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Background

1940s home has a stackable washer/dryer combo unit installed over the crawl space access door. I want to replace the unit with a new combo such that:

  • The crawl space door is readily accessible.
  • The washer can be rolled out of the closet.
  • The hardwood floors won't be damaged, dented, or dinged.
  • The washer can be locked in place.
  • When on, neither the washer nor dryer will walk or make additional vibrations.

Problem

The clearance is small, with two shut-off valves limiting the amount of working space. (The valves can be replaced with smaller ones, saving an inch or two of space.) Here's the current setup:

Existing Setup

The new washer and dryer will fit, snugly.

Here's the proposed setup, where the circles to the left of the dryer represent the shut-off valves:

Proposed Setup

The washer would sit on a dolly with rubber casters sufficiently strong to support the load.

Questions

I am wondering:

  • Would this setup work to meet the stated goals, if not how can it be revised to do so?
  • How would you lock the washer unit in place so that it doesn't walk or vibrate when on?

I'm assuming that the platform can be securely bolted to multiple studs in the closet at multiple points on the two available walls. (Adding a metal shelf on the left-hand wall that extend to the platform to provide additional steadiness is possible, too.)

  • Can you not build (cut) a new crawlspace access point in a closet somewhere? That would be a lot less complicated. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jan 26 '17 at 0:51
  • I've considered it, but there are many unknowns when cutting through the floor -- the house was built in the 1940s, so there are many aspects that might not be to code. Pipes, wires, you name it. Also, the crawl space height varies from 2 feet to 5 feet. Open a hole at the wrong spot and the new access point becomes just as inconvenient as the current spot, if not unusable. – Dave Jarvis Jan 26 '17 at 3:21
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    As long as you've considered it... FWIW, I've had some crawl space acess spots where 2' would be considered pure luxury. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jan 26 '17 at 3:31
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    If you went with a front loading washer, could you put everything on a raised pedestal? – StrongBad Sep 7 '17 at 15:38
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Why not put the entire unit on 300lb casters with locks? You could also use a chain locking system, like an earthquake strap. Long enough hoses and ducting, or easy to detach hoses and ducting, and you can roll it right out of the way.

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For completeness, I decided that the casters were far too complicated and opted for a simple metal table design. This allows the washer to be rolled out on a dolly that is friendly to hardwood floors. The hatch to the crawlspace needed to be cut to account for table legs and the dryer had about an inch of clearance. The box for the face cloths and hand towels is supported by neodymium magnets.

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