how much is a repair trip?

talley_sue_nycMarch 3, 2011

I'm trying to put together a proposal to suggest that we in our small apt. building buy home machines to replace the coin rentals we currently have. (It's a co-op, so we own it; there are 10 units, and most have 1 person, 1 is empty. We pay $1.50 for a wash and $1.25 for a dryer round, which for my family adds up to about 9 loads a week, 52 weeks a year, $1,200 a year or so--at that rate, I could buy a new set of machines every year and *still* come out ahead).

One of the obstacles will be servicing. Right now, if a machine breaks, we call the rental company and they come right out and fix it. No charge. (Well, there *is* a charge; it's part of that $2,700 we pay to rent the 4 machines each year.)

I'm drawing up a couple of proposals for how to prorate the cost between the apartments so that it's fair (i.e., my family should pay a lot, others should pay nothing or very little). I wanted to factor in the cost of a couple of repair trips each year.

Any suggestions? (of course, we're in NYC, so I'll probably need to add 7% or something to everybody's suggestions)

I'll check w/ some repair places, too, but I thought I'd ask here.

I'm figuring that since it will be quasi-commercial, it'll be hard to get a service contract, but I'll look into that as well.

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Why not buy coin op machines, lower the amount per wash, to maybe $0.75 per load for each, and the Co-op banks that money to pay for repairs and future replacement.

According to my sources a service visit starts at $125.00 in NYC.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:29AM
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Because you get more cycles, etc., with home machines.

And because they're less money in the first place. I can buy a decent set for $1,000 on sale. But a coin-op front-load washer is $1,200

With only 4 families (and 2 of those are one-person families) regularly using the machines, i just don't want to pay commercial prices.

Thanks for the info--add in parts, etc., right? So probably $175 per visit.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:22PM
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**I'm drawing up a couple of proposals for how to prorate the cost between the apartments so that it's fair (i.e., my family should pay a lot, others should pay nothing or very little). I wanted to factor in the cost of a couple of repair trips each year.**

If you're moving to each apartment having its own machines, why doesn't each family pay for its own repair visits (or buy its own extended warranty if it wants)? I guess I'm just puzzled about why the co-op needs to be involved in repairs or repair contracts for machines that each family owns individually. Do you pay co-op charges to have your refrigerator or range serviced? If not, I can't see why laundry would be different.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:33PM
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We aren't moving to each apartment having its own machines.

There is no room in people's apartments for washers and dryers, nor are there hookups or drains. The laundry machines would be different from a range or fridge because they would be housed in the common basement and available for everyone to use. My range is inside my apartment, and only I can use it.

There is room in the basement for 2 washers and 2 dryers. There are 10 apartments + the super's apt. (Only 5 families--1+1+2+4+3 in terms of number of people--use them regularly; 3 small families (1 to 2 people) use them sporadically. 2 units were duplexed and therefore have room to have their own, and 1 unit is currently empty.

The most space-efficient thing to do is share. But I'm tired of paying $1,100 a year in quarters, and I'd rather buy the machines and not worry about the quarters, for anyone. So I want to propose several different routes.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Does the coop own the basement or is it owned by someone else?

'quasi-commercial': if you purchase a 'normal' machine intended for home use, whatever warranty comes with it will be void in this situation. So you'll need a service agreement from somewhere.

I'm also willing to bet that if you went out and bought, say, a pair of H4s and used them as much as you are suggesting, they would fall apart in a year or two. This would make me want to lean toward the simplicity of a commercial machine like a Speed Queen or some such.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:51PM
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coop owns the basement.

If they fall apart in a year or two, I'll still be ahead.

Right now, the basement handles 22 loads in a week, I'm guessing. Between 2 machines. That's only about 10 to 11 loads per machine. Each week.

You really think they'll fall apart in a year? I know families of 6 who do about that number of loads in a week in their home machines, and those machines last a while.

Nobody else does as much laundry as we do; we're a family of 4, and we do 7 to 9 loads in a week. Everyone else, and I'm not exaggerating, is a family of 1 or a family of 2. Many of them send their laundry out.

(if those people were going to start doing their laundry in bcs it was cheaper, I'd want us to stack the machines and get 3.)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 5:05PM
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I wish you luck. We tried something like this with our vacation home and common utility area. I hope you have greater success- and I only had 6 homeowners to contact. At first everyone was receptive, they were all interested in saving money and even more interested in letting me do all the work. That's fine - it was my idea.

