Installing A New Utility Room: A Step-By-Step Guide

Unsplash – CC0 License

Installing a new utility room can be an exciting project. There’s nothing better than concentrating all your household appliances in one room, freeing up space in the rest of your home.

A well organized and great smelling (fresh dryer sheets are my favorite) utility room can be a bit of a sanctuary–after all, no one else is clamoring to get in there and do laundry. 

But how do you do it effectively? That’s the topic of this post. We guide you through installing a new utility room so you avoid the pitfalls. Here’s what to do: 

Throughout my site I provide affiliate links to products that I hope will help you with your DIY project supplies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that I may receive a small commission if you use these links to purchase products, but it does not change your price in any way.

Step 1: Plan And Prepare

The first step is to plan and prepare. Find the most suitable location for your utility room in your home, considering things like space and access to plumbing and electrical circuits. 

Ideally, you want a space in your home that’s already being used for some utility services. This approach prevents you from having to build an extension or construct an entirely separate room. 

If you have an older home that has the laundry in the garage, you may be able to create a utlilty room or utility closet directly on the other side, so that your machines will now be inside and you can use the existing plumbing and electrical in the walls.

You also want to check for planning permission with the building department, if you have one, to make sure that they allow the type of work you want to carry out. Rules won’t usually apply if you are renovating inside your home, but if you are planning an extension, you may need to get permission. 

Step 2: Lay The Foundations And Construct The Walls (If Applicable)

If you’re planning on building a new utility room, then laying the foundations and constructing the walls is the next step. You need to give the room the proper structure to house all your utilities. 

This part of the project is usually the most costly, so ensure you have the proper budget. Ensure you have sufficient funds to insulate the walls and install all the required fittings. Walls and foundations should be weatherproof and dry once complete. 

Step 3: Fit The Wiring

The third step is to fit the wiring. Most builders like to do this first before the plumbing.

Since you are building a utility room, you’ll need a large number of heavy-duty electricity sockets for all your appliances. Ensure that any installations can cope with the current required to power multiple machines at once. If the wiring isn’t up to the task, you’ll end up blowing fuses or tripping breakers, which can be incredibly annoying. 

When wiring, also ensure you include plenty of protective circuit breakers. Appliances won’t always function reliably, and may sometimes draw too much power to the point where it becomes dangerous. Installing these protects you and prevents fires from breaking out, which can be a risk if your dryer collects too much lint. 

Step 4: Install The Plumbing

Unsplash – CC0 Licence

Once you know where all the wiring is going to go, the next step is to put the plumbing in place. You’ll need this for the washing machine (and dishwasher if you decide to put it in your utility room in other countries or in homes that have two separate dishwashers). 

Make sure you drill holes in the walls and connect them to outlets. Otherwise, your washing machine won’t drain. Also, double-check the capacity of the sewage system for the utility room. You need somewhere for all the wastewater to go. 

With older homes on septic, you’ll want to know that your tank isn’t going to fill up too quickly.

You don’t need to install a sink in your utility room, but it can help if you are the sort of household that has muddy dogs or boots in the winter. Running plumbing to this can be incredibly helpful. 

Having a hot water supply to the room is also beneficial. This way, your appliances can draw already-hot water from your tank. 

Step 5: Fit The Flooring And Ceiling

The flooring and ceiling are also critical considerations for utility rooms, more so than most others. Ideally, you want to put down some sort of hard, water-resistant, and heavy-duty flooring in the utility room. You also want it to be easy to clean so you can mop up any mess as it occurs. 

The best materials are epoxy, vinyl, and tiles. Tiles probably work best in most residential homes because they look attractive and function, too. However, you might want to fit some sort of epoxy option if the room will see heavy usage or there is a high risk of flooding. 

The ceiling material should also be suitable for the environment. Don’t choose anything prone to mold growth

Step 6: Add Storage

Adding storage to utility rooms is something you should consider from the start. You want somewhere to keep all your utility items, including tools, towels, irons, ironing boards, and household chemical products. 

One option is to add shelves to the room. However, this approach can make it look a bit haphazard. The current gold standard is to install cabinets. These hide everything away and make the room look much more attractive.

Step 7: Decorate

It’s your space, have fun with it! I’ve seen laundry rooms with bubble tiles on the wall that look like soap suds. Others have fun or sarcastic signs about doing laundry.

Be bold, it’s a space few others will see unless they’re helping you with your chores, so enjoy yourself with it.

For help planning your project, you can use our Renovation Guidebook to keep you organized.

Leave a Comment