Laundry Room Ideas - Top 5 Ways to Save Money

Home Builder with Stanton Homes - New Home Builder

Top 5 Questions for the Laundry Room

What to upgrade now - and what you can do later - from a Custom Home Builder


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 that will help you decide what's a must and what can wait - along with a custom home builder's suggestions and tips.

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?

How To Save Money in the Laundry Room - New Home Trends and Ideas

Smart home building tips Laundry Room Ideas - Top 5 Ways to Save Money - New Home Trends - Raleigh NC New Homes

Why 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.

How 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.

1.       Flooring

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, but you might also want to consider upgrading your guest bath instead.   

Laundry Room Ideas - Top 5 Ways to Save Money - New Home Trends - Raleigh NC New Homes2.       Storage

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.  A closet can be less expensive than a full height furniture grade utility cabinet, and can offer more storage options.  A closet that's large enough for both a full set of shelves AND the vacuum, brooms, and other tall items can be very handy.    

3.       Washer and Dryer

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

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

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 cubbys, coat hooks, and much more.

Staying in Budget - and leaving room for future changes

Talk to your builder about your lifestyle, and let him help guide your choices, from layout through amenities. 

Ask your builder if they will allow you to take a second look at all your choices before making a final decision, and make sure they walk through each one of these features and any others you're considering so you know just what you're paying for - and what you really don't need to come up with until later.

Room-by-room: Smart building choices that help you stay on budget.

Watch for upcoming articles - and learn what's smart to "upgrade" in your new home, while keeping your overall budget in line. 

Family Room - Ways to Save Money in Your Family Room

Kitchen - Top 7 Ways to Save in Your New Raleigh Home


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Rita Minion 05/14/2010 07:50 PM
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Harry F. D'Elia
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

There are some great washer and dryers on the market right now. Great post

Apr 14, 2010 01:53 AM #1
Jody Lautenbach
Century 21 Premier Associates - Pella, IA

My laundry room I want more organized than my kitchen - can be a great help to have all the right stuff in the right place.

Apr 14, 2010 02:09 AM #2
David Obbee - Agoura Hills, CA

Great post with very practical advice- especially for a room that doesn't usually get so much consideration.  Thank you for sharing!

Apr 14, 2010 02:20 AM #3
David Obbee - Agoura Hills, CA

Great post with very practical advice- especially for a room that doesn't usually get so much consideration.  Thank you for sharing!

Apr 14, 2010 02:20 AM #4
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Harry - the cost of the more effective appliances have come down quite a bit, plus there are lots of tax credits for turning in old appliances for Energy Star versions.

Jody - the more organization, the better for me as well!

Apr 14, 2010 03:02 AM #5
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Penny, you do such a wonderful job in detailing what can go into a room, and what to think about when planning one.  The laundry room has come a long way!

Apr 14, 2010 06:56 AM #6
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hi Penny,

I always enjoy your informative posts!  Your post offers lots of ideas & tips for the laundry room.  Thank you for sharing another excellent article!  Have a great weekend!



May 14, 2010 07:45 PM #7
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