I prepared the proposal and gave 2 different options- one with a service contract that would cover all repairs and another were we would pay for repairs as needed.

After many emails and phone calls back and forth I couldn't get a majority to agree. No one objected to the initial price of the machines, but they did argue about the service contract. One fellow even said that he knew someone - who knew someone - who would do it cheaper. But they weren't even in appliance repair, they were just handy. Well that was 5 years ago and we're still using the coin operated machines.

I won't even mention what happened when the roads needed repaving! Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 6:51PM
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The only way to divvy up the costs is by the percentage ownership of each unit. Nothing else will work or last over time.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:14PM
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Propose the following:
Buy two washers and dryers. They will be under warranty for the first year. Then get a service contract for 3 years. Check pricing with several providers and choose based on both cost and reliability of the provider. Have each owner kick in their portion of the purchase cost, then at the of the first year divide the cost of the service contract. Service contracts are not that expensive, certainly they are cheaper than a single service call would be. This way all costs are predictable.

Make sure all users are familiar with how to operate the machines. The service probably cleans the machines you have now. Owners will have to do this if you purchase your own machines.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:30PM
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The only way to divvy up the costs is by the percentage ownership of each unit. Nothing else will work or last over time.

Actually, this would be grossly unfair. Because the family that owns two units doesn't ever use the basement machines. And my family owns 1 unit but has 4 people, while the guy below me has 1 unit and only 1 person--and he sends most of his clothes out.

My idea was per person. Because that affects the amount of laundry.

Dianne, that's my idea; I'll have to look into the service contract. I don't know that the warranty would hold in a group situation, unless we got the commercial machine. Now I just have to figure out what sort of company would sell us a service contract.

And the service doesn't clean the machines; we have to, or else the super does.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:59PM
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I don't know exactly how a coop works but I live in a condo and any charges, assessments, etc. for the common property are always done by percentage ownership - that's specified in the condo documents and there's no way around it. Certain improvements can be decided solely by the board and other things require a vote of the entire association to be approved but any charges incurred are divided by percentage ownership. I assume there are similar rules for a coop.

We have a swimming pool which incurs expensive repairs. I hardly use the pool but have to pay my designated percentage of the repairs in any case. That's how it works.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 12:41AM
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In a co-op, especially a small co-op (we have 10 apartments, every apartment has 1 vote, and every apartment is represented on the board of directors), the board can do anything it wants.

Generally, costs and expenses--at least, expenses that are truly the building's responsibility--are indeed divided according to the share ownership. (If we had uneven shares, like studios w/ 1 share and others w/ 2 shares, they'd be divided that way.)

But the board is also free to say, "we'll arrange these expense this way, because we like it better." And given that *I* am the only one who would get stung by a per-person division, and *I* actually believe it is fairer, this is the fairest way to do it. Every other apartment is either (in terms of laundry) 1 person, 2 people, or 0 people. I'm 4 people; right now I bear the bulk of the expense of renting those machines. I'm the only one who benefits from a change.

And I'm working with the constraints of the current situation. A highly influential member of the co-op owns 2 apartments, and her own machine, and absolutely would not agree to eliminating the coin machines if it meant she had to pay. And she'd be absolutely right.

The building has no responsibility to provide laundry facilities. None. It's not required. It's not in our bylaws. And also, the coin-op setup pays for itself--the expense of renting the machines is completely covered by the quarters we put in it. That means, if you use the laundry it costs you, and if you don't, it doesn't. The cost of the laundry facilities is completely borne by those who USE it.

If we are going to purchase non-coin-op machines that don't generate revenue to cover the expense, we need a plan that means the cost of the laundry facilities is completely borne by those who use it.

If the division of expenses hits other people harder, they won't vote for it. Believe me, they're not going to fund a washer & dryer if it costs them MORE than it does under the coin-op system.

The majority of the votes in the building do fewer than 2 loads a week (three of the 10 votes NEVER use those machines; 3 of those votes use them once a month if that). There's no way they're going to pay 1/10th of the expense of buying a washer-dryer that doesn't have a coin-op payment scheme.

In fact, this is probably only sensible because of 2 things: We have so few people who use the machines, so a home setup probably won't die immediately; and the rent on the machines is so high because so few of us use it.

