Is space at a premium in your home and you’re wondering if perhaps you could use part of your garage as a place to install your washer and dryer? If so, it’s better if you aren’t using your garage for too much more than storing your vehicle during the cold season. And of course, the garage should be reasonably clean. So here are a few tips to help you plan and execute the conversion.
First of all, depending on where you live—whether it’s very cold or very warm—your garage should be insulated and heated (or air-conditioned). Second of all, it’s preferable not to dry large items (such as bedding) inside your garage, as this can increase the humidity level, making things uncomfortable. The only way to offset this effect would be to install a dehumidifier.
The pros and cons of a project like this
Pros of the project:
- You optimize space by taking advantage of an under-utilized corner of your home.
- If they’re well-planned and organized, a garage with a laundry nook will make a very nice complement to your home. They’re both convenient for your day-to-day needs.
- If the wall that separates the garage from the rest of the home is insulated, the insulation will also serve as soundproofing, reducing transmission of the noises and vibrations coming from the washer and dryer.
Cons of the project:
- People who have tried it have often found that the garage is cold and that it gets dirty easily, making it one more room that has to be cleaned.
- One way to keep it organized is to use it for other purposes, for example, as a place to keep a second refrigerator or a freezer, or a place to install shelves where you keep packaged and canned goods.
- You could even convert a corner into a space for your favorite pet, which will make the whole family responsible for keeping the corner clean.
First, before making the decision to house your washer and dryer in the garage, you’ll have to figure out which part of the garage you can do it in, making sure there’s access to plumbing (for hot and cold water, as well as for drainage). You’ll also have to figure out where to vent the moist air coming out of the dryer.
As for electricity, without getting too technical, you’ll need to make sure the necessary outlets can be installed there. It’s recommendable to entrust the plumbing and electrical work to qualified experts. Meanwhile, you can focus on the carpentry and finishing work.
If your garage isn’t heated or if it’s difficult to keep it at a moderate temperature, you should consider installing a false floor. The raised floor will create a more pleasant place to work.
Depending on your construction plans and the condition of the space you’re going to convert, here are some other items you might want to add to your to-do list:
- Paint the walls and ceiling.
- Paint the floor (for best results and maximum durability, use epoxy paint).
- Add supplemental lighting.
- Refurbish or replace your storage shelves.
- And why not… get rid of all those old things you’ve been hanging on to for years and donate them to a charity that will put them to good use for the needy.
Now you’re ready to begin your conversion project. If you make it pleasant for all members of your family, they’ll use it more effectively.