Put in Counter or stack W/D

kats_meowFebruary 5, 2012

We are buying an existing house with a utility room that is sort of small but has most of what we want. The picture I have are not ideal:

On the left when you come in, is a small cabinet with a sink. To the right is the freezer:

That side of the utility room is fine as is.

On the right, you have next to the door the washing machine hookup with a cabinet above the washing machine (not pictured but looks like the one above the sink). To the left of the washing machine is the hook up for the dryer. To the left of the left is a small space (maybe 18" - I forgot to measure it) that has nothing in it. I could keep broom or mop there.

They have created some hanging space but really that isn't important to me (rarely do I need to hang anything in the utility room).

The utility room is missing two things, one more critical than the other:

1. No counter space to fold anything.

2. No place for cat litter box. When we were planning to build (decided not to) I was going to have a counter that was open underneath and put the cat litter under the counter space.

I see two options (we have a front loading washing machine and front loading Dryer).

Option 1

1. Keep the basic layout as is except put the dryer in front of the washing hookup and the washing machine in front of the dryer hookup (this is because of how the doors open on each one). Built a counter over them.

Advantage - Easy to do and creates counter space.

Disadvantage - Counter space is a little high since it has to go over the washer/dryer. Also there would not really be room for the cat litter box. There would be space between the wall and washing machine (where the dryer is now) but it is not wide enough for the cat litter box. There would then be no room for brooms mop if we did that so maybe we would put in a small brook closet in what is now the open space.

Option 2

Stack the washer/dryer then build a counter next to it. There would be room under the counter for the cat litter pan as well as the cat food bowls/water.

Advantages - Place for cat litter pan/food/water, counter at proper height.

Disadvantanges - stacked W/d. Assume I would put the stacked W/d next to the door on the immediate right.

Would give up having a place for brooms/mops. Well,actually not entirely as there is some room next to the freezer space but would not have room for broom closet.

Any other thoughts/ideas/feedback?

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Personally would place the counter over washer and dryer, if you had more space then the stacked would be a good option. Lack of counter space with stacked w/d in small spaces can be a pain, just depends on how much folding space you need?

Maybe a smaller litter box if you can? And a wall hanging rack for brooms/mops on the empty back wall? We have a counter over our front load w/d and the height isn't too bad, I'm only 5'2" and it's not uncomfortable to use....except for young children.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:35AM
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kats_meow, I see two solutions for you.

Option one:
Do any of the walls butt up against the garage? If so, you could cut a pet door in the wall and put the cat box in an enclosure in the garage.

We're facing the same issue as you - small laundry room with much demanded of it, plus we need room for a litter box for our big cat (14#). He really needs a larger box than he's currently using but we can't fit a larger size inside the sink cabinet. So I had this brain storm the other night. We're going to cut a hole in the laundry room/garage wall, through the side of the sink cabinet, to lead to an insulated enclosure in the garage with a door on the side so we can clean the cat litter. The hole will be about the size of a pet door (sans flap since it's leading to an insulated enclosure) and will be placed between the studs so we won't need to install a header. We talked about doing this with a standard pet door that would lead into a wired enclosure for him (he's an indoor cat) but he's getting old and I'm just not sure he's up to learning how to use a cat door at his age plus it will only get harder for him to open the flap as he ages.

Anyhoo, this was our solution and maybe it will work for you.

Option 2:
If I'm calculating the size of your space correctly, you should have enough room next to a stacked W/D for the freezer and perhaps enough space left over to add a narrow broom cabinet. Then you can extend the sink cabinet counter to the wall, which would give you counter to fold clothes and a space underneath for the kitty box. Move the cabinet on the W/D side over to the sink side, up against the wall, so that its (I'm assuming) unfinished side is against the wall. Depending on the size of the cabinets, you may have a small gap between them to put a clothes rod to hang a few items up. Or maybe you can add shelving between the two cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Unfortunately, Lisa the utility room does not share a common wall with the garage (across the hall from garage). I do agree that Option 2 is a possibility. Will discuss options with contractor.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:20PM
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