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Starting a Community Laundry Room

As a building owner or manager remodeling your multi-housing apartments or other shared space, you have likely contemplated laundry facility options. Community laundry rooms benefit both you and your tenants by providing access to high-quality equipment, increasing unit space and creating a new revenue stream for you. 

With the proper guidance and partnership, you can select the right equipment for your apartment needs and implement a sustainable laundry system that residents appreciate.

Realizing Community Laundry Room Needs

Establishing the numbers is the first step to starting a community laundry room. You’ll want to decide which spaces are viable for laundry rooms and how many people need to use the washers and dryers. This will affect the number of machines you need and the type of laundry equipment you acquire.

How Many Washers and Dryers Do I Need?

Consider these variables when choosing how many machines you need in your laundry room:

What About Accessibility and Proximity?

Making the room and location accessible to all residents is an important consideration when planning the dimensions for a laundry room. 

Refer to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, including Chapter Six of the Guide to the ADA Accessibility Standard. You can also follow these tips for a more user-friendly space:

Setting up a Laundry Room

A dedicated community laundry room is a considerable convenience to residents and provides a unique selling point for your apartment building. First, there are steps to ensure a well-organized and smooth-running laundry. 

1. Community Laundry Room Location

When you design your laundry room floor plan layout, you should position the space in an accessible location that causes minimal disturbance to residents. Balance this by choosing a location that’s as central to as many units as you can. Consider how your typical resident will access the laundry room — will there be a covered space for transporting laundry to and from the unit in bad weather? Is the area lit well at night?

You will also want to focus on several factors, including room ventilation and access to the HVAC system. Ensure you have enough electrical, plumbing, gas and drainage capacity for the number of washers and dryers you intend to install. 

2. Washer and Dryer Space Requirements

When setting up your laundry, you need to establish the exact measurements for the space, the washers and dryers and all other furniture and objects you intend to place in the laundry room. Getting accurate dimensions for the laundry room is essential. 

Plot out all necessary space while accounting for the area behind the machines, allowing for doors opening and closing and residents to load and unload the machines. Ensure the washers and dryers can easily fit into the doorway and that there is a sizeable access route to get the appliances to the laundry room.

3. Ideal Laundry Machines

Before making concrete decisions, one key component is the price of commercial laundry equipment and whether to lease or buy. Once your budget and needs are locked in, narrowing your search is more manageable. You’ll likely want a combination of front and top loaders and one or two larger-capacity machines for oversized items like bedding. 

Do thorough research into machine models regarding their:

If you intend on leasing washers and dryers, it is good to know what to look for in a laundry equipment distributor, including machine offerings and customer service. 

4. Payment Options

In today’s digital economy, community laundry equipment can still accept tokens, coins and cash. To save time and add convenience, many new commercial washers and dryers provide card payments, including debit and credit cards and the chance to use various laundry payment apps. When looking for the right app-based laundry payment technology, consider usability, standard and advanced features and security.

Management Tips

Constructing a commercial laundry room design that impresses, installing suitable machines and other amenities and providing easy payment methods are the first steps to an ongoing investment. It is essential to optimize and maintain this space continuously.

1. Laundry Room Rules and Etiquette

Ensuring residents thoroughly understand the ins and outs of using a community laundry goes a long way toward promoting an effective and pleasant laundry environment. Outline community laundry room best practices and convey expectations with signage and as part of the resident’s move-in packet.

2. Laundry Room Cleanliness

A clean laundry room promotes value and pride and leaves current and potential tenants with a good impression. Focus on cleaning surfaces regularly, wipe down laundry equipment and ensure building cleaning staff know how to clean washing machines effectively without damaging them. Regularly clean other items, such as irons and ironing boards, and supply waste bins. Request that residents dispose of lint from the dryers before and after use.

3. Maintenance and Repairs

Performing routine washer and dryer preventive maintenance is paramount to keeping the machines running effectively. Follow manufacturer or distributor-prescribed maintenance plans and adhere to proper usage to keep your appliances efficient. 

Thanks to modern laundry advancements, specific innovative laundry technology solutions include automatic self-diagnosing technologies, which alert you to machine issues as they occur. This lets you address the required maintenance and repairs as soon as problems arise so you can get your machines up and running again as soon as possible. 

4. Upgrades and Replacements

Once you have your community laundry rooms set up, you will eventually need to invest in upgrading your multi-housing laundry equipment as it becomes outdated. You only need scheduled maintenance and repairs as long as your washers and dryers function optimally and service your residents as expected. If the technology becomes obsolete or your machines frequently require repairs and part replacement, it is time to consider replacing them. 

You might also implement upgrades if a new technology is released that could improve your residents’ experience.

Designing the Ideal Laundry Space

When you design and construct your community laundry room, ensure that you comply with all International Code Council (ICC) building codes and requirements relevant to your state and multi-housing building type. Once you complete construction, it is time to focus on the commercial laundry room design elements. 

Design Elements and Decor

Washers and dryers are the crux of any community laundry room, but incorporating effective design elements, features and amenities can make your functional laundry area into a prime apartment feature. By incorporating some of the following elements, you can boost the value of your apartment building laundry room:

Add Value with Amenities and Extras

Incorporating extra features and adding additional amenities goes a long way. Convenience, technology and safety features should be key elements to include. Community areas like gyms, pools and laundry rooms become an extension of residences, and tenants appreciate quality spaces. Consider including these things to add value and impress and retain tenants: 

Start Your Community Laundry Room Today — With Caldwell & Gregory

At Caldwell & Gregory, we take a customer-centric approach to business. We service community laundry machine requirements the C&G way, acting as true consultants, machine suppliers and service providers. If you are looking for a tailored multi-housing laundry solution for your building, the dedicated Caldwell & Gregory team is here to help. 

We examine your precise needs and design a custom plan that includes the washers and dryers, management systems, maintenance plans and more. We oversee all the machine management aspects, including servicing and technology oversight — to learn more about our exceptional offers, contact us online today!