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How useful/essential is a utility room?

(53 Posts)
Iggity Tue 06-Jan-15 09:21:17

I live in a 1930s mid-terraced house in London. We are planning to extend the back of the house to increase the size of the very small kitchen. We are also adding a downstairs cloakroom. We have been back and forth over the need for a utility room. Currently, we only have a washing machine and laundry is dried outside when weather better and in winter, on clothes horses/driers/radiators. This isn't ideal and we are planning to get a tumble dryer following the kitchen extension.

If we added a utility room, it wouldn't have any windows so no natural light/air circulating etc. When we discussed this with the architect, he didn't think a house our size needed a utility room. The house has 3 bedrooms (will have 4 as we are converting loft at same time). There are 2 adults and a child in the house.

We are doing to have quite a sizeable kitchen after the extension and the plan is to have integrated appliances but would value people's thoughts on how useful it would be. We don't have animals and storage in the house is limited. We don't have a chest freezer and not sure if we need one. We will probably just buy a bigger fridge/freezer for the kitchen.

The builder had suggested a combined utility/cloakroom but we weren't very keen on the idea. I had visions of sitting on the loo watching the washing machine!

burnishedsilver Tue 06-Jan-15 09:25:01

I wouldn't give up my utility room. Like yours, it has no windows but it doesn't need any. Its a good use of the only part of the house that can't have a window.

SavoyCabbage Tue 06-Jan-15 09:27:08

I loved mine as we had a 'pully' on the ceiling. They've a proper name but I forget what it is. I want to say ladies maid but I don't think that's right. It was brilliant. Washing was always out of the way.

We've one where we live now too but we are overseas now and everybody has them. When I tell my friends that my washer was in my kitchen they think I'm mad.

LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 09:34:27

Washing machines in the kitchen are very noisy and intrusive, and not ideal to have your dirty washing alongside your food preparation area, so if you have space for a utility room, I'd say definitely go for it.

BouleSheet Tue 06-Jan-15 09:36:15

In my next house the biggest room will be the utility. I have a utility and separate laundry room but they're not big enough so I would say a utility is vital.

Savoy it's a Sheila Maid.

Iggly Tue 06-Jan-15 09:37:56

I love the utility room. We have a tumble drier which vents outside so don't worry about drying clothes. We had it done when the kitchen was done. ..it was the best money I've spent.

We live in a three bed flat.

When we move, we will have a utility room.

Annarose2014 Tue 06-Jan-15 09:43:32

I have no way of making a utility room in my house and go green with envy when I see other peoples. Every winter I have an entire bedroom devoted to clothes horses, its crap and I hate it.

My friend has one with a pully drier and these drying shelves from Ikea that fold down from the wall especially to dry woollen jumpers. And a huge big counter for folding dry clothes. <sigh>

They're also handy for storing household DIY things. She also has a tiny loo as part of hers (with a proper door so no staring at the washing machine!), but if you already had one under the stairs that'd be unneccessary. For her though its the only downstairs loo so its handy.

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Tue 06-Jan-15 09:45:29

I have quite a big utility, approx 15ft x 10ft. It doesn't have a window but does have a half glazed back door and so gets good natural light, there is an extractor fan for ventilation. Tbh, we couldn't live without it, all of the ugly/noisy/smelly stuff is in there - recycling bins, kitchen bin, washing machine, cat bowls & litter tray, microwave, tumble drier, hovers, mop buckets, iron & board, etc. there's also a sink, ideal for cleaning muddy shoes, rinsing the litter tray and so on, basically all of those things that you wouldn't want want to wash in your food prep sink. I love my utility room.

ClaudiaNaughton Tue 06-Jan-15 09:47:10

Love my utility room too. Like pp I have a pulley so that washing can go on it on wet days. Use tumble dryer very infrequently. Lovely to shut out the sight of wet washing and it seems to dry on hangers overnight.

castlesintheair Tue 06-Jan-15 09:48:38

We have a utility room although it's actually more of an extra kitchen. Big double fridge freezer in it, extra fridge, noisy washing machine, spare oven, storage cupboards for food overflows, wine and drinks storage, all the cleaning stuff, hoover, ironing board etc. Wellies, riding boots, cycling helmets, roller skates etc all out of sight and not cluttering up the rest of the house. I love it and would definitely make it a priority. A window really isn't important in a utility room!

BingBongMerrilyOnHigh Tue 06-Jan-15 09:50:23

We have no tumble drier, know how you feel about the laundry (especially in wet or very cold weather). The basket is constantly full, and the house is damp. A friend has a utility room & as soon as we are able to buy a house it will be on the list of non-negotiable requirements.

