Raise your hand if you love laundry! How about doing laundry in your cold garage with your washer and dryer seven feet apart from each other? My hand is not up. But, that’s how we did laundry in Casa de Dorobek for almost two years. Over the last few months (we have a new baby, so DIY takes a lot longer these days), we made our garage laundry corner more useful, cute, and organized. Check it out above.
And just for fun, here is the before.
Here is our cute assistant and where the dryer was before the laundry nook was built.
The basic plan consisted of stacking our washer and dryer and adding three shelves and a space to hang clothes. Our washer and dryer are not the same brand, so we could not buy a washer/dryer stacking kit. (More on that dilemma here.) Above you’ll see the ol’ plan.
Basic Tools Needed for the Garage Laundry Nook
- Carpenter’s square
- Compound miter saw
- Cordless drill
- Finishing nailer
- Portable air compressor
- Caulk gun
- Paint brush
- Circular saw
- Hammer drill
- Stud finder
- Painters caulk
- HDX 3-shelf storage unit
It’s also fair to mention that you’ll need a nook, and most likely your nook will not be the same size as our nook. But, you can make any space work, as long as your nook fits your washer and dryer, of course.
With our plan in place, we set out to build the initial shelf to hold the dryer above the washer to fit into our nook. And then we hired a plumber. Yep. Since we were moving our gas dryer on top of the washer we had to move the gas line. Just for the record, a gas dryer is not the norm. So, if you have an electric dryer, consider yourself lucky because it is a lot easier to move an electrical wire than it is to move a gas line.
The other issue we had to solve when moving the dryer was the vent. Since our laundry nook borders an exterior wall, we just had to poke a hole through our wall and install a dryer vent. And by poke, I actually mean hammer drill through the stone siding on our house.
I gave you a sneak peek of the initial shelf almost completed in the photo above. But, here it is in plan form.
Step 1 – Building the Dryer Shelf
Building the dryer shelf is simple. Here are the wood pieces you will need:
First, use your miter saw to cut your 2 x 4 into three sections. I would recommend making each piece of the frame at least 2 ft. long. This will give plenty of support to the shelf that will be holding your dryer.
Locate the studs in the wall of your nook with your stud finder and mark them so that you can screw the frame into the studs. You will need one piece against the back wall and one piece on each side of your nook. Position the 2 x 4s so that the top edge of the 2 x 4 is slightly higher than the top of the washing machine. You want to make sure you have some clearance in case you want to move your washing machine around later.
Also make sure that your 2 x 4 frame is level by placing a level on the frame pieces before, during and after installation. Make sure to secure your frame by screwing the 2 x 4s into the previously located studs in the wall.
Now that your frame is complete, you will build the shelf. We made our shelf out of two layers of ¾ in. plywood. We used two layers to ensure that the dryer isn’t going anywhere.
Since we have a high celling in our garage and no attic, we decided to make a top shelf for storage. We repeated the dryer shelf steps for the shelf immediately above the dryer.
Step 2 – Making the Laundry Nook Look Pretty
Now that both shelves are built, it is time to make things look pretty! We built a frame around the entire nook to cover the edges of the plywood.
Here’s what we used to do this:
You will end up with four pieces of wood to frame your new shelves. After the four pieces are cut to size, use your finish nailer to attach the frame to the shelves and surrounding wall.
Then, use painter’s caulk to fill in the nail holes and the crack between the wall and the trim.
Now, it’s time to paint your trim! I chose a cheerful yellow. I felt like I needed a little dose of sunshine to brighten up my laundry doing days out in the garage!
Tape up your painter’s tape, and brush on your fancy paint. This is my favorite part of any project. It’s like putting on permanent makeup… it brings the project to life!
After everything was painted, we assembled the three wire shelves and put them in place next to the washer. We added some white storage boxes, labels, and all of the laundry necessities to complete our nook!
Here’s a closer viewof the chalkboard labels: “Pods,” “Stains,” and “Lint.”
Step 3 – Building a Pipe Hanger
Instead of doing three shelves on the top, Andy built a hanging section out of pipes. Here are the five pieces he purchased from The Home Depot.
Just screw the pieces together and drill the single piece into your wood on either side. We don’t hang dry a ton of things, so this small space will be perfect for our family of three!
Our laundry nook has made a huge difference in my laundry morale and the function of our space! No more dropping wet laundry on the dirty garage floor to move it into the dryer. For the time being, I’m loving laundry. It’s just so cute out there!
The Home Depot can help you with your organization needs. Browse our Kitchen Storage Department for everything you need to keep your kitchen well organized. Need help from a licensed professional? The Home Depot can have a professional contractor build and install a garage storage unit for you.