Downstairs bathroom – cabinets and appliances

Previously on “Oh, lord, can we please do laundry in our own home again”: we ripped up half a bathroom and then we put a bunch of finish materials in (with some plumbing and electrical work in between that I did not photograph).

We wanted the laundry room to be as functional as possible, so we thought about what things might give it a boost. Raising the appliances up meant we wouldn’t be stooping to pull things out of the dryer (and Tim checked to make sure our platform would also work for current popular appliance models, so when we’re ready to upgrade, everything should still work out fine). We didn’t want the window to be blocked, so we replaced it with a smaller one. We also knew that storage would come into play, keeping all of the necessary laundry powders and soaps nearby, along with some stain treatments and a bucket of clothespins, etc. We hunted around for some cabinets and then found some awesome options on sale in an outlet in Columbus, with tons of different widths, so we could maximize the amount of cabinet along the length of the wall.

The simple shape and dark stain meant that these were pretty versatile, which was great, especially knowing we hadn’t made the major decisions for what the bathroom would look like when we got around to redoing the other half of it. We haven’t picked hardware for the cabinets yet, either. We ended up installing the cabinets all the way to the ceiling (which you might recall is taller than 8′) because we were able to reach them okay when standing on the front edge of the platform, but after living with them for a few months, I think we’ll end up lowering them. We have plans to potentially put a laundry chute from the upstairs room that will become the master bedroom, down through the basement stairwell and directly into one of the cabinets, but that is really far off at this point.

Getting the appliances into place was really tough. Our options were to either remove the toilet that is almost directly opposite the sink, or to lift the appliances over it and onto the platform. We went with the second option, partly because we didn’t want to re-seat the toilet without replacing it, but we knew we’d have to do some work in the floor (which is not even) and will be tiling in the bathroom eventually. We decided we could handle it, though it took several attempts to get the washer over. On the first two not-successful tries, we just couldn’t manage the dead-lift (I am not a particularly physically-strong lady, and we’d put a call into a friend to help, but he hadn’t gotten back to us yet). Tim had the idea to tip the washer onto the front edge, so we’d be holding it at an angle instead. With some serious heave-ho, we managed it on the third try. The dryer was way easier.

Just a quick note on doing difficult lifting/carrying tasks. I may have talked about this previously, but on something like getting the washer into place, it really came up again. Our strategy is to plan ahead as much as possible. Sure, you can’t forsee what is or isn’t going to work all of the time, but come up with a basic plan like “and then the back right corner will swing through the doorway” and be as specific as possible. It is really difficult to try to articulate how you want to pivot something when you’ve got 50 pounds of drywall in your hands. Think through the turns and lifts that you’ll need to make with the object and come up with a game plan so no one has to try and read minds or shout things like “your other left.” Tim and I figured this strategy out the very first time we tried to put drywall on the ceiling in the usptairs bathroom, and it’s been unbelievably helpful.

After getting the machines on the platform, I held them at tilted angles while Tim messed with the feet and got them as level as possible and then we were ready for the inaugural load of laundry!

Sundried sheets on a spring day? Yes please!

While I ran the washer and gave the bathroom a good scrubbing to rid it of the final layer of construction dust, Tim strung our new plastic-coated laundry line outside. It wraps around the bottom portion of our deck, angles up the stairs, and finishes around the upper deck, so we have plenty of space to line dry. We both have several items of clothing that don’t go into the dryer (let’s not even get started at how few of our socks actually go in the dryer, Tim buys awesome wool socks and I have a penchant for cashmere blends), so the clothesline has gotten quite a lot of use this summer! I’m a little sad, thinking about what will happen when we need to line dry things in the dark of February.

Anyway, there we have it. We lived without a laundry room in our home for over a year, and while it was in no way a dire situation, it is unbelievably nice to have the option to run a load of sheets while I start dinner, without having to plan ahead and block out some time to go to the laundromat (or take eight loads of laundry with me to work, since there is a laundry room in the basement of the condo building where my office is located). We’ve found that if the washer is particularly full, we get a little bit of a rattle in the kitchen, but especially with the door to the bathroom closed, you can barely tell the machine is going most of the time. It’s a huge upgrade to us, and will probably make an impact when we go to sell our house down the road. We made a full-bath into a half-bath and lost interior access to the basement, but we’ll eventually add an additional full bath upstairs and think that laundry is a fair trade for having to go outside if we need to check a circuit breaker. I’m super pleased to be able to do laundry on a whim and am eager to move onto the next project now!

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4 comments on “Downstairs bathroom – cabinets and appliances

  1. I am anxious to watch the next project unfolding

  2. […] finishing the laundry room, we were pondering which project to take on next. We’d spent some time this summer doing some […]

  3. […] but looking back, I’m surprised at what we did actually accomplish this year. We put in a laundry room, added a TV to the kitchen, hired someone to re-lay our brick walk for us, and did some […]

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