where would you put the laundry room in this house?

am_eJanuary 29, 2012

So, we're going to build a two story home. The second floor has the master suite, two bedrooms, and a bath. The first has everything else, including a home office, since we both work from home most of the time.

Where should the laundry room go?

Option 1: There is room on the second floor for a laundry closet, but not a laundry room.

Option 2: The mud room between the attached garage and house could have plenty of space for a laundry room. But, there is not a good way to have a laundry chute.

Which would you want?

Also, these GW forums are fantastic. This is such an incredible resource.

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Do yourself a favor, place them upstairs, having them downstair will get old real quick since you have to run up and down the stairs with laundry/laundry baskets. We are not getting any younger and we get tired very quick after the tender age of 45!
BTW, I'm 48 and most laundry is generated from bed/bathroom!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I have had a laundry room upstairs before many years ago and it was great. Could just throw dirty clothes in the basket in laundry room each day and never had to haul baskets of dirty and clean clothes up & down stairs.

If you are building the house you can always MAKE room for a full laundry room.

If I were building a house right now I would also make my outer walls twice as thick as code which I think is about 5 1/2", I would make walls at least 12" thick and put in spray foam insulation.
That makes the entire house extremely efficient and would cut down on electric bills considerably.

It is utterly ridiculous that outer walls are less than 6" thick.
In fact code today should be no less than 12" minimum.

Here is a great idea for walls, "Hempcrete" made from Hemp, the walls are 16" thick, air tight, 100% non-toxic and even if the temp is ZERO outside, if 10 people were inside the house their body heat alone would be enough to heat the whole house.
So well insulated that in summer you would hardly need air conditioning and in winter one single split piece of oak in a wood stove would heat the whole house all night long.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hemphouse

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Ame - I have a 2 story house kinda similar but 5 br, including master suite upsairs. Our laundry is downstairs, off of the kitchen, furthest room from the stairs. I am currently shopping for a 2nd w&d to put upstairs, it's already plumbed for them. This way my kitchen towels, coats, throw blankets, etc.. will be washed downstairs and our clothes, towels will stay upstairs. It is a huge hassle to lug laundry for 5 people down to wash and back up to put away. So, you may want to consider a small set for downstairs and a larger set for upstairs. If you decide to put it downstairs for now do yourself a favor and have the upstairs plumbing done anyway as it may prove to be a deal breaker for a buyer.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I would put it upstairs on an outside wall if possible, so that the dryer duct work has a extreamly short distance ro vent outside. Over time the duct work will clog with lint and it will make it so much easier to clean out. Also short dryer ductwork makes the dyer more effiecient to run, whether it be a gas or electric model.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Where ARE you people that talk of 12 and 16" walls, for gawd's sakes???

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Lots of votes for upstairs, thanks everyone!

Any dissenters? My parents and DH are voting for downstairs....but, its typically me that does the laundry:)

As for walls, I'm using 10" SIPS (structural insulated panels if you want to google), so I'm with the "more insulation than code" group. We're really trying to achieve an overall low cost of living and good energy efficiency; we'd rather pay for insulation and better quality windows up front than pay higher heating and cooling costs for forever. Insulation definitely pays for itself.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:51PM
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@AM.E, I stayed for a couple weeks in the winter, in a home in Witchita Falls with 6" walls, built around the 40's or 50's I'm guessing. The heater hardly ever came on and the whole home was toasty. My home in Calif is much colder (4" walls) in a milder climate and the heater comes on frequently. Having said that, most people don't need foot-thick walls. What I need is high-quality thermal double pane windows (something I hope to have installed this summer).

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 12:23PM
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@Am.E, I'm clearly not with the pack on this one.

My laundry used to be housed in a large closet in my kitchen (large enough for stacked machines, cabinet with laundry sink and tall storage unit to the right).

When we first bought our house we did a gut and reno and everyone convinced me to keep the laundry there (it would be SO convenient they all said).

