What paradigms need to change?

Having gone to the basement 4 times already while doing today’s laundry, with 2 more trips to go, I got to wondering why laundry rooms generally seem to be placed in the basement or garage. Isn’t the vast majority of the items laundered from the bedrooms and linen closet? Doesn’t it make sense to have to washer and dryer bedroom adjacent?

Friends of mine did just that when they had their house built eons ago. The entrance to their bedroom is a corridor - on one side is a large closet with the washer and dryer, on the opposite side is an identical closet with an ironing board and all kinds of storage. So very sensible. But every house we’ve lived in had the laundry appliances in the garage or garage adjacent, except this one, where we’ve got a basement laundry room.

Granted, I haven’t looked at new home construction so there’s a good chance the paradigm has changed. But if it hasn’t, it should.

Are there other things we do because “we’ve always done it that way” that would be better done another way?

I can think of at least one reason why I wouldn’t want the washer and dryer adjacent to the room I sleep in.

My laundry room is a closet in my dining room. (Don’t ask.) I keep fantasizing about moving it into the bedroom closet upstairs. That would save a lot of back-and-forthing. I could see how it would inhibit sleeping patterns in some households, but there are only two of us living here and it would not be a problem.

What paradigms need to change?

Four nickels – or, barring that, twenty pennies.

… …

Ok, serious answer. Laundry machines tend to give off a lot of heat & humidity, not to mention the noise, so it makes sense to place them where those problems won’t be an issue. My current laundry setup is in the bathroom, which is funny because when my aunt & uncle moved house some years ago, I made fun of them for choosing a house whose laundry room was also in the bathroom. Go figure.

So…tell. I can’t! I think it’d be darn great!

One of the single greatest paradigm change in years and years is side-opening can openers! These things are GREAT! No jagged cut edges of metal, just a smoothly opening can. And there’s no interior “rim” left, to trap food. All the food slides right out. Greatest thing since canned food in the first place!

Also e-book readers. Heaven!

And rechargeable battery operated power tools. At first, I thought a portable electric screwdriver was effete nonsense: then I got to use one for real work. Love it!

What’s needed? There’s been talk for more than a century about re-designing the “qwerty” keyboard. I’d like to see real change (for the better) there. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country!

For those with basements (especially with basements): Laundry Chutes

A tube going from upstairs to the basement, through which soiled linens travel.

The first house I remember (b. 1915) had one.

They can be a bitch to install if they were not in the original plans, but look into it

For 2-story: easier to install, but less incentive.

The reason the laundry was in basement/garage: Washing machines can leak. Having them in the lowest point and on concrete makes all kinds of sense.

I thought so, too, at one point. I had one. Then I had to rummage thru my recycle bin for something and I sliced my finger open on the nice, smooth edge. The opener went into the garbage and I’ll deal with the trapped food.

We wanted to put in a laundry chute since the laundry room is right under the master bath. But it just couldn’t be done without rerouting way too much plumbing. Our bathroom has about 5’X5’ of floor, and between the toilet, the sink, and the heat vent, there’s really no place to put an opening. Anyway, taking dirties down is easy - gravity assists! And it’s really easy to fling towels and sheets and blankets down the stairs. It’s coming back UP the stairs that wears a body out! :smiley:

But! Carrying laundry UP stairs is good cardio exercise!

(or upgrade the chute to dumbwaiter - and get one with an electric motor)

p.s. how about putting the chute in the bedroom? Use a bottom-hinged door in a wall - just find an area where the wall can be 15" or so thick. Is there a closet on the other side of the wall? A new bump about 3’ high and 18" deep would give you the space. Now: what is on the first floor under the proposed location?

We considered all the chute possibilities - the furnace and ducting is under the closets, so that’s out. And my pottery studio is under the master bedroom - I prefer not to have dirty clothes deposited there. Believe me, we tried to make a chute work - it was not practical.

As for cardio - you can just hush! :stuck_out_tongue:

It makes sense (to me) to have the laundry room in a place where it is close to the plumbing grid. It also makes sense to have it near an exterior wall, for venting out the dryer exhaust. And finally, it makes sense to have the washers in a place where a cleanup is least problematic in the event of an overflow.

I did once live in an apartment where the laundry appliances were in the bathroom. Of course, apartments have no basement or garage.

When we remodeled our bedroom, we added smaller washer and dryer at the end of our master bath. (we also added a little fridge, sink, and place for a coffee maker) We wash big loads and kids stuff in the regular laundry room, but day to day stuff for me and the wife gets done near the closet. We don’t run it right before bed, and it doesn’t bother us any other time.

