Moving a laundry room onto the main floor from the basement will likely cost $2,000-$10,000. Consider the convenience of the new location, installing the plumbing and electrics (permits required), ventilation, flooring, and wall coverings. There are further safety considerations for gas dryers.
Although using your basement for your laundry room can be extremely helpful in using up the additional space and being able to hide your mountain of unfolded clothes from guests, there are situations where you may need to relocate it to the main floor.
Whatever your reason, the transition does not need to be overwhelming as I will provide you with a comprehensive checklist of all you need to know for this process.
Considerations With Moving Laundry Room
Unfortunately, relocating your basement laundry room to the main floor won’t come cheap. Depending on the size of the laundry room, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.
Even though you have the machinery to physically do your laundry, moving them means you need to sort out the necessary plumbing and electrical supplies, which can be costly.
If you are moving into an existing space upstairs, your costs may be slightly lower than if you hired a contractor to customize a space for the new laundry room. You need to be mindful of the possible costs of adding or removing walls, doors, or even windows in order to make the space work.
Before even starting with this project, it is best to get a variety of quotes and estimates on how much the entire job should cost you so that you can budget accordingly, including having some extra cash for unexpected issues that could arise.
Depending on your specific town or city, you will probably be required to apply for a permit before you begin relocating your laundry room. In most cases though, you will require a permit, and these can cost around $150.
The permit process might seem daunting but it is definitely a necessary step in your renovation. The additional plumbing and electrical work that may be required will need to be evaluated according to local codes and regulations.
If you simply make the move without the appropriate documentation, you are at risk of possible electrical and plumbing issues in the future.
If you have a gas dryer, you know just how energy efficient is and how much faster your laundry dries compared to an electric one. Despite these benefits, it can be trickier to install a gas dryer as you will need to connect it to a gas line and comply with a multitude of other regulations as set out by Section 2439.3 of the IRC.
You need to make sure you follow the regulations to a tee, as not doing so can be detrimental to the health and safety of your home.
Rather not take the chance by doing it yourself (unless you are experienced and knowledgeable in the gas dryer installation business) and hire a professional to do it for you.
New Laundry Room Requirements
When moving your laundry room, you need to make sure that the new location is going to be somewhere convenient for you. Don’t make it in that awkward piece under the stairs, but rather near the main bedrooms or bathrooms of the house where you can discard your dirty laundry quickly and easily.
Not only will you need a plumber to install your washer and dryer (by connecting the existing water line to the machinery or by potentially adding pipes if needed), you also might want to consider a few other things.
It would be beneficial to add in a floor drain to reduce any damages in case of potential flooding in the laundry room. You can also make sure your plumber uses braided steel washer hoses as they are stronger and more resilient than the ordinary rubber ones.
You need to make sure you have enough electrical outlets in your new laundry room. There needs to be enough for your washer and dryer to plug into, as well as extra for your iron or steamers.
Water and electricity should not mix. The electrical outlets need to have GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) and AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) protectors, which will protect the room against any electrocution and possible fires.
You will need to make sure that your new laundry room has an adequate power supply to ensure both your washer and dryer can function effectively.
If your laundry room is big enough, you will also need the power for your iron and steamer, as well as any lights or other appliances you might be keeping in there.
In order to prevent moisture and humidity build-up in your laundry room, you will need to have the appropriate ventilation.
One option is to install an exhaust fan in the laundry room, where the ducts either lead outside via a wall or soffit. With a soffit, you won’t need to make an unsightly hole in your roof, which reduces overloading the attic and prevents any leaks when it rains.
You need to make sure that your fan and the dryer do not share a vent as there are serious health implications that can occur if they do.
The flooring of your laundry room needs to be durable to withstand the heat expelled from the washer and dryer, any wear and tear, as well as any water that may spill onto the floor.
It is recommended that you choose flooring that is waterproof and very easy to maintain. You don’t want additional work, you’re already doing laundry!
Some of your best choices are inexpensive vinyl, ceramic tiles, or laminate. These all come in a variety of shades and designs, so you can be sure they will fit in with the aesthetic of your home.
Like your floors, your laundry room walls also need to withstand the test of time and potential humidity. It is recommended to use paint with a semi-gloss finish, as this paint is more durable. You can also opt for a bathroom paint, which is designed to withstand high moisture environments.
You might want to spruce up the space by adding a feature wall of wallpaper, however, the experts advise avoiding any silk or velvet designs as these can dry up and lift easily. Rather go for canvas-backed wallpaper as they are better suited for rooms with humidity changes.
Benefits of Moving the Laundry Room Upstairs
One of the main reasons that you might be moving the laundry room upstairs could be that you need the basement for another purpose. You could be creating a master suite worthy of magazines, or making a designated study section for your kids.
Whatever your reason, freeing up your basement means you can use the space for whatever your heart desires.
A great benefit of having a laundry room on the main floor means you won’t need to trek up and down the basement stairs to do your laundry. The easier access allows you to put your dirty clothes right in the washer, as opposed to letting them accumulate in your hamper or on your bedroom floor until your next trip to the basement.
What Benefits Will You Be Giving Up?
Let’s face it, having a laundry room in your basement is just a really good idea.
You will be utilizing the unused space in your home, which leaves more space upstairs for other bedrooms or storage closets.
Having your laundry room in the basement means you won’t be hearing the annoying noise from the washer and dryer while you entertain friends or during the night. You also won’t be able to feel or hear the vibrations that come along with them, too.
Sometimes, things are beyond your control and flooding occurs from your washer. If it happens in your basement, you just have to sort out that one area, but having it on the main floor means it may spread to other parts of your house, and can potentially seep through the floor and into the basement as well.
If you do your laundry in your basement, this means your kitchen cabinets are free from the washing detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Yay for extra available storage upstairs!
You will also be able to hide your heaping laundry basket from guests by simply closing the door.
If you are considering moving your basement upstairs, these are some things you are going to have to be okay with giving up.
I have condensed everything you need to think about and do before you move your laundry room into one printable checklist.
- You have a designated spot on your main floor for your new laundry room.
- Get quotes and estimates from plumber.
- Get quotes and estimates from electrician.
- Get quotes and estimates from construction workers if you require it.
- Find out if your area requires a permit, and apply for one if you do.
- Make sure you have an adequate budget available in full for the whole process (including any unforeseen hiccups)
- Make sure your new laundry room has the appropriate power supply, electrical outlets and ventilation.
- Choose flooring and wall coverings that are water-proof and durable.