buying a largish family home with no utility.(36 Posts)
I re opened a thread from early 2016 but now think it might be better to start a new one for your valued advice!
We like a detached house on a largish new build estate. One problem with it it that it has a 3/4 year old high spec kitchen diner (guessing about £30-35K, which for me very expensive) and no utility room. It literally has a single built in washing machine.
we currently dont have a utility room and wanted one as it wuold be somewhere to hide the airing rails when they are loaded with wet clothes and the weather is too bad for outdoor drying. of course that would have relied on a big enough one to hold a couple of drying rails.
It looks as though the utility room was removed. Looking at sold prices, nearly every single other house on that estate would have one apart from a few of the medium detached "family executive" , the size down from the one we might be interested in buying. as its a new build has the usual low ceilings and a way out the back door so no real room for ceiling hung one. it would have only held washer, tumble and three upper cabinets.
I can see why its been done, the utility room took up floor space to make a square room an awkward shape and taking away a lot of the sun from the rear of the house.
i dont have dogs or any pets, so no need for a place for their food and things. there are so many cupboards away from sink, induction hob and food prep area for things like laundry.
Just thinking about practicalities, if my child had a wee wee accident, i wouldnt rinse those pants in the kitchen sink - i'd use the downstairs loo. If i had a utility, i wouldn't use that sink either. i'd like to keep toilet waste in toilet sinks.
it has a kitchen dinner with breakfast bar, space for a large table and loads of cupboard space, a couple of those are full length, i presume to hold mops/steamers etc.
there is another separate formal dining area and 2 more separate living rooms.
we would be planning to stay there for a about 15 years at least. dh and i are thinking we'd let this kitchen run its course and then re-jig in the year 2032!!!!
another possibility is to make a stud wall in the detached garage which has a side door about 6 ft away, put plumbing in etc.
any thoughts? are we mad to consider this? do i need one? supposing we sell on in 7 years and dont re-jog to create utility again?
I'm open to opinions and wont shout or ignore anyone who I disagree with.
The thing with utilities rooms is that if you've had one, you wonder how you'd manage without one but if you've never had one you don't see the need.
I do use mine a lot however more often than not it just becomes dumping ground.
The garage is a great idea but do you have access to it from inside the house?? If not you probably wouldn't use it as much, well I know I wouldn't
thanks sam for replying, epic post!! yes, unfortunately, garage is well and truly detached from house.
In last house we had a utility room at the back of an attached garage, but with no direct access from the house. It worked ok. In the winter it was a bit cold and wet getting there and I had a tendency to forget stuff in there! But it was great for muddy sports, camping stuff. Also I had room for a large top loading washing machine which was brilliant.
Bit unorthodox, but I have a small upstairs laundry room, and love it. Clothes get taken off upstairs and put back on upstairs, so not carrying loads of dirty stuff down and clean back up seemed a bit mad to me. We took over half of the second bathroom and an airing cupboard to form it. Is that an option?
(I do have a downstairs utility too, but that is much more for scraping muddy rugby boots, and our dog.)
I have an upstairs utility as well and I love it. No dirty washing downstairs ever!
I also have an upstairs laundry room with washer and dryer and room for an sister - it's tiny but works so well. I'd have had a sink too if there was room. Is here anywhere upstairs (near to bathroom so you can plumb in) that you could make a laundry room ?
We've just removed our utility room and moved the washing machine and tumble dyer into the downstairs loo and it works just fine. Would that be an option?
I don't know how big your family is but we'd never use two living rooms a dining room and a kitchen diner!
Can you not take part of one of those rooms for a laundry room?
Me too!! Ive got an upstairs laundry room/airing cupboard which I'm quite smug about
If there's anyway you could create this, I'd really recommend!
If I had a downstairs utility, I'd use it like a larder I think.
Have you found any houses with the type of utility you'd like?
We have a small utility room but it wouldn't be any good for what you wanted anyway. It's a through room to the downstairs WC so you couldn't put airers in without blocking access. It is handy that we can pile up all the recycling in there before sorting it and putting it out in the bins though, and it's an extra door between us and the washing machine, so noise isn't an issue. Clothes go on the airer in one of the spare bedrooms at the moment.
