DIY Add Laundry Room Extension

Updated February 21, 2017

Building a bigger laundry room allows the space to function as a mudroom, too. Adding on can mean you can build more storage room or an extra bathroom. By expanding walls just a few feet, you can include a floor-to-ceiling storage unit, hanging space and a sit-down bench for removing shoes or muddy clothes. Acquiring extra space by increasing the size of a laundry room can help keep clutter away from the rest of your house.

Look for Space

Evaluate all areas surrounding your laundry room. You might find room to expand in an adjoining hallway or garage. Or, you might surrender a closet next to the area to make the laundry room bigger. You can also slice a couple of feet off a long kitchen or incorporate part of a pantry room to expand. Another option is to knock out a bathroom wall and use some of that space. You can always build a small bath area within the laundry room itself.

Remove a Wall

Enlist the help of a carpenter to knock out a wall for expansion. Use a putty knife and claw hammer to remove drywall from the adjoining wall. Use a crowbar and hacksaw to take down framing. If the wall is a load-bearing one, you will need to construct a support system to take over the load. You must build an overhead beam that spans the entire wall opening. The beam will be secured by side support beams. This support structure will be hidden from view inside wall framing. Drywall any open wall spaces left exposed after taking out a wall.

Install Flooring

Connect the old and new floor areas by installing one sheet of vinyl flooring. Use particle board or plywood sub-flooring underneath to cover the floor gap caused by the wall's removal. It may be necessary to use shims of wood under sub-flooring to get it level. Lay new flooring on top of this. You can choose to cover just the gap with tile or indoor-outdoor carpet. Install metal trim to hold the carpet strip in place on both sides of the gap.

Build Storage

Install a wall of floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets or cubbyholes. Build a sitting bench for removing shoes or dirty clothes. Include storage under the sitting area. For clothes you remove from the dryer, include a hanging rod in the new area. Create a counter for folding clothes and place laundry baskets for sorting clothes underneath.

Add Natural Light

Install larger windows in the laundry room to bring in light. Consider installing a wall of glass bricks on an exterior wall of the house, if the laundry room is situated to include such a wall. Remove a wall between the laundry room and a hallway and replace with glass bricks to add light. Review the possibility of installing one or two skylights as well.

Upgrade Electrical items

Add track lighting or recessed lighting to brighten up the space. Upgrade the washer and dryer, if necessary.

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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.