Okay long story short, a couple years ago I decided to buy a new front load washing machine to replace my old top loader. The delivery guys immediately told me, just by looking at the back door entrance, it wouldn't fit. I desperately tried to remove the door frame to no avail. Might've even damaged it, as the back door won't even open.. anyway I was at it for 15 minutes before they got impatient and said they had to leave. I ended up telling them to come around front and leave it in the kitchen, where it's been sitting for the past two years.

I'm really not sure what to do with it, it's been an eyesore to say the least. I was thinking would it be possible to disassemble it in the kitchen take all the parts downstairs and reassemble it in the laundry room? What are my options here? What would you do? Thanks in advance.

Just for context: I live in a row home in a big city built back in the 40s, apparently all these house have narrow back doors.

Front door: 35.5"

Washer in box: 28.5"

Doorway to basement: 25.75"

Laundryroom door: 29"

Back door: 27"

Back door frame: 30"

  • 6
    ...and what about washer out of box measurements??? Likewise, which doors does it actually need to go through? you mention the back door, but the you seem to want it in the basement with an even smaller door, but the laundry room door is larger. Also, you should fix, or get someone to fix, the back door as it's a fire safety concern not to be able to open that and leave.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 13:49
  • It might be easier to move the plumbing than the washer. What are the dimensions of the washer? front to back, side to side, top to bottom. The washer will need to fit though the smallest door opening
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 13:49
  • 1
    I have a washer in a small-door laundry room which requires taking the doorframe off the studs, and a small notch in one stud to clear the hose connections that stick out. Done patiently, rather than in a panic, it's not hard, and does add a few inches.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 13:57
  • 1
    Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 14:07
  • 1
    @Ecnerwal's point is good. Round here washers are 60cm, but over 70cm in the box (the latter similar to yours). Most of our doors open to about 70cm but not all, and not all can be unhung easily. I had to unpack the machine at my last house in the front garden, and carry it through the house, because the front door was too narrow for the box. To carry it without adding to the width with my arms, I put 2 slack straps round it vertically, and a cut-down broom handle through those as a handle.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 16:08

4 Answers 4


I specialize in old houses, and this is quite a common problem.

Here are your options, in order from easy to hard:

  1. Remove the back door frame. Easy and cheap, and you need to do it anyway to repair the damage you might have done. The drawback is that you'll have to remove it again when it's time to replace the appliance.
  2. Install a larger door. This is a permanent solution, but you'd have to pay someone to do it (I assume you don't know how to do it, as you've lived for 2 years with a broken door).
  3. Break through existing walls. This requires removing drywall, removing studs, and rebuilding everything back. Costs more than getting a new washer for sure.
  4. Disassembling the washer is not an option.

Not an answer to your question, but what I'd do is sell the washer and buy a new one that fits. It's not even close to the worst building-related error I've made, and sometimes one just needs to admit to the mistake and bite the bullet.

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    I agree, I think dismantling the washer is not a good option, and it may not reduce in size to fit anyway. Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 12:21

You're unlikely to be able to shrink it by disassembling it. Generally if you took the back off and dismantled it, you'd still be left with a full-size housing. To shrink that you'd need to unbend and rebend the metal.

This assumes non-destructive disassembly is even possible. I've seen wiring looms that were clearly routed through appliance frames before their connectors were fitted, and you'd have to drill out rivets on the housing on many appliances.

However, sometimes just removing the top, door, and hoses will make a machine shallower (front to back) than its initial width, soyou could do that amd fit through a doorway sideways.


Normally, we're expected to measure paths and make delivery plans before ordering, to avoid this problem.

At this point I think your options are to build an upstairs laundry closet, or to sell this unit as used and buy one you can maneuver to where you want it,, or to do whatever disassembly and rebuilding of the house needed to get it to the basement. I am presuming disassembling and reassembling the machine is not an option; I wouldn't attempt it.

Of those three, the last would be my least preferred choice; remember that you will face the same challenge when it comes time to replace this unit unless you resort to taking it out in pieces


Inside the top will probably be a slab of concrete bolted on. If you remove this the washing machine will be lighter, easier to try inserting through different spaces.

  • 2
    I am confused, slab of concrete in a washer ? Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 12:19
  • Have a look inside a front loading washing machine. The concrete is to stabilise it during the spin cycle. Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 7:04
  • @RohitGupta most machines use concrete weights to reduce vibration. Some expensive ones use cast iron. A slab in the top isn't what I'm familiar with in front loaders; I've seen 2 curved pieces, one either side of the drum.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 16:53

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