dumbwaiter for food shown, the SpaceLift attic storage lift is like a dumbwaiter for your attic

It has a funny name. But the dumbwaiter represents an important invention of convenience for homes and businesses. There are actually two types of dumbwaiters of different configuration but similar purpose. Both take their name from the same attribute.

Have you ever wondered how dumbwaiters got their unique name? Tracing its exact origin is difficult. But the concept is widely agreed upon. “The small car performed services in restaurants, allowing the noise and odor of cooking to be isolated from the patrons. No doubt, this was where the silent servant earned the name ‘dumb waiter’! The mini-lift may have been silent but it did not remain dumb,” from the Elevator Museum website.

First the dumbwaiter acted as a silent, inanimate cart acting as a stand-in for an actual member of staff. These days we just call those kitchen or serving carts. Nowadays, we associate dumbwaiter with a mini freight elevator. Dumbwaiters today carry food still in restaurants and upscale homes. You’ll find them in factories and shops moving storage items, dry goods and valuables. One even carries automobiles. And now there’s a dumbwaiter you can install in your home to lift storage items in and out of your home or garage attic.

Dumbwaiter History to Present

Thomas Jefferson used the “silent cart” kind of dumbwaiter during his presidency. He favored them for both his Virginia home and the White House. “These ‘dumbwaiters’ were small tables, equipped with shelves placed at varying heights. Some might hold salads and wine; others would accommodate cutlery and serving utensils. Servants brought in hot food, but did not remain in the room during the meal. Conversation could flow freely, without the possibility that workers might overhear sensitive information and repeat it outside the White House,” from White House History website.

In America, the first elevator type dumbwaiter was hand powered. It used a lifting mechanism comprised of pulleys and weights. According to the United States Patent Office, inventor George W. Cannon of New York City was first. He applied for a unique brake system patent for a dumbwaiter elevator in 1883. Four years later he applied for the patent on a mechanical lifting dumbwaiter. Patents for dumbwaiters are still issued today. Two U.S. patents protect the SpaceLift™ attic lift. It is a dumbwaiter for moving storage items between floors in homes and businesses. It uses electrical power and computer controls. But the basic purpose is still the same.

Dumbwaiter for Items, Not People

As a silent waiter, food and drinks are to this day whisked from kitchen to floors above. They save the manual labor of climbing stairs to deliver the goods. Dumbwaiters provide a simple, space-efficient alternative to carrying items between floors. Unlike elevators, “distinguishing the dumbwaiter was its inability to handle a passenger – no control ever existed in the car,” from the Elevator Museum website.

The White House now has a series of dumbwaiters. They connect the kitchen to various dining rooms. A dumbwaiter connecting the main kitchen to a smaller kitchen in the residence was featured in the 2013 movie “Whitehouse Down.” The president escaped bad guys by shimmying down the dumbwaiter shaft hidden inside the walls.

Dumbwaiter for More Than Food

Dumbwaiters move more than food. Banks use dumbwaiters to move currency, gold bars and valuables securely between floors. Retail stores of all sorts use dumbwaiters to move goods between storage and the sales floor. People install lifts in their homes for transport of food, yes, but also storage, laundry and more.

One SpaceLift attic lift customer uses our dumbwaiter in its model rocketry store. “We usually try to be careful not to reveal any ‘trade secrets,’ but here is an exception,” says the owner of Jon Rocket. “Our office is located in a loft. So, we are often moving products and packages up and down between floors. A few years ago we installed an “attic lift” from Spacelift which works like an elevator or powered dumbwaiter. Not only does it make it easier and quicker to move things between the floors, it makes it much safer than trying to carry things while going up or down stairs.”

Another SpaceLift attic lift customer uses our dumbwaiter in its commercial kitchen. Connie Sun at Tiny Drumsticks says, “We’re so delighted with your Spacelift! The lift has allowed us to provide a machine that has made our tenant’s lives easier. They’re happy, so we’re even happier. Not only does the lift work well, your customer service is even better! Incredibly friendly and very accommodating staff. We sincerely appreciate and rarely come across better service! Thank you so much!”

Dumbwaiter for Your Home?

Another customer installed his dumbwaiter to move a hot water heater into his attic when the old one didn’t work. Another stores a large portable table saw in his attic. Little used but valuable, it is impossible to haul up a ladder. Other customers move a whole artificial Christmas tree in and out of attic storage. Read more on the Testimonials Page.

