How To Add A Laundry Chute To Your Home

  • by James White
  • Jun 16,2017
  • 84 Views

When we remodeled our attic space one of the key elements I wanted to install was a laundry chute from the second floor to the laundry room below. We had a laundry chute at our old house and I have missed it terribly, especially now that Garrett is older and his clothes are getting bigger by the second. Laundry chutes make life so much easier when you have kids who live upstairs and a washing machine on the main level.

Laundry Chute Inspiration Photo:

My original inspiration for this project came from a Parade of Homes that had a laundry chute made from round metal pipe. There was a simple cabinet door smack in the middle of the hallway wall upstairs by the kid’s bedrooms. But when I opeend it up?  It was a LAUNDRY CHUTE! The white cabinet door was covering a round ductwork pipe in the wall that dropped into the laundry room below.  It was pretty and ingenious.

LAUNDRY CHUTE IN WALL

We lucked out in a major way for our laundry chute project, because this empty space beside the attic door turned out to line up perfectly over the corner of our laundry room ceiling.

Unfinished attic space

I had been eyeing this spot for a while, doing mental calculations of where a hole should land based on where the laundry room lined up in the downstairs. After pulling some measurements with an actual tape measure… it turns out I was right. The two spaces lined up perfectly.

Construction begins

The first thing our builder did was cut a rough opening in the sheetrock ceiling of the laundry room just to see what was above it.  Thankfully, there was nothing but the subfloor of the attic above the rough opening, so he went ahead and drilled into the plywood subfloor to see where we landed.

Then we crossed our fingers, went upstairs and saw that YES… it lined up exactly where he drilled. That’s his drill bit sticking up from the center of the ceiling hole below.  It could not have been more perfect!

Drilling a hole for a laundry chute

From there, he cut a neater square in the ceiling of the laundry room and the floor of the attic.

Cutting hole in ceiling for a laundry chute

Then we measured on the outside of the wall where I wanted the hole of the chute to be. I wanted it high enough so that it was comfortable for my son to toss his clothes into without having to bend over when he got older.

How to install a laundry chute-3

On the other side of the wall is the end of the upstairs hallway just outside the attic door and my son’s bedroom door. He cut another matching hole there for the laundry chute access. I realize it is off-centered, but that is where the laundry room dictated that it should go, so we didn’t have much of a choice about that. I chose a height that was comfortable to open without bending over.

Cutting a hole in wall for laundry chute

Once that was done, he matched up the hole on the other side and boom, we had all the holes cut.

Cutting holes in wall and floor of attic to install a laundry chute

My son loved peeking through the hole and yelling at me while I was doing laundry below.

Next up, we had to get the laundry chute custom fabricated out of air conditioning ductwork by our HVAC company, of all places.

I searched high and low for any type of plastic or metal piping that would work and finally gave up and had someone make what we needed. I checked local hardware stores and online places but never could find anything that was sturdy enough to work. Since the AC guys were working to hook up the ductwork in the attic anyway, I figured they might have a good source for me. When I asked, they said they could build what I needed for $200.  I agreed, so they measured everything and drew up the plans for the metal chute to take back to their fabricators.

This is what they brought back to us… it was exactly what I envisioned.
HVAC pipe ductwork used as laundry chute

Heath got it installed in the wall and it was exactly like I had envisioned.

Adding a laundry chute to an unfinished attic

It was strapped to the wall and the floor so it isn’t going anywhere.

Next came paint to the walls and shiplap ceiling.

laundry chute under construction

The last thing on the agenda was to figure out a way to hide the laundry chute in the new attic playroom. I contemplated installing a “secret door” into my son’s bedroom, but we couldn’t make that work out. Finally, I decided on a book nook.

And that’s what we did! Here is the nook before it’s totally completed.  He framed it out with sturdy 2×4 construction so it would hold plenty of weight.Framing out a laundry chute

And here it is after the Purebond plywood has been added to the frame. It’s super sturdy! 

Before we closed up the hole, Garrett wrote a note to put under the nook.  I told him he could write whatever he wanted, and here is his note:

Haaaa  I love this kid! Why did you destroy the playroom, indeed, people of the future!?  LOL!

Ok, back to the construction. Here is the opening of the laundry chute out in the hallway. He framed it out with 1x4s and added a small cabinet door to cover the opening. It’s simple but effective, and almost exactly like the one I had seen at the Parade of Homes.

Easy Laundry chute installation

Down in the laundry room, the clothes just fall out of a framed hole in the ceiling and land on a board we have wedged into place up against the laundry sink. They slide down into the laundry sink and pile up until they are ready to be washed. I never use my laundry sink anyway, so this is no great loss.

Until we find a better solution or build in some cabinetry, this is working just fine. I just imagine the clothes squealing “Wheeee!” as they slide down the boards and land in the sink.

laundry chute with sink catching clothes

Upstairs, though, the ugly attic nook was transformed into this magical space: Click here to read about The Book Nook.

Colorful Book nook for kids playroom

So now we have a laundry chute AND the coolest book nook east of the Mississippi!  It’s even gotten its own magazine feature.

If you happen to see the August/Sept edition of Family Fun magazine, you’ll see us featured in the article about reading nooks!

I’m so happy to have this new laundry chute in our home. It gets used every single day, and I appreciate how much convenience it adds to my life. Now if only I had a way for it to automatically fold my clothes, I’d be all set.

Hopefully, this article helps all of you who are searching for ideas on how to install a laundry chute in your house. As long as the spaces line up, it was not very hard at all.

HOW TO ADD A LAUNDRY CHUTE TO YOUR HOME

 

If you want to see the details of
the attic book nook, click here:
 

If you want to see the rest of
the attic remodel, click here:

 

 

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