ARTICLE Stephanie Matheson

As one of the most used appliances in the home, the washing machine is a trusty workhorse that we sometimes take for granted. It’s typically used several times a week, for some families several times a day, and comes with assorted paraphernalia and obviously there is also dirty laundry to house and clean, wet laundry to dry.

With a dedicated laundry room, all this gear has a ‘home’ and remains tidy and organised, and best of all, out of sight. Whether you are thinking of adding a whole new room to the home or changing the layout of your house to accommodate a laundry room, you will most likely need to get architectural drawings done up, as well as apply for planning consent with the local authorities.

The renovation experts at Refresh Renovations can help you navigate the process from start to end. Paul Cree explains: “We take our clients through the planning stages of their project all the way through to project completion. We also obtain all the necessary permits. For example, planning consent will be required for additions and changes to the floor area of the house and any external work. A building permit will be required for any structural modifications, such as moving loadbearing walls. “

When it comes to the fit out of your laundry room, there is a host of clever storage devices available to make the most of every corner of the room, as well as a range of furnishes and fixtures to suit every budget.

How can I build a laundry room on a low budget?

A basic budget of around AU$5,000 to AU$10,000 will allow you to remodel the interior of your house to create space for a small laundry room. Ideally this area could be situated next to a bathroom or the kitchen, so that plumbing points are close by. Another fast and easy way of including a laundry room is to create space in the garage if the garage is large enough. Walls can quickly be added to build a separate room that houses a washing machine and drier, and keeps all your laundry related items out of the way.

If your house or flat is small and space is very limited you could consider converting a wardrobe or closet to suit the purpose, or even dividing off some space from a large bathroom for example. A smaller space would work well with a combination washing machine and drier in one. Washer/dryer combos are generally front loading, so you can utilise the space above. Also, the combination machines have ventless driers, so they can be installed anywhere.

To save money and avoid spending a large amount all at once, reuse good appliances while ensuring that you create enough space for future appliances.

What type of laundry room can I add on a mid level budget?

If you have somewhere around AU$10,000 to AU$25,000 to spend you could consider converting part of the garage or adding a laundry room as part of a garage or bathroom makeover. Work would include moving internal walls and at the higher end of the price range could include a small extension that would increase the footprint of your home.

When planning on building or renovating a laundry room, considerations include easy access to the garden for example, to be able to hang up laundry on a nearby outdoor laundry rack, enough space to fit a washing machine and drier side by side or stacked, storage solutions and drying facilities. A tumble drier is a must-have for many families, and allows you to dry towels, sheets and most clothing easily and quickly, without having to wait for a sunny dry day. However, some clothing can’t go through the drier so it’s worth allocating space for this. An in-built drying rack or heated towel rail might do the trick. It’s also worth thinking about the room’s proximity to the living area or bedrooms to ensure the noise of the appliances doesn’t disturb you. If the laundry room has to be close to these areas, extra consideration can be given to using increased noise insulation in the construction.

Choosing value for money materials will help you keep your budget in check. For flooring, tiles are often preferred but luxury vinyl flooring can be a cost-effective alternative. Clever storage solutions with suitable cabinetry, and where possible a good-sized laundry tub, are handy to have. Finally, it’s worth investing in quality appliances that will stand the test of time. For dryers, you have the choice between basic vented dryers or condensing and heat-pump dryers, which are generally more expensive to buy. Condensing driers blow out hot air while heat-pump dryers work in a closed-loop and do not release moisture into the air.

What should I plan on spending for a high-end laundry room?

You should plan on spending anywhere from around AU$25,000 and upwards if you are looking to add a completely new room onto your house. This could be either a small individual project just to add a laundry room, for example onto an existing laundry or a bathroom, or it could be part of a larger renovation project.

A large-scale house renovation is the ideal time to think about your preferred house layout and include plans for a new and improved laundry room that meets all your needs and helps make life easier. The position and size of the laundry room can help make life easier by offering easy and fast access and enough space to store and organise dirty laundry, washing detergents and related equipment such as an ironing station.

High end finishes such as ceramic or porcelain tiles are ideal for flooring, and you could consider investing in luxury, wooden cabinetry to house all your laundry related accessories. Quality appliances are key of course – shop around for the best appliances with excellent energy ratings and special features and functions. Some washing machines come with an automatic laundry detergent dispensing system, and the latest high end tumble driers feature steam functions to help you iron out every little wrinkle in your clothes.

You might be interested in reading: How much does it cost to extend my bedroom and en-suite?


Get in touch if you're thinking about renovating

For a cost estimate accurate to your project requirements, please get in touch. A Refresh Renovations specialist can support you in creating a laundry that works for your home and budget.

*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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