Let’s face it…we all have dirty laundry, literally. Whether it’s something you do weekly—or, for some families, daily—having a dedicated and organized laundry room in your home makes it easier to get the job done.
According to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, having a dedicated space for a laundry room tops the wish list for first time homebuyers. This must-have status could be fueled by several factors. After years of renting, and most likely sharing a laundry area with other tenants or relying on a laundromat, the convenience of being able to do laundry in the comfort of their own home, on their own timeline and without a bucket of quarters or a wait for a machine is highly desirable. Another reason may be lifestyle changes. With 34 percent of homebuyers being Millennials and nearly half of them having children under the age of 18, there is a lot of laundry to do.
Location, Location, Location
When looking at a home, the location of a laundry room is important, though it appears to be a matter of personal preference. For some, the traditional garage or basement locations are fine. However, for parents with small children who go through several changes of clothes over the course of a day, that option may only be desirable if you are trying to boost your step count. In this case, having the laundry room close to bedrooms may be much more convenient. Others, particularly those with pets, may want the laundry room to serve double duty as a mud room near the backdoor where dirty feet—or paws—can be wiped off and dirty clothing collected before it enters the main areas of the house.
Remodeling for a Laundry Room
With laundry rooms ranking so high on buyers' wish lists, they are also finding increased attention as a remodeling project. A study by the home design site Houzz found that the average spent on laundry room remodels grew 24 percent in recent years to $2,800, making it an affordable “luxury.”
An advantage to remodeling a space into a dedicated laundry room is that you’re able to choose the layout and design to meet your criteria. For many, having the same type of built-in functionality as their kitchens is at the top of their laundry list of features. Here are some other common features:
- Storage cabinets
- Hidden garbage bins
- Foldout ironing board
- Dedicated folding area
- Drying racks
- Place to sit
- Good lighting
- A jetted sink
- Area for art and other projects
The Potential to Save More Than Just Pocket Change
When remodeling for a laundry room, you may also want to consider upgrading your appliances. Environmentally friendly washers and dryers can have a big impact on your utility bills. According to ENERGY STAR®, the average American family washes around 300 loads of laundry every year. ENERGY STAR also estimates that a 10-year-old standard washer will cost you about $210 a year more to use than a newer model. Installing energy- and water-efficient appliances may not pay for the remodeling job, but it can help justify it.
Doing laundry is a reality. Being able to do it in a room built to handle the task can make it more pleasant and convenient. It can also enhance your home’s attractiveness to its next owner when it's time to sell.