Remodeling the Laundry Room

Inside Dryer Lighting

The Project

Good morning everyone!  I know it’s hump-day Wednesday and that in and of itself, sucks major league donkey ballz, so here’s a distraction for you to waste a few minutes while you ‘work’ your way towards TGIFriday.

Today, I am offering up an old photo set of the laundry room remodel I did in my south Jackson home a few years ago before moving to Germany.  The laundry room was a small (5 x 8 feet) separate enclosed room under the carport at one time, which required you to go outside to do laundry.  This was a rather common construction technique in the neighborhood of homes built there during the 1960’s.

Our carport had been enclosed and added as part of the heated space of our home a few years earlier.  In addition to having the laundry room inside the house, enclosing the carport let it serve as a dry storage room for all the other building projects that preceded my plans to turn it into a full blown dedicated indoor home theater build.  I already had a semi-dedicated indoor home theater in our living room, but I wanted to make an actual theater type environment in the carport, where I could let my home theater addiction run wild.

Ultimately, I moved to Europe before finalizing that one last room/project in the house, but I did get the laundry room area that existed in that space remodeled before leaving.  It was one of the last projects I tackled before leaving.

The Backstory

My wife wanted to have a European model washer and dryer set, both of which require 220 volt service (as well as a special order through Cowboy Maloney’s appliance import service at about $2000 for the pair).  The European model washers need a 220v hookup because in addition to the washer motors, they have built-in water heaters which allow for the washer to raise the temperature of the incoming hot water to near boiling, for the washing of whites and other robust fabrics using less washing powder.

You can also adjust the spin cycle on most of the Euro model washing machines to levels approaching that used in nuclear centrifuges, greatly reducing drying time.  As for the new dryer?  Beside the internal lighting, which I found quite nice, the dryer has sensors for weight and wetness, and automatically dials down the juice necessary to dry each load of clothes, something I figured out when testing the dryer after installation.  I ran it on empty to see if the heating element was working and it didn’t get hot, so I naturally assumed there was a problem, but the ‘problem’ was simple.  The dryer was smart enough to know it was empty!

Construction Highlights

Electrical

Since the existing laundry room only had one 220V outlet for the American style dryer, this necessitated the installation of an additional 220V outlet for the new washer.  Fortunately, there was an abandoned 220V line that had been running an electric hot water heater left from when I replaced the electric hot water heater with a gas unit years earlier.  Heating water for a whole houseful of people with electricity is a fool’s errand and very costly.  I was able to move that abandoned 220V circuit to the laundry room with no problem, saving the expense and hassle of needing an electrician to run a new line from the breaker box.  The only bit of wiring difficulty was finding and correctly wiring the European wall sockets necessary to mate with the imported washer and dryer.

Plumbing

The original laundry room plumping was not hidden at all and ran directly down the inside of the wall.  I had already replaced the original PVC pipe with copper when I redid the entire house in copper a few years earlier, but at that time I did not make any changes to the mounting.  In addition to flushing the plumbing back into the wall, I wanted to add a nice stainless steel laundry sink for soaking delicate washables so I needed to make those changes as well.

Tile and Trim

The original laundry room walls were nothing but wallboard.  I replaced them with concrete backer board and tiled the walls.  I also laid some tile over top of the bare concrete floor, but the floor tile job (see the photo) was a little sloppy by my standards, but in my defense, I’m not actually certified to do any of the work I actually did.  I try to make up for the fact my wife drops two grand on a washer and dryer by doing all the other work myself, thereby balancing out the remodel with my own skills and labor.  At the end of the day, my work is usually as good as that which I would pay somebody else way too much money to do.

The Photoset

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Thrice in Two Days

The “Once”

What in the hell is going on at Apple?  The Mac Mini I just got was a royal pain in the ass to setup because it wouldn’t sync with my Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard. (below, my full MacMini Epinions review here.

The “Twice”

Yesterday I decided to upgrade my iPhone 4 to the new iOS6 (because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time? Argh!)  The press hoopla over the talking maps app DEMO made it out to be the shizzle.  “Dazzling Flyover” was mentioned on a plethora of tech websites.  It was so exciting that I posted the event to Facebook and Twitter while waiting on the download to finish. The kinda thing people do when they are expecting the birth of a new family member.  The kinda thing I should only share with my support group at Apple Fanboy Anonymous (AFA) meetings.  They have a twelve step program to clear your mind of Windows clutter, the details of which I am sworn to protect with the tenacity that Mitt Romney does his hidden tax records.  But I digress.

For the most part, outside of the invisible internal code changes, I suspect that the maps change was the biggest deal for iPhone 4 users, since we lack Siri functionality and our models aren’t panorama capable.  Once the download and upgrade was finished, the first thing I did was check a route I utilized under the old map.  The walking route from my house to the NaturZoo in Rheine.  The walking route is basically the bike route and I used it to get to the Zoo on my moped awhile back.  Imagine my shock and surprise to find that no such option is available now.

With the new map app I only get routing via the autobahn, and with my moped being limited by law to the sidewalk at 15 mph (25 kmh) that info is as worthless as a plea for sanity aimed anywhere in the general direction of the Republican party (or Faux News, ibid)

I jumped on the web to check what was up, Seconds after confirming the trending Twitter topic MAP APP SUX, I see all these tech sites that had previously been heralding the new iOS like the second coming of Christ are now bashing the crap out of the new maps app like Mitt Romney attacking reason itself, and with the exact same Etch-a-Sketch ability to condemn what they so heartily were hailing just a day earlier.  That must have been the day the seed was planted that I “needed” this upgrade.  I blame those media bastards because “never blame yourself” is something I learned at AFA.  Actually, It is the first rule of fight club. AFA from which I shall now be banished for exposing the first rule of AFA.  Not that I would chance attending another meeting now that I have blown the org.

The “Thrice”

Now my update apps button takes me to the German version of the apps store, where it correctly identifies the apps I need to update and then rejects me for being in the wrong store for my device (DUH).  It always went to the US store before.  I now have to chase down or figure out if-where that setting resides so I can update about half a dozen apps that the device says I need to update.  Steve Jobs, I am crying for you bro’

Enjjoy.