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Tiny Laundry Room Dilemma...

Gail Cannan
February 9, 2019
last modified: February 9, 2019

Is it a bad idea to expand a tiny laundry room into an adjoining bedroom to create a much more useable laundry/mud room area, thus eliminating a bedroom? Would be going from four bedrooms to three bedrooms. While I would love a larger laundry area, I fear it will negatively affect the resale value of the house. But we're not planning on selling anytime soon. There is not another way to expand the room. The photo shows the laundry room backing up to the bedroom closet. I would say most, though not all, homes in our neighborhood have four bedrooms. Thoughts?

Comments (17)

  • Rawketgrl

    Just steal a small amount of square footage from the 4th bedroom. Maybe the closet space can be reduced and a wall added in a few feet. However keep the 4th bedroom even if small. In my neighborhood it is very eclectic, ranging from cozy 1-2 bed fishing cabins to large 5-6 bed w/ MIL family homes. However there is a definite cut off as far as what the houses are sold for; here you must have at least 3 bed 2 baths to command the higher price ranges. Your area will have its own market quirks.

    Gail Cannan thanked Rawketgrl
  • Oliviag/ bring back Sophie
    In a few neighborhoods, i would think about sacrificing a small bedroom for an awesome madter bedroom and bath. Not for a mudroom/ laundry room.
    ask a realtor friend.
  • Gail Cannan

    Fortunately, our master bedroom and bath are already pretty awesome.

  • Sarah Kidder

    Could you stack your washer and drier to use your laundry space in a more efficient way?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    bad idea to remove a bedroom and make a larger laundry room.

    however, if you plan on living in the house for the next 20 years, do what you like. If not, I'd suggest looking at ways to update the current laundry area, and keeping the 4th bedroom.

    (I basically have what you have, only towards the front of the home. I stole the 6' coat closet and have bi-fold doors)

    hard to see what else you could do based on your one photo.

    anywhere else to move that laundry? what about a small add-on?

  • Cindy
    Why did builders get rid of laundry rooms? I have a hallway for one and I HATE it. I have a 3 foot walkway in front of the machines. With the amount of laundry we do that needs to be sorted, hung to dry, folded, etc. If I had a small 4th bedroom I’d steal it in a second. A good size mud room, a place for all those cleaning supplies, buckets, mops, slop sink, and a place to get the laundry done properly? That to me is a selling point. But just my opinion.
    Gail Cannan thanked Cindy
  • partim

    Yes, it will negatively affect the resale value of the house.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    Cindy, it would be a good selling point. but, getting rid of a bedroom is a negative for people with a few kids. And if one of the parents needs an office space, it's really a negative.

    I have a 4 bedroom home. 10 years ago we took out most of the wall between the two bedrooms and gave my son one, larger bedroom. It's been perfect for when he's had his friends over, as these were small bedrooms. We can always reframe the wall back in place when it comes time to sell. You can't do that with the laundry room.

    So, OP needs to decide if they will be here awhile, and if so, what's more important?

  • CLC

    How big is the bedroom? where is it in relation to the other bedrooms?

    I would speak to a realtor in your area. Personally, I would take a large laundry room and mud room over a 4th bedroom (and I have three kids!). Maybe there is a way to steal some space from the bedroom while keeping it a bedroom (or perhaps a small office?)

  • kazmom

    In my area there is a clear price difference between 3 and 4 bedroom houses and the rest of the house would have to be above and beyond to make up the difference. You occasionally see a 3 bedroom sell for around what a 4 bedroom would, but there is usually something special about it. Newly totally remodeled, etc. a big laundry room would be nice but probably wouldn’t make up that difference, IMO. I would agree you should talk to a realtor.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I can see staling some space form the bedroom but we would need to know the size of the bedroom first maybe a floor plan with both spaces drawn to scale would be a good idea.

  • partim

    Can you use the extra bedroom for some of the purposes of a mudroom/laundry? For example, add a large table to the bedroom for folding laundry. And keep extra coats, boots etc in the bedroom closet.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    It looks like you're using that bedroom for an office anyway. And certainly, being right next to the laundry and garage door, not the best location for a bedroom but could be a good location for a home office.

    Can you steal just the closet space, and call the room an office? Or, is there still room for a small closet, just enough to call it a bedroom?

    I'd certainly like just a wee bit more space coming into the house, and certainly some more space for laundry.

  • Annette Holbrook(z6b-7a)

    I think it depends on your market. In my neighborhood in Atlanta the sweet spot for house sales was 3 Bed 2 Bath. In the Milton area, where I moved to, a 4 or 5 bed house is way more sought after. If you could draw up a basic floorplan you will get some great insight and ideas from GWers.

  • scottie mom

    I agree it depends on the market and your neighborhood. I will say that there's a lot more interest in functional and attractive laundry rooms these days. I'm an architect and I do high-end new builds. renovations, and additions. Over the past several years, everyone wants laundry in a convenient and pleasant space, and some people really want to trick it out and make it fancy. In fact, I started joking that "Laundries are becoming the new kitchens." If it becomes a multi-functional space that helps the rest of the house work, then it's an improvement. Talk to a couple of realtors, and try asking around locally--neighbors and people you think would want to live in your area.

    Too many people feel bound by the mythical whims of the real estate market. If you were talking about replacing a bedroom with a merry-go-round, or a walk-in humidor, I'd say that's a bad idea. But everyone does laundry, right? Laundry has come up out of the cellar. Machines are quieter and more attractive than they used to be. Some don't require venting, and some even have built-in flood protection. Those horrible closets that cheap developers put into their spec houses are almost as bad as the cellar laundry. If it's a trend to put laundry into a more accessible and spacious part of the house, then I say it's a trend worth watching. That fourth bedroom might only be used while kids are at home. Laundry is forever ;-)

    Also, agree with Annette. Post a plan, please!

  • enduring

    Plan please even if hand drawn. include relationship to other rooms, the outside, windows, and doors. Also let us know what's above, and what's below.

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