Having a washer and dryer in your condo is a huge benefit. No one likes to worry about getting their laundry out of the way of other residents, and having to make sure your things don't get mingled with your neighbors.
But many older condos or condo conversions were never designed with the idea of in-unit laundry facilities in mind. While some condo associations allow this to be added, many do not and simply can't structurally accommodate the water and electrical requirements. I recently ran across this issue when a buyer of mine decided to purchase a condo in an older Seattle condo building that allowed installations, but had also put together a thoughtful policy regarding the process. I thought I would share what I learned.
First and foremost, consult your HOA (Homeowners Association) to see if it's allowed and follow their requirements. Most HOAs will want you to submit this request in writing and approve your plans. They want to make sure you are putting the proper drain line pipes and electrical outlet in the appropriate places.
Washers and Dryers are usually required to be high-efficiency units that have minimal water consumption and slow discharge rates. That's because if the condo building was not designed for a washer and dyer the HOA wants to make sure existing systems do not become overloaded. Low-sudsing detergents may also be required.
In retrofitting a location it's probable that there will not be an outside venting option. Which means you will need to a “self-venting” type of dryer that uses a condenser. Most of these units are European and the HOA may dictate which brands and models you may install. Popular ones include Asko, Miele, and Bosch.
Having easily accessible shut off values is also important in case of a malfunction or flooding. Any damage or flooding that occurs from the installation or usage of your new appliances will undoubtedly be your responsibility, so check in with your homeowners insurance representative and make sure you are adequately covered.
For more information on laundry installations in condos, check out the website of Creative Laundry Systems Inc.