The laundry is the forgotten room in many homes. It’s a purely functional space, most often visited simply to load or unload the washer or dryer, and with more crammed in than their designers ever intended.
With research and planning, you can turn your laundry into an efficient and even welcoming space.
Most laundry renovations will involve working with the existing space. Laundries are classed as a wet area so expanding them is a more complex (and expensive) process than renovating other rooms. Of course, most people also don’t want to surrender any living space to increase a laundry.
The key is deciding how best to work with the available space. That starts with looking at how your laundry is working (or not working) now and deciding what you need it to do for you.
Here are some questions to get you started on evaluating your existing space:
As a wet area, a laundry has multiple services: hot and cold water, waste water outlets, electricity and light. This can raise a host of issues. But moving water and waste can be made easy by concealing extended plumbing inside cabinetry. You’ll likely find that waste outlet pipes are smaller in diameter than in a bathroom so if you do need to change their position through the floor or wall it’s not as complex.
The last few years have seen legislative changes to where power outlets and light switches can be positioned in wet areas. For example, light switches or power points near tubs might now need to be moved. Again, you can get smart and conceal conduit within cabinets however it’s wise to talk with your electrician about requirements for positioning switches and outlets.
If you decide to change a window, it is advisable to stick with the same dimensions as the existing frame. This way it may be as simple as pulling the old out and fitting the new without needing structural work.
If you are switching a traditional hinged door to a sliding door, consider using a wall-mounted barn door instead of a cavity slider. As useful as cavity sliders are, retro-fitting one can involve extensive and expensive structural work to pull apart and rebuild a wall. In comparison, a barn door mounts on the outside of the wall and is attached with screws to the existing lintel and framework inside the wall.
Draw yourself a basic plan with measurements and location of important things like windows, doors, light switches, power, waste outlets and water. This can then be used for your own D.I.Y. planning or in discussions with an in-store designer to put together some ideas.
Once you know what you want, you’ll need to talk with the various trades. The earlier this can be done the better to both book them in and seek their advice.
You'll need to consider the following when deciding on which tradespeople may be required for the job:
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