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harleysilo 12-29-2008 09:47 AM

Redesign pantry and laundry room questions
We are converting our current pantry into a 1/2 bath and losing that space.
We have a standard small laundry closet with a 5' opening. We want to put a set of stackable washer and dryer in there and use half of the space as our new pantry.

I'm concerned about how to hook up the washer/dryer in such a small space
Couple of options as i see it......

Making 2 separate Closets

Design an access panel (or two in the bottom/and half ways up) in the back of the pantry for reaching through the wall to hook up the gas connection /electric and vent after itís in the closet. The pantry would have to be empty with no shelves when you used the access panels.

Keep it the current size

Build a large removable shelf that goes in to half of the closet for the pantry. The shelf could have sides, it would be heavy.

Another idea would be to install a solid wood door in the middle of the current laundry room it would function as the left side of the panty. Shelves could be build that go from it to the right wall. When somebody needs to install or remove the washer dryer, you empty the pantry, remove the shelves and then "open" the door. The door could be held in place by some of the vertical locks like the front door hasÖ..

The wife wants be to turn it into 2 closets with separate doors. My concern is how do you hook up the washer and dryer in such a small space, i.e. if you can't get around the sides and I'm not sure one could crawl up on top of the stacked unit then reach down to the floor with my 7' long arms to hook up the vent/water/gas/electric. I see most restrict flex gas lines to 3'.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

harleysilo 12-29-2008 11:24 AM

Well, I'd still be interested in your thoughts but I talked to the wife and we decided I'm going to build a small thin stick built wall (with sheet rock AND paint) and mount it on hinges dead center of that current laundry room. Then I'll build in two separate louver doors. So all you gotta do is Take the pantry shelfs out and unlock the "door or wall on hinges" and swing it to the right and you have full access to the back of the washer and dryer.

harleysilo 12-29-2008 11:27 AM

I just got to figure out the best way to Light the pantry. A ceiling mounted light for the pantry will provide little light for the bottom shelves (and interfere with operation of wall-on-hinges) maybe a 4' single tube light on either side of the door hooked up to the closet light switch would be the way to go....

In addition I need to turn one pull chain ceiling light into two.....

inspectorD 12-29-2008 06:05 PM

Tight spaces.
I get creative as I can when trying to fit tight spots.
Think about where all the connections go and how you will get to them is the biggest. Also think about a drain pan and plumbing at the bottom, if a washer hose gives way that water will cause serious damage to all below.
I use prefinished plywood as much as I can for these issues. The prefinished works well in humid areas and saves space.
Use a drop light to figure out where you need the light to go, I have even used boxes to mock up what I am trying to accomplish.
Have fun, sounds like a challenging project.:)

harleysilo 12-30-2008 06:21 AM

About the drain pan, My house is a ranch with a full unfinished (currently) basement. This location is over a part of the basement that will never be "finished", it is and will remain a small wood shop. That said, when we bought it a ice maker connection had leaked for some time and from the basement you can see the discolored sub floor. When I tore up the tile work the additional layer of plywood that had been installed was rotten in that area.

Since this area will be tiled again, i'd like not to have to worry about future water damage. Couple thoughts, if a hose breaks it's gonna spray everywhere i would guess and not limit itself to the drain pan. Now if the washing machine leaks that would all get caught.

I haven't proceeded to far with this project that I can't make major changes if needed for a better design. I'm using ditra to install the tile, which as you may know is used in construction that might see a lot of water. A man could install it with the seam strips they sell, coming up the wall as they show in the manual to "waterproof" the tile installation. One could go so far as to replace the drywall with the waterproof drywall and then install a drain in the laundry room effect creating a shower like area for the washer dryer. Can this drain pan or floor drain just drain right outside (all this is on exterior wall) according to code. (if not that would be stupid and will be ignored).

I've never had a drain pan for my dishwasher suggested, why not? Maybe didn't ask the right people? When you think about it there are a lot of potential water disasters waiting to happen, toilet valves, flex supply lines everywhere jeez.

Finally what did you mean about prefinished plywood. What is that and where did you install it and why?

inspectorD 12-30-2008 07:06 AM

Hi Harley
Well the drain pans work really good most of the time. When a hose breaks and sprays, it is usually going to be a big problem. But I have seen hoses with a pine hole leak spray against the washer and leak into the pan. For the amount of damage it could save you from, it is worth the money.
Yes the drain can just dump to the outside, in fact I prefer it dump to a spot you can see if it is leaking. A screen and backflow valve to keep cold air out and to keep pests out is a good idea but needs to be looked at regularly. A trap on the line will just dry out. Not sure about your codes however, this being a saftey thing and not connected to the plumbing system really should not matter. I fit where connected to the plumbing system it could dry out and cause a stink. Common sense would be the best.

The plywood is available at the regular professional lumber yards. Sometimes it may need to be ordered ,but it is well worth it.
We use it for the inside of cabinets so they do not need to be finished. You can get both sides finished and get prefinished edge-banding for the exposed edges. It would work fine for this sort of thing.
Tell us how you project finishes up, and we love pictures.:D

harleysilo 12-30-2008 10:56 AM

Are you suggesting I use the pre-finished plywood for the dividing wall and pantry walls or for finishing the walls around the potential leaky washer?

inspectorD 12-30-2008 06:51 PM

I would use it where it makes the most sense for you to make up space. I have used a 3/4 inch wall for closets to accommodate where I had limited room to work, and make boxes I could remove for future access. Then screw them to a supporting wall so I can get to the hoses later on.
The only issue with it is it may be noisy, a regular wall would be thicker and absorb more noise. But if you are not too worried about it and it is in a separate room where you could close a door, it may work for you.
I always try to keep my options open, then mix in some common sense, and throw a what if at it. :D I'm sure you'll do fine.:)

Some pictures of what your doing would help.:)

harleysilo 12-31-2008 05:46 AM

View from the Kitchen of current laundry room

View from the kitchen of current Pantry (future 1/2 bath)

inspectorD 12-31-2008 06:27 AM

Alright, good pics.
I envisioned the space much smaller.
Looks like you could make an access from the other side of where the laundry hookups are. I'm guessin that is the back door. You could hide it by installing a wainscote beadboard Panels and some chairrail. But make that piece removable. Then install your appliances and always have access. This will also dress up that small space nicely, and not really add to the cost too much.
The pantry can be made of the plywood as a cabinet. Or you could buy one with full pull out drawers with one finished side to get to things much easier.Go to a kitchen place and check out their pantry cabinets. Just make sure you get one that can fit through all your openings. If that limits the size, build one in place with adjustable shelves and a fixed shelf in the middle for stability.
Then you can install a doubleset of doors to cover the area.
If you want to install your water resistant material, you can glue it to the side of the pantry and hold it with some small screws till it sets up. PL400 would work.
Hope this gave you some ideas, let us know how it turns out.:D

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