Monday, August 20, 2012

Laundry Room Update • August

Many, many months ago I posted about my BIG project for this year. I shared with you our plans to finally finish the laundry room. It is the only unfinished space in our home which we built back in 1978. We have finished off spaces one by one over the years but the logistics of finishing this space are complicated, (all the mechanicals are located here) so I just kept it the way it was. This year it moved to the top of the list and we started planning. My original goal was to do it during May but I was finishing up at school (former Tech Coordinator) and I had a new grand daughter due. Although I figured about 3 weeks for the project, I knew things ALWAYS take longer. I could see myself stuck here with contractors instead of in Boston snuggling with the new baby. Delaying was a smart choice!

It is now August and we are well under way, and it is taking longer than planned - but not than anticipated. Scheduling of a plumber, electrician and carpenter in the right order for the various tasks is the challenge. I was going to hold off and share everything at the end of the project but instead I am sharing at a midway report. As a reminder this is what my laundry/pantry looked like....

Although it looks like a basement, it isn't. We live in a passive solar berm house with the first floor backed into the hill.  This room is right off my kitchen/hall area.

And this is the plan...

With all these beautiful cabinets...

And this is where we are today.....

Most of the sheet rocking is done and two coats of spackle have been applied.

Here are some process photos....

This is the room after emptying it out. Right now our family room is filled with my pantry- all in labeled Rubbermaid tubs. We have stayed operational but it isn't pretty! I'll have to get a photo to share before I'm done.

We have had extensive plumbing and electrical upgrades installed including:
  • Rearranging the plumbing and moving a lot of it into the walls.
  • Getting a new pressure tank.
  • Installing a whole house sediment and odor/taste filtration system for water
  • Moving and upgrading the washer plumbing
  • Adding outlets everywhere, and increased lighting

It was an exciting day when the first of the sheet rock went up. I'd been looking at insulation for years! Although the hideous green of the mildew prevention stuff isn't a much of a visual improvement!

The sheet rock in the main area is done but the little utility room in the back corner still has a lot of things yet to happen.

 The plan for this week is to....
  • Install a bigger electrical panel on Tuesday- no electrcity for 4 hours
  • Remove plumbing elements on Wednesday AM - No water for 3 days!
  • Sheetrock and tape the back corner
  • Lay flooring on Thursday and tape back corner again
  • Paint back corner on Friday AM
  • Install new water heater and move rest of plumbing back on Friday afternoon.
  • Have water again by Friday suppertime!

Below is the view from my kitchen- slightly distorted. Any photography of this tiny space requires a wide angle lens and distortion.

Progress is definitely being made. I am very pleased with the direction things are going. I do lay awake at night worrying about details. I have several design challenges lurking that we have just pushed off until we have a better understanding of the space. The biggest is the opening between the laundry and utility area. I have always planned that to be sliding doors that can easily be removed to allow for maintenance access. In reality the sliding doors won't work because of spacing issues. So we are looking at alternatives.
I am considering the sliding curtain panels from IKEA or a bamboo panel curtain. With any solution it will require some creativity. 

The ironing board that folds out of the closet is going to be a challenge as well.

All things considered, things are going well. We have had our share of electrical surprises and it will be good to correct those. This should be the challenging week without water for 3 days - like last year after the hurricane!

Other Laundry Room Redesign Posts:

©2012 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy


  1. Wow...that is major exciting for you. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    1. Hi Merry, I am truly excited by this project. Nothing like a major project to help you lose sleep at night! :-)