Need help designing in-floor laundry chute

I’ve been looking all over for an “in-floor laundry chute” and can’t find any on-line, nor any pictures. It’s a long, convulatued, tiring walk to get to our laundry room down in the basement (where its freezing). By the time we go around the corner, down the stairs, and walk a big “U” (dumb basement design), I’m exhausted. What I want to do just cut a hole in between the floor joists… but I need soemething to line it with so clothes don’t tear or get caught. I’d also need a hinged lid so our cat won’t fall through.

At any rate, if someone can give me some ideas, or help my bad google-fu by finding something on the net, that’d be great. Thanks!

a loft hatch?

Uh, seriously now, jp - are you gonna do it? It’s not going to be easy, is all.

For lining I would suggest some smooth pressed wood board, whatever the technical term for it is. As long as the measurements are right and it’s sawed straight it should do the trick. Use nails or screws as appropriate.

My DIY skills don’t extend to actually making holes or fitting hatches however. I would suggest that you make sure the hatch is properly insulated though if the laundry room is as cold as you say,

You have two choices.

  1. Diligently find a spot with no wiring or pipes under it, cut a hole in the floor, finish the sides with mdf and build some kind of assembly over it so pets and children and you when drunk don’t plummet through. Assuming you’re an amateur, I expect you could pull this off with $100 of materials and maybe 12-15 hours of work if you do it right.

  2. The other choice is to call a contractor and have them do it while you are at work. $350-$500 is my guess, but no work for you to do, and a more polished end result.

It might be worth calling local contractors even if you do it yourself, as they might be clued in to where you can buy pre-made chutes. But someone’s got to actually cut a hole.

I advise no hatch and lots of spikes on the way down.

With a barbecue at the bottom ready to make catkabobs.

Or you could just buy a dolly to strap your laundry basket to.

Ben’s first rule of home projects: reasonable estimates are never accurate until you double the estimated cost and triple the estimated time.

Yikes, that’s exactly right. Went to Lowe’s to get the supplies and tools (sanding stuff, saw blades, and drill bits, wood etc). I was shocked at the counter when it rang up to $200! Well. it will be worth it f I can do it right.

I WANTED to use a large diameter PVC pipe. That woudl have been easy to do. But the closest thing they had was only wide ehough to probably fit shirts, under, and socks through. It’s too bad because that would have been the easiet, safest, best way I could have done it. What I did get was this thin laminated woodboard. It’s super smooth and I think I’ll make a box-like chute out of it. I’m going to glue most of it with only a couple finishing nails to hold it in place. This way I won’t have to worry about clothes getting snagged on nail or screw-heads, or catching ina divot. I got a few hinges and a knob too. Right now I plan on putting it in the floor of my closet (I think).
OK, here’s the board I got to line the chute. Facing is shiny and smooth:

Here’s a side-view:

Here’s a picture of the basement ceiling area where I’m going to cut the hole for the laundry chute:

Here’s a view of the area where it will go (yes I know our place is a mess and I still have to put the remnants of the Christmas Tree away).

Bill, I have a problem with overestimating my capabilities… so my wife made me promise I’d call my Dad to help. Just shopping for this stuff was exhausting. If anyone sees asome major flaws in my plan let me know. I’m totally winging it.

…continued from above, since this forum has a 4-picture-per-post limit.

Here’s a messy picture of the wall area where the chute could go (we can move the dresser).

And here’s a close-up of the closet where I thought I might be able to put the laundry chute (though it’d be a tight fit).

If they could do it on Hogan’s Heroes, I am sure you can figure something out. Put a wood stove over the hatch upstairs, just like Hogan did!

There are special tools, whose english names I have no idea of, that can be used to make sure nail heads get knocked into the wood and screws get a pre-drilled little space for the screw heads to settle into. Either way, with wood board as thin as this I’d suggest nails with big flat heads. I have no idea what tools you have but assuming you have the basics you can use a flat screwdriver and a hammer to knock the nails into the wood board, thus eliminating snags.

I would get a securely-lidded plastic trashcan sized whatever diameter you want the hole to be, and saw the bottom off. Cut a hole in the floor to fit, and drop the can into the hole (depending on how tightly it fit, you could use caulk to seal around the edges, or leave it removeable in case you wanted to pull the can out and clean it now and then).

Ta-da. You’ve got an inexpensive, cat-safe laundry hatch with a lid and no nailholes or edges to snag anything.

Man, that’s a tight fit there where you’re talking. That’s a hell of a spot for an utter carpentry novice to cut a hole in his floor. Cutting a hole in your floor anywhere isn’t as easy as Wile E. Coyote would have you believe. I’ve been staring at my attic hatch for about 2 weeks now, because I bought this phat metal staircase hatchway from Lowe’s but my opening as it exists is too short lengthwise. And I have like all the room in the world to work around.

Sparky’s garbage can suggestion is great, BTW - I’d just suggest making sure that one way or another, the hole you cut has its lining sealed everywhere - unchecked gaps and holes in your walls, ceilings, and floors are what insects use to get around, and putting new ones in just make pest control exponentially worse.

And if you happen to, I dunno, fall headfirst through your impromptu laundry chute and die, can I have your belt sander and dremel set?

A few things:

  1. you’re going to cut a big hole in your floor to a part of the house that’s freezing cold? Will there be any type of insulation?

  2. someone still has to go all the way down to the basement to actually do the laundry, right?

  3. someone still needs to carry the clean laundry all the way back up from the basement. Given 2 and 3, how does a laundry chute actually help matters?

