Thinking about removing office to make decent mudroom - resale??

repaintingagainJune 18, 2010

We bought our home a year ago knowing that we *hated* the laundry room/mud room. Actually calling it a room is being gracious. Upon entering from the garage you open the garage door and find the door 2 inches from touching the dryer that is directly in front of you. To the right of the dryer is the washer, to the right of that a utility sink, then the wall - now walk right into the kitchen.ugh. The laundry room space is literally as wide as those three things and as deep as a washing machine, 2 inches and an open door. Needless to say, you can not open the dryer and have someone come in from the garage. Nor can 2 people really stand in the "room" upon entering.

We moved from a different state, had about a month to find a house - and this was the compromise. The rest of the house has ample room and is just fine. The laundry room - ugh.

We have been thinking for a year how to reconfigure things, but the only plausible solution seems to be taking the space from the first floor office and turning that into a large mud room.

Now minus drawings to really show how this would all come together, I'm just looking for thoughts about how you think this would effect our resale in the future.

- We have a 3600 sq ft. home (certainly no lacking for space, just in the laundry room). 4 BR, 2 1/2 Baths

- Currently, we have the standard "builder home" office off of the front hallway with the french doors.

- We have a walkout basement that in a few years will be finished off with a 3/4 bath and could include a nice open space for an office, which would include a window OR we could use the sitting room off our MBR with would have french doors to be an office (my second choice for where to put an office)

- If we used the office space for a mudroom, we could do the "lockers," have more than enough room for washing machine, dryer, utility sink, benches, folding table. Basically it would be the works and mostly include moving plumbing, our garage entry door, drywall work and finishing - all of which my husband has done before and could do again. It would be my dream mudroom with 2 young kids and a big dog. I would use it every day and would no longer have shoes piling up in my kitchen. I personally would be in mudroom heaven (if such a thing exists!) :)

But....will a house sell without a first floor office? Is the expectation for a house this size to have a nice office on the first floor. I personally hate walking in and seeing our office first thing. I suppose investing in nicer furniture would help, however, we have never used the office since we have lived here. We have our laptops and work on the couch or bed (like I am right now!) Much more comfortable than sitting in an office chair. And when we need to we hook up our laptop to the printer. I can't remember the last time we turned out the ole' desktop. Books will be stored in the family room when my husband completes our built-in bookshelves. The office will mostly be "for show" in terms of our personal function.

Thoughts? Would appreciate candor opinions.

I don't think this is our forever house and I don't want to make a poor decision that will negatively effect our resale.

I apologize for the lengthy description, just wanted to be very clear. If you have made it this far, I'm impressed!

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annzgw

I'm one that believes your home should fit your lifestyle and if you're able to make changes so that it does, then do it.

Since you have other areas that could be used as office space, I see nothing wrong with your remodeling plans. Like you, I would have a great mudroom/laundry room at the top of my list......especially with children!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:32AM
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fun2cook

My children are growing quickly. I have a small laundry/mud room sitting between the kitchen and back door. I do wish it was bigger, but even more I wish I had a home office. It's not just the computers ( and we have 3 now, not counting laptops). There are also 2 printers, and 2 photo printers and scanners. I can't even count all the electronics we have now, DH LOVES them, and I love him. Don't forget docking stations to sync your iPhone and iPod, and photo card scanners........ Now that the kids are older, it would be great to have a special place for them to do homework, besides the kitchen table or hidden away in their rooms (or basement). Keeping the computers in a central open place is part of child internet safety. If helps parents stay vigilant. Unless you plan on selling our home very soon, I wouldn't worry about resell issues. But if you [plan on staying there a long time, think about what you may need in the not so distant future too. Your kids will be doing homework on the computer by 2nd grade. And with 3 kids I can already fill a lot of bookcases. An office space would be heaven. But I'b have to sell and move first. How about a mudroom in your finished basement instead?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 9:32PM
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dianalo

If you are asking strictly about resale, I'd say leave the office as it is. I am real estate agent, if that makes any difference.
However... one should not base decisions on resale alone. If you are unhappy with your house and can reasonably fix that, then that is a greater concern.
I do think you may be able to use a front loading stackable set (mine is LG), faced 90 degrees from where it is so that the doors do not open to the walkway, and that could make all the difference. It would give you room to maneuver and not feel so crowded.
hth

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:47AM
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2ajsmama

I would do the mudroom. Is there a way you could make part of it open (or door that you could keep open so visible) from the kitchen and put a desk area for a laptop there so you could see the kids doing their homework? A lot of homes (not mine, didn't think of it) have a small "home office" in or near the kitchen, just for paying bills, etc. and a larger office (where the modem, router, printer and other equipment is located) in another room. We have an office upstairs next to the MBR, accessible from hall so could be media/guest/nursery(maybe add a small closet)/craft room in future.

IMHO, you can never have too large a mudroom! And we don't even have a dog...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:52AM
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rlthomas7

I agree that you want the kids' computer(s) in a central location. So if you could do an adult office in the basement and still have a desk for kids' computers and homework in the family room or kitchen or somewhere else open, go for it. I have a young child so I understand how their "stuff" takes over everything, and a mud room would be great for multiple laundry baskets, shoes, sports equipment, bike helmets, etc.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:03AM
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monkeymo

I'd say make it a laundry/mud/craft/office room.

We are currently remodeling a large den/office with full bath. We are dividing the room to make a laundry room and a library and a pantry since this is next to the kitchen. In order to get to the bathroom you will have to go through the laundry room. But we really want a main floor laundry. Current laundry is in the basement. The library part is going to have bookcases on all walls so only enough room for a couple of chairs (though I guess you could put a desk in front of the bookcases.

In any case, do what will make you happy. I am sure there are buyers who would really appreciate having a larger laundry room and even better if you can make it a living space for crafts or computers.

If you google laundry room craft and click on images you will see a lot of great ideas to make your laundry room a livable part of the home.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:08PM
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donaldsg

Couldn't you simply move the laundry to a new location and use that space as the mud room? Then you'd keep the office and have a nicer entry from the garage.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:21AM
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lisaaa

Hello,
Nice post i like it,
A little planning will do wonders and help transform your garage into an office or another useful room. You need to plan carefully and ensure that you have the necessary funds for your project.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 7:26AM
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