Believe me, I know what I'm doing. I've lived in this particular co-op for 20 years, and I'm on the board (we all are, actually). Trust me on this, okay?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Now that I understand the situation I think you'll have a hard time getting anything passed. People who don't use the machines now pay nothing but under your scheme would end up paying a per person charge which although less than a per apt. charge is still more than they're paying now.

You said some of the apartments have their own washer/dryer. Do you have the option in your apartment? If so, that would seem to be the best option for you. Of course, if you stopped using the coin operated machines, then they probably wouldn't cover the rental charge but that mostly wouldn't be your problem at that point.

Anyway, good luck with this. Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 11:43AM
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You mentioned $2,700 rent. That means each unit is now paying $270/year for laundry, which should be factored into the decision.

OTOH, if you bring this up, someone might realize that the building could pay a lower rent on the machines, in exchange for higher wash and dry prices, which would worsen your situation.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:40PM
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People who don't use the machines now pay nothing but under your scheme would end up paying a per person charge which although less than a per apt. charge is still more than they're paying now.

No, actually, under my scheme they wouldn't pay anything now. We have records of all the loads of laundry done in the last year (honor system, but it's pretty good). We can use that to figure out percentages based on which family, or we can simply all agree that we'll divide by family members, w/ some families being assigned 0 (bcs they don't use that machine) or .5 (because they have 2 family members but are here only 1/4 of the year).

So the lady w/ her own machine wouldn't pay anything. (Not unless we decide to factor in the cost of the super, which would then be divided between apartment.)

You mentioned $2,700 rent. That means each unit is now paying $270/year for laundry, which should be factored into the decision.
No, nobody is paying $270/year for laundry. That rent is completely reimbursed by the quarters that go in the machine. And yes it is true that if someone starts doing their laundry out of the building, the revenue won't cover the expense, and the price of the washers & dryers will go up to compensate. The cost to each shareholder, per apartment, is $0.

It's not really an option we want to exercise--to go out of the apartment building to do our laundry.

Only 1 family has a machine, and the only reason they have room is that they bought a second apartment and duplexed. So, no, there isn't room to have them in the apartments. Or we'd have bought one 20 years ago.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 5:51PM
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I think the main difficulty would be with the warranty on home machines. If the warranty co. or manufacturer got wind of the fact the machine was not for single home use (even though it's not for public use, obviously) I think they might weasel at the first opportunity.

And in some ways that would be fair since they have no doubt calculated the predicted machine and parts failure rates based on a "standard" level of usage. And in washing machines and dryers, more loads equals more wear to expensive components such as pumps and motors.

I have no idea how many loads per week is the industry standard, but I bet that it isn't more than 18-20, at the most. Your projected usage is at least double that. And you might find more people chose to do their laundry in the building if it was more convenient, or cheaper. And the vacant unit might attract a family like yours.

However, I am extremely sympathetic to your situation. Can you give me a bit more info? Is the basement large enough for multiple machines? Do you pay for water and sewer by metering? What about electricity?

The other concern I have is this: modern machines are more finicky than the standard open lid/dump in stuff/add detergent/select cycle/leave it until done variety. That's partly why commercial machines offer such a narrow range of options. Fancier cycle selections and the newer, energy-saving, high efficiency machines tend to require more sophisticated and careful operators. Even if you understood that, but some of the other users persisted in the "old ways", you could wind up with a machine totally gunked up with bio-film/mildew which made washing your clothes a miserable affair. (cf: The many threads here on this topic alone from single household users.)

If there was a way to allow for single-unit use of the machines then the problem would be simpler: allow those units who elect to have their own machines in the basement pay for the utilities connection (water/sewer and elect.) on some fair basis in return for the right to have their machine in building, while keeping a set of "public" machines avail for those people whose use, or need, is so low that the status quo will be OK. Additionally, the co-op might want to assess a small amount to cover any consequential damage to the building from machine failure (primarily water damage from leaks or bursts) not covered by the main insurance policy. You could also require consistent use of Flood-Chek/ water stop connections to mitigate problems.

If this idea was feasible then any unit (or maybe up to a certain number of units based on some fair system if space is tight) could buy their own machines; you could have some way to account for water and sewer costs; and also a way of paying for electricity used for hot water and drying.

You should know that are some machines which (when hooked up to 220v power) will heat all their own water, so only cold water connections need to provided, lowering plumbing costs.