  4. either you have far too many clothes or do laundry far too infrequently if carrying laundry down to the basement is exhausting.

  5. say goodbye to a chunk of the resale value of your house.

Why not just go the whole hog and install a dumb-waiter?

Am not sure how the geometry works in your residence, but I’d put it in the wall if feasible – that way, the entrance to the chute isn’t on the floor, but up at, say, waist level. I grew up in a house with one designed that way (by my dad); he used ductwork for the chute itself. Worked great.

Wow, great idea. If giant monster game development doesn’t work out , I see a future for you as a contractor.

J-Pizzle, don’t listen to all these “caution” pussies. Home improvement is half about learning from mistakes. Besides you aren’t cutting through a bearing wall or anything that’s going to collapse your house.

Here’s what I’d do, and I loves me some home improvement. Find a good spot where you would let a large laundry bag (like one of those big canvas jobbies) hang from the ceiling and above the floor, and without being in the walkway or something. This “good spot” should be centered between two of the 2x4 studs that line your basement ceiling. First, drill a hole using a circular drill bit if you have one, about 1 inch in diameter. Look up in there with a flashlight and see if you have anything that looks important in the way for about two feet around. Fuck insulation, I’m talking about wires, cables, pipes, HVAC ducts, or infrared laser beams. Important stuff. If the basement was built with the house and not a later addition, I’m going to guess it isn’t too likely. If there are, then you’ll either have to move them (fuck that if it’s copper pipes, plumbing is taboo) or find another spot. Replace the hole you drilled with your circular bit and some wood glue. No big deal, really, it’s your goddamn house.

When you have found such a spot, cut a hole above it. The hole should extend fully over the two studs which line each side of it. My guess is this would be about a 14" distance, but don’t know for sure. You want the door of the chute to rest on two studs when it is closed so that if someone steps on it, no “whoopsies” happen, and it will still bear weight. Again: don’t cut any of the studs, either on the bedroom floor or on the basement ceiling (if there are two sets). Depending on the house, the distance from the carpet on the bedroom floor down to the ceiling of the basement (ie, the depth of the hole) maybe be from 2-6 inches.

Keep the former-piece-of-floor-which-is-now-a-door. Screw or (hardwood) glue the carpet and padding that came up with it so it still matches the carpeting in the room (or you can change this to something to make it stand out, if you like). Gussy up the edges of the door and of the inside of the hole, so the carpet and padding don’t unravel and look all shitty in 6 weeks.

Get two door hinges which can bend back like 270 degrees for just this kind of application. Mount these on the underside of the hole and the lid, not up top on the carpet where you would step on them barefoot. Attach them to the lid and the floor. Get some kind of door handle, perhaps one that looks like one of those round divots or a little soft rope thing, and attach it to the lid opposite the hinges. This way you have something you can grab to open the door.

Hang your canvas laundry bag in the basement. You should be able to reach it when standing up straight and it may be a bit heavy, so don’t hang it up at the top all flush with the ceiling; perhaps a foot down. You should hang it off the studs, not the flat ceiling, as they will better support the weight of a full bag and the wear and tear and hanging and rehanging it. Use sturdy hooks or some flexible rope contraption or whatever you want.

Your chute is done. Make mad monkey love to your wife who, if she’s a real woman, got a little bit excited watching you use your power tools.

See diagram below for details (except on the final step, which I’ll leave to you):

I had a cool reply written on some new thoughts but the shitware dropped my login. Anyhoo, I was thinking about my previous idea and improved it a bit: do as above against (near) a wall, then instead of having a door right in the floor, you can build a nice wall unit around it. Makes it look classier and you don’t have to worry about someone walking on it. You can make it out of some nice wood or paint it or whatever. It’s almost like a normal laundry hamper but built right in to the room.

Of course, the bad side is: not very portable. :)

Super ideas Shift6 and Sparky. I’m going to dial-back and put some more time into thinking this out better. But I’ll take pictures along the way so you can laugh at my lack of home imporvement skills… or maybe it’ll turn out nice! Disloacted my shoulder yawning in bed this morning was a painful reminder of a bad problme I have. It’s very difficult for em to work over my head without my arm collapsing behind me dislocated. This will be a challenge.

BrewersDroop - We have a lot of laundry. More than most people because my wife is dramatically Obsessive compulsive. Everything gets washed all the time. She very thing and very weak (physically), and I am not thin, pathetically weak, and bringing down one basket of laundry is seriously difficult. Then the thought of hauling another basket back upstairs is worse. Taking one step out of the equation will help more than is possible to explain.

I’m setting this up as a challenge for myself. Given enough time and not doing anything on a whim via Ambien… I think I can do a good job.

One of the problems with this house is there’s no inner wall space. Each wall is a partitioin for another room, so there’s no way to have an in-wall laundry chute.

I appreciate all the help… and that trash can idea is sounding pretty darn aweomse. Wow, that could immidiately save me like $60 on supplies (stuff I can take back), and would just make it so much simpler to install.

I have no idea about the market in the US or resale value of houses, but doing that to a house over here would decrease the value hundredfold compared to the price of the chute.
Why not do it properly and increase value instead - or at least keep it neutral?
Build the chute into a wall - of course you don’t have a hollow wall that large, so make one. It’ll cost more, take longer, but you’ll have a good looking access hatch in a proper height and the chute itself will be hidden.

Otherwise, stop destroying your house and put your washing machine in a groundfloor bathroom - that’ll also save you the trip up.