Using a Dumbwaiter to Increase the Accessibility of Your Home

It can often be very hard to carry items between floors. This is a task that can be hard for seniors, but really it is something that affects most people. To help make it easier to transport items around a home or multistory building, a dumbwaiter can be used.

If you were in an office building and you had to bring a box upstairs, you would use the elevator. Not only is it much easier to do this, it is also a lot safer, because when you are carrying something up the stairs, you are actively increasing the risk of a fall. Most homes don’t have an elevator, so it becomes necessary to carry items up the stairs again. That is unless, of course, you own a dumbwaiter.

Dumbwaiters are in some regards like elevators. Both of these devices can be used to make moving things between floors much easier. However, for residential settings, they take up much less space and typically require much less modification to the home. Also, unlike elevators, dumbwaiters are also not used to transport people; instead they are only used for inanimate objects, like groceries.

The electric dumbwaiter is the most common type of dumbwaiter used today, but some people still use manual lifting aids. While the style has changed, the idea behind a manual dumbwaiter is actually thousands of years old. The electric dumbwaiter is much newer though, with the first electric dumbwaiters being developed towards the end of the eighteen-hundreds. The modern dumbwaiter borrows from this rich heritage, but brings improved technology and safety features.

The easiest way to install a dumbwaiter is to do it as the home is being constructed. This way the space required can be used most efficiently. Many developers like to add them to help increase value and interest in their homes.

These lifts can also be added to an existing home though. Finding a place for the shaft is usually the first consideration. The shaft is the vertical space between floors in which the dumbwaiter will be raised and lowered. For most homes, a space of about four square feet is required. This is because a standard dumbwaiter car is usually around two feet wide and two feet deep. There are upgraded dumbwaiters available that are much bigger.

Once a space for the shaft has been set away, the rest of the installation can be rather straightforward if you purchase the right dumbwaiter kit. Some do-it-yourself kits are available that strive to make the installation as simple as possible. For instance, the car, drive system, and much of the wiring will often times come pre-installed on a small piece of the track. This small length of track can then be installed at the top of the lift, so in one step, the car, drive system, and many other components are installed.

The electric dumbwaiter is by far the most popular type of platform lifting aid used in homes today. It offers convenience, but it can also reduce the risk of a fall, because there is no need to carry items up the stairs.