The last item on my DIY ticket was a laundry.
Laundries are a forgotten place of a home. We don’t eat, wash or sleep there so it goes to the recesses of the mind when it come to priorities in our recent home renos.
Our washing machine got bumped from pillar to post during the home renovations. Wherever there was free tap and power available that was out of the way of ladders and sawdust, that’s where it went. Sometimes I went to the trouble of connecting a long pipe to it’s wastewater outlet, sometimes it was just gaffa tap and a long length of garden hose that led into the garden. When we first moved in, it wasn’t even that much. We let the waste drain pour straight onto the ground behind it! (Sand drains so well!)
But there was always a time this piece of white-goods would look at us from afar and beg for a room of its own to sleep in. There was that and Margo’s reminders that our home wasn’t finished without a proper laundry.
So these are the things we considered before starting any work.
- How many items needed power?
- Fresh water in and wastewater out.
- Did we need hot water included?
- Venting for dryer exhaust.
- Space for sink, washer, dryer + storage.
- Wet room drainage.
- Floor type.
There was one other element we had to consider that took precedence over all else during our design and build. We have an on-demand gas hot water system and the burner is inside the laundry space. That means it’s exhaust would fill the room if it was totally enclosed it’d and become a dangerous hazard. We had to make sure that the gas vented to the outside without lingering inside the space.
We achieved that by leaving a fixed opening directly in front of it and allowing venting to occur in the ceiling too. In addition to these, we’ve installed a large sliding glass window that can be opened to add venting capacity. The washing machine and sink are closest to the open access door, well away from the system’s exhaust port and no one is able to pass in front of it.
So with that in mind we moved to consider the water and electricity components. We have two machines and a sink to run. During the home’s reno’s we always knew the laundry would go there so we left power lines open in the area (light and power). We even made a cold-water line appear in the neighbourhood when we worked on the sewing shed six months ago.
Margo and I drew out chalk lines on the ground several times back then and talked about positioning the washer/dryer/sink inside the soon-to-be-built room. This is how I knew where to leave water, power and light when I finished that work. Picking up from where I left off wasn’t hard to do.
The floor was to be 100mm above the ground, level with the home’s concrete pad. We chose to use stumps and a wooden frame/floor instead of concrete because the next project (well after this one) is to build a deck across the entire covered area doing exactly the same. The other reason was, well, all our sewerage pipes run underneath the laundry. They are shallow, I mean, really shallow to the surface. I was reluctant to relocate or cover the pipes with concrete. Sometime in the near future we’ll be disconnected from our septic tanks and connected to the town septic line. I may need to get under the floor again and break-open our poop pipes!
Let’s speed this blog up and quick-note out the next few steps.
The floor, walls, window, vent-opening – went up easily and relatively quickly. Walls were covered with AC-sheeting for water better proofing. The floor frame itself tips slightly away from the house to slope it in case a pipe bursts by accident. We want that run-off to go away from our home and not in it! (I hope we never have that happen to us.)
Holes were drilled into the noggins for electrical wires and water pipes. I had to cut-in to the hot-water line to bring a second water pipe alongside the cold. Termite poison was flooded into the ground under the frame.
Margo and I chalked out the areas on the inside wall for the washer / dryer and sink so I knew where a drain would need to go. That drain was fitted beneath the floor, the floor itself (18mm marine ply) was screwed to the frame and a power socket fitted where the machines would go. The walls were painted with two coats of Antique White.
A shelf above the sink was installed. Hooks (recycled timber and hangers) for our raincoats were installed.
Margo chose a vinyl floor panel that looks like aged timber. Again, if there’s a leak, the floor won’t be badly affected. Skirting boards were nailed into place and, before the paint was finished drying, we filled the room with stuff.
Happy story told but…
… I have one wall left to do.
Leaving one side of a room off made things sooooooooooo much easier!!!
I could get ladders and gear in and out right to the end without bumping into doors and doorframes. Two people moved around inside the space pretty freely. I could even take a picture of the laundry that shows everything inside it like a cutaway image of some sort.
Now let me put that final wall on and close up this room for good… and finish this project once and for all.