You've found yourself doing bigger and bigger loads of laundry. The old washer and dryer just aren't spinning like they when new. You visit your friendly neighborhood appliance specialist at the local THD and walk away expecting delivery of that new front loading pair. You might be like the one couple I overheard the other day in the store I was visiting. They wanted the bigger, better washer and dryer, but that meant they couldn't fit the cost of the pedestals into their budget.
Here is the solution:
Simple construction consisting of some 4x4 posts, 2x4 frames and skinned with 3/4 MDF. If you don't want to notch the posts, you can secure them to the top platform with some angle brackets and pocket hole screws. You can fancy it up with a nice coat of oil-based paint and some molding around the top and bottom of the platforms and posts. Add some laundry baskets or use the space for storing laundry detergent, fabric softner and the like.
Paul has an excellent idea, however in California the building code requires a dryer be at least 18 inch off the floor when placed in a garage. Thus your platform must be at least 18 inches high.
For some users of the laundry, this may be too high for the safe use of the machines, thus an additional platform for the operators would be necessary.
Also the machines should be properly anchored to the platform to prevent movement during an earthquake.
The height of the platform may also require the replacement of the dryer's gas line with a longer one and the relocation of the dryer vent.
I would suggest anyone who likes Pauls' idea to check with your local building department before constructing your platform.
Now I'm curious, do they sell different pedestals in California than the rest of the country?
As for the gas line, power cords and venting, these may have to change regardless of using a pedestal or not, if you're completely changing the models of your washer and dryer. Your local THD Appliance and Plumbing departments will have the necessary parts and pieces to accommodate any of these changes. Locking them in place can be done with a bit of ingenuity and some angle brackets and mending plates.
Since you build the pedestal yourself, you can modify it to suit your needs. You may also want to make the base platforms big enough to place a Washer Floor Tray.
The pedestals sold in California are the same as those sold in other states. But do to the code requirements Home Depot can no longer install dryers in customers garages, if the pedestal does not bring the dryer up to the 18 inch requirement.
Interesting... What is it about garages that makes the 18" standard a requirement? Does the same hold true if it is placed inside, say in a utility room, or basement?
It would seem to be more of a falling hazard in an earthquake the taller the unit is.
The requirement has to do with gasoline fumes emitted from cars parked in the garage. Since gasoline fumes are heavier than air they settle near the floor.
Having a combustion source such as a dryer 18 inches above the floor level is supposed to prevent any possible ignition of the gasoline fumes.
It sounds a little far fetched to me, but that is the law.
Great idea for DIY pedestals.
Here in Illinois, the installation of appliances in garages are also treated differently than in basements or utility rooms.
The issue is indeed the combustible fumes inherent in areas used to store gasoline and the equipment that uses it. While I have not researched it this morning, my understanding is that a natural gas furnace, water heater or clothes dryer would have to be elevated if installed in a garage. Here it is not 18" though. What I commonly see is a concrete pad about 4"-6" high poured to accommodate the size of the appliance, (usually a home furnace set up to heat the garage). In addition, some attached garages are built with a stairway leading down to the home's basement. In that case, you should see a 4"-6" pad poured at the stairway, (or along its wall), to prevent fumes from traveling down the stairs and creating havoc in the basement. This makes the area that cars and lawn equipment are parked lower than the stair entrance so you step up before you walk down to the basement.
Is 18" too much or 4" too little? I don't know. Maybe that's why you see gas furnaces specifically made to heat a garage or airplane hanger as wall mounts high up near the ceiling. That's the concept though. I thought it was universal but then again California can be an exception, (issue leader and innovator?), in many ways...
As a side note, modern gas water heaters have a safety system installed to prevent igniting flammable vapors should they be present near the heater. There are different types by brand, but all do the same thing, shutting down the water heater when the ignited vapors are detected. While the old style of heaters have the burners down low and intake air coming up through the very bottom of the unit which stands on short legs, new models have higher intakes and burners with controlled airflow. Coincidence? I am not aware of any similar device for either furnaces or gas clothes dryers though.
Seems to me that flammable vapors created by the use of many common adhesives, solvents and glues could be just as big a danger in a basement as in a garage. Gasoline vapors in a garage are common, even expected though so maybe that's why the safety rules and regulations started there first.
Just my 2¢.