While the design of the laundry chute requires matching it to the home, most homeowners design them using a metal duct that travels between wall studs to the laundry room on a lower level of the home. According to SF Gate, many homeowners find the best approach is to place the chute in an upstairs hallway and design it to drop clothing to a hamper in the basement.
Even though homeowners feel they have found the ideal location for the chute, they do not know its true potential until they remove the drywall, exposing the opening. Often, they find the space rendered unacceptable due to electrical lines, pipes or structural bracing. Unless they are able to move these obstacles, they have to find another space for the chute or design gentle sloping curves to direct the laundry through the chute and around them.
While many different materials, including wood, metal or melamine, work to line the chute, it is essential that the inside be smooth to allow clothes to fall freely. In addition, it should be relatively unaffected by moisture, such as that found in wet towels.
Building codes often limit the design of the chute. Because these chutes provide access for smoke and fire to travel from one level of the home to the next, some codes require a fireproof door for the chute.