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How to Design a Workable Laundry Room

Design Specifications for Laundry Rooms

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How to Design a Laundry Room
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A laundry room should be one of the most workable rooms in your home. Whether you are building a new home or remodeling, there are some considerations that you should keep in mind as you design your laundry room.

According to a National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) consumer preference survey, 95 percent of new homeowners request a separate laundry room. And, 61 percent of laundry rooms are being built on upper levels rather than first floors or basements.

The NAHB survey shows that homeowners want an expanded, multi-functional work area in the laundry room. Built-in ironing boards and solid-surface counter spaces for folding and sewing are popular, as are built-in storage cabinets or closets. These are used to both store detergent and other cleaning supplies as well as to conceal appliances.

No matter how much you love or hate your current washer and dryer, you will replace them someday. Don't customize the laundry to the units you have now, try to leave extra space. Customized cabinets built around your appliances are great but if you move often, the next buyers may not find them suitable for their machines. You can compare washer and dryer features and sizes by reading reviews and profiles online to help you plan cabinet sizes.

If you have front loading machines, you should provide 48 inches of clearance in front of each appliance to provide room to walk around open doors. Storage pedestals are great for storage and lifting front-loading machines to waist level. But the trade off is the lack of work space on top of the machines. By skipping the pedestals, you can install the machines under a counter providing plenty of space for folding laundry.

Storage for detergents, bleach and other products should be secure so that young children cannot have access. If installing a cabinet or shelf, leave at least six inches of clearance beyond the top of the washing machine lid.

Adding extra insulation to the walls and floor of the laundry room will help reduce noise pollution in other areas of the home. A floor drain is also great protection for the rest of the house in the event a washer hose breaks or the washer overflows. An automatic shutoff valve is a wonderful addition to the laundry. It senses the electrical current draw from the washer and only opens the water supply when the machine is in use.

Of course, your plumber and electrician will have specifications for the water, electrical and gas lines to keep your laundry room up to code in your area. Always use the right type of electrical connections and never use an extension cord. Plan dryer placement to keep the vent hose as straight and short as possible. You'll have quicker and safer drying by reducing fire risks by reducing the lint accumulation.

Specific questions? Just ask here.

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