One of the favorite features of the Katahdin Cedar Log Homes mill tour is owner David Gordon’s own home—and his home’s dumbwaiter. Gordon uses his to transport firewood from his basement up to the main floor. Wouldn’t you love to include one in your new log home? Here are some tips on where to start.

What is a Dumbwaiter?
This mechanical addition is a means to transport small items between floors in a home or building. Originally used to transport food and dirty dishes in Victorian-era homes, dumbwaiters now offer a nifty way to save steps and do the heavy lifting. Classified as a small service elevator, dumbwaiters are a great timesaving addition to any multiple-level home.

What Can Be Transported in a Dumbwaiter?
Just about anything that doesn’t exceed the weight load limit and size of the interior. Many homeowners use a dumbwaiter for:

  • Laundry
  • Groceries
  • Firewood
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Sports equipment
  • Pet food bags

Where Should the Dumbwaiter be Located?
Consider what your primary uses will be and pick a location that’s central to those activities. For example, a dumbwaiter for firewood should be located near the fireplace or woodstove. If laundry is the primary use, center one access point near the bedrooms and another access point near the laundry area. If your home is two levels with a basement, centering the dumbwaiter accessway passing through upstairs bedroom hallway, kitchen and basement laundry makes the best use of this assistance. Another great idea is situating a dumbwaiter in a lower level garage connecting to an upstairs accessory apartment for the in-laws.

What Kinds of Dumbwaiters are Available?
One company, offers four different residential dumbwaiter models with load capacities of between 150 and 300 pounds. The dumbwaiters are priced based on number of “stops” or floors serviced. The lifting assembly comes in stackable sections that are installed within a framed-out sheetrock lined shaft built to specifications.

AmeriGlide also offers a selection of residential dumbwaiters with their Express Plus Line. This company provides design drawings, including wiring and installation.

If you would like to include a dumbwaiter in your Katahdin Cedar Log Home design, alert your dealer and design team so they can include space in the plans.