A mudroom is a transitional space between the great outdoors and your pristine hardwood floors. Most families use mudrooms as an informal or secondary entryway, saving the formal foyer for guests. You can think of a mudroom as a catch-all where you hang your coats, store your bags and (as the name implies) kick off your muddy boots.
Once excluded from new builds in favor of open floor plans, mudrooms are increasing in popularity again as homeowners want additional space to store their stuff. It also confines the mess of dirty shoes, dripping umbrellas and sweaty sports equipment to one area. Depending on the size of the space, it may also function as a sitting area or laundry room.
Here are some of the primary considerations for a mudroom:
Almost every house has the “front” door that’s mostly for show and some other door that acts as a main entrance. Your mudroom should be as close to one of those secondary entrances as possible. Depending on the layout, many mudrooms sit adjacent to doors that lead in from the garage or backyard.
A Place to Sit
Adding bench seating or even an accent chair will encourage household members and guests to slow down and take their shoes off.
Mudrooms often have wall-to-wall storage of all kinds: bins, baskets, hooks, cubbies, cabinets and more. Popular trends include cabinetry, bookshelves, and storage benches. You can customize cubbies to accommodate sports gear, outdoor toys, or gardening tools.
“Mud” is quite literally the name of the game, so expect this space to get dirty. Most mudrooms have stain-resistant paint or paneling and easy-to-clean flooring like tile or vinyl. You’ll want to stay away from materials that aren’t water-resistant, like carpet and hardwood.
Many mudrooms double as laundry rooms. Soiled clothes can go directly into the washer or hamper without having to be tracked through the rest of the house.
These days, the first thing many of us do when we enter the house is wash our hands. A utility sink — and perhaps some extra counter space — can make a great handwashing station just inside the door. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you may consider adding a full shower or foot washing station in your mudroom.
Pet owners often use the space to store pet food, toys and other items. If your pup likes to play in the mud, too, a dog washing station might be a useful addition.
Can You Add a Mudroom to a House That Doesn’t Have One?
You actually have several options here! You can either convert an existing room or closet space, change your home’s layout, or add a mudroom with an addition. You may be able to build out into an existing space, like a climate-controlled porch or attached garage.
Maybe you aren’t too keen on knocking down or adding any walls just to create a space for your grubby gear. You can set up a sort of mudroom-lite in a hallway, coat closet or a corner of your kitchen. Add elements like a hall tree, wall hooks, storage bench or shoe rack for all the same function without taking up as much space.
Do Mudrooms Boost Home Value?
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, mudrooms have been gaining popularity among buyers in recent years. Realtor.com includes mudrooms on its list of most profitable features for sellers who want to close quickly.
Adding a mudroom to your home could cost as much as $12,000 — depending on the materials you choose and how much construction needs to be done. However, you may see a solid return on investment with this project, according to Fixr. The functional space is popular among homebuyers with busy families. And whenever you add useable square footage, the value of your home increases.