You will need to file for permits with the Department of Buildings when adding a washer dryer to an apartment in NYC. This work will also be reviewed by the building management company and Co-Op or Condo Board. The construction must be performed by a licensed plumber and general contractor. You will need an architect to produce plans and file an application with the DOB.
Building Management Approval for Adding Laundry
If you live in a multifamily building whether a Condo or Co-Op you will need approval from the Board and or management company to add a Laundry Machine to your apartment. Some buildings forbid laundry machines inside the individual apartments, but many allow them. You should talk to your building manager and read your building’s alteration agreement to see if they have a stance on the issue.
Permits For Adding a Washer Dryer to an Apartment in NYC
If you are adding a Washer and dryer in your NYC apartment you will need to file for permits, which is filed by an architect. All work must be properly permitted and performed by licensed and insured contractors.
Exhaust for Dryers
Gas dryers require an exhaust vent to the outside of the building. The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued Building Bulletin 2009-005 to clarify that electric ductless clothes dryers are exempt from having exhaust vents to the outside.
In most cases when you are adding a washer dryer to an apartment in NYC you are going to put an electric ventless dryer because you will very likely have difficulty adding an exhaust vent and in many cases the building management may object to it.
Construction Requirements for Adding a Washer Dryer
Sanitary and Plumbing Hookups
In order to add a washing machine to your apartment you will need to connect the sanitary and plumbing hookups. The machine needs a water supply and a waste water line (or sanitary line). You will need to connect to existing plumbing risers or use existing branch piping if code compliant. Usually you will add the laundry to a space near a bathroom or kitchen to have the plumbing access. This work will require a plumbing permit.
Electrical Requirements for Laundry
The Washer and Dryer will need electrical supply. Adding the electrical outlets will require an electrical permit. The Electrician must verify if the electrical panel can support the additional load. The electrician should provide an electrical load letter with their determination. New breakers may be needed, an electrical panel upgrade could also be necessary. In some cases the apartment may not have sufficient Amps to support the new equipment. It is important to figure this out before starting the work and purchasing the washing and drying machines. Only trust licensed and qualified professionals.
Waterproofing The Washing Machine
There are different methods to waterproof and sometimes certain buildings may have preferred methods. The following options can be used to waterproof a washer dryer and for best result provide all at the same time.
- Waterproof membrane underneath the finish floor. This will go up the walls at the laundry location a minimum of 6″ high.
- Provide a Waterproof Pan for the Laundry Machine to sit in.
- Water Detector With Automatic Shut Off
Laundry machines can make noise and cause vibrations in the floor. There are many methods to soundproof including underlayment’s in your floors, if you are installing new floors at the same time. You should also install the machines on sound isolating pads as this will absorb vibrations.
Most apartments in NYC are subject to Accessibility requirements for people with disabilities. The installation of the new laundry machines must comply with accessibility requirements in all apartments that are not exempt of such requirements.
Adding Laundry to an Apartment
As an architect I study the process of renovations closely. NYC regulations are complicated and quite involved. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic issues with regards to Adding a Washer Dryer to an apartment in NYC. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Adding a Washer Dryer to an NYC Apartment.
I hope this was helpful. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.