Sunday, September 28, 2008

NEW AGAIN - Moving laundry opens entrance

The goal
John and Brooke Byrne loved their new Dublin home but weren't crazy about what greeted them when they walked in each day.
The door leading from their garage opened into the laundry room. Baskets, dirty clothes and cleaning products cluttered the space. Add to the mix children's backpacks, coats and shoes. The family wanted a more attractive, better-organized entrance.

The plan
Rather than expanding the room, John Roy of C. Roy Homes developed a plan to move the washer and dryer to another part of the house.
This opened space to add recessed cabinets, shoe cubbyholes, shelves and even a desk for Brooke, effectively converting the laundry room into a mudroom and office.

The strategy
A new laundry room was constructed in a cutout area of the children's playroom.
Where the washer and dryer had been, an organizational unit was built with shelves, hooks and shoe cubbyholes.
A desk and office shelving replaced the sink. As a bonus, a cabinet for school supplies, shoes and more was recessed into the adjacent wall, so it didn't interfere with opening the door to the garage.

After deciding that moving the washer and dryer was easier than expanding the room, the Byrnes had to find a place to put the laundry room.
They considered the master bath, but a washer and dryer there could be noisy and seemed out of place. Putting them in the basement meant carting heavy baskets up several flights of stairs.
An alcove off the playroom proved to be the perfect space. But the contractor had to run plumbing, electricity and a dryer vent, making the move more complicated than the remodeling of the original room.

Time required
2 1/2 months to both remodel the old room and construct a new laundry room

$10,000 for both projects

Contractor's observation
"We get a lot of requests to remedy this same problem. Every house is unique in its layout and functionality, so the solutions differ for every house," Roy said.
"Finding a solution means . . . eliminating options that aren't going to work and choosing one that best serves the (family's) needs."

Customer's comments
"I'm thrilled," Brooke Byrne said. "I don't know how it could have worked out better for our needs. We got the mudroom and the organization we needed and we got a great laundry room. And we didn't lose anything."

New Again is Home & Garden's monthly feature profiling a remodeling project. Each story focuses on a narrow, problem-solving aspect of the work.