The laundry is a wet room, designated for cleaning, washing clothes and other items. Some may say the laundry should only be a chain lengths away from the kitchen implying its a women’s area of expertise. However these days we are finding laundries within or only a chain length away from the garage. Have the tables turned? Either way the laundry is not a gender specific room and is used by ever member of the house hold. It is an area where household items and cleaning products are stored including mops, brooms, vacuum cleaners, clothes horses and ironing boards. The Laundry is also an area that can be designated for household pets, usually with direct access out side.
To have a separate laundry in an investment home is a luxury. Separate laundries are a selling point and add value to a home. A basic laundry for an investment home will include a free standing tub and a spot for the washing machine, a minimum width of 1400mm is required for these items. Bench tops and cabinetry bring a whole new world to a laundry, they can change a near empty room into a practical and functional area. Increasing storage in the laundry can free up other areas of home. Often the linen or broom closet are incorporated within the laundry.
Having the laundry close to the kitchen allows quick and easy access to stored cleaning products and item that assist with daily chores. The amazing gift of multi tasking that women have over men can save time during home time peak hours. On the negative side, a whizzing washing machines and a rattling tumble dryers is not the best background noise when enjoying a home cooked meal.
The design and layout of the house doesn’t always lend itself to position the laundry near the kitchen and alternatively it found near the man cave or garage. Wet areas including laundries are best positioned on the southern or western side of the dwelling.
(Refer to Orientation for further info)
(Refer to Kitchens for further info)
Access and egress
Laundries are commonly used areas that require adequate space to manoeuvre, wash, sort clothes and other often messy duties. If the space is too small, these duties become painful. Carrying larger items such as washing baskets and ironing boards through poky corridors and tiny laundries can be an obstacle course in itself. Throw in a few kids toys some stinky socks and dodging house hold pets this can quickly turn into a night mare. Small laundries can be awkward and actually be a greater waste of space due to the fact that they can not fit anything else other than a washing tub and machine.
When designing or reviewing plans, revise the positioning of utilities and consider how these are operated and the tasks performed. Does the door hinder or block access to a frequently use or stored area? A well designed laundry flows, has sufficient storage, natural light and ventilation.
The clothesline position should be located within close proximity to the laundry. Investment homes often have limited option for clothesline and can be jammed in where ever fits. Ideally a clothes line should captures the winters sun and not be visible from the street. Some covenants are very strict on visibility and require adequate screen of these areas.
- Separate Laundry – 1400 wide (tub and machine) x 1600 deep (bench and egress).
- Closet Laundry – 1400 wide x 800 deep (internal of closet). Access door should be hinged or 3 panel slider, allowing installation and usable egress.
- Garage Laundry – 1400 wide (tub and machine) x 600 deep (machine depth). Car may encroach on usable egress area.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much space is required for a washing machine?
The average washing machine is approximately 600 x 600. Allowing an additional 20-50mm for manoeuvring and positioning. The smallest safe width is 620mm. Ensure the power point, taps and drainage hoses do not hinder these measurements.
How much storage is needed?
There is no mandatory storage requirements for Laundries. However adequate linen storage and a broom closet within a laundry is recommended. Dryers can be wall hung/mounted above washing machines or placed on ground if there is room. If there is space to hang a wall mounted dryer, ensure the builder has structurally allowed for this. (brackets must be mounted to structural studs)
Is ventilation needed?
All rooms require some form of ventilation. If there is external access or a window providing natural ventilation there is no need for an exhaust fan. If the design is a closet or internal laundry with no natural ventilation, an exhaust fan is required.
Are floor wastes required in the laundries?
First of all, floor wastes are not mandatory in laundries, however they are highly recommended. Laundries are considered wet areas, floor wastes prevent the rest of house from flooding in the event of plumbing fittings or fixtures failing. If the laundry is in the garage, the floor waste is not important as the garage floor should naturally fall towards the garage door.