How to Make a Laundry Room That’s Efficient

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON – VO:
HERE, AMIDST THE SHIMMERING SKYSCRAPERS OF DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS, IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE CITY’S MOST POPULAR SPOT FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.  IT’S THIS STATUE OF MARY TYLER MOORE, JOYFULLY TOSSING HER HAT IN THE AIR, JUST AS SHE DID ON HER 1970s TV SERIES. 
AND LIKE MARY, MINNESOTANS REALLY DO HAVE AN ENTHUSIASM FOR LIFE.  ESPECIALLY THE OUTDOORS, AND THE CRISP FRESH AIR HERE.
STEVE AND PATTY HENNING, WHO LIVE IN THE NEARBY SUBURB OF PLYMOUTH WITH DAUGHTERS KATY AND KELLY, ARE NO EXCEPTION.  BUT MY HOUSECALL HERE TODAY FOCUSES ON ONE OF THE MORE MUNDANE INDOOR ASPECTS OF LIFE… DOING THE LAUNDRY.
LIKE SO MANY OTHERS, THE HENNINGS’ LAUNDRY ROOM CAN USE SOME SPRUCING UP.  IT’S OVERDUE FOR NEW SHELVING AND CABINETS AND THE FAMILY WOULD LIKE TO UPGRADE TO MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES, SO THEY’VE ASKED ME TO HELP.
Ron: 
Ah the center of the home, the laundry room, right? 

Steve: 
This is it.

Ron: 
So guys just kinda fill me in on some of the details I know we’ve spoken before.  Maybe starting with the appliances what were you thinking here? 

Patty: 
Well these are, what, almost 10 years old, fairly small.  It’d be nice to have something a little bit larger since we do a lot of laundry.

Steve: 
The dryer’s starting to make funny noises too, so.

Ron: 
It is? 

Patty:
Yes.

 

Ron: 
Now on this end over here Steve you’ve got a, a work bench over here.  What would you like to add?

Steve: 
Some more shelving, maybe some cabinetry or something like that.  Uh the big thing is organization, I’ve got it somewhat organized but it’s a messy organization.

MUSIC
RON-VO:
WELL, WE GET RIGHT TO WORK AND A BASIC STEP TO JUST ABOUT ANY ROOM MAKEOVER IS TO START BY CLEARING THINGS OUT.
MUSIC
RON – VO:
NOW BEFORE WE HANG ANY SHELVES, I’VE SUGGESTED THAT WE SPRUCE UP THE UNFINISHED WALL BY COVERING IT WITH BEADBOARD AND GIVING IT A COAT OF PAINT.  WHILE STEVE DOES THAT, OUT IN THE GARAGE MY CARPENTER DAVID SCHULTE PUTS TOGETHER A VARIETY OF READY TO ASSEMBLE CABINETS WHILE I WORK ON A PLAN.
Ron: 
This is sort of an x-ray vision drawing here we’re kind of standing outside the room looking through the walls just to give you some orientation. 

Here’s the new washer and dryer here and these are the cabinets these boxes going around here.  Some are up on the wall and some are, are base cabinets.

Patty:
OK.

Ron: 
Now as I said this is a starting point.  The great thing about this line, this is a line designed by Closet Maid for garages and laundry rooms and workshops uh is that its, its very modular.  There are two types of upper cabinets, these with the doors and these with open shelves.  They’re basically the same cabinet but they can be used either way. 

And then for the lowers you’ve got really three options, this one has all drawers in it, this one has open shelves and this one has a combination drawer on top and doors below. 

Patty:
OK.

RON – VO:
AFTER PATTY AND STEVE SELECT THEIR CABINETRY, WE MOVE THEM INTO THE LAUNDRY ROOM AND GET READY FOR INSTALLATION.
Ron: 
Well guys let’s start by putting up this uh first wall cabinet right here.  Now this whole system uses a cleat to attach or to mount these wall cabinets to the wall.  It’s just a strip of wood like you can see right here but it’s got a bevel cut on one edge.  So what we’ll do is we’ll mount this to the wall like that and then if you notice under here on the inside of this cabinet, there’s another piece of wood with a bevel and these two will, these two bevels will sort of just engage each other like this when you put the cabinet up and lock it into place.