I can't think of anyone else i know who has a utility though, and they all cope. Depends on whether you've gotten to a point where it's irritating you not having one though I suppose? And whether there's space elsewhere where you could cope with putting clothes to dry (I used to live in a tiny flat with no washing line and the only place an airer would fit was in the middle of the kitchen, so you had to edge around it and my clothes always stunk of food - I was so happy when we moved somewhere with a spare room we could put it in instead!)
Can you post the floorplan OP? We can have a look and see if there's a solution. I have always bought houses with utility rooms - you need somewhere you can dump mucky stuff and I really don't like the idea of the washing machine in the kitchen diner because of the noise and not wanting laundry - dirty or drying - in the room I'm cooking in.
I'm another with an upstairs laundry room. It's fab, no more traipsing washing up and down stairs. Really simple to do as well as long as you have somewhere close to the bathroom.
I also have a downstairs larder room with the back door in and a shower room off it. Works really well if anyone is dirty from sport because they use the back and head straight to the shower.
thanks for all the replies!
i haven't found a house with a large enough utility! well, i have but its a 60s house with 80s-90s decor and it all needs replaced but we have no budget for it!
oh my goodness, wow, not sure if i could post, i'd feel really like i was being unfair on the seller but i do get that its hard to help if you dont know what you're dealing with.
the second living area is basically just a small study. my plan was to do washing in kitchen machine, and put my heated airing rail in this room, window open a crack and dry! or to put airers into spare room with dehumidifer maybe if we buy one?
i'm just worried about selling on without converting back part of the diner into a utility, if we dont get round to doing it or need/want to sell before we do it?
I wouldn't consider a family house without a utility room - but am quite flexible about where it goes.
Ours isn't massive - we have wall mounted drying racks that fold flat against the wall when they're not in use (IKEA - amazing). We didn't have one in our first (family) house and having an airer in the middle of the living space (dining room) with clean washing piled on dining room table was awful. A utility room (or the space to create one) was a 'must have' when we moved.
You can enlarge the floorplan and screenshot it to take out any identfying info and just show the ground floor layout OP. I'm not saying link to the listing! Or sketch it out and take a photo.
i honestly think there is no where to put one unless we reconfigure the flash kitchen diner which is only a couple of years old a factor which no doubt forms part of the asking price!
thanks for replies, will have to mull over whether we could live without a utility.
Trust me, OP, there are millions - nay billions - of people who live quite happily without futility rooms. Indeed some of us - pass the smelling salts - don't have an en suite. We soldier on bravely in our non 'executive' homes - you can do it. Be strong 😉
thanks aseries. its just context, really - all other homes in the same estate do have utilities and if we bought it, obvs there is none and i was concerned about the resale prospects!
i'm ok with it now and think i might book another viewing.
Reading with interest as we're looking at moving or extending and one of the things I'd most like is a utility room. However it seems as though a lot of what people use them for wouldn't really apply to us - we haven't got a dog, nobody does any muddy sports (just the occasional pair of walking shoes) and laundry in the kitchen doesn't bring me out in a cold sweat!
I would love somewhere separate to dry it but mostly we use the conservatory and it works OK. So I'm now wondering if we really need a utility - have you considered managing without one OP? Sounds as though there'd be plenty of other space for you.
Why not just convert the study into a utility room? If you were going to use it for laundry anyway.
A relative of mine has a utility room off her hallway - she got rid of the one between kitchen/back door as she said she hated everyone walking through it to go out to the back garden. This way she closes the door and nobody has to see what sort of state her laundry is in.
A utility room was one of my deal breakers when we moved recently. But that's because we'd had our washing machine out in a garage that I had to go out my front door to get to, and I hated it. So we went with the untouched-since-the-early-80s decor and are just living with it until we can afford to update, all so we could get the house with the utility room.
Friends of mine have clear corrugated plastic over the concrete yard outside the back door leading to the garden, so good for putting laundry racks when you don't want to look at them, and for growing some nice plants, a bit like a walk-through greenhouse.
What about upstairs landing for putting drying racks, or a bedroom? I don't have a utility room and don't really feel the lack.
we just went to neighbours who have ripped out their utility room to make a much better kitchen and now tempted to do the same. Can access garage from utility/kitchen so would it matter too much if the washing machine etc was just in there instead?
I do like a utility room ,but I like a bigger kitchen more!
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