4 so the chute is behind the linen closet in the bath room, and we place a big basket under the linen closet to catch the dirty laundry. Attached is a photo of my inspiration of a linen closet with a double door at the bottom and I think we could place the big basket in that bottom space as we can make that space deeper the the shelves above. (My apologies as I am not sure where I got that photo from, probably Nevertheless, many thanks to whomever this bathroom belongs to!)

Oh, I am so excited thanks to your brilliant idea turning door #1 perpendicular to #2!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Turn door 1 into a pocket door is a good idea. The wall will have to be opened up and framed for the door. What I have seen is that you need to have an EXPERIENCED carpenter do this. The flush mount hardware is not normally stocked so give yourself time to order it. The door may need to be adjusted periodically so it would be good to use the same carpenter for maintenance.

Moving door 3 to the chute to the inside of the bathroom is a work flow decision only you can make. You have probably had a lot of elbow room in the furnace room as far as sorting and gathering up laundry. I would go downstairs to the basement and pantomime going thru the motions of moving around from the chute to the w/d and see what works best for you.

You do not necessarily need a door in front of the w/d - they can be left open. But that is a personal design decision for you.

Moving door 1 will eliminate the proposed storage next to the w/d. You can move door 4 to the furnace down towrads the stairs to get storage on the other side of the w/d.

I think moving door 1 will change the look of the hallway. Now the hardest part is making decisions about storage and work flow for your w/d. For example, where are you going to sort your laundry. Where will the sorted piles of laundry sit waiting to get washed. I'm assuming you carry your laundry upstairs to fold it. A stacked w/d with the dryer on top would make dumping the dried laundry into a basket very easy. How do you handle delicates that are hanged dry. Do you carry them upstairs or do you dry them in the bathroom. I'm assuming you do your spot treatments In the bathroom. Do you need to design the bathroom for that - maybe a nice large sink - Kohler makes several undermount sinks that are quite large. And a nice faucet too - you could even install a bar faucet which is smaller than a kitchen faucet. Work flow questions like these.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Sat, Feb 15, 14 at 10:18

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:15AM
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Thanks for your tips to consider work flow, Anna!

I was trying to make a new drawing today to show you all, but alas, I was not successful. Also, we found a major error in one of the measurements. Sigh.

Not to mention that our ceiling in the basement is only 83" high so we can't stack the w/d as I has hoped for. Double Sigh.

Yes, you are right, it is important to think of the workflow.
I was hoping to store the IKEA Algot frame with mesh baskets in the laundry chute to sort the laundry but because of the incorrect measurement of space, I may have to scrap that idea as the Algot won't fit in the chute anymore!

My original plan was to place a basket to catch the dirty clothes dropped off through the chute from the floor above, and then sort them into the Algot until when I am ready to do the laundry.

I like the idea of having an upper cabinets above the w/d (assuming not stacked anymore) with a hanging rod in between as a way to hang delicates. Also, I am thinking of an IKEA wooden countertop a few inches above the w/d. Here's an inspiration photo (Again, I am not sure where I got this photo from, most likely from google images.) For our layout, we won't be installing the bifold doors for the w/d area as we are trying to reduce the number of doors in the hallway.

Again, thanks to your help and suggestions, we will reduce the number of openings in the hallway from 6 to 5, and the number of floor to ceiling doors (a mix of tall-cabinet and interior doors) from 6 to 4.

I am liking our new hallway layout waaay better. Hopefully, I will be able to post our new layout soon.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:30AM
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I finally got my fireworks to work again. Here is the updated layout after we made the changes recommended by Anna.

Definitely less doors now, and the area made more sense to me. Thanks, Anna!

DH said since we are moving the storage wall anyway, let's see how two sinks would look in this space. So, here it is.

We are also contemplating changing the storage wall into a partition wall so the bathroom connects to a "walk-in" closet space. But will post that as a separate thread as we have questions whether moisture could be an issue or not. Love the idea, though.

Anna, thank you for your wonderful suggestion to make door #1 perpendicular to door #2!

We love GW!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:26PM
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I like this floor plan. The extra space in the bathroom and the position of the sinks is great.

I have a late 1980's tact home with a 24 inch door that opens to a large his/her closet. I installed a large capacity exhaust fan in the bathroom. I keep the closet door closed at all times. And there is an ac register in the closet.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:16AM
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