Well, there have been some interesting developments in the laundry room renovation. We started getting plumbing quotes over the weekend to move our washer from its current location to the newly planned laundry nook. As a reminder, here’s the current floor plan:
And the floor plan we had settled on after our initial floor plan didn’t work out:
After looking into everything, it turns out that the only place to really have the washer downstairs is right where it is.
I won’t get too into the specifics, but basically the way the plumbing would have to be run into the nook would cause us to lose about 8 inches from the back wall which would make it way too tight to comfortably do laundry. The nook was already going to be cozy and losing 8 inches just makes it nearly non-functional. We do potentially have the option to move it upstairs which is appealing since that’s where all of the bedrooms and full bathrooms are but the only place for it there is our bathroom which would work but our bathroom is already on the small side and I don’t really want to have to squeeze another function into that space.
So, the fact that we have to leave the washer and dryer where they are is bummer number one. Bummer number two is the garage entry. We had hoped to slide the garage access a few feet to the right so that we could add cabinets to the current laundry room to give us some much needed storage. The problem with that is that the spot we wanted to move it is actually the worst possible spot to move it because there’s so much going on structurally. Beams, posts, etc. So not only can we not move the washer and dryer into their little nook but we also can’t move the door which means there’s no room for cabinets. Sure, we could put one large floor to ceiling cabinet where the old hall closet/bench was but that wouldn’t make the space feel any bigger and could potentially cause even more space/bottleneck issues. And then there’s bummer number three; the ceilings. The ceilings in the old cat closet and the laundry room are about 6.5′ which means they are super low. I think standard ceiling height is 8′ and even that’s a little low for me but it’s what we have in most of the house. I don’t know what mess somebody did to this house but the plumbing is crazy and unless we want to basically change the plumbing layout in our entire house, we can’t raise the ceilings much. We can maybe get 2″ through most of the space.
What does that all mean? It basically means that we can’t do much of anything that we intended to do and I tore all of the drywall down in the old cat closet for almost nothing. I mean, the drywall really needed to be done because as you can imagine, having a closet dedicated to cats caused some unpleasant lingering odors.
BUT! Not all hope is lost. The problem with the existing laundry/garage access combo is that it’s just too small of a space to accommodate both. We also desperately need more storage but that’s just a bonus of any new floor plan at this point. So, if we can’t move the laundry we’ll just have to move the garage access. New floor plan #3:
To be completely transparent, we think we can easily move the garage access to the back wall of the garage into the dining room but we don’t know that for sure. We’ll have to open up the wall to make sure we’re not dealing with anything too structural but if we can move it, we’ll be able to keep the laundry as is (which means no big plumbing cost) and we’ll be able to add about 5ft of cabinetry which means lots of storage. Coming into the house from the dining room will actually be great for bringing in groceries and it only slightly changes the future plans we had for the room so even though I had some initial hesitation there, we’re starting to get really excited about this possibility. We are not combining the existing laundry room and the cat closet anymore so instead that cat closet will become a pantry (more storage!!) and we’ll move the entrance to it to the dining room side as well instead of the hallway. We do have one air vent that will need to move to make this happen but that’s really it. I would love to find an old weathered half lite door to use for the new pantry or maybe buy a new one and make it look weathered.
The downside to the new laundry plan is that there isn’t really much wall space to use that wallpaper that I ordered so right now I’m trying to decide if I’m going to use it somewhere else (the new pantry maybe?) or if I’m going to return it. The upside is that now we get two spaces to design and we have an opportunity to try to learn/improve some new skills.
Remember when I said this project was going to be slow? Well, now it’s going to be on pause for a bit because we’ll have to do some clean out in our garage before we can get to the area that we need to open up for the new access into the house. We won’t even have a chance to start doing that until next weekend because this weekend is already packed. I’m thinking we might actually save this project just a few more weeks for the Spring One Room Challenge but there will be lots of planning and investigating in the meantime to make sure that this plan will even work.