The allocation of costs (if not able to be broken down by having separate meters) could be figured out based on usage, though this of course would dpend on some level of verification. - maybe some srot of cycle-counting meter?

As another option (though it would run into the consistent-level-of-user-skill problem) would be the purchase of a household-sized true commerical machine such as the Miele Little Giant which could crank out loads all day, if you asked it do so. (Cycles for each load would probably be much longer than you now have so that might be a problem, possibly resulting in annoying bottlenecks at some hours.)

So, I guess, my first consideration is space: how many wachine machines would fit in your laundry room? Assume, for the moment, that you could stack washers and dyers, and that each stack of machines occupied only as much space as your washer does now?

Also, where are your drain and water supply connections; ditto electric outlets; is it 220V; and are you drying with gas or electricity?

Answer to those questions will help us make better suggestions.

Also, this isn't what you askedd, but you do know that there are machines that wash and dry in the same machine? There are condenser dryers that need no outdoor connection? And of course, as I mentioned above there are machines (220 V connection req'd) that heat their own water, needing only to cold water to cold water and a drain? All of these are about the size of a DW (yet, with the exception of the combo machines) will do as much laundry per load as you are currently doing in a top loader, i.e. full sized loads). I offer these as alternatives to think about for use in single units, even in tight spaces like bathrooms. The Co-op should always require Flood-Chek/Water-Stop connections on all unit-installed machines to protect the building and other units - check your building insurance, too, as your policy may be predicated on not having individual washers in units.



    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:30AM
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Interesting challenge. I own an apt in a co-op in NYC too. With such a small group I see your desire to be fair but what if someone moves? The specifics outlined above quickly become muddled. Maybe shoot bigger picture?

The most persuasive argument, in our building, is one that centers on improving value. Our Board feels good approving general assessments that benefit the most owners (e.g. modernizing the lobby) and less so about individual desires (e.g. handing over roof rights to expand one's outside space).

If there's value in the notion of more customized, attractive, effective, unique machines, even the lady who has one in her apt might accept it. Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:10AM
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Interesting warranty issue - where is the line between home use and commercial?!? You should most certainly be able to share a residential washer/dryer in a 3 family house so why not in a 10-family coop? But I still think the charging algorithm is wonky since it will need to be periodically re-evaluated - people move in and out, kids go off to college etc.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:18PM
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Hmm. Let's see if I can provide any info or counter-info.

# of machines: We currently have 2 commercial Maytag Neptune washers and 2 commercial Maytag Neptune dryers. We disconnected from the existing hot-water hookups bcs the water heaters don't provide much hot water for the top floors, so no hot water (and also, we switched to the front-loader so they'd use far less water per wash, back before we shut off the hot water.) (Oh, gas dryers, as well)

They're side by side, but we'd have room for 3 sets if we stacked them. We can't replace w/ 4 machines, because we're switching water-heater setups so that we'll have enough hot water for the top floors, and that tank will need the space of one of the machines. We could push it to 4, but I think space of 3 is a better bet.

My idea was that we'd get 2 sets, and stack, to replace our current setup in the smaller space. So, there are hookups.

The machines currently plug into outlets right there, and the drains are there as well. I heard them say at the last board meeting that if we want to add another 220V circuit, we will have to change the amount of power coming in to the building itself.

The water is metered on a building basis; those of us w/ more people don't pay more money, even though we take more showers; right now, no mention is ever made of the water charges for laundry, but of course, we've been providing a $1,000 surplus for the last couple of years (but this year, when we cut the hot water, the super stopped doing her laundry in our machines, and the revenue dropped to just $500 over)

The NYC water rate per 100 cf (748 gallons) is $2.95, sewer rate is #4.69; total rate is $7.64.

Our building is also, right now, remarkably stable. It would really, really surprise me if anything happened in the next 2 years. Even that empty apartment is very likely to remain empty for 2 years. It's long to explain, but I think I'm pretty accurate. My own kid will be going off to college, but I personally wouldn't expect that to make any real difference.

And my current proposal is to buy the machines outright, w/ an assessment based on number of people using them *at the current moment.* Because in ONE SINGLE YEAR, I will have made back every dime of my contribution to the purchase.

And then we'd divide the ongoing expenses based on the per-person count for that year. And if people bring proof they sent their laundry out (receipts, maybe), we knock them off the list, and everyone else's share goes up.

