New Laundry Room: Demolition Day

Last week I introduced you to the empty room downstairs which we’ve decided to convert into our new laundry room:

We were dying to know what was above those 7′ ceilings, so we ripped the drywall out right away…

No big surprises up there, whew. Just a couple wires we’ll have to re-route and some bracing boards we’ll line up into one row:

Since we can’t lower the floor, we wanted to leave the ceiling exposed to gain every little bit of height we can (the room has no windows and we’re hoping to avoid a closet/jail cell atmosphere).

There was insulation between the ceiling joists, so we consulted with a pro who said if we removed that from the ceiling, we’d have to insulate the floor instead.

So the entire floor had to come out… but not before we dealt with this funky platform in the back:

Yes, that giant AC vent is going away this week!

Luckily it came up without any issues.

It seems the original builders just didn’t want to bother digging out the ground any further and added that platform out of laziness (or to save money? who knows).

After the platform was removed, we were left with a pile of exposed rock/clay/dirt underneath the house…

So Brad and I spent the better part of Sunday with shovels, digging and excavating as much of it as we could manage…

Oh, and see that step of concrete in the back? That’s the foundation and unfortunately we can’t remove it without compromising the structural integrity of the house, so that’s staying. Instead we’ll have to build a new wall right in front of it. We’ll lose about 10″ or so, but I’m not super concerned as this house is filled with plenty of (unused) storage space already.

Yesterday our contractor finished digging out the ground and removed the floor (he’ll rebuild it in the back so it’s all nice and level):

Here’s the current view from the entrance:

And from the back of the room, looking towards the entrance:

We’re using a new guy and he has been great! He works so fast and we’re anticipating he’ll be done by the end of the week so we can get our drywall finished and smooth this weekend.

Here’s a rough placement of the recessed washer/dryer nook (although it’s going to have to be lowered a bit):

As I type this, he’s probably cutting out that wall right now. Meanwhile, I’ll be at Ikea getting our sink, faucet and countertops! We decided to go with Lowe’s for the cabinets since they’ll need to be customized (and I prefer the color/selection—definitely pricier than Ikea but it should be worth it in the end).

We’re expecting some major progress this week, hopefully you’ll barely recognize the room in the next post! I know these iPhone demo pictures aren’t very exciting, but the progress is and soon enough we’ll have some fun projects unfolding. I hope you’ll stick around and watch this room come to life—see you next week!

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23 thoughts on “New Laundry Room: Demolition Day

  1. I think iPhone process pictures are plenty exciting! Maybe not so beautiful, but plenty exciting. ^_^ I personally really enjoy seeing all the messy “behind the scenes” stuff that has to happen before all the pretty stuff can be done, so thank you for sharing.

  2. I just love your blog! I've been reading for a couple of years now but haven't commented before. I would love to buy a house and fix it up one day – but my husband is a pilot and we move a lot right now so apartment living it is for awhile. Either way, you inspire me with your ability to take thrifty finds and create a homey atmosphere. Thanks!

  3. Can't wait to see the end result! Love watching the “drama” as it unfolds. Always amazes me how much work goes into these before and afters!

  4. Hi! I mentioned it in the last post (there's also a diagram for a better visual) but we decided to build an enclosure for them behind the wall to free up space in the room. There's an empty area underneath the house behind that wall (that's what the door leads to), it's the side of a hill so it will need to be dug out a little, and we'll also replace that door with a standard pocket door for easier access back there. I'll take some photos back there for the next post!

  5. I love how quickly you move once you get started on a project! It makes for such a fun watch!

    Question – isn't that platform wall the one you are making into tall storage cabinets against the wall? Then why would you not choose to just keep the “step” of the foundation at the bottom (drywalled over, of course) and extend the rest of the wall back those 10″. If you don't like the look of it, it would be hidden behind the cabinet doors. And even if you don't need the extra inches of storage space, it would be 10 extra inches left in the room. Every inch counts when you are trying to keep a small, short space from feeling closed-in.
    Just wondering if I am missing something?

  6. I think I've commented on your blog once or twice before. Your blog is one of my favorites among home renovation blogs. I love how you source everything and do budget breakdowns. You're one of the few I've encountered that actually do that in a consistent basis. Thanks and keep up the good work in providing so much inspiration to me and others alike!

  7. Hi Chris! Not sure if I'm understanding correctly, but the back concrete wall is the side of the house and can't be pushed back. We need a flat surface to place the wardrobes on with 82″ of ceiling height clearance, and they need to be against a wall so there can't be a step in the way. If we extended the step forward and placed the cabinets on top there wouldn't be enough height for the wardrobes to fit. Does that make sense? 🙂

  8. I was wondering if you had to do any earthquake proofing since you live on a hill in earthquake country? Like securing your outside wall to the foundation with those special earthquake tie down clamps? Now's the time to do it with it all opened up. Just a curious, because you don't live on bedrock.

  9. That is a serious undertaking but you guys are handling it like champs! I'm receiving my first drywall lesson in our bathroom right now and I'm ready to be done with spackling!

  10. Can't wait to see the end result. We moved our laundry from our garage to a unused bedroom/office in our previous home and it was the best decision we ever made. We wished we would have thought to put it there from the beginning. You'll love your new, larger space!

  11. I love seeing the demo and all of the process. I'm addicted to shows like This Old House and Rehab Addict, so the whole process is something I enjoy seeing. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

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