Back in Action

After a long summer break from house projects (which I like to think of as my maternity leave) we are getting back to work.  Actually, a lot has happened in our basement this summer, but Jason and I haven’t partaken in any of the physical labor.  We’re still thrilled if we get more than two consecutive hours of sleep at night, so a wonderful contractor our neighbor recommended has taken on demo, framing, and drywall.  We plan on handling most of the finishing work, like cabinetry and built-ins, and retrofitting an existing space for those things can be tricky.

Surprisingly, the laundry room has been the most challenging part of the configuration.  As the sole provider of clean linens in my household, it’s a room where I spend a lot of my spare time, and up until now that time has been less than pleasant:

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I’m not trying to create a laundry room that feels like a gourmet kitchen, although I wouldn’t turn this down:

A glance through Houzz makes it pretty clear that laundry rooms are becoming luxury design areas, so while we don’t want to devote our entire basement budget to this space, we also don’t want to neglect it.  Placing a countertop over the washer and dryer is becoming increasingly popular and stops the annoying issue of items falling between them and getting lost, but we have an energy efficient top loading washer, so this isn’t an option:

A high end sink is something we can accommodate, though, so we decided to upgrade our plastic utility tub.

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Our contractor was able to move the water heater over ten inches, enough space for him to create a closet to hide it and still leave 48″.  Initially we planned on replacing the sink with a nicer one-piece version, like this from Home Decorators:

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However, with shipping it was going to run almost $500.  For that price I could utilize the entire space with some of the less expensive Ikea kitchen components.

A little extra legwork was required to keep our budget at $500 for the cabinets, countertop, sink, and faucet.  Luckily, I was able to find doors in the As-Is section 75% off.

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I had to buy two drawer fronts full price, but was still able to come in right on budget.  It took four hours to put everything together, including plenty of interruptions from my “helpers”.

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And a final inspection by G:

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There is obviously still a lot of work to be done, but the cabinets fit the space perfectly:

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The next step is letting Jason get in on the fun by adding the countertop and sink.  I have to admit, as much as I’ve being able to devote my full attention to the little guys this summer, it feels good to use my hands for something other than changing diapers.