And the per-person is actually NOT wonky, because if your kid goes off to college, they don't count anymore (or, they count as a .5, because they do bring laundry home on the break, or are home for the summer). And if someone gets married, then their responsibility goes from 1 share to 2 shares.

Should the machines need replacing, we'd deal with it then. At a future point, it might make sense to go back to renting a coin-op. Or, to buy a coin-op.

But right now, I could buy a brand-new washer-dryer set every single year for what I spend in quarters.

We can talk about it all we want here. The only audience that counts is the actual group of people who live in my building.

(Oh, and the lady w/ her own washing machine would absolutely not give a flying fig about "enhancing the value of the building." She's here for life, and she's not worried about anyone else's resale value.)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 3:16PM
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A couple more thoughts:

"Right now, if a machine breaks, we call the rental company and they come right out and fix it" -- That kind of great service isn't cheap. You won't get it with a residential service contract, or warranty service. Even if you're paying out-of-pocket, you could wait a few days for the initial call, and then maybe a few days more for parts. Living in NYC, you probably have nearby laundromats to fall back on, if your machines are out of order. If you do need guaranteed same-day service, the cost of the contract might reduce your savings quite a bit.

What kind of machines would you buy? Not a trivial decision, judging from the discussions on this forum. And your choice has to satisfy many people, not just you. If everyone is happy with the commercial Maytag Neptunes, maybe that's what you should buy.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 7:15PM
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Change "If you do need guaranteed same-day service" to "If you do need a service level guarantee"

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:00PM
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Ya, peeps always contribute outside the scope. Oops! Looks like you got some answers to your question though, which is good. Good luck and hope it works out for you!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:35PM
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It sounds like you have three issues to deal with:

(1) How to sell this idea to the others in your co-op, especially the board;
(2) What machines could work for this purpose; and
(3) What machines that would work could provide a valid warranty and fast service for your 10-apartment co-op.

I mean, personally, if I were you, I would locate a 24"x24" area somewhere in my apartment in which it might conceivably be possible to place either a washer/dryer combo with condenser dryer (since those don't need a vent, you can put them anywhere) or a stacked compact washer and condenser dryer... That would probably be much easier than successfully dealing with all three of the issues above.

Not seeing your floorplan, I have no suggestions for you, but I really find it hard to believe that there is any middle-class American family who does not have a 24" by 24" area somewhere in their home that they could spare, in return for saving $1200(!!!) a year. If you could find the space in your apartment, you would not only save that money, you would also have the co-op's laundry facilities to fall back on for those rare occasions when your washer/dryer breaks and you have to wait a few days for parts, as is typically the case for residential machines. And also for those rare occasions when you have to wash something so disgustingly foul that you don't want to put it in your own appliance.

I know space is tight in NYC, and whatever solution you find might be less than optimal, but for $1200 a year??? I think for that much money and convenience I could give up a closet, or repurpose one of the cabinets in my kitchen, or hell, put a washer-dryer combo unit next to the couch and call it an end table. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: A sampling of washer-dryer combo units

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:23PM
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Buy the Speed Queen Frontload Stacking machines. Purchase the coin op models but have the slide blanked so no coins are used but can be later modified to accept coins in warranted

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 7:48PM
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ideagirl2, a washer/dryer combo still needs water supply and waste lines. It can be impractical to add a new waste line in a multiple dwelling. Besides, you're confusing NYC with America. When I moved to Maryland after nearly 40 years in NYC, I really felt like I had moved to the United States for the first time.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:41PM
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**ideagirl2, a washer/dryer combo still needs water supply and waste lines. It can be impractical to add a new waste line in a multiple dwelling.**

I hear what you're saying about NYC vs. America. Hee hee.

But if adding new lines is a major problem, that doesn't mean you can't get a washer/dryer--it just limits where you can put it. It means you need it to be in or very close to either the kitchen or bathroom, where you already have water and waste lines. Or it may mean you need to open up a wall in your apartment to run water from your kitchen or bath to the spot where your washer is. And that costs money--so maybe it means it takes 15 or 18 months to break even instead of the 12 months the OP was shooting for. It still ends up saving $1200 a year from that point on.

As for vent openings for the dryer, if that's a problem in this building all it means is you have to get a condenser dryer (or a washer/condenser dryer combo, both features in a single machine) instead of a normal vented dryer.

