Garage door dumbwaiter being used to carry groceries upstairs.
A DIY garage door dumbwaiter can make carrying groceries upstairs a snap.

Watch this video to see how a dumbwaiter made from a garage door opener can be used to carry groceries upstairs and recycling down. Building the DIY dumbwaiter only cost around $300, much less than commercial models.


Danny Lipford: You have a set of stairs, you know that any time you need something, it’s not where you standing. And you’re having to go up and down the stairs, hauling groceries up stairs and bringing trash downstairs, especially if you’re primary entrance to your home, like this one, is right off the garage and it’s on the lower level.

Now, a dumbwaiter is a great solution to this problem. It’s basically a miniature elevator that can bring the groceries up, trash down, very convenient. But if you’ve every priced one of these, boy, the factory made dumbwaiters are very expensive. Here’s a more reasonable option by using a garage door operator to actually construct a dumbwaiter.

Now, basically what we have is the garage door operator down below mounted to the wall, then the track continues right on up to the next level, and we have a little wooden tray here that’s been constructed, and attached with different brackets to the bracket that should be carrying or moving the garage door itself.

So, with all of this in place, you push the button, and away it goes. Now, instead of this dumbwaiter costing three or four thousand dollars like the manufactured ones do, this one only costs about $300.

Now, you have to have the unique situation where you have a closet directly above another closet that’s down below on the lower level. Here, we had a little pantry in the kitchen, and the closet directly below it in the basement. It worked out perfectly, and that’ll save a lot of time running up and down the stairs with the groceries or trash.

Now it’s very important if you have small children around your house or if you have guests that have children, is to make sure you have a lock on the door both upstairs and downstairs.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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