Airing My Dirty Laundry

Where do you do your laundry? Do you have a washer and dryer in your home? Where do you fold your laundry?

It’s not that I love to do laundry. I don’t like it at all – especially the folding and putting away – BUT I DO ALOT! In our previous home, we had the washer and dryer hidden away in the basement of our country ranch/bungalow. It was tucked away from prying eyes. I could fold laundry downstairs in front of the kid’s TV, or bring laundry upstairs to fold and put away. Messy overflowing laundry baskets were my little secret.

It’s popular these days to have a washer and dryer near the bedrooms. It’s a really good idea, and I totally get it. In our current century home, we have a narrow upstairs laundry room. It’s hard to move around in, the dryer door opens into the wall, and it has wire shelving units above that seem like a good idea, but I tend to fill them with old blankets and things that I don’t need. IF YOU PUT UP A SHELF I WILL FILL IT (It’s kind of like “If you build it he will come” from Field of Dreams……)


I love the sturdy full size washer and dryer. They are not those beautiful front opening matchy colour coordinated machines. These are big solid white whales of laundry processing that last forever (Knock on wood). Real people need real laundry equipment.

This stackable washer dryer looks much nicer than my set, and was my first inspiration

I tend to bring all my dry laundry downstairs to the dining room to fold, then I take it back upstairs to put away. Is that normal?

The laundry room appears to be an old bathroom, with an old toilet flange, a sink rough-in and a bath/shower drain. I thought, wouldn’t it be better to have a second bathroom upstairs, and put the laundry elsewhere? – But then, where should the laundry go?

The old laundry room, the dryer still there – but with the washer removed…….soon to be a new bathroom

I had the brilliant idea of moving the laundry across the hall to the much larger main bathroom. It had a sink and toilet, a shower and a separate older jet bathtub. The jet bathtub took up a lot of space. It also was yellowed, installed strangely, didn’t drain properly and had nasty things come out of the jets. The jet tub needed to go. We only ever used it to wash Max! He accidentally stood on the jet buttons a few times and scared himself.

Max was the only resident that enjoyed the bathtub, but the jets scared him

There was more hair in those Jet Tub jets than on my husband’s head…ouch! (I say that with love).

There was plenty of room for a tub and washer/dryer – or so we thought!

So in my brilliance, I thought we could put in a stackable full size washer/dryer and a clawfoot bathtub in the space where the current jet tub was installed. There was room after all. I thought that a 60 inch tub and a 30 inch stackable system would fit very well in my 100 plus inches of space. I started to size up tubs and washer/dryers, while my husband removed the tub.

Removing the jet tub

The jet tub was installed in a built in framed “surround”.

There were alot of pipes and wires and a motor under the old tub
After the tub was removed we have walls and floor to repair

My husband removed the tub (easier said than done), detached all the plumbing and wiring, had to cut away some subfloor and walls, and then with the help of one of our boys, carted the tub down the stairs and off to the dump.

We brought in three plumbers to quote and plan our two bathroom and laundry renovation.

Plumber 1: Well you could put a washer/dryer and tub in the big bathroom, but the drain is only 1.5 inch and it wouldn’t be legal, and the vent is all wrong, and the old laundry room would probably work as a bathroom.” – but he just was too busy and seemed uncomfortable with the work.

There is a plumbing vent pipe left behind that sits above floor level

Plumber 2:You couldn’t put both a washer/dryer and a tub in the big bathroom, so just put the laundry in. The other bathroom is too narrow to be a bathroom, and do you really want a shower near a window? I need to rent a skyjack to install the dryer duct, because I don’t like ladders………

Plumber 3:I’ll install a tub, the second bathroom will work fine, just order the tub, shower, etc. and I’ll plumb it all. Put the washer and dryer in the basement and I’ll hook them up.

AND SO, despite the benefit of having an upstairs laundry room, we decided that it would be nicer to have a new bathroom upstairs, and that we would put a new tub in the big bathroom. AND of course we picked Plumber 3.

My husband and son rolled the washer and dryer down the stairs
The dryer went down the stairs
Through the house
Out the narrow side door – they just fit
Down three sets of outdoor stairs
Down some soon to be repaired cement stairs into the basement
Washer and dryer in the workshop

My beautiful big white washer and dryer were carried downstairs and installed. They went down the main staircase, around the house and out the side door, and down three outdoor sets of stairs and in through the basement door.

We had been cleaning out the basement dungeon, (I mean workshop), which is really pretty good for an 1890s home. There was already a duct hole through the basement window. We ordered some new duct pieces online, and my husband cut himself pretty badly on the duct elbows. No stitches were required!

We waited all day for the scheduled electrician to come and install a 220volt dryer plug. He was a no show and we have rescheduled for next week. The washing machine is plumbed in and ready to roll! I have washed two loads of laundry and hung the wet laundry all around the house.

I have a new empty bathroom project to begin, and a clawfoot tub is on order.

I’m not sure how things will go, but it will all come out in the wash! The big washer and dryer in the basement may not be everyone’s dream – but it’s exactly what I want, and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

P.S. Max is happy to be rid of the old jet tub.

8 thoughts on “Airing My Dirty Laundry

  1. I line dry and in British weather it means hanging up some indoors when it rains (sometimes often). As you quoted (shelves) if I had an electric drier I might use it and that might be using energy from coal power stations. So anyways, I’m used to the shower rail an’ door frames looking like what my Mum called a Chinese laundry, with hangers on. πŸ‘• πŸ‘–

    1. Sorry I forgot the other part of the questions: I prewash my socks in the sink after things like gardening and always make sure the washing machine has a full load on short eco wash. Some things get washed in the bath with pure soap, walking over it (duvet) making sure I’m holding onto the sides for safety. I make sure my spun dry clothes are hung up correctly, so that when I take them off the line, I can fold them correctly (konmari folding) into a wash basket, then they’re ready for putting away. πŸ‘”

    2. It seems to me that my British friends are more apt to line dry things – it takes better planning and organizing but it’s definitely more “green” and commendable. I’ve been known to dry my laundry on the kids hockey nets!

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