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Tue 06-Jan-15 09:51:13

Oh yes, we also have an additional fridge freezer in ours too. Mainly for drinks and batch cooking.

arlagirl Tue 06-Jan-15 09:52:43

Love my utility room.
It houses washer, dryer,spare fridge, cat bowls and my airer.
Its very warm and clothes dry so quickly.

LizzieMint Tue 06-Jan-15 09:58:15

Our utility room is so small and difficult to get in we call it the futility room. Even with a small, crappy one though, I'd much rather have one than not!

MarjorieMelon Tue 06-Jan-15 09:58:53

I would love a utility room especially at this time of the year. We have to dry our clothes in the kitchen which means we can't eat fish or curry in the winter even with the extractor fan on.

TranquilityofSolitude Tue 06-Jan-15 10:01:06

I have a relatively small utility room and it's brilliant. It has cupboards all along one wall - a couple floor-to-ceiling and then a run of base and wall units with a work surface. It also has a sink which is really useful for washing clothes, soaking stained stuff, filling buckets to wash the car, washing anything you wouldn't want near food (cat litter tray etc). On the other wall it has a row of about 20 hooks. I keep aprons, a bag of cloths, a bag of bin bags, broom, dustpan & brush etc. on these.

I keep all the cleaning stuff like bleach etc under the sink in there, and also things like cat food, vases, tupperware, cake tins, steam cleaner.

findingherfeet Tue 06-Jan-15 10:05:44

Reading this thread purely because I aspire to have a utility room.....#sigh#

BlackbirdOnTheWire Tue 06-Jan-15 10:09:30

Go for it. Your architect is obviously an old-fashioned bloke who doesn't do the washing. We're house-hunting and one of the priorities is a utility room or potential to add one. We currently have a 'utility cupboard' carved out of spare space, just room for washing machine, tumble dryer, boiler, airing shelves and storage shelves for cleaning stuff. I would not be without it. No natural light either but that doesn't matter - it frees up space in the kitchen, keeps everything together and is much safer with young children, I can just close the door but still leave the machine doors open for air to circulate and all the cleaning stuff is up high and in a 'room' they don't go into.

It has an external wall, essential for the tumble vent, and we've also installed a fan so no problems with humidity.

Trufflethewuffle Tue 06-Jan-15 10:12:50

We are in rented at the moment and also have what we call a futility room!

However, despite its lack of size and inward opening doors that take up much of the floor space, I would not be without it.

Given that the vast majority on the thread feel the same way I would think that having one is a good idea from the point of view of when you eventually sell as it will have much more appeal to potential buyers.

TheGonnagle Tue 06-Jan-15 10:12:56

I live in a small 30's semi. The old dining room has been extended and is now a kitchen diner, and the old (tiny) kitchen is now a utility. Even in our tiny house it's so worth the space. I wouldn't want to move to a house without one now.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 06-Jan-15 10:14:27

I have a small utility room. It houses my washing machine and dryer, my bread maker and microwave. The sink is used for things like dirty football and riding boots and we have a decent recycling area. The cupboards store all cleaning supplies, drugs/medical supplies and my small Zombie apocalypse food stash.

I doubt a woman architect would suggest you didn't need a utility.

nowahousewife Tue 06-Jan-15 10:29:52

Does your architect have children/a family? How much of the boring at home stuff is he responsible for? The answers to these questions may indicate why he doesn't think a utility room is essential.

The last three houses we've lived in I have always created a utility room when we've done building work, infact in our current house it was DH's idea to double the size of the proposed utility room.

Ours has built in cupboards and shelves which house washing machine, dryer (vented to outside) catflap, cat feeding area, huge dog food bin, all the recycling bins, brooms, mops, ironing board/iron as well as things that just don't get used everyday like slow cooker, microwave, kitchenaid, vases, cookbooks and cleaning stuff that is not yet in use.

That said I am a bit of a tidy freak and absolutely hate things on my worksurfaces (so much so I have a boiling water tap rather than a kettle)so the utility room keeps my kitchen looking pristine.

Medoc Tue 06-Jan-15 10:34:19

We have a teeny one, with just the boiler, washing machine, veg rack and pans.
it's so handy just having somewhere to dump dirty / unsavoury items, it stash crap when visitors are walking up the drive and you're having a scurryfunge.

Medoc Tue 06-Jan-15 10:36:56

Though of course that's no use if the utility is a passage to the loo!

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 06-Jan-15 10:37:36

Medic is right; if you are going to have an eat in kitchen, then a utility is even more of a must.

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