Laundry rooms are important, but they’re often not the prettiest of rooms. They also tend to be sandwiched into small spaces, or in inconvenient areas of the home. No wonder some homeowners consider remodeling them.
But whether you should undertake a laundry room remodel depends on the size of the space, the kinds of new appliances you want to install, and any special décor touches you’d like to add, among other factors.
A remodel might be worth it if it creates a perky and efficient space or a room that has a dual function.
Before Starting Your Laundry Room Remodel
If you’ve been thinking about giving your laundry room a clean start, you’ve probably got a lot of ideas and inspiration swimming in your head.
Before embarking on your project, think through what you’re hoping to accomplish by asking yourself the following questions.
What’s the Scope of the Project?
Some remodels involve small improvements like new paint and cabinetry, while others call for tearing through walls, moving plumbing, or even relocating your laundry room to another area of the home.
Appliances should also be addressed. Will you need a new washer and dryer, or do you plan on using the ones you currently have?
What Do You Plan to Use Your Laundry Room For?
While most laundry rooms are used solely for handling laundry, others also act as mudrooms and storage for cleaning supplies, sports gear, and bulk shopping items like bottled water, paper products, and pet food.
What your laundry room is used for will affect the laundry room remodel ideas available to you.
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How Often and When Do You Do Laundry?
If you have a large family and do frequent washing and drying, that will influence the design of your new laundry room. You may need ample counter space for folding, a fold-down ironing board, or bins to hold each person’s clean clothing.
If you tend to do the laundry during the day, you might want to consider adding a window for some natural light. And if you’re more likely to wash clothes in the evening, under-cabinet lighting may help.
What Are Your Must-Haves?
Some homeowners might want bins and baskets to keep things tidy. Others are looking to add features like a sink, or build out their laundry room to accommodate more counter space.
Whatever your desire, it’s a good idea to list what you can’t live without so you can build them into your budget.
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How Much Can You Spend?
The scope of your project will dictate your budget and how you plan to pay for your remodel.
Some homeowners could see a laundry room remodel as a way to increase their home’s value, and may opt to borrow to pay for the project. Others might choose to keep things scaled down so they don’t spend beyond what they have on hand. A home improvement cost calculator can help you figure out how much your project might run you.
Laundry Room Remodel Ideas
Now that you’ve got the foundation of your project mapped out, it’s time to envision how your laundry room remodel will take shape. That will depend on the following factors.
If You Have Limited Space
Small laundry rooms can still pack a punch, thanks to creative ways to maximize your available space. You can do that by tucking laundry baskets under counters, adding a rod under cabinets to hang clothes, and using wall space for hooks to hang laundry bags or baskets that can hold clothespins, detergent, and dryer sheets.
Don’t forget that laundry rooms don’t need to be actual rooms; if you’re short on space, consider tucking your washer and dryer into an unused closet and installing a farmhouse door for easy access.
Depending on its size, you can then use the prior laundry room as a guest room, home office, nursery, or kids’ playroom.
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If You’ll Be Using the Room for More Than Cleaning Clothes
The list of ways to use a laundry room is endless, and will largely depend on each household’s needs.
• Got a large dog? You might consider installing a pet-washing station, especially if you are already planning on undertaking plumbing work.
• Need a quiet place to conduct conference calls at home? A fold-down workstation meets both needs.
• Larger families may tuck an additional fridge in the laundry room.
• People who love to entertain may find storage for plates and glassware in the laundry room.
A laundry room remodel can quickly add up if new plumbing, cabinetry, and construction work are involved.
If you find yourself running beyond what you’re willing to spend, think of creative ways to get the laundry room you want without breaking the bank.
That might entail painting cabinets instead of replacing them, using open shelving instead of custom built-ins, and opting for durable paint in place of tiled backsplashes.
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DIY vs Calling In an Expert
Many homeowners are comfortable with do-it-yourself projects. In a laundry room remodel, these might include painting, replacing cabinetry, and installing shelving and hanging rods.
Other projects — moving water lines, installing new sinks or drywall, and demolition — require hiring a contractor. Mapping out which projects you will need to outsource will affect your budget and may also affect the scope of your project.
Paying for It
Smaller laundry room remodels, or those that require just a new coat of paint, a new washer and dryer, or a retrofitting of shelving to maximize storage space, can be done with fairly little outlay, especially if you do it yourself or have a friend or family member lend a hand.
Larger ones, or those that call for extensive demolition, architecture work, or the services of a general contractor, will be more expensive, of course.
The size of the project — and therefore how much money you’ll need—matters, as does your timeline for paying back any loan.
Here are some options:
• A home improvement loan, which is a type of personal loan. Your home isn’t used as collateral to secure the loan.
• A home equity loan or a revolving home equity line of credit, which do use your home as collateral.
• Cash-out refinance, which replaces your mortgage with a new loan for more than you owe. The difference goes to you in cash, for home improvements or anything else.
Laundry room ideas range from DIY tweaks to major overhauls. A laundry room remodel may increase the value of your home or simply make life a little easier. Start by listing what you want to achieve and how you’re going to pay for it.
SoFi offers a range of ways to pay for home improvements like a laundry room makeover, including a cash-out refinance or an unsecured personal loan.
Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.
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