It only took major companies 30 years to realize that bending over while doing laundry is not fun, but now that these companies have decided offer washer and dryer pedestals, the cost is still preventing many consumers from taking advantage of this concept. When purchasing a washer and dryer for the first time, the cost alone can make you feel like you need to sit down for a minute and process, but when factoring in the appliance pedestals, which can cost upwards of $300 a piece, the grand total can be downright overwhelming.
Instead of saving up an additional $600 for these pedestals, build your own and save yourself a lot of money and major back aches.
Step 1 - Take Measurements
You will need to know the dimensions of the space that your pedestals will be fitting into in order to cut down the wood.
First measure the length and width of the space, as well as the combined length and width of your laundry appliances in order to determine the dimensions of the pedestal. Be sure to take into account the space that between the washer and dryer since they usually do not rest flat against one another. Also take into account how much space the water hoses, electrical wiring, and dryer exhaust vent will take up when the appliances are placed and connected.
You will also need to decide how tall you want your pedestal to be. Take into account any shelving that is above this area and anything that you will want to store on top of the washer and dryer, such as detergent or bleach. Also take into account anything you will want to store under the pedestal, such as laundry baskets or storage bins.
Step 2 - Decide How You Will Construct Frame
There are three options for constructing the frame. It is important to consider the options carefully before choosing what will work best for your appliance pedestal.
You could also skip using 2x4s all together and simply attach a large sheet of plywood straight into the 4x6 legs. This option is harder to attach properly and is vulnerable to warping over time. Alternatively, you can create your pedestal without the plywood top as long as the 2x4 frame's width can support the width of the washer and dryer.
Option 1: Plywood
The 4"x6"x10' wood plank will be cut down and used to make the six legs for the pedestal. There will be one in each of the four corners and one in the middle on both the front side and the back side of the frame. This makes a total of six legs that should be cut from the wood piece. Cut each of the legs to the height that you have determined is best. Be sure to account for the height of the plywood that will be placed on top of the legs.
Cut the plywood to the proper dimensions of your pedestal; this can be done at a hardware store. Most stores have a giant wood saw in the back of the store. You will need to come to the store knowing the dimensions of your pedestal in order to take advantage of this service. They will even give you the scraps of the plywood to take home with you
Set up the 4x6 pieces to demonstrate the dimensions of your pedestal; place four legs to reflect the exact width and height that you have determined, and place the remaining two legs in the middle of the front and back sides.
Lay the plywood across the top of the frame and screw the plywood into the legs.
Option 2: 2x4 Frame
Cut down the 4"x6"x10' board to make legs as specified in Option 1. When cutting to the determined height, remember to take into account the 2 inches of height that will be added as the 2x4 boards are placed on top of the 4x6 legs to make the frame.
The 2x4 boards will be used to connect the legs to each other and form a sturdy frame. Cut the 2x4 boards down to match the length and width measurements you've determined is best for your space. You'll connect all four corner legs with 2x4 boards, and you'll connect the middle two legs to each other. Each piece will connect to the neighboring 4x6 leg with the 4" side of the leg facing the front of the pedestal.
This means that you should have five separate 2x4 pieces: two long pieces running the width of the opening and three shorter pieces running the depth of the opening.
When all your pieces are cut, set up your pedestal based on the dimensions you determined. Set up the legs first, placing four legs to demonstrate the corners of the perimeter and two legs in the middle of the front and back sides.
Lay the 2x4 planks across the tops of the legs so that each plank is touching, forming a rectangular frame of the perimeter with one additional plank connecting the middle leg pieces. Adjust the leg placement as needed so that they form perfect corners. Then using at least two wood screws per leg, secure the planks to the legs.
Option 3: Reinforce With Both
A combination of Option 1 and Option 2, Option 3 provides the sturdiest structure. You'll want to cut down six 4x6 legs, five 2x4 boards, and a piece of plywood to place on top of the entire frame.
Put all the components into place, minus the plywood, so that you can see the dimensions you are working with. Once you have the frame mapped out, you will want to move the 2x4 planks to the side, trying to keep them near their designated spots, in order to be able to work piece by piece.
Startng with the depth of your frame, drill the three 2x4 pieces into the corresponding legs with wood screws. This connects the back three legs to the front three legs with three separate planks.
Then you'll want to attach the longer 2x4s across the back side and front side of the 4x6 pieces. This will ensure that that will be in the back and across the front side of the 4x6s that will be in the front. This will allow for a perfect frame without having to make any adjustments. If done correctly, each leg should have a total of four wood screws: two from the top, and two on the front or back side, depending on its location.
Then attach the plywood to the top of the entire frame. Be sure to avoid the screws that are already in the wood attaching the 2x4s to the 4x6s. Also take into account the depth of the area that you are screwing into; you don’t want to screws to poke out the bottom side of the wood.
Step 3 - Stain or Paint
Lay down your drop cloth and move your pedestal on top of it. Stain or paint your pedestal to coordinate with the rest of your laundry room space. Let the pedestal dry over night.
Step 4 - Mount and Connect the Washer and Dryer
Remove the drop cloth from underneath your pedestal and move the dry pedestal into your laundry room. Then mount the washer and dryer on top of it. (This is a two-person task.)
Slide under your pedestal and connect your washer and dryer hoses and wires to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Step 5- Baskets and Bins
Add decorative bins or baskets under your pedestal for functional storage. These work great for hiding away dirty towels or tucking away dirty clothes that have held onto nasty odors or need stain treatment prior to the wash cycle. You could also use bins to tuck away laundry supplies such as a garment bag, detergent jugs, and more.
NOTE: Drawers can always be built into the pedestal as well, but I like being able to move the baskets out of the way to easily clean underneath the appliances.
Step 6 - Enjoy Laundry for Once!
Enjoy the experience of doing laundry without the constant bending over and accompanying back pains.
Time: 24 hours (including paint/stain dry time) || Cost: $70 (not including power tools)