Front-loading washers and dryers may be energy efficient, but bending down to add and remove laundry can be tough on your back. If you don't want to spend a couple hundred dollars on drawer pedestals, you can make your own to raise the height of the machines at a low cost. You'll need a few tools and about an hour for this project. You may need seem help lifting the appliances onto the platform when you are finished.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- 2-by-10 lumber
- 3-inch wood screws
- Drill with screwdriver bit
- 1/2-inch plywood
- 1 5/8-inch wood screws
- Stain or paint
Measure the length and width of your washer and dryer. If you are planning to build the pedestal for both appliances, measure the amount of floor space they take up when sitting next to one another, including the gap between the units. For the purpose of these instructions, the floor space the two units take up is about 5 feet wide by 3 feet deep. Make sure the planned pedestal won't interfere with the dryer venting and plan a few extra inches around the machines, as space allows, to ensure a good fit.
Cut 2-by-10 lumber into two 5-foot pieces and three 3-foot pieces. Secure two long and two short pieces into a rectangular base using 3-inch wood screws, with the 3-foot sections attached to the inside of the 5-foot sections. Three to five screws spaced evenly from the top to bottom at each joint should suffice.
Locate the center of the box and install the third 3-foot section in the center using three to five additional 3-inch screws at each end. This stabilizes the laundry machine pedestal, making it sturdy enough to not move around when the machines are running and strong enough to hold them up.
Measure from the outside of each side of the base to the outside of the opposite side, both the width and depth. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch plywood to these exact measurements. Place the cut plywood on top of the base, making sure it is square with all of the edges. Secure the plywood at each corner with 1 5/8-inch screws to hold it in place, and then screw it down with additional screws around the entire outside edge, spacing them two to three inches apart.
Sand the entire base lightly and wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth. Apply one or more coats of a paint or stain of your choice to give the pedestal a finished look. If you have wood floors, you can match the stain to the finish of your floors to make the machines appear to blend with the rest of the room or match them to the trim color. For a more interesting look, paint the base in a contrasting color to the machines. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's directions, and give the pedestal ample time to dry before you place the washer and dryer on top.
Unplug and unhook the washer and dryer and move them out of the way. Put the pedestal in place and use a level to make sure it doesn't slope. Even in newer homes, or with the perfect DIY skills, there is a good chance the pedestal will not be level; in this case, use shims underneath to make the platform straight.
Set your washer and dryer on top of the pedestal and hook them back up. Ideally, you should enlist the help of another person to lift the machines. However, you can also use a dolly under the front of the machines to lift up the backs enough so it can be pushed onto your new pedestal.
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