Storage lifts are an increasingly popular type of dumbwaiter for home use. Having easier access to storage helps you claim more storage space thereby reducing clutter in your living space. Storage lifts are like mini freight elevators. They make it easy to carry storage items between floors in homes and garages. Rather than trying to carry boxes and storage containers up the attic stairs, a dumbwaiter like the SpaceLift attic lift carries the heavy load up and down with an electric motor.

A smart dumbwaiter, the SpaceLift has computer controls for safety features like object detection that automatically stops the lift if it encounters any obstruction. Smart weight detection stops the attic lift from operating if it exceeds the 200-pound weight limit. You can see a video of it in action on our website.

Dumbwaiter for Cars?

Today dumbwaiters serve commercial kitchens, restaurants, hotels, nursing homes, schools, retail establishments and private homes. The automobile vending machine introduced in March 2018 by Alibaba and Ford in Guangzhou, China relies upon a dumbwaiter, albeit a rather sophisticated one. Carvana now sells used cars online. They can deliver, or if you live near one, you can use their car vending machines.

Still silent servants, dumbwaiters are getting smarter all the time.

Increasing your home value is usually a key consideration when choosing home improvements. Some rennovations can also help your home sell more quickly when the time comes. However you should also think about how a renovation can improve your life. Think how a remodel will improve your comfort, convenience and joy. These additions improve your overall quality of life without breaking the bank. We built our list around the average U.S. income tax refund, which in 2021 was $2,983 according to the IRS.

Bathrooms remodels are best home improvements

According to real estate database company Zillow, a mid-range bathroom remodel costs around $3,000. And they say it is one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home. Upgrades can return $1.71 in home value for every $1 spent. For example, are your toilet and faucets dated? New light fixtures make a dramatic difference. Switch to a pedestal sink or stone countertop with double sinks. Upgrading to a frameless shower costs between $1,200 and $2,500. But it resulted in overall sold value increase of five percent above expected value. Plus, it led to a sale 38 days sooner, according to Zillow keyword research.

The life-changing value of a nicer bathroom goes unsaid. Even so, there are simple amenities worth considering. For example, a multi-function shower head costs very little. Think about next winter with heated towel bars. Or maybe dream of a heated floor. This is the most expensive of the home improvements recommended here. But how much time do you spend in your bathroom?

Kitchen updates range from simple to complex

Kitchens are one of the more critical selling features in homes these days. Plus, they have become the center of family activity. This makes them a major decorating point of difference in any house. A dated kitchen can be a home sale downer. Fortunately, you can give your kitchen a trendy makeover for not much money. Resurfacing cabinets is a job you can hire or do yourself. Or, just changing out the hardware makes a big difference. Adding subway tile or redoing the backsplash updates the look in a weekend. Often a good cleaning and a no-hands faucet make your sink like new.

Depending upon the size of your kitchen, these home improvements fit within our tax deduction investment. For life value you’ll soon appreciate how much time you spend in your kitchen when you update its look. How did we live with that old faucet all these years?

Fung shui your closet

Is your closet a nightmare? Do you constantly have to reorganize so you can fit all your clothes inside? A closet makeover might be the right step for you! We use our closets daily. That much traffic trying to choose outfits can cause chaos. Simple fixes abound. Start by organizing. Most people only wear 20 percent of the items in their closet. This according to a California Closets designer. You’ll love him in this Wall Street Journal article, “A Closet Filled with Regrets.” There are simple solutions. Install shelving to organize smaller items. A dedicated shoe rack minimizes time spent hunting for a matching pair. Organizers range from simple inserts you buy and install yourself to custom closets with built-ins galore. Closet remodels run from $1,000 to $3,000 for materials and installation, according to Home and Garden TV.

Number and size of closets are a big determining factor for your home value. Imagine a potential homebuyer looking into your closet. You also get immediate life value too. Mornings are stressful enough; having an organized closet is one way to start your day on a positive note. It’s one of our favorite home improvements.

Better Yet, “Clone” Your Closet

There’s also a cool idea to “Clone Your Closet“. It uses a SpaceLift attic storage lift and portable wardrobe. First, load portable wardrobe with off-season clothes. Second, load the whole wardrobe, standing up, on the SpaceLift platform. Third, push a button and the SpaceLift whisks the whole wardrobe up into your attic. Finally, roll off the lift and onto your attic floor.

