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Laundry rooms are often a catchall for the more unsightly parts of our home lives: dirty clothes, rainy coats, muddy boots, wet towels, overstuffed backpacks. But they’re also one of the most-used (and therefore most-seen) parts, as they frequently double as a mud room or informal entry, with family members moving in and out all day long.
Therefore, these rooms often fall prey to an “out of sight, out of mind” design approach, and suffer from a lack of order and organization. But a renovation that brings calm to the chaos and gives everything a place will create a space that allows you to start and end your day efficiently—and gives you a beautiful room that may just make you enjoy laundry day.
The national average cost of remodeling a 35-square-foot laundry room is $6,000—though this price tag is much more manageable if you consider a bank loan, like a Discover® personal loan, which allows for flexible repayment terms of 36 to 84 months. (Note that the actual total of a laundry room renovation could be much higher or lower depending on things like finishes, and whether you plan to keep your existing appliances.)
Adding or Moving Utilities
You can save yourself a few hundred dollars by leaving your washer and dryer in the same place. But if you need to install new plumbing or a hookup, expect to pay $300 to $500 for each.
For a laundry room renovation, “The majority of the budget will go toward installing new plumbing and a floor drain,” says KV Harper, founder and principal of KEX Design + Build. “When dealing with water, the most important thing is to avoid flooding. That means proper floor drainage that would stop any potential flooding in the room.”
These are often jobs best left to the pros, and a plumber costs $45 to $150 per hour, while an electrician is $65 to $85 an hour. Typically, a third of the $6,000 overall cost for a laundry room renovation is spent on labor.
Replacing or Repairing Appliances
Most homeowners are inspired to rethink their laundry room when they need to replace their appliances. Expect to spend at least $1,000 on new machines, and up to $4,000 for higher-end front-loading machines. Installation typically costs $110 if you already have a hookup in place, but can be as much as $600 if it’s your first washer/dryer installation.
Repairing your existing appliances might be the more economical choice. Dryer repairs average $180, while the cost to repair a washing machine is typically $175. (Call your local repair person to get an estimate that is appropriate for where you live.)
Upgrading That Utility Sink
A large, deep sink in a laundry or mud room is invaluable for soaking stained clothes, hosing off muddy boots, or hand washing delicate items. You can find a standalone utility sink at a home improvement store for less than $200, but costs start to increase when you add countertops to create an integrated sink.
The average cost to install countertops is $25 to $120 per square foot, with laminate being the cheapest material and granite or marble being the most expensive. Since most laundry rooms do not have a large expanse of countertops—you only need space to fold and sort—they can be added to a laundry room for as little as $50.
Cabinetry is crucial in a laundry room to store linens, hide dirty laundry, and keep cleaning supplies organized. Most will only need two or three base cabinets and two or three upper cabinets—enough to hold a laundry basket, folded towels, and things like detergent and extra paper products. Stock cabinets are the most affordable, at $100 to $280 per linear foot. Semi-custom cabinets give you more style choices, but can cost upwards of $2,500. Custom cabinetry is the most expensive, at $2,000 to $4,500.
Another budget-friendly option is to forgo upper cabinets and add DIY open shelving. You can find simple wire shelves for less than $15 for a six-foot span, but even solid wood floating shelves are inexpensive, with four-foot options available from major retailers for less than $40.
One of the hardest parts of keeping a mud room in order (whether it is part laundry room or not) is the coat and shoe situation. These items need to be accessible, but also easy to hide away. A simple solution for smaller spaces is a wall mounted coat rack with a bench below that serves double duty as shoe and bag storage. A basic hook rack can be found for less than $20, and a slab bench for under $200. A custom storage system, with cubbies and shelving, is much pricier, at $1,000 to $3,000.
If you have space to build a reach-in coat closet, expect to spend $1,000 to $2,500, including the interior organizers. Revamping an existing closet can be done for as little as $200, as you only need to buy new shelves or hanging rods.
Laundry rooms and mud rooms need durable, easy-to-clean flooring that can withstand water, dirt, salt, and more. Vinyl is one of the most water-resistant materials available and is easy to clean. And at $2 to $8 per square foot, it’s also the cheapest. Porcelain tile, $10 to $20 per square foot, is also a great choice, as there are non-skid types, and it is extremely durable and will not scratch.
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