How To Build a Laundry Room

==================================================================

cropped-Chuck-Wooten-087-4.jpg

==================================================================

Spring, 2010. With the shell of our earthbag walled hybrid house complete except for exterior stucco (still waiting for warmer weather), it was time to turn my attention to the interior. A while back, Pam stated firmly that my bedroom should come first. She’s in no rush to move out of the camp trailer, and she doesn’t like me–and Green Eyes, our black kitty cat–having to sleep in that unheated steel storage shed.

That changed a couple of weeks ago when she decided the laundry room had to come first. Sending me to the laundromat 25 miles away to scorch and shrink her favorite togs has not exactly helped her emotional state.

I’m cool with that. Especially since she also volunteered to take the space for the laundry room out of her own bedroom. In fact, that space will be part of her bedroom. An unusual arrangement, no doubt, but one that suits us well.

The steps were completed in the following order:

1. Pour concrete footings for the laundry room walls.

2. Construct the stud walls.

3. Using the newly created scissors jack stand, install ceiling boards.

4. Add R-30 ceiling insulation.

5. Add R-11 wall insulation.

6. Construct the room’s rubber flooring system.

7. Add the interior wall boards. Note: These are all OSB strand boards, not sheetrock. Neither my wife nor I can stand sheetrock walls. The OSB sheathing is inexpensive, easy to work with, and–though not designed to be painted–can be painted just like sheetrock.

8. Paint walls and ceiling.

9. Grab a bunch of ABS pipe and some glue, and plumb the wash water disposal pipeline from behind where the washer will sit to the main drain pipe.

10. Dig our washer and dryer out of the storage shed, clean them up (which they desperately needed), and set them in place in the room.

Ceiling done and insulation begun, upper view.

Ceiling done and insulation begun, upper view.

Lower view showing floor (plus drop cloth).

Lower view showing floor (plus drop cloth).

North wall insulated.

North wall insulated.

Walls installed and painted.  The open format on the 4th (east) side will remain as is.

Walls installed and painted. The open format on the 4th (east) side will remain as is.

Straight-on view.

Straight-on view.

View showing floor after drop cloth has been removed, but with tape still in place.

View showing floor after drop cloth has been removed, but with tape still in place.

Washer drain pipe assembled and ready to install.

Washer drain pipe assembled and ready to install.

The dryer, fresh out of storage and freshly scrubbed.

The dryer, fresh out of storage and freshly scrubbed.

The waster, just out of the cargo trailer, preparing to move over the "boardwalk" and into the house.

The waster, just out of the cargo trailer, preparing to move over the “boardwalk” and into the house.

Just getting the appliances shifted into the laundry room did not mean they were ready to go to work. During their travels, a couple of points had come up. (Homecoming note: This pair was purchased in Arizona in February of 2006, traveled to easten Colorado later that same year, moved over the Continental Divide to western Colorado in 1997, and returned home to Cochise County, Arizona in April of 2009.)

Point #1: The washer developed a glitch a couple of months before we moved out of Colorado, namely that the tub would no longer spin during the spin cycle.

Point #2: The dryer, a typical 240-volt setup, would have to receive electrical current from our larger generator. To make this happen, the plug and cable would have to be changed. For one thing, the plug design on the dryer did not match the plug design on the generator. For another, a 40 foot, heavy duty electrical cord–preferably one resistant to the sun’s UV rays–would have to be found to reach from the laundry room through the home’s earthbag wall and on out to where the generator sits.

Okay, so it was time to call the Maytag Man. Which we did–from the Yellow Pages–and which resulted in good feellings all around. By the time Sandey (the repairman) arrived with his significant other, Cherie, who was curious to see our way of homebuilding, my wife had fixed the washing machine…with her psychic powers! This sort of thing happens from time to time. Last summer it was the camp trailer’s refrigerator and even the kitchen range’s pilot light.

So, a service call charge for nothing?

Hardly. Not only did Sandey and I hit it off right away, but Cherie and Pam bonded instantly like they’d been dipped in super glue and slapped together. Girlfriends! Additionally, Sandey will be bringing out the needed cable and plug for the dryer–which he could have done yesterday, but it’s more than understandable that he felt he needed to see the setup first. Plus, he also does heating and air conditioning work. We’ll use his assistance when it comes to installing the propane furnace and, quite likely, a number of other project puzzles over the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, having even the washing machine without the dryer yet being operational is pure Heaven for Pam. She loves it. In fact, she’s officially washing a load a day or at least every other day and counts the front loader as entertainment value far exceeding that of the average TV program. This afternoon, as I worked on a box which will eventually hold the wind power electrical system’s controller and inverter with extra space to store oil used in the gas powered generators, she sat on a stool in the laundry room just a few feet away, staring happily at the load of laundry doing its thing.

One delighted wife.

One delighted wife.

Update: Autumn, 2013. We used this laundry room until the summer of 2012, at which time the decision was made to convert one of our 8′ x 12′ steel storage sheds to a standalone laundry facility. This freed up the older laundry room (shown new here in 2010) to become additional closet space for my wife.

Which is only fair. That first laundry space had been carved out of her bedroom as it was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.