Today's post is sponsored by Speed Queen, all opinions are my own.
As my parents are getting older one of the main concerns that we have is for their safety. If you've read our blog for a while you know we lived with them for a couple years when we first moved to back to Utah. During this time it was apparent that we really had come back at a good time to be of use to my parents. My father's health has been an issue for quite a few years, and his mobility has suffered tremendously in that last couple years, to the point that he can no longer access the basement of his house.
The main laundry room in the house is in the basement, so my mother has been doing all the laundry. However, recently it has been getting harder and harder for my mother to get down the stairs with the laundry, and just as treacherous to get back upstairs with the big basket of laundry. You see, their stairs are pretty scary. Right at the top there is a spiral of about 4 stairs, with one side non existent then moving out to a wider edge like a spiral staircase… this crazy spiral portion of the stairs has been the cause of many falls down the stairs over the years growing up. And it's just not worth an accident happening to my mother… but the laundry still must be done.
So, this has had us thinking of ways to move the laundry upstairs so it will be safer. A few years back my parents, converted one of the bedrooms upstairs into a large walk-in closet off of the master bedroom. Now I don't know about you, but having a washing machine in my closet is a dream. It's always one of the things I look for in the home shows that we go through, it's on the “someday” list. But that “someday” has finally come for my parents. TA DA:
I was recently contacted by Speed Queen, the makers of high quality commercial washers and dryers for over 100 years in Ripon, WI. They wanted to see if I would be interested to share a little bit about their machines. I asked my mother what she thought and she was really excited to try out such a great brand with an amazing history. So, it was the perfect opportunity to create a laundry room in a safer location for my parents.
The brand itself is an excellent brand with over 100 years of commercial laundromat, tested quality. They have been creating and learning from commercial laundromats, but the truth is they have a great line of at home laundry units too, built to do 25 years of laundry OR 10,400 cycles, with industry-best warranties that cover in- home parts and labor! Their machines outlast their competitors' units by 2 to 3 times. (As a sad sidenote: I can tell you, 3 days before the machine arrived at my parent's house, my dryer went out and it is only 6 years old…, and it the third one I've owned since I was married -16 years ago, so for sure I am giving Speed Queen a try for the next set I buy!)
Because the space we are looking at adding the laundry units to is limited, we decided that going with a stacked laundry unit would be the best idea. And I am glad we went with this choice. Here is the closet before, we decided to put the unit right here where the laundry baskets are.
Creating a Laundry Room and Installing a Stacked Washer and Dryer
In order to get a laundry room you need access to water, a waste water line, air venting access, and electrical and/or gas depending on what type of dryer you use. (We chose electrical.)
We decided to have this done professionally because so many things had to be done. But if this is something you're thinking about doing here are some of the trades that we needed to use, and remember a lot of the little things can be done DIY.
- HVAC (venting)
- Framing (if you need to sure up anything for the added weight)
First, the most important thing was understanding how the beautiful new Speed Queen machines would fit in the space and where exactly it would be. So we waited until the machine was delivered to make any crucial decisions on placement of plumbing and electrical.
Second, to cut some cost, we chose to prep the space ourselves. We removed a section of the closet, which was actually very easy because when my dad built the closet he built everything modular so that it could be removed in sections which was very forward thinking!! (I knew my remodel-addicted genius came from somewhere!! Thanks Dad!!).
We cut out the carpet for the washer pan. Then we cut out drywall in the closet itself AND down stairs in another storage closet where the plumbing would tie in. Additionally, this laundry room has been in the plans for a couple years so we did keep access in the downstairs hall (just screwed up a couple sheets of drywall without mud and tape to keep as easy as possible to access.
All in all it took Justin about 1/2 a day to prep which saved us at least a few hours on labor costs from the other workers that were coming, and that is considerable savings!
Once the space was all cleaned up and ready the first person to come was the plumber. We needed to make sure that the plumbing had the most room in the installation since it has the most critical needs … for example it has to have the proper drop ratios per length of run on the pipes. So it had to have the first dibs on ceiling space in the basement. We were lucky that we were able to pull access to water and tie in to waste lines from a bathroom about 20 feet away but it was still really tricky work!
At this point we had a general contractor come in and add the electrical, and dryer venting.
This was a bit trickier to get power to the room since we needed a new 220 dryer plug, and an addition 110 plug for the washer and electrical is across the house. But when Justin and I remodeled the basement a bit while living there, we left access panels down the main chase of the house where everything was run to help with access…
Please be sure to read the the manual and follow the instructions when it comes to venting requirements.
One choice we made specifically was to place the waterlines just to the side of the machine. The whole stacked unit is about 450 lbs, so moving it is hard. We wanted there to be easy access to shutting off water valves if there is ever a need to do that.
Ultimately, the project came together very quickly! And now they have this:
I am so excited for my mother to be able to do her laundry right there without having to go down her scary stairs! It just really adds to my peace of mind! And she LOVES her new machines! Have you guys ever moved the laundry room or added a new one to your house? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
**Special thanks to Speed Queen for giving us the opportunity to provide a washer and dryer machine for my parents! Be sure to check out their amazing machines, built to do 25 years of laundry with the industry-best warranties that cover in-home parts and labor. Their machines are laundromat tested and home approved. They are built here in the US of A in Ripon, Wisconsin and they have over 100 years of commercial quality with extreme factory testing to ensure durability and long life that outlasts competitive units by 2-3 times!