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I live in an old house that is very narrow but tall. In the middle it features an old air/light shaft that looks very similar to this one. It goes through attic room, second floor bathroom, first floor bathroom down to basement/laundry room.

What do I do with it?

Ideally I would love to somehow "extend" the bathroom floors to make use of the shaft space (the bathrooms are miniature).

Or I was thinking of putting in modern light tunnels to bring at least some daylight to the miniature bathrooms. Though I am not sure how efficient will the light tunnels be on the distance of 2-3 floors.

Or I was thinking of putting in some king of slide for laundry that would connect all the floors with a laundry room in the basement. But I was unable to google anything so laundry slide is probably not the correct term.

Any other ides? Any advice is welcome.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Steven, Tester101 Mar 13 '14 at 13:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The proper US term is "laundry chute". We had one in the house I grew up in and it was pretty awesome. – longneck Mar 12 '14 at 17:13
Question the "servant era practice" of sending laundry to the basement and then hauling clean laundry upstairs. If the laundry machines are on the same floor as the bedrooms, there's a lot of hauling laundry around that you (or your spouse) don't have to do. – Ecnerwal Mar 12 '14 at 19:39
@Ecnerwal Actually that is a great point, but there is really no space for washing machine or drying laundry on the living floors. The laundry chute can at least half the hauling. – daniel.sedlacek Mar 12 '14 at 21:51

To get the floorspace and some light, I guess you could paint the attic section brilliant white, or mirror-line it (the light-pipe idea without restricting the size to the size of the light-pipes - perhaps using builders aluminum foil) put a "skylight" on it in the upper bathroom ceiling and put floor-load and fire-rated glass panels in the bathroom floors. Save a corner of the shaft-space for ventilation duct if there is not an independent means of ventilation for these bathrooms.

One reason for the decline of laundry chutes (however awesome they are ;^) ) is that they are a fire hazard (or a fire traveling quickly through your house hazard, more accurately) as a big penetration in the floor assemblies - to a fire, it looks like a chimney.

If keeping it a a chute, I guess you could still get some light and reduce lost socks by making the walls mostly glass.

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Thanks, lot's of interesting ideas! – daniel.sedlacek Mar 13 '14 at 14:16

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