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Basement or main floor laundry room?

Posted by lotsofkids (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 0:50

We have a rambler with an unfinished basement. Our current laundry room was built to (I'm assuming) double as a mud room bc at the back of the laundry room is a door leading outside to the back yard. But it's not really big enough to be both. I really want a mud room. I want the kids to use that door, and I want to use it as I come and go from the garden and chicken coop. The door is usually inaccessible though because the kids pull laundry out of the dryer as they look for stuff. There isn't really isn't a good place to fold laundry in there. We have 3 bedrooms on the main and we're finishing 3 bedrooms in the basement. As we are planning the basement, we are considering whether or not to:

1. Build my dream laundry room down there, where half the bedrooms will be, and convert this upper room to just a mud room, which is the only thing I really feel is lacking in this house.

2. Add the mudroom lockers in the laundry room and just deal with the crowding.

3. Use the back portion of the RV garage to build in a great laundry room. It would be accessed from inside the house from the main floor and be part of the house. We don't actually have an RV or intend to get one. It's just a trend here to have an RV garage. If we did that we would have 3 normal sized garages (well, larger than normal. The 2-car portion of the garage is 25' deep, but still not deep enough to park an RV, if that makes sense).

Those are the best options I have right now. Opinions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Basement or main floor laundry room?

The problem with putting a W/D in the garage is that if you have a deep freeze, the garage is cold, too. Washer hoses can freeze. It happened to a neighbor of mine, at our previous home. If the washer is far from the water heater and your washer has no internal water heater, you may never get a true HOT, especially when the washer is, say, 50 degrees F cold from the ambient temp in the garage. Personally, I would never ever buy a house with W/D in the garage. They are HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter. One also has to think of resale.

Not knowing the layout of your main floor, if you put the laundry in the basement, can you have a dumb waiter built to send and bring laundry upstairs? Manual or electric, it could be a lifesaver if you sprain an ankle, or whatever.

If your garage is on the same level as your basement, the dumb waiter would be nice for bringing up groceries, too.


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RE: Basement or main floor laundry room?

If we built out into the garage we would run the HVAC there and insulate and everything. It would be an actual room of the house, not the garage. So in that way it would be increasing my square footage of my home as well.


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RE: Basement or main floor laundry room?

By your forum name, I would do the following (if it were me):

  • Reinstate the mud room to its full purpose and remove the washer and dryer.

  • Build a laundry room in the basement.

  • Build a laundry room in the RV garage.

Hauling laundry up and down floors is a pain. You can ease the burden a bit through a laundry chute, but two separate laundry rooms (one per floor) makes life easier. This also provides you with a backup should a washer or dryer unit fails. The mud room will still have the connections to reinstate it to a laundry room should you decide to sell your house.


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RE: Basement or main floor laundry room?

You make an excellent point. I'm currently 7 months pregnant with #6, and the oldest are in kindergarten. I really do need a full mudroom and a good size laundry room. We have a large property with gardens, orchard, playground, chickens, etc. Plus they are all getting into sports. We come into the house dirty a lot of the time. If I did a second laundry room in the basement it would be smaller, bc it won't be my laundry room :). There will be 3 bedrooms and 4 kids down there when they get older. They already sort their clothes, load the washer, and fold/put away when they are dry. All I do is turn on the washer and move the clothes to the dryer bc they are too short :). So by the time they move downstairs, they will be well trained in the ways of laundry.

Now to see how expensive my idea is :/


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RE: Basement or main floor laundry room?

One other issue I wanted to point out to you is to consider the possible effect of flooding that might occur if your laundry room is on the main floor and the washer should break down. Though it should not happen, we have had a flood from our laundry room three separate times from three separate issues, 2 which caused substantial damage to the flooring.
Our laundry is in the basement and we have engineered laminate flooring. The first flood caused water to go under the floor and we had to tear it up. We thought the problem was rectified, so we put the same floor down again. One year late we had another flood from the washing machine which again went under the flooring and we had to tear the flooring up again to dry out. Needless to say, that type of flooring did not go back down again.
While we were deciding what type of flooring to put in the basement, the pump on the washer went and caused some more flooding, except not so bad this time.
So even though lots of people never have any issues with possible flooding from the washer, there is always a slight possibility of it happening and it might be something to consider when thinking of where to place your laundry room.
Good luck with whatever you decide.


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