Ron: 
So this is the cleat that we’re gonna put up on the wall uh we’re gonna put it up with toggle bolts so we’re gonna need to drill some holes in here to install the toggle bolts.  So you get the honors.

Patty: 
Okay this uh, you might want to stand back Ron. 

Ron: 
Are you certified on drills?

Patty: 
I’m not and actually I have never used a drill in my life so this could be a little dangerous.

Ron: 
Mind if I stand further over here, then?

Patty: 
You know I would recommend it. 

Ron: 
I’m not the least bit worried.  Okay I’ve given you a little starter mark there.  Okay, so don’t pull the trigger yet, just put the tip of it in there, hold this perfectly straight, okay put your other hand right up here. 

(SOT: DRILL)

RON-VO:
PATTY’S FIRST DRILLING EXPERIENCE IS A COMPLETE SUCCESS, SO WE USE THE CLEAT AS A TEMPLATE TO MARK THE LOCATION OF OUR HOLES ON THE WALL.
Ron:
This is a toggle bolt and the way this works is we’re gonna drill a hole in the wall and we’re gonna fold these wings down, push it through the hole and they’re gonna flip out of the backside of the wall.  Make sense?

Patty:
Makes sense.

Ron: 
Ok.  So in order to, to get this in the wall though we’ve got to drill a rather large hole so we’ve matched up the drill bit to the toggle bolt, we’ve got a drill that’s as wide as the toggle bolt.

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron:
Push, there you go.  You’re through.

Patty: 
I guess I’m through.  Should I turn it on to pull back again?  Wow.

Ron: 
Just turn it on and pull it out, there you go.  And then do this one right here, the center one we won’t do for now.

Patty: 
I never knew power tools could be so fun. 

MUSIC

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron: 
Perfect.  Oh poor Steve, his shop will no longer be just his domain right?  He’ll have to share.

Patty: 
That’s right.  I’m taking over his tools.

Ron: 
Now what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take the toggle bolt, we’re gonna pass it through the cleat and we’re gonna screw the toggle on the backside like this. 

Patty:
Ok.

Ron:
All right?

Ron: 
Just push it in.

Ron: 
So you notice it won’t come out but obviously it’s loose, right, so now we have to tighten it up.  So pull it away from the wall and I’m gonna put a, a driver on the end here and the reason we’re pulling it away, is that puts the toggle in contact with the back of the wall and keeps it from spinning. 

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron:
See how it pulls it in.  OK now if you’ll do the same you pull with one hand and then let the screwdriver do the turning. 

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron:
Good.  That’s tight.  Good!

Ron: 
Patty grab this side, now we’re just gonna lift it right into place right over that cleat.  Isn’t that simple?

Patty: 
Yeah.

Steve: 
Yeah it’s very simple.

Ron: 
And it’s a really secure hanging system.

Steve: 
You know Ron you’re giving Patty all these tips on power tools, you’re gonna make her realize how easy it actually is and so every time I complain when I’m working hard, she’s gonna know I’m not.

Ron: 
Uh-oh, uh-oh.  Well on the other hand maybe she’ll be more sympathetic when you wanna buy the next power tool.

Steve: 
I could, could be yeah?

Ron: 
But then again you have to share it.  I don’t know.  I think we’re getting into a can of worms here now!  Uh that looks good guys now the only thing we have to do now is put one screw down here, right here, to sort of lock this in place.  So that if you bump this it wouldn’t pop up off the cleat alright?   

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron:
Give it a tug.  Is it solid? Yeah.  Love it.

Steve:
It’s good.

RON-VO:
STEVE AND PATTY PUT THE FINISHING TOUCH ON THIS WALL CABINET AND IN NO TIME, WE’RE READY TO CLOSE THE DOOR ON PHASE ONE OF THIS PROJECT.
ACT 2 TEASE
RON-VO:
COMING UP…
Ron:
Base cabinet number one…

WE TACKLE STEVE’S WORKBENCH AND TURN THIS LAUNDRY ROOM INTO A MODEL OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY.
Ron:
For more great home improvement ideas, visit me at lowes.com/housecalls.