Upgrade home and garage attic storage

Most of us face a conundrum: do we have too much stuff or not enough space? Reducing clutter is a goal for many homeowners. Being better organized creates more living space. Of course, your home shows better to prospective buyers if it is neat and orderly. Improving storage space in your home or garage attic is a fairly inexpensive option. Especially compared to others on our list of home improvements. Consider that it is a permanent enhancement. Plus, it costs far less cost than hauling your stuff to a storage facility and paying a monthly fee. Also, because home storage is more convenient, you’re likely to use it more too. (Here’s a blog post “Do the Self Storage Math.”)

If you don’t have one, you’ll need a floor. An attic flooring system can range from simple plywood to finished floors. There’s also an attic decking solution, Attic Deck by Metro Products. Snap-in panels are lightweight. They come in widths to match most attic floor joists. You can buy them direct or at Amazon, Home Depot, etc.

Next, easy attic access is key. Carrying storage bins, boxes, Christmas and Halloween decorations, et cetera up and down the attic ladder or stairs is a pain, even dangerous.

Attic Lifts make storage home improvements easy

These motorized platforms carry storage items between floors. SpaceLift Products makes a lift with computer controlled smart safety features. It has no restriction on how high you can stack items. Plus its low profile base makes loading and unloading easy. It carries up to 200 pounds and 24 cubic feet of cargo per trip. Transferring items to the attic and back down takes the push of a button. It travels smoothly at three inches per second.

SpaceLift attic lifts fit between attic floor joists. Installation is easy requiring basic carpentry skills. Many are DIY projects. Alternately, you can pay a bit more for installation. Most any handyman or remodeling contractor can do it. SpaceLift makes two models selling for $1,895 and $1,995. This includes free shipping and a two-year factory warranty. For prospective homebuyers, an attic lift is a unique solution to a vexing problem. You should also know it makes your home stand out from the crowd. And for adding value to your life? New York Times Bestselling Author Marie Kondo titled her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” ‘Nuff said?

Installing a SpaceLift attic storage lift in the attic one of the popular home improvements

Consider an outdoor fire pit

Fire pits offer different pleasures in every season. Something primordial in us all makes gathering around the fire a special pleasure. In summer months the pit is a perfect place to roast marshmallows. Eat them right off the stick. Or build lots of gooey s’mores! The fire’s warmth makes your backyard the perfect place to relax. Chase away evening chills of fall and spring. It’s a great place to hang out with a hot chocolate on a snowy winter afternoon.

Fire pits run from $40 to $5,000. At the low end, $40 gets you a simple, transportable iron bowl you sit on the ground. You can pick one up at Home Depot, Lowes or TruValue. Or go cowboy sheik with a galvanized, made-in-America Behrens tub. Drill some holes in it for air to feed your fire. At the high end, for $1,400 to $5,000 you get a professionally installed stone pit or outdoor fireplace. Feed your fire pit real wood or opt for a gas or propane fueled model.

These are among the most popular outdoor living features, according to The Spruce. It is another unique amenity that makes your home more distinctive with prospective buyers. And it offers many memorable evenings between now and when you sell the house.

Add an outdoor dining area

Having special spaces beyond the walls of your home is exotic and fun. On a beautiful day it’s easy to enjoy the weather by adding an outdoor dining area. This improvement can be as simple or complex as you desire. Your outdoor space can be a table and chairs on the lawn. Or you can build. Some outdoor spaces are like adding an extra room to your house. Dining al fresco has been a hot restaurant trend for years.

A simple 10 by 10 tent costs less than a hundred dollars. To keep out mosquitos there are all variety of popup screen houses. There are all sorts of pavers for patios. Or maybe a wooden deck is your choice. At the higher end, people are building tree houses with electricity and running water.

Backyard office in a screened tent. Come winter the tent, screen, table and chairs all go to the attic to await spring.

A popular trend is creating a seamless transition from your home to your outdoor living space. People are using indoor-appearing furniture on their outdoor patios and decks. Country Living magazine says, “indoor steps outside.” Temporary or permanent screen houses extend the evening. Space heaters extend the season. Home Depot has outdoor furniture sets starting below $500 and going up to $3,500 and more. Designer furniture stores have even more expensive options.

Of course, adding a deck or patio has always added value to your home. Now, making it an outdoor dining and living area adds value to your home and your lifestyle. (Protect your outdoor living investment. Use your attic to store lawn items during the winter. A SpaceLift attic storage lift makes it easy.)