I'm not even looking for a perfect solution here, because it sounds like there isn't one (i.e., even putting aside the issue of persuading other members of the co-op to go along with this, it sounds like it may not be possible to buy normal, non-coin op machines and still get the kind of service and warranty a 10-unit building requires). My only suggestion was that finding a 24"x24" spot somewhere in their own apartment and buying their own machines might be a less imperfect solution than the alternatives, and--if indeed it is impossible to get the necessary service and warranty--might even be the only feasible solution here.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:55PM
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Well, that 24"x24" space would mean I absolutely HAD to redo my kitchen. New counter, change in the cabinets.

So that would probably cost a LOT more than the $1,200 I would save.

And I'm just not willing to give up that much space in my very small kitchen. Or in my bathroom--which is already very tight. (And to run water lines so that they look good would mean ripping out all the tile, etc., in the bathroom, so that's a major renovation)

And I'm simply not willing to give up that much space. We have small bathrooms and small kitchens.

Yes, 24"x24" is too much space.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 1:09PM
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It doesn't have to be IN your kitchen or bath. It can be anywhere, including a closet, if you're willing to run water lines to it and install the 220V plug that most good machines require. (And if venting is an issue, of course use a condenser dryer instead... and if height is an issue, get one of the all-in-one washer-dryer combo machines instead of a stackable washer-dryer.) The reference to kitchen and bath was just because if it's close to either room, the water is nearby so it's cheaper to install.

Here's kind of a funny way to think about it... If a friend of yours had a 24x24" cardboard box, 30" high or so, and they wanted to pay you $1200 a year to store it in your apartment--anywhere in your apartment--would you find a spot for it? What I mean is, if someone else offered to PAY YOU that much money, every year forever, if only you could give up that much space, would you? That's $300 a square foot, every year, forever. (Who knew you could rent out such a tiny piece of your apartment for $300/sq ft!).

Here's another thought that just occurred to me--do you happen to have basement access, e.g. to store bicycles? Just wondering because I know some buildings work that way. If you have any dedicated storage space in the building other than in your apartment, maybe you could run water there and have your own laundry room... You probably would've thought of that if you did have such space, but it just crossed my mind so I thought I'd throw it out there.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 3:53PM
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ideagirl2, try this: Look in your own home for a place where you could install a washing machine, that isn't adjacent to a room with plumbing. Now, imagine how you would run a drain pipe from the machine to an existing drain pipe, with enough slope so the water will reliably run downhill without backing up. Don't even think of running the pipe through the floor, because downstairs doesn't belong to you, if you live in a multiple dwelling. Do you see the problem? And there's also the venting issue, where a new washer standpipe, some distance from an existing drain pipe, may require a vent going up to the roof. Just as you can't run a pipe downstairs, you can't run one upstairs.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 6:14PM
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If a friend of yours had a 24x24" cardboard box, 30" high or so, and they wanted to pay you $1200 a year to store it in your apartment--anywhere in your apartment--would you find a spot for it?

No, I absolutely would not.

Also remember--that would be TWO such boxes. But I wouldn't even do it for one.

Tthis isn't the equivalent of sticking the box in the back of the closet. It's got to be accessible, near a water line, near a drain. (the drain is the big problem)

So my friend would be paying me to store two such large boxes in the main living areas of my home. Sorry--no.

And, you have to remember that it would also cost me roughly $1,000 to install it, even if it was possible! I'd have to pay a plumber, an electrician, a plasterer, maybe a tile guy.

Or, if I installed in in the kitchen (which I might be able to), I'd have to give up probably 40 percent of the storage space in that area. And I'd have to pay roughly $6,000 to install it--new kitchen cabinets, hope I can reuse the counter, etc.

Believe me, it would be easier to find some way to reduce the costs in the pay laundry downstairs.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Could you pay rent to have your machines downstairs?

I know it's not as simple as that, but I'm just throwing ideas, you could even debate that the warranty applies...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 4:42PM
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That's not actually a horrible idea.

We do have a treadmill in the basement that isn't the property of the building. It's the property of a "treadmill club," and only those 3 or 4 apts who pitched in to buy it can use it.

(Of course, it's the project of the building's president, but it DOES set a precedent. Interestingly, I voted against it. But it could be a model to follow.)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 6:34PM
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