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Question DetailsAsked on 12/3/2015

Is there a washer/dryer brand that can be easily disassembled and then reassembled in the basement of an old house?

We just bought a 100+ year old house with only a tiny old staircase to access the basement. The width across the staircase from foundation to beam (we've already removed the drywall) is 23.5". Currently, there is an old GE washer and gas dryer down there, that measures 25.5" across at their smallest dimensions. The washer is in not great shape and the dryer is dead. We're trying to replace them and are having the worst time ever. I started with appliances at the same dimensions, but both Lowe's and Best Buy said delivery and haul away was impossible. I ended up completely disassembling the dryer, and still had to fight to get it out. So I have absolutely no idea how it got in there.

Now I'm looking for a brand of washer/dryer that is easier to disassemble and reassemble so I can get it down there. Is this a thing? And if so, who can I hire to do this for me? Thanks for any suggestions.

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6 Answers


Here is a prior similar question with response which might help -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD



Thanks, I saw that question shortly after I posted mine. However, from what I can tell, the ultimate solution appeared to be adding a separate basement entry which would be large enough to accomodate this. Sadly, that solution won't work in my situation. The house is located in a flood zone and adding an additional entry point into the basement is a can of worms I'm not prepared to open. Plus, I'm not sure we would have the space above ground to do any kind of foundaton "bump out" sort of thing to accomodate a stairwell and door that could keep the water out. We live in an urban area and we have very little ground around the house.

I've looked into stackables, but the basement doesn't have a full height ceiling. The stackables that can be used unstacked have virtually the same dimensions as the regular units and won't get down the stairs. I've found some permanently stacked units that will fit down the stairs (in theory, since I haven't tried it), but they are too tall for my basement ceiling. So, I struck out there too.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_95700211


Hmmmm - have you contacted manufacturers and local largaer appliance dealers about your delima - with exact clearance dimension, both sideways on stairs and also height in basement ?

Other options, in no particular order -

1) enlarge a basement window to be big enough to get them in and out - presumably with a strong 2x4 and plywood platform or ramp (maybe moveable) below it for handling the units through the window.

2) build an access hatch or storm door in the basement wall - with good weather sealing.

3) put a hatch in the floor large enough to rope them down through - though don't expect an appliance sales or repair company to get involved with the actual move in that case.

4) talk to Carpenter - Framing or General Contractor about whether the beam (if you mean a floor joist rather than a BEAM) can reasonably be framed out - moved over or cut and and tied in to joists on either side to widen the stairway opening

5) install washboard and clothesline

6) install a REALLY good playlist on your iPod or good games on a tablet and start hanging out at the laundromat

7) wear only disposable clothing (start a new trend for the future !)

8) build a utility closet/room upstairs, or even in garage if heated

9) move to a tropic isle and wear only swim trunks, which you wash by swimming

10) join a nudist colony

11) rob a bank so you are sent to jail - they launder your pretty orange (or pink) jumpsuit for free

12) find a low-load area in flooring above basement, and have a floor joist cut out enough to provide vertical clearance for the small stackables - properly framing around it (like you do for skylights) to redistribute the load around the opening. Would gain you probably 6-10 inches in height.

13) get a job as the resident camp ranger or such at a park, camp, whatever - where they provide washer and dryer with the house

14) jack up house and put a new basement and stairs under it

15) move to a house with openings that fit your appliances

16) send all your clothes out to laundry/dry cleaning

OK - guess I am tapped out on ideas. But whatever you do, consider if it will improve the saleability of the house by making it reasonably easy for appliances to be moved in and out.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD



Thanks for the exhaustive list of suggestions, heh. I think you managed to cover all of your bases.

I had someone come look at the stairs yesterday and take some measurements. We've opted to go with a portable dryer for now as he was positive that would make it down there. This is not a long term solution, but we need something for now. In the long term, we're going to save up for a Speed Queen set and the cost of a repairman who will disassmble them and then reassemble them in our basement. Apparently those sets can be disassembled and reassembled without losing their manufacturer's warranty and they are built to last for like 25 years or something. So, hopefully if we put some money into this problem in the near future, we won't have to deal with it again for a very long time.

Thanks for the advice.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_95700211


Good luck - glad you found a solution - I had no idea any manufacturer would honor their warranty if the unit had been disassembled - I would presume it has to be a technician who is an approved repairman for their brand.

Hate to say I thought of one other solution last night, which was actually done on an apartment project I worked on once. Was done primarily to get new heating appliances into a basement in an 1800's building, but was sized to handle commercial sized washers and dryers and vending machines as well so they could install a laundry room down there and free up one apartment space upstairs in the process. A bump-out was built into the building, down the side and into the ground, with a dumbwaiter inside it which was heavy duty enough top handle the maximum weight of any appliance or vernding machine and also any boiler of the size the building needed - was built to handle 500# as I recall. Would take about a 4x4' footprint to do that for your case, plus of course a penetration through the foundation wall, so basically the same process as building a door out of the basement but without the need for steps. Would, in most code areas, have to be built with fire resistant doors and drywall lining to prevent it being a fire access point between levels.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


I just bought a 1910 home and the previous owner cut a hole in the hardwood floor in the living room between the joists. It’s 29” x 29 1/2“ he then lowered the machines through this and replaced the floor and neatly added a trim piece so you can pop it in and out for future replacement.

Answered 2 years ago by jnelson

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