End lawn furniture abuse! A SpaceLift attic storage lift makes it easy to whisk summer furniture into your home or garage attic. Your investment in summer gear is protected. Your summer stuff lasts longer. Your furniture will be happier.

Install a bay window

A bay window is its own magic space. The extra panels of glass create panoramic views and pour extra natural light into the room. Its distinctive architecture becomes a focal point in your home. Exotic windows add curb appeal and memorability. They boost your home’s resale value. Add a cushioned seat and the window becomes a special nook for you. Maybe its a place for your cat to luxuriate in the sun. (Some models add a bit of extra storage under the seat.) The most common rooms for this feature window are bedrooms, home offices and living rooms.

Installation and window unit costs range from $500 to more than $3,000. The range depends upon window size, materials and other factors. Estimates according to Home Advisor. It is the least expensive of the home improvements recommend. Yet it adds a wonderfully dramatic touch.








Bust clutter. Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of housework in the average home. It can reduce asthma and allergy triggers, according to The American Cleaning Institute. “For many people the conundrum is: do they have too much stuff or not enough space?” said Dave Berliner, inventor of the SpaceLift attic lift. His invention solves the problem of using your attic for storage by creating easier and safer access. Even the famed clutter buster Marie Kondo says, “The aim of storage is to give every item a home – a designated spot for it to rest and recharge when not in use.”

“Many organization gurus tell you to purge, get rid of your stuff. I disagree. It’s your stuff. There’s likely a good reason you kept it in the first place. Busting clutter may simply be a matter of moving some of your stuff out of your living space and into a convenient storage space,” Berliner said, “This is especially true for seasonal items like decorations, patio furniture, tools and toys. These items ‘spark joy’ in their season. Meanwhile, you protect your investment by keeping them safely stored. Storing them in the attic, not your living space, makes more room for you. It helps you get, and stay, organized.”

Place for Stuff

WebMD suggests 8 common clutter “hot spots” you should address.

  • 1 = There’s the entry hall dump. (Here in New England we have mud porches.)
  • 2 = Next is the overstuffed pantry. Better organization helps. Install a back-of-the-door rack.
  • 3 = Then there’s that mail pile. Usually in a public place. You plan to handle that paper. But don’t. And the paper pile seems to grow all on its own. A basket helps keep mail neat. Maybe try paperless bill pay?
  • 4 = Refrigerator door clutter? Not sure we agree with this one WebMD. It’s is your personal choice. One person’s cluttered refrigerator door is another’s treasured collection.
  • 5 = Certainly on the list is the bathroom counter. All those potions and lotions tend to spread. The Container Store has a variety of clever solutions. Organizers help you go from “sloppy to serene,” the article says.
  • 6 = Garage clutter. Did you know one-in-four homeowners say they can’t fit their car in their own garage? If you have an attic, SpaceLift attic storage lifts offer an elegant solution. A beautiful garage starts with a good storage system.
  • 7 = Junk drawer. Admittedly, some of us love our junk drawers. But it can take forever to find an AAA battery that you just know is in there! There are many excellent drawer organizers. The Spruce rates the 9 best ones.
  • 8 = Kid clutter can be a challenge. Toy boxes help. But only if you use them. This is a great opportunity to teach your children clutter busting.

Bust Clutter with Storage

“Lack of space” was cited as the biggest challenge to improving organization by 32.9 percent of consumers surveyed by NPD Group for HomeWorld Forecast Consumer Survey. “Yet most homes have lots of available storage space in attics above the house and garage. Access is generally the limiting factor,” Berliner said. “Attic ladders or pull-down stairs can be tough to negotiate. They are downright dangerous when carrying storage bins, boxes or other items. There is a risk of falling, or hurting your back, or damaging your items,” he added, “Easy attic access is the key to attic storage solutions.” (Read our blog about Ladder Safety at Home.)

Control Clutter with a SpaceLift Attic Storage Lift

Berliner’s answer was to invent an attic lift. “It is like having your own mini freight elevator to carry storage into your attic in just minutes. It’s a dumbwaiter for your stuff,” he explained.

Designed to fit between attic floor joists, installation is easy requiring basic carpentry and electrical skills. Many are installed as do-it-yourself projects, Berliner said, or the company can help with local installers. It sells directly on its website, www.SpaceLiftProducts.com. A short video on the website shows how the lift works. Prices start at $1,895 with free shipping and a two-year factory warranty. SpaceLift™ Products are assembled in the USA, in Stratford, Conn., by Redco Home, a division of Redco Audio, a family-owned company.