Fast forward a few years and two children later ... I hated it. Weekends, the laundry would be piled up on the kitchen floor (I was working full time still then and weekends was when I could strip all the beds and do laundry).

My husband wears suits and dress shirts to work M-T so there was often an ironing board up in the kitchen too. My neighbor has a laundry room as part of a mudroom off her side entrance and she too has an ironing board up all the time in her beautiful dining room (more dress shirts over there).

I had a beautiful kitchen and it looked like laundry central.

We finished our basement a few years ago and down it went (where I wanted to move it originally). It is a large space (just the way the layout of our basement worked) but I use it as a multi purpose room.

I'm so much happier. Put in a wall mounted TV and have a large table on castors (ala Martha Stewart) for folding/crafts/wrapping. Put in two large IKEA PAX units to house out of season items (coats/swim gear/etc) and all the wrapping/craft supplies you could want. Also have my sewing machine set up on a nice desk and my elliptical machine (so I can exercise while I do laundry ... LOL).

I have a nice chair to sit in and sometimes read a magazine in it while I'm waiting for a load to finish. It's a great space and I use it all the time. Let's be real ... laundry never ends ... I could almost live in that room :)

The ironing board is up 24/7 and no one has to see it. There is also a nice hanging rod above it to hang dry my husband's shirts.

It's not for everyone I suppose, but I'd much rather head down there and have everything so organized and easy to access.

In a perfect world, I might install smaller Miele units on the bedroom level ... maybe (I have the Miele larger units in my basement). It might be nice to have the option to do more than one load at a time, especially as the kids get older and bigger but I wouldn't sacrifice my basement set up to do it.

Good luck with your decisions!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Its odd how I have no trouble making some decisions, and get completely stuck on others:)

Livebetter - I've seen pictures with the laundry in the kitchen, and I agree with you. At first it seemed very convenient, but the more I thought about going through the motions of doing laundry, the less I liked it. Thanks for confirming my suspicions of what that's like. However, in my case, the laundry closet would be off an upstairs loft, out of traffic flow, near the bedrooms, and not in "public areas" of the house. I'm not sure it has the same pitfalls, in that its less of a problem to have laundry out and about in the loft, as opposed to the kitchen, which would drive me crazy. I also don't sew, and my elliptical will eventually be in the basement with a TV...

I'm still not sold on one or the other, but fortunately I have a bit of time before I have to choose:)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:20AM
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I'd opt for a ground floor (or walk-out basement) laundry room in order to facilitate outdoor drying. But in every case I would choose to have a separate, dedicated laundry room (wherever it had to be if there was no choice) rather than a laundry closet - or worse - laundry machines in the kitchen.

I like having my laundry room easily accessible to where I am during the day so I can fit laundry into my other chores without so much bother. If it was near the bedrooms rather than near where I am it seems like doing laundry would be a pain. Plus I often run a delayed-start load at night so it's finished just as I get up in the am, ready for drying.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 12:04PM
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@Am.E, your suspicions were definitely right about the kitchen. It was actually a large "closet" but just didn't facilitate doing laundry for a family of 4. Maybe 2 people could have swung it? At any rate, I just hated the thought of laundry in the kitchen no matter what.

I don't know how they do it in Europe where a lot of people have their machine built in under counter right in their kitchen.

That closet/room is now a large pantry. I plan to do a small kitchen facelift in a few years and may get rid of the room altogether. It will open up the kitchen significantly.

I agree with @liriodendron, you should put it where it makes most sense for how YOU do laundry. Mine has to be in a space with room for ironing and folding and sorting ... that's just the way I roll.

Even if I put it up on the bedroom level, I spend most days on the main floor so I'd be going up and down. Now I do it in the basement and still go up and down but I have so much space and everything is nicely organized. I can also multi task in my space so I can do laundry while doing other things in the same room.

Most important to me is to have it out of public spaces as you said. No one needs to see your piles.

I always wished I had the laundry in my mudroom idea that my neighbors have but I can see in their mud/laundry room from the front foyer and it's not a great sight (even though it's a lovely laundry room).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 12:19PM
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