COMMERCIAL BREAK
COMMERCIAL BREAK

RON-VO:
TODAY’S HOUSECALL HAS ME IN THE MINNEAPOLIS SUBURB OF PLYMOTH, MINNESOTA TO HELP STEVE AND PATTY HENNING WITH A LAUNDRY ROOM MAKEOVER.  MOST OF OUR WORK REVOLVES AROUND INSTALLING THESE EASY-TO-ASSEMBLE, MODULAR CABINETS.
Ron: 
Now.  It can just sit here as a free standing unit.  If you’ll notice down here we’ve got adjustable legs.  These just turn so in this case it’s in pretty good shape.

Steve:
Great.

Ron:
If the floor were uneven, we could screw those legs up or down-

Patty:
Okay.

Ron:
-until we got this level and not rocking.  The other option is we can simply- you want to attach this to the wall, we can run a screw through the back right into the same wall stud we used to tie the upper cabinet in.

Steve:
Okay.

Ron:
So, you wanna tie it in, you think?

Steve:
I think it’s fine the way it is.  Don’t you? 

Ron:
Okay.

Steve:
It feels- It feels pretty solid.

Ron:
Okay.  Kind of like a dresser.  Alright guys.

Ron: 
Alright now what I’d like to do is to move on this, in this direction and install a wire shelf, a wire hanging shelf up here. 

RON – VO:
OUR SHELVES WILL NEED TO BE CUT TO SIZE, SO PATTY AND STEVE MEASURE THE SPACE… TRANSFER THE MEASUREMENT TO THE SHELF... THEN CUT IT TO THE PROPER LENGTH WITH BOLT CUTTERS.
Ron: 
Excellent.

(SOT: HAMMER)

Ron: 
Now to put that wire shelf up we’ve got to install little wall clips about every 12 inches.  Patty I’ve given you just some starter marks up there if you could drill a quarter inch hole.

(SOT: DRILL)

(SOT: HAMMER)

RON – VO:
STEVE HAMMERS IN THE WALL CLIPS, THEN HE AND PATTY SNAP THE SHELF INTO PLACE.
NEXT, WE REINFORCE THE SHELF BY ATTACHING THIS BRACE TO THE FRONT.  ONCE THE SHELF IS LEVEL, I MARK THE LOCATION OF THE SCREW HOLE ON THE WALL.  THEN, WE DRILL A QUARTER-INCH HOLE… TAP IN A PLASTIC ANCHOR…AND SECURE THE BRACE WITH A SCREW.
(SOT: DRILL)

Ron: 
General rule is you want no more than three feet between each of these bracings.

Steve:
Okay.

Ron:
To prevent the shelf from sagging.  So let me grab a couple more. 

Steve:
All right.

MUSIC
(SOT: HAMMER)
(SOT: DRILL)
Steve:
Simple.

(SOT: DRILL)

RON-VO:
NEXT, WE’RE GOING TO INSTALL CABINETS OVER THE WASHER AND DRYER, BUT SINCE THIS WALL IS CONCRETE, WE USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF DRILL.
(SOT: DRILL)

Ron:
That’s great.  Now you may have noticed that this made kind of an unusual noise.  This is not just a drill.  This is a hammer and a drill.  As this rotates, it also is hammering back and forth, which should make pretty quick going of these holes up here.  So go ahead and drill those in, I’d say about an inch and a half deep ought to do it.

(SOT: DRILL)

RON:
WE’RE USING A CARBIDE-TIPPED MASONRY DRILL BIT DESIGNED FOR USE IN CONCRETE, STONE AND OTHER HARD MATERIALS.
Ron: 
Now this is what we’re going to use to fasten that cleat onto the concrete blocks.  This is called a concrete anchor, a concrete screw.  If you look really closely at the tip of them you’ll see there’s kind of a pyramid shape there? 