Two laundry rooms. :eek: I can’t decide if that’s genius or extravagance. I’d like to try it though.

Anyone have a raised step up into their house for no particular reason, other than someone’s idea of creating a “statement” at the entrance. Step up, door, then step down. That needs to change.

When my parents built a new house, one of my mom’s demands was for a washer and dryer on the main floor. Every load meant 3 trips up and down the stairs. True, Mom had great legs, but she had done enough stepping.

(Side-opening can opener.) Do you mean the blade of the opener itself? Bummer! Bad design! The models I’ve seen have recessed blades, so that kind of accident is extremely unlikely. Maybe you could try again?

Or do you mean the top of the can, or the can itself, after opening? Again, in my experience those edges are not sharp, but actually smooth and safe. This, too, may be an example of a poorly designed model. They certainly don’t all do this; mine doesn’t. In fact, conventional can openers leave much worse exposed edges of sharp metal!

The trend is to have the laundry room near the bedrooms. It’s no worse than having a bathroom near a bedroom, and probably a lot better since the bathroom is more likely to be used during sleep time than the laundry room is.

I had one of those side-opening can openers. It was a piece of crap. It didn’t leave any sharp edges, but it barely worked. I usually ended up giving up and using my old opener. I ended up throwing it away.

As for new paradigms, the “French Door” refrigerator is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time. The convenient small doors of a side-by-side, but the nice wide shelves of a standard layout.

Our house has a laundry chute, and it’s a wonderful convenience . . . except that we still have to go down into the basement to do laundry, then schlep it back upstairs when it’s done.

A lot of the time, it was the easiest place to add a hook-up, as well. You have to put them where water pipes already are, or spend a lot of money running new pipes, and there has to be a good place for the dryer to vent. Houses built with laundry rooms as part of the design often do have the laundry room in a more convenient place.

The dryer venting is another problem: even when they vent to the outside, they still generate some heat, and this was less problematic in a basement that was already cool because it was underground.

The house where my aunt and uncle lived had had lots of remodeling, and a walk-in closet had been converted to a 3/4 bath and laundry room (2 separate rooms) on the top floor, while the tiny laundry room on the first floor had been converted into a 1/2 bath. The closet was already next to a bathroom, so there was no problem with running pipes. I do know that one of the things they did was reinforce the floor, both for the appliances and the shower. So that’s another consideration. Putting the appliances in the basement means not stressing the joists of an upper floor.

If you were ever in a really old house in the 1970s, sometimes the refrigerator was in the basement, and it was for the same reason, the weight of it. If the kitchen was above the basement, and the house was built before refrigerators existed, it might not have been a good idea to put a vintage (VERY heavy) fridge there.

Confirming what’s been posted, I just read a day or two ago that young people looking at new houses are asking for the laundry room to be near the bedrooms.

Our house was built 30-some years ago and has this configuration. When we looked at it we thought it was odd. We were told that it was something the original owner had asked for (so not many houses around us have this). But after a few weeks of living here, we realized it was a great idea.

Note: the laundry room is more than a laundry room. It also has some nice storage area. E.g., a half closet above the stairs lower down. Not sure how that space would be used if the laundry room had been absorbed by the neighboring spaces: shower area or a big closet. In either case, a door to it would be “in the way” in some sense.

You definitely want to be careful and have high grade hoses. A big leak in an upstairs space can do a lot of damage. One of our neighbors was away for a good while and the washing machine hose broke. By the time they came back the house was ruined. Sold it for very little to RE agent/contractor and he spent a lot of time and money making it livable again.

Yes - the cut edge of the can - bare and sharp, like a thin, curved blade. It sliced a flap of skin about 1/16" thick along the side of my finger - boy-oh-boy did it bleed!! And hurt! Nope, not willing to try it ever again. My old-fashioned hand-held opener works just fine. I have noticed, tho, that more and more cans are pull-tab style - like our dog and cat food, the canned fruits we buy, canned cocoa, canned nuts, canned soup… Come to think of it, I only use the opener for cans of tomatoes, tomato sauce, and red beets. We prefer frozen veggies, so no cans to open there.

Speaking of refrigerators, I think the door within a door is a good idea. We don’t have one because I can’t make myself spend over $2k on a fridge, but I think it’s a clever idea. Ours is a single door above and a freezer drawer below - I think I like it better than the old side-by-side, except for not having ice thru the door.

My old Scion xA had all its instruments in the middle of the dashboard rather than backing the steering wheel. I found I really liked that, altho I can’t say exactly why. I just liked it.