The cost of a laundry renovation

Journalist · 25 August 2021
Whether doing the laundry is a walk in the park or the bane of your existence may well depend on how well-designed the room is. Here’s some tips to help you make your washing room work and how much it might cost.

An organised laundry with everything in its place and cupboards that maximise available space in the room could help make one of the most tedious jobs around the house much more bearable. It won’t do your washing and folding for you, but it will create a bright and fresh space to help you get on top of the housework.

How much does a laundry renovation cost?

Depending on the size of your laundry and the quality of materials used, most laundries in Australia will cost between $5,000 and $25,000 to renovate, not including appliances, according to trades listing website Hipages. A good rule of thumb is to match the quality of materials used in your laundry with your kitchen or bathroom, or pare it back slightly. Marble benchtops and splashback will cost a lot more than laminate, but one common school of thought is that there is no point in going all out in your laundry if the rest of your home is more modest. If you need new appliances, whether a front loader washing machine, top loader washing machine or clothes dryer, it’s often worth considering their performance and reliability, quietness, design, value for money and additional functionality before purchasing.

A laundry featuring a marble splashback and a washer and dryer.
Image: Image Flow (Shutterstock)

How do I design a laundry room layout?

Working with the size and shape of your room, you’ll be able to come up with a design best suited to your home. For instance, an L-shaped laundry with the washing machine and dryer off to one side can you give you extra bench and cupboard space. Clothes rails are a lifesaver when it’s raining outside and you need to hang a few items up to dry indoors. Consider keeping dirty clothes baskets in the laundry too, to keep bedrooms and bathrooms clear of messy piles and save yourself from having to collect clothes to be washed from every room in the house.

Design ideas for your laundry room

    1. Collect images of laundries you like and choose a colour scheme you keep coming back to
    2. Allow bench space for washing baskets and sorting and folding clothes
    3. Add hanging rails to allow clothes to dry inside
    4. Consider mounting your washing machine and dryer vertically to save space
    5. Consider adding doors to hide away your laundry, especially in small apartments

How can I keep my laundry organised?

A well-organised laundry largely comes down to storage and having everything in its place. Before you decide on your final design, think about what you use your laundry for and the space you need to perform those tasks. If you’ve always wanted a dedicated space for your sewing machine or mending box, consider including a small desk and chair to one side. The laundry is also a sensible place to add a “mud room” area for dirty shoes, bags, hats and coats, if you don’t already have one. Or if your laundry is downstairs and away from the main kitchen, consider turning it into a combined laundry and second kitchen, with room for a small fridge and a cupboard for a few everyday items such as glasses and water jugs, to save you trips up and down the stairs.

Also consider what you want to store away in your laundry. If you’re planning on keeping items like the ironing board and vacuum cleaner in here, you’ll need larger cupboard spaces to accommodate these. If you’ve got the space, double sinks are handy for when one sink is occupied with clothes soaking or champagne on ice and you need the other to wash your hands, empty a bucket, rinse a paint brush, put more champagne on ice etc…

You may also want to buy buckets and/or tubs that easily fit into your sink and under your tap, so you can fill them with water and lift them out easily.

An image of a laundry room with a washer and dryer.
Image: Maria Kray (Shutterstock)

 How can I finance the renovation work?

It’s wise to consider how you might finance the work before you start.

Options could include:

  • Paying out of your own pocket – using your savings or a mortgage offset account or redraw facility, if you have one on your home loan;
  • Refinancing your home loan; or
  • Applying for a new loan – you may be able to use a personal loan or a construction loan, depending on your personal circumstances.