Adding Washer Dryer to an Apartment NYC

by | Last updated Jul 14, 2020 | Published on Apr 29, 2019 | Apartment Renovations

Adding a washer dryer to an apartment in NYC will require permits and building management approval.


Adding A Washer Dryer to An Apartment in NYC

  • Building Management Approval
  • Permits for Adding a Washer Dryer
  • Construction Requirements
  • Accessibility 


Building Management Approval for Adding Laundry 

If you live in a multifamily building whether a Condo or Co-Op you will need approval from the Board and or management company to add a Laundry Machine to your apartment. Some buildings forbid laundry machines inside the individual apartments but many allow them. You should talk to your building manager and read your building’s alteration agreement to see if they have a stance on the issue.


Permits For Adding a Washer Dryer to an Apartment in NYC

If you are adding a Washer and dryer in your NYC apartment you will need to file for permits. This will require an Alteration Type 2 application, which is filed by an architect. All work must be properly permitted and performed by licensed and insured contractors.

Exhaust for Dryers

Gas dryers require an exhaust vent to the outside of the building. The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued Building Bulletin 2009-005 to clarify that only electric ductless clothes dryers are exempt from having exhaust vents to the outside.


Construction Requirements for Adding a Washer Dryer

  • Plumbing and Sanitary Hook Ups
  • Electrical 
  • Waterproofing

Sanitary and Plumbing Hookups

In order to add a washing machine to your apartment you will need to connect the sanitary and plumbing hookups. The machine needs a water supply and a waste water line (or sanitary line). You will need to connect to existing plumbing risers or use existing branch piping if code compliant. Usually you will add the laundry to a space near a bathroom or kitchen sink to have the plumbing access. This work will require a plumbing permit.

Electrical Requirements for Laundry

The Washer and Dryer will need electrical supply. Adding the electrical outlets will require an electrical permit. The Electrician must verify if the electrical panel can support the additional load. The electrician should provide an electrical load letter. New breakers may be needed, an electrical panel upgrade could also be necessary. In some cases the apartment may not have a sufficient number of Amps to support the new equipment. It is important to figure this out before starting the work and purchasing the equipment. Only trust licensed and qualified professionals.

Waterproofing The Washing Machine

There are different methods to waterproof and sometimes buildings have preferred methods. The following can be used and for best result provide all at the same time.

  • Waterproof membrane underneath the finish floor this will go up the walls at the laundry location a minimum of 6″ high.
  • Provide a Waterproof Pan for the Laundry Machine to sit in. 
  • Water Detector With Automatic Shut Off



Most apartments in NYC are subject to Accessibility requirements for people with disabilities. The installation of the new laundry machines must comply with accessibility requirements in all apartments that are not exempt of such requirements.


Adding Laundry to an Apartment

As an architect I study the process of renovations closely. NYC regulations are complicated and quite involved. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic issues with regards to Adding a Washer Dryer to an apartment in NYC. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Adding a Washer Dryer to an NYC Apartment.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact us directly.


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Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.

  • Samantha Pillsbury says:

    Hi Jorge, thank you so much for the informative article. I’m in the process of trying to get a W/D addition approved by my board. We are getting stuck on the topic of installing the drain for a catchment pan underneath the unit. (We’ve already established how to hook up machines to plumbing and with the inclusion of an automatic flood stop shutoff.)

    In your experience, what’s the best way to install that drain without disturbing the structural slab or downstairs neighbor?

  • CG says:

    Hi- I was inquiring about the rules/regs for adding a gas dryer to a NYC apt?
    Are there restrictions regarding adding one to a bathroom?

    • Your building may not allow gas dryers. Aside from what the building regulations are, the physical requirements of a gas dryer may be difficult to achieve in an existing apartment. People normally add non-vented electric dryers.

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