Jun 12, 2013

Home project: Laundry pedestals

Posted by Mary |

When we toured our house, there was a very nice washer/dryer set in the laundry room. They were included in our contract, but on our final walk-through before closing, we noticed they were gone. It turns out that the seller had given them to her daughter and refused to admit that she had said they conveyed. We got a check from her realtor at closing to buy replacement machines. Since I'm a bargain hunter, we ended up with shiny awesome new machines for about half price, thanks to a dent on the washer.

That dent? That saved us about $1,200. I love that dent.
When you view front-loading washers and dryers in the store, a lot of them are on nifty little pedestals. These pedestals provide storage and also make it MUCH easier to do the laundry. They also cost $250 each. Ouch. Even with our savings, I couldn't justify paying that.

Enter the bargains.
In May, I came across a pair of laundry pedestals at my favorite home improvement thrift store. After some dealing, the manager and I agreed on $70 for the pair. Because of my obsession with aesthetics, I knew we couldn't pair white drawers with our silvery-gray washer and dryer. Armed with sandpaper and spraypaint, I set out to imrpove them.


A few hours of sunshine later, I had coated all the visible parts with a near-perfect color match. After letting the paint harden and cure, Beau and I were ready to move them in. I should probably note that Beau had put the washer and dryer in place by himself when we moved in. I should also probably thank him for that, especially in light of what followed.

Step 1: Remove washer door.
Step 2: Maneuver dryer out of tiny room.
Step 3: Strain back moving washer out of tiny room.

Once we had the washer drawer in position, all we had to do was put the washer on it. Except once we got the washer into the tiny room, there was not much space for me to squat down and pick up my side. Literally, my back was a few inches from the wall. My yoga practice includes lots of malasana, so we managed.

In. Doesn't fit.

Once the washer was in place, it became apparent that my measuring had been for naught. The pedestal was wide enough, but it technically was not deep enough. When the washer's back legs were on the pedestal, the front legs were barely resting on the drawer front. No bueno. But Goonies never say die, and I was determined to make these work. We eventually found that we could cut lengths of scrap plywood to provide the necessary support for the back legs.

With the washer hooked up, we put the dryer pedestal in its spot and tried to figure out how to get the dryer in place and hooked up. You see, we couldn't just have a simple dryer. Oh no, we had to have a fancy steam dryer, and you can't have steam without a water hookup.

Not the best time for a claustrophobia attack.

Our solution? I stood on the dryer pedestal and we lifted the back edge onto the pedestal. Beau supported the front edge with jack stands, while I made the water and exhaust connections behind the machine. Then I had to hoist myself up and out of the space, ending up on top of the washer. To further complicate matters, I had to go back down a few times to fix things. I ended up just chilling on top of the washer for a while.

And scene!
We will never move these machines again. If we sell them, the buyers must remove. We will paint around them. (And eventually I will paint the plywood to match the machines and pedestals because I have issues.) But I must say, it sure is nice having them washer and dryer elevated. Now if only we could change the washer door so that it didn't open toward the dryer...


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