There Is Nothing Basic About Today’s Laundry Room
The most recent statistics reported by the National Association of Home Builders states that 91 percent of home buyers want a laundry room included in their home, more than any other home or community feature.
Most homes built after 1970 have either a laundry room or laundry closet (which fits just a washer, dryer, and shelf). Homes built before then tend to have the washer and dryer hookups on the back porch or in a separate enclosure behind the carport.
Tired of lugging loads of laundry across the house, today homeowners prefer a laundry room or laundry closet closer to the bedrooms. Some homes have two laundry rooms.
Bruce Stumbo, Project Manager and Sales Consultant, Rosie Right Design. Build. Remodel., a Rosie-Certified Partner, noted most laundry room remodels (providing the existing structure is not changing) costs between $20,000 to $40,000 depending on the level of finishes that go into it. The higher quality of the cabinets, flooring, and fixtures, the higher the cost.
Typically, laundry rooms are 7x5, with laminate flooring and garage-grade cabinets. That is changing as people want more space and features that rival kitchens.
Rosie Right Design. Build. Remodel. is currently working on an extensive laundry room remodel. Stumbo explains, “this particular project is combining a very big garage with a wasted entry space, a powder room, and the expansion of the existing laundry room. The cost of this project is estimated at $80,000.”
Whoa! So, why is this project more than double the high-end of a typical laundry room remodel? For starters, the size of the space is doubling. Because the foundation is post-tension slab technology, they have to be extra careful about relocating the plumbing and electric lines. Additionally, there is a lot of high-end, kitchen-grade cabinetry. The flooring will be tile, and the doors will top out at 8ft tall.
“People want the finishes, cabinets, and fixtures to match the kitchen,” said Stumbo. “They are adding another refrigerator, an ice machine, and big, deep sinks set in a quartz countertop. No more Formica.”
Homeowners also want more storage and stations to charge the Roomba. Charging a Roomba. Now that’s something our grandparents would never have believed!
Upgrading The Washer & Dryer
If you are in the market to buy a new washer, look for "high efficiency (HE)" and "Energy Star Certified" rated models. Both designations refer to the amount of energy used relative to conventional top-load washers.
Front-load washing machines are gaining popularity because they are more energy-efficient and not as costly as they used to be. US News noted in their “Best Washing Machines of 2021” article that top loaders range from $749 to $949 and up. Front-loaders start at $799 and escalate to $1,800 and up.
By the way, good luck finding red, blue, or green washer and dryer sets that were trendy when front-loaders hit the residential market. Graphite steel is the trend in 2021.
Most people are adding front loader washers and placing them on pedestals,” said Stumbo.
The pedestals make it easier to reach inside the machine, as you don’t have to bend as low. The front loader also allows for shelves or cabinet space to be installed at a lower height.
The Laundry Rooms Isn’t Just For Laundry Anymore
Laundry rooms are evolving. No longer just a utilitarian room that's hidden away from the rest of the home, they are becoming more functional.
Designed to change over time as families' needs and interests change and new products become available, today's laundry room isn’t just a place to fluff and fold. Instead of just doing laundry, consider creating spaces for a variety of activities. Currently, one of the most popular multi-uses is office space and distance learning. In this case, laundry will need to be timed around phone and video calls. The benefit of this newly designed space is it brings the family together while performing different activities, which generally would take up space in other parts of your home.
These are a few activities in addition to a workspace or study area that you may want to consider for the laundry room.
- Art Station
- Hobbies Bench
- Sewing Center
- Pet Care & Supply Storage Area
- Gift Wrapping Table
- Recycling Center
- Seasonal & Extra Storage
- Play & Gaming Area
- Reading Nook
- Exercise Area
If you need more space to create these areas and are buying a new washer and dryer, consider a stackable set. The two feet you save will allow you to fit a small, countertop, desk, or table in its place.
Laundry Rooms aren't just for washers and dryers anymore. The demand for an actual room with cabinets, countertops, finishes and fixtures to rival a kitchen are increasing. We talk about a laundry room remodel Rosie is working on. Front load versus top load washers, dryer vent safety and questions you never think of asking in remodeling a laundry room.
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