Steve:
Right.

Ron:
They’re sort of designed to bore and pull their way into a hole. 

(SOT: DRILL)
RON – VO:
WITH THE CLEAT ATTACHED, WE MOUNT THE SECOND CABINET, AND USE AN ADDITIONAL CONCRETE SCREW TO SECURE THE BOTTOM TO THE WALL.
(SOT: DRILL)

Ron: 
Now Steve I think it’s time to start building you a work bench here. 

Steve:
Great.

Ron:
So these cabinets I think will form the basis for it.  Want to run that leg down a little bit there, seems like we’re, this floor might be a little bit high in the back. 

Ron: 
Base number two. 

RON:
THESE CABINETS WILL BE THE BASE FOR STEVE’S NEW WORKBENCH.  WE’RE GOING TO SALVAGE THE COUNTERTOP FROM HIS OLD WORKBENCH, WHICH WE’LL INSTALL ON TOP OF THIS LUMBER.
Ron:
The reason I’ve put these on is I’ll need to raise it up a little bit to give you some clearance for the drawer. 

Steve:
Okay.

Ron:
So let’s bring the countertop in.

Steve:
Alright.

RON – VO:
WITH THE COUNTERTOP IN PLACE, STEVE AND I MOUNT ANOTHER SET OF CABINETS ABOVE THE WORKBENCH.
Ron: 
A work bench needs plenty of storage up above.  You’ve got more than enough now. 

RON – VO:
FINALLY, IT’S TIME TO BRING IN OUR NEW WASHER AND DRYER.
Ron: 
Here’s your new dryer.  Pretty slick huh?

Patty:
Wow.  Big.

Ron:
This is gonna save you a bundle on your energy bill too.

Patty:
It’d be slicker if it fits in there.

Ron:
Oh, there was doubt?

MUSIC

RON – VO:
WELL, PATTY’S DOUBT IS SOON PUT TO REST AS THE DRYER SLIDES NEATLY INTO PLACE.  WE ADJUST THE LEGS IN ORDER TO BRING BOTH MACHINES LEVEL AND SOON AFTER, OUR MAKE-OVER IS COMPLETE. 
Ron: 
Well I think you’re gonna really enjoy this, this is called a duet from Whirlpool.  And it as you can see it’s a front loading washing machine but to me the most important thing is this an energy star appliance right here which means you’re gonna cut your water usage by about 65 percent and your utility bill by about 70 percent. 

Steve:
Great.

Ron:
Um and this is a feature I love over here in the dryer it’s got this sweater rack and just lay the sweater and really delicate things that you know you don’t want tumbling in there.  Uh it does require special detergent, Tide’s got a new version up here called high efficiency detergent so I’m leaving you a big supply of that. 

Steve:
Great.  Thanks.

Ron:
So you’re all set.

Patty:
I can’t wait!

Steve: 
I like these pedestals too.

Ron: 
The pedestals are great—

Steve: 
It brings ‘em up to a nice height where you can get in and out of ‘em—

Ron: 
Exactly you don’t have to bend over and another great thing is that’s not lost space down here, but actually is a storage area.

RON-VO:
SPEAKING OF STORAGE, STEVE AND PATTY NOW HAVE PLENTY OF IT.  THERE’S A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING … AND THAT GOES A LONG WAY TOWARD KEEPING ANY SPACE ORGANIZED.  NOW I’M NOT GOING TO SAY THAT THIS WILL MAKE DOING LAUNDRY FUN.  BUT, IT WILL MAKE THE JOB EASIER AND MAYBE EVEN LIFT THE SPIRITS OF ANYONE WHO SPENDS TIME HERE.

Learn how to make over your laundry room using pre-made cabinets and shelving systems; includes tips, materials and tool lists.

Like many homeowners, the Hennings' laundry/utility room was in need of some sprucing up. They asked Ron to help them with new shelving and cabinets for better organization and new appliances for increased efficiency. There was also a workbench in the room that needed more shelving and cabinetry to also improve organization.