Choosing where to put your washer and dryer

No matter what kind of home you're planning to build, you will inevitably have to allocate some floor space to the washer and dryer. Whether working off of luxury or small house plans, consider the following pros and cons before deciding between a downstairs or upstairs location. 

The common choice
Downstairs utility rooms, such as the one outlined in HHF-3601's floor plans, are often the preferred choice to house washers and dryers, and for good reason. These appliances can often be loud, and having them stored downstairs can be a great way of keeping noise to a minimum at times when people are still in bed. If, for example, you prefer to do laundry in the morning, children can still sleep soundly. People who prefer to do laundry later at night need not worry about keeping people up.

Keeping your washers and dryers downstairs can also be an efficient use of space. The utility room in which they're stored can double as a mudroom. As mapped in plan HHF-4093, the garage leads straight into the utility room, and even offers side nooks that can be used for storing boots or hanging coats.

Going upstairs
Downstairs utility rooms may keep washers and dryers out of sight and better used, but upstairs washers and dryers offer their own advantages. First and foremost, it means homeowners won't have to trek up and down stairs and across their home to do the laundry. Traveling back and forth can get especially exhausting if you're already doing chores in the bedrooms. With an upstairs utility closet, the laundry process – from washing to folding – is streamlined. The layout drawn in house plan HHF-2514 demonstrates a well-situated upstairs utility room.

By locating your washer and dryer upstairs, you would also be cutting down on noise pollution downstairs. While it may mean you can't do laundry very early in the day, it also means that people can relax in the living room or entertain in the dining room with little distraction. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about guests stumbling into the utility room to find it in a state of chaos.

The only major downside to an upstairs utility room is if your appliances break or flood. Leaking water can wreak havoc on your upstairs floors, and removing the washer can be a huge hassle if you have to replace it. In this regard, at least, a downstairs washer can be better because the potential damage is relatively contained to a lower floor.