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How to plan a hassle-free utility, laundry and/or mudroom

Notice the raised appliances, rolling cart and knee space under the sink, everything relatively at point of use.

If you've been reading this series from the start, you recognize a common theme within a universally designed home that everything should be within easy reach, both standing and seated. Stated another way, you'll realize maximum convenience and efficiency if you don't have to go out of your way for a thing, neither stretching, stooping nor straining.


That goes as well, maybe more so, for the utility, mud or laundry rooms. I'm grouping these because similar tasks, if not all, are completed within these "work rooms" (and sometimes all within the same space). Heck, if you've gotta work, you might as well make it as easy as possible, right?

To that end, follow these suggestions for a more efficient utility/laundry/mudroom:

  • Locate ideally on main floor near bathrooms and bedrooms (for easy access and monitoring)
  • Front loading washer and dryer with easy-to-read and reach controls on front of the appliances
  • If placed side-by-side, front loading washer to left of dryer for easier transfer of clothes
  • Washer and dryer mounted 9 to 10 inches above finished floor
  • Consider stacked washer/dryer
  • Also raise utilities like the water heater, everything can be moved higher to prevent stooping
  • Floor drain or drain pan under washer and water heater
  • Utility sink and some counter tops no more than 34 inches above finished floor with storage space underneath
  • Consider keeping handy a wheeled cart and space saving, folding table (consider attaching to the wall)
  • Proper and efficient task lighting
  • Non-slip flooring made expressly for wet areas

Easy access without straining or stooping

Most of this is common sense, basically keep it simple and easily accessible for users either seated or standing.

Let's visit the master bedroom next.

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President Todd Hawkins preaches building science and Universal Design (UD) to teach the benefits of an efficient, convenient, comfortable and flexible Lifetime Home. Also follow him on Twitter @BuilderFish for short tips about how kid-friendly UD makes home life easier and more secure for any person of any age or ability.

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