Custom Home Laundry Room Trends and Ideas
What to upgrade now - and what can wait
You can save money and build your new home the way you want it - by adding some of the final details later.
Here are the top 5 questions to ask your Raleigh custom home builders to help you decide what's a laundry room must (and what can wait).
1. Flooring: What type of flooring works best for the Laundry Room?
2. Storage: Are you looking for shelving, cabinetry, countertop space, or all of the above?
3. Washer and dryer: What types of appliances do you have in mind?
4. Laundry Sink: Is a laundry sink important?
5. Mudroom: What about organization and drop zones?
Staying in Budget - and leaving room for future changes
1. Flooring - Tile, Vinyl, Cork Plank
The two most common kinds of flooring in the Laundry Room are ceramic tile or vinyl flooring. Before making a flooring decision, consider the kinds of flooring closest to this room - what is right outside the doorway? You'll want to coordinate with the feel of the surrounding rooms.
A laundry room is usually on the smaller side, ranging anywhere from 6'x8' to 8'x10', in most homes. Thus you'll likely have somewhere between 48 and 80 square feet of flooring surface, plus any "waste factor" that must be added for material cuts.
So it might be a little easier to "splurge" on an upgraded or unique tile in this room.
One recently completed Stanton Home (pictured here) created a mudroom/everything room to fit a lifestyle with kids and pets who needed a "Home Hub" - adding cork plank flooring, a resilience (moisture friendly) and hypo-allergenic choice.
2. Storage - Cabinets, Built-In Shelves, Built-in Ironing Boards, Desks
At Stanton Homes, our standard package includes cabinets over the washer and dryer, but not all builders offer that kind of storage - it's fairly common to just see a ventilated wire shelf here.
Cabinets over the washer and dryer can be great for storage of cleaning supplies, paper goods, and other household items.
If you're planning to add cabinets later, make sure the wall space will accommodate a standard cabinet size - a semi-custom or stock cabinet is a lot less expensive than something custom-built for the space.
For a larger laundry room, you may want to consider additional storage. Built-in shelving floor-to-ceiling shelving can add convenient storage, without taking up too much space.
The home pictured to the right (a version of the Brogan) includes built-in shelves, a stand-along sink, and built-in ironing board cabinet.
A closet that's large enough for both a full set of shelves AND the vacuum, brooms, and other tall items can also be very handy.
3. Washer and Dryer - Energy Star Labeled Appliances for Savings
Find out if your builder provides gas or electric hook ups for the dryer. If you already have appliances, it could be expensive to add the "alternate" hook up later. Be sure to specify which kind of hook ups you require.
For nearly everyone, the washer goes on the left and the dryer on the right. Your builder should have the washer and dryer hookups prepared for this. If you prefer something different, let the builder know at rough-in stage, as it can be expensive to change this later.
For the appliances themselves, consider Energy Star labeled and front-loading, water saving washers. There have been significant advances in both washers and dryers over the past couple of years, and the utility and water savings really add up over time.
4. Laundry Sink - Countertop and Free-Standing Sink Designs
Laundry sinks can be convenient, especially if the laundry room is right off the garage.
If you're even considering adding one later, ask your builder to "rough plumb" to the laundry room, so that you don't have to open the walls later to have a plumber add an extension to the laundry room.
A free-standing laundry sink is much more cost effective than a cabinet/countertop/sink combination, and you can always add a full cabinetry package later, as long as the "guts" are in place.
5. Mudroom - Drop Zones and "Home Hub" Concepts
Larger laundry rooms can include a "mudroom" concept. Built-in storage can be handy and appealing, and "drop zones" can be custom designed or purchased through cabinetry companies.
If the budget is tight upfront, talk to the builder about creating a wall or alcove space that can accommodate a standard size locker set, which you can personally add later.
A 4 foot or 6 foot section of wall can be planned for future inclusion of shoe racks, storage cubbies, coat hooks, and much more.
How to Save Money in the Laundry Room - New Home Trends and Ideas
Why do some things need to be upgraded now? Some features will cost a lot more later. Others might be impossible without totally ripping the house apart to make structural changes.
Some options can be upgraded later. With proper planning, homes can be constructed so that additional features can be added, changed or embellished later - as long as they don't involve structural changes, and the floor plan allows enough space.
These laundry rooms are designed with everything just the way you need it, from layout to storage centers and fixtures to flooring. What does your family need to get out of your laundry room?
Let us know what mudroom features you'll want most in your new home, and we'll show you more ways to design your floor plan.