Todd Hallett, AIA, President of TK Design & Associates, Inc. (tkhomedesign.com) has been designing award winning homes for over 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of their homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was President of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with Builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. His Lean Design blog appears weekly at Housingzone.com. Todd welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248.446.1960.
Lean Design Blog: Okay, okay, I guess second floor laundries are just kind of stupid
The title of this blog is tongue in cheek (or maybe foot in mouth) as a follow up to a blog I wrote a while back titled, "Second Floor Laundries are Just Stupid, or are They?"
When this blog made it's way to the pages of Professional Builder in the April 2012 issue my inbox became very active with folks defending the second floor position. In the blog I attempted to illustrate both sides of the debate. Here is what I wrote:
Pros - Second Floor Laundry:
1. Laundry is generated on the second floor.
2. There are no trips up and down carrying clothes
3. The transfer from finished laundry to the closets is efficient.
Cons - Second Floor Laundry:
"Most people do laundry on the weekends. During that time, people are doing stuff like watching TV in the family room, working in the yard, or playing with kids. With a Laundry room upstairs they have to walk up and down the stairs every 45-60 minutes to change loads, fold, and hang the laundry. When the Laundry room is on the main level, laundry can be done in conjunction with these activities with just a slight interruption."
Debate solved - game over right? Wrong.
It was fun to hear from the readers who passionately and respectfully defended the second floor Laundry Room concept. Here are a few examples of comments that opened my eyes:
" I am a Second Floor Person, for sure!! We do laundry every day usually at night. But then again we have a family room on the second floor as well.... So that is why we build them both ways. Some homes even have one on each floor. Our rule is to usually follow the Master Bedroom."
- Corporate VP of a National homebuilder
"We have found the one is not enough but that two make a lot of good sense. We have had Moms come back and tell us that this has been a good way to teach their young kids to help out and be able to do their own laundry."
- Scott - a custom builder
"We custom built our home with a 2nd floor laundry and we will never build another home for ourselves without it. The convenience and efficiency adjacent to the bedrooms is tremendous. Also - families with kids are likely doing laundry throughout the week - not necessarily on weekends."
- A builder from Michigan
Thanks for keeping me on my toes! It appears there is more to this debate than meets the eye. As an architect that works with builders all over the country I get the opportunity to check the pulse of a multitude of markets and I love learning from it. Your input is greatly appreciated and it is fun to hear about the trends in your market.