Learn how much you’ll need to have to turn your laundry from drab to luxurious.
Although a laundry room may not be the renovation that nets the highest value, this space is one you’ll certainly get a lot of use out of. Choosing to make even minor changes can make a major difference in your daily life. A well-planned laundry space can simply many household chores and provide you with extra storage space you might need for linens, cleaning supplies and other necessary clutter.
We’ll discuss the cost of materials, labor and what you’ll need when undertaking a laundry room renovation.
How much will renovating my laundry space cost me?
There’s no true average cost of renovating a laundry. Everyone has a different amount of area to dedicate to laundry activities, and the best way to budget for your renovation is to have several general contractors offer estimates. Once you have several quotes, you can compare the costs to guide your budget.
Much of the laundry room can be done by homeowners. Painting, installing shelving and other small jobs are easily conquered with DIY projects. However, if you’re having a sink put in where there’s no plumbing or you need extra electricity run to the area for your dryer, you may have to consult a professional. In this case, expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $75 per hour for labor.
Provided you’re not planning a huge renovation and purchasing extremely expensive appliances, most laundry renovations cost no more than $10,000. This total does vary based on your location and the amount of work you need done, so consult multiple professionals for a more exact estimate.
Many homeowners choose to tile their laundry room or continue the wood flooring found in the rest of the house into the space. If you need to redo the floors in your laundry room, you’ll have a few options.
- Wood. Wood will likely be your most expensive option. This is because installing it properly and treating it to be water resistant takes extra effort. You should expect to pay $3 to $15 per square for the materials and an additional $5 to $15 for installation.
- Tile. Ceramic tile is a durable choice for laundry rooms, and many people turn to it because of its reliability. Most manufacturers sell a wide variety of ceramic tiles for $3 to $10 per square foot. Installation will cost you another $10 per square foot.
- Laminate. Designed to mimic wood, you can buy laminate at a fraction of what the real thing might cost you. Oak, maple and walnut pieces are usually less than $1 per square foot, and other hardwoods cost between $1 to $2.
- Vinyl. Vinyl can look like either tile or wood, but for the most part, it’s significantly cheaper. Some options run as low as $0.50 and even the high-end vinyl options are comparatively inexpensive with prices sitting around $5 per square foot.
- Linoleum. Cheap and durable, a linoleum floor will cost you $2 to $5 per square foot. It’s not the most trendy or fashionable option, but if you’re looking to keep your space low-maintenance, linoleum may be the right choice.
Some floors, such as linoleum and laminate, can be installed by homeowners. At the very least, you can remove the old floor and prep the space for the installers, which will reduce the time they work and thus the overall cost of installation.
Sink and cabinets
What design are you going for? An old-fashioned utility sink will cost you around $100. On the other hand, if you have room for installing counters and cabinets, a farmhouse sink may be a more aesthetically pleasing but much more expensive option. Most models are stainless steel or cast iron. The sink itself will cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Labor is another factor entirely, and you’ll likely have to pay a plumber for a few hours of installation time.
Stock cabinets–think of what you can buy off the shelf at warehouse stores–will be your cheapest option for creating storage and folding space in your laundry. They cost $60 to $200 per foot, but won’t be fitted to your exact specifications. Semi-custom cabinets will cost $100 to $650 per foot, however, you will be able to have them shaped to fit your space.
The size of your budget should impact your final choice, but keep in mind resale value. Many buyers are looking for a finished space they can do everything in. If you can provide that, your home will be worth more. Just make sure it’s enough to recoup the costs of your renovation.
Washing machine and dryer
As the main component of every laundry space, the washer and dryer need to be picked out and installed with care.
Front loading washers cost anywhere from $500 to over $2,000. Dryers fall under a similar price range. As with most appliances, the more features you want, the more you’ll have to pay. Stackable units will cost more and may be more difficult to use for shorter household members. Steaming options are great for quick cleaning, but it may use extra electricity and water. If you want pedestals for more storage storage, you should budget an additional $200 for both units.
Since many machines cost about the same, you should consider the added bonuses. Does one store offer free delivery and installation? Does one brand have a good warranty? These small differences can help keep you grounded. Installation may be costly, and repairs for a new machine will be frustrating. Look for the things that make one washer/dryer combo stand out, and make your purchase after doing plenty of research.
As laundries tend to produce a lot of moisture, it’s a good idea to install a new exhaust fan to stimulate air circulation. Most midrange models cost $50 to $70 and can help prevent mold.
Laundry renovation process
Like any renovation, a laundry upgrade requires careful planning with plenty of research. You’ll need to know what materials you’d like to use, the average price of general contractors in your area and the top designs for your laundry size. These details may seem small at first, but they can save you time and money in the long run. There are several online resources–calculators, renovation websites and budgeting apps–that can help you prepare for your renovation.
Reflect on the room’s purpose
Before you embark on your laundry renovation, identify the purpose of the room. Although you may use it primarily for washing and drying, it could also be a room where you complete other tasks. Some people prefer to have their washer and dryer in a utility room or mudroom. Will you be storing your off-season clothes here? Will you be performing other laundry-related chores, like folding and ironing? Will you have some of your sporting equipment put away when not in use?
A laundry room doesn’t necessarily have to be just for laundry. By thinking on other ways you can use the space, you can renovate it to fit your exact needs.
If you are relocating your laundry room, move it to a well-ventilated area that receives enough natural sunlight to minimize the risk of dampness. Many modern homes include a laundry room on the floor with the most bedrooms, and owners of older homes are following this trend by cutting out a small space on the second or third floor of their home and moving their machines from the basement. Think of your daily needs when deciding on if you should move your laundry. If you’re ready to commit a few thousand dollars to changing the plumbing of a space, moving your laundry room may make your washing that much easier.
Create a small laundry closet
If you don’t have the space to dedicate an entire room for the laundry, think about placing the washer and dryer behind folding doors. This hides them from sight when not in use and lowers the noise amount when they’re running. For truly small areas, you can buy stackable machines or a washer/dryer combo.
Creating a functional space is key to any laundry renovation. Organize your appliances in a flow to ensure that dirty laundry can go straight from the washing machine to the dryer and then onto the bench for folding or hanging.
To optimize storage, try to think vertically. Use a combination of shelves and baskets on your walls to store your clothing, equipment and other laundry necessities.
Identify your project’s scope
Think about is the scope of your renovation. Are you renovating the laundry substantially, or are you just installing a couple of new appliances? Are you structurally changing the space, such as installing a solar hot water system or adding a chute? Will you need to change the plumbing or electrics as a result? You should consider your needs, usage and budget before drawing up any draft plans.
Once you have an idea of the scope of your project and the extent of work required, you can start working on your budget and requesting quotes from professionals.
Set a budget
After doing some research and identifying the scope of work required, you can set out your budget. Consider speaking to an accountant to help you crunch the numbers to ensure that you don’t borrow too much. It may also be useful to speak to a local real estate agent in the area as they may provide insight about how much value a laundry renovation can add to your home.
Speak to the experts
Depending on your budget, you may need to consult the help from an architect, interior designer, specialized laundry renovation service, plumber, electrician, carpenter and tiler.
Request itemized quotes from several different suppliers and cross-check them to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Before deciding on the expert or company, make sure you do a background check to ensure that they are certified and that they have relevant industry experience. Requesting references is common, and a professional should be able to direct you to former customers.
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A laundry renovation is a quick way to increase your home’s efficiency. Whether you’re dedicating a whole room to your laundry or setting aside a small closet to fit everything, you’ll be able to complete this renovation in a matter of weeks.