Laundry…A Complete Chore

This was more frustrating than I had ever anticipated. What I was told was only going to be a few days in the making, ended up being the WORST estimate possible. It ended up being 2 weeks!

Because the house is a measly 1100 sf, storage is a problem. I have made it a complete duty of mine to find storage in places and create storage in places that no man thought possible. The laundry room is an obvious one. The left hand picture was the laundry space that the original house plan provided. It is laid up against the kitchen sink and cabinets, so it is a must to keep this wall in place.

This is the closet that separated the laundry area and the living area. While the closet that was existing was nice and roomy, it was bare bones, and unable to support and weight. It was built with bare bones studs, and paneling…good luck hanging anything with weight inside.

Laundry Room BEFORESo, we removed this closet, and then built a closet around the laundry area.

Along the way, we were not surprised and very irritated to find a few plumbing oopsies and electrical patches done by the previous owner that were less than… “safe”. Take in mind, as savvy as we are, we still had to consult an electrician to do a few things. It was a 90/10 job…we did 90% and then had to use a pro to finish up the 10%. If you know nothing about plumbing and electrical, this is probably not a job for you.

To save money, instead of buying brand new studs, we scoped out the two local Home Depot stores for what is called ‘cull wood’, which is marked down by 70%. We found fantastic 2×4’s which are normally 3$ a piece (8 foot in length) that were now only $0.96 a piece. MOST cull pieces are in good shape, but if you’re a large contractor, dealing with pieces that are less than perfect take up time. If you are patient, you can find great pieces at a discount. Also, a lot of pieces have to be cut down anyway….if you can use 6 foot out of the 8 foot on a cull piece, it’s still a great way to shop for building supplies.

The only thing I would have wished for was rewiring a light inside the laundry room. It’s pretty dark if doing laundry at night. There is a light OUTSIDE the laundry room, but hey…hindsight is always 20/20.

We left all the pipes in place, built a wall around the pipes, and then stuck up new shelving. The most expensive part? The shelves and the tracking system used to hang them.

The towels were rolled and the shelf holding it is an upside down shoe rack from walmart ($15). I had it sitting around the house as yard-sale stuff, and got the courage to paint it robin’s egg blue. The 9 cube shelf is from walmart too ($45) again, a yard sale item until I painted it the same color.

The painting in itself was a 4 day project. To all you folks out there who hate sanding…I didn’t sand it. I used a matte/flat paint by Behr, with primer in the paint ($35 a gallon). Here’s a tip…I didn’t pay for the paint full price. I found it in Home Depot’s MISTINT section…for $7. I scour this shelf at least once a week for fun color picks, and then design around what I find. It’s usually much cheaper. The laundry room was also a MISTINT color. TIP: when painting over something NOT sanded, apply ‘barely there’ for the first two coats. Your finally two or three coats need something to ‘hang onto’. Also, you CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT paint furniture with anything but matte or flat. First, if you live someplace humid, anything you put on the furniture will stick. Second, if the furniture underneath the paint is somewhat lacquered, or laminated, the paint will peel right off.

I painted the drywall BEFORE it went up and then touched it up after it was floated (to avoid not being able to reach the ceiling). I laid on extra thick coats in a ‘eggshell’ to withstand the humidity of the dryer.

All in all…this is a pro project, but one that in the end can be well worth the storage space. The laundry room doors even had a plastic rack mounted for bottles, cleaners, and more storage.

(Inside all those canvas boxes? Dog stuff!)