Over the past few years more and more people have discovered the wonders of a residential dumbwaiter. Dumbwaiters are similar to elevators except that they are much smaller and are made to carry materials rather than people. Dumbwaiters have been in use for many hundreds of years and have countless commercial applications. They are commonly found in hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and office buildings. Up until recently they were usually found only in larger homes because of their cost. The price has dropped dramatically, however, and many Americans have taken advantage of this price drop in order to take advantage of the many practical uses associated with dumbwaiters.
Dumbwaiters have many uses, but they are most commonly used to transport groceries to the kitchen, send the dinner upstairs, and to transport laundry and bedding to and from the laundry room. Typically residential dumbwaiters can support 50 to 150 pounds, but it is better to go with a model that will carry at least 100 pounds. 50 pounds may sound like a lot, but it is not as heavy as it sounds.
While it is easier to build the dumbwaiter into a house when it is being constructed, most units are made to easily be installed in existing homes. If you decide to install a dumbwaiter it is important to consider the buildings existing structure. It usually does not present a problem, but it is important to ensure that there is room for a straight shaft between floors. The motor used in most residential dumbwaiters is small enough that it is rarely necessary to cut into the attic to install the dumbwaiter. People often install the dumbwaiters in closets or at the end of a hallway because there is usually enough space for the shaft in these locations and it can be installed rather painlessly. Dumbwaiters can be configured with a variety of door arrangements, so it is possible to have the dumbwaiter open on different sides on each floor.
It is possible for a competent handyman to install a dumbwaiter system, but it takes a good deal of technical know-how. Most dealers have certified installers that can quickly and inexpensively install your dumbwaiter, which for many is the best way to do it. If you do decide to install the dumbwaiter yourself, than ensure that you have completely read and understand the instructions that come with your dumbwaiter. Do not feel rushed either, because it is much better to take your time and do it right the first time. Electric dumbwaiters travel along a track which will need to be secured to the studs and must not be secured to only drywall. A good set of tools will be needed that includes a power drill, circular saw, drywall saw, socket set, and measuring tape.
Once you have installed your dumbwaiter it will provide many years of service, but ensure that you follow all manufacturers’ service and maintenance recommendations. Dumbwaiters provide a very valuable service in millions of homes across the United States. They are responsible for reducing the workload and strain that can come from lugging clothes, food, and household materials between floors and are responsible for adding resell value to your home.