Frequently Asked Questions
Elevator and Lift FAQs
Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding home elevators, vertical platform lifts or wheelchair lifts and LU/LA elevators. Have additional questions? Contact your Local Symmetry Dealer.
While it is common to hear someone say they only need a 1 stop elevator, there will always be a minimum of 2 stops when it comes to a home elevator.
All Symmetry Home Elevators come standard with 2 stops. While the shaftless home elevator is only able to go 2 stops, all other Symmetry Home Elevators may go up to 6 stops.
We do offer a pitless home elevator. The Symmetry Pitless Home Elevator is only available for a rail forward car with a width of 35″ with a 30 1/2″ clear floor width and may use either the Inline Gear drive or the Winding Drum drive. Another option when a pit is not available is the Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator. You may contact an authorized Symmetry dealer to discuss the best option for your needs.
The hoistway dimensions for a home elevator are dependent on several factors; the exit configuration, type of landing and car doors and the required usable space inside the car will affect the hoistway footprint. Please contact your local authorized Symmetry representative for more information.
The standard car height for Symmetry Home Elevators is 7’0″. We are able to make a taller car but it will require some modification. The hoistway height will need to be adjusted and certain car doors are not available. Contact your authorized Symmetry dealer to discuss options.
We do have options that allow us to fit our home elevators in spaces previously built. You will want to have an authorized Symmetry dealer confirm the sizing and determine the best option for your current shaft.
Yes, the elevator can do mid stop as long as the travel is 12″ or greater.
Yes, but the door into the garage must be fire-rated and have a smoke gasket to seal off the garage from the rest of the interior of the house.
The price of home elevators can vary greatly and could be anywhere from $18,000, to more than $100,000. There are so many details to a home elevator to account for; number of levels, car configuration and elevator size, car interior, car gate/door systems, metal finishes, hoistway doors and more. You will want to work with an authorized Symmetry dealer to answer that question more precisely.
Many cities and states require licensed elevator mechanics to install a home elevator. An elevator moves people, and it takes over a year to train a technician to safely install an elevator. Most manufacturers require a technician to attend a training school for their product to be certified. Symmetry elevators are only sold to authorized, factory trained dealers.
In all circumstances, it is advisable to schedule a maintenance visit to ensure your elevator is in peak operating condition prior to use. If you have an electric drive elevator, when closing your home for an extended period, all you have to do is power the elevator down when leaving and re-power upon your return. If you have a hydraulic drive elevator, you have the option to add an exercise timer. The exercise timer will run the elevator up and down on a preset schedule, lubricating the elevator, reducing maintenance expenses.
We do not sell direct to end users. Some of our authorized dealers may offer financing and you will want to contact your local Symmetry representative to confirm.
Car Gate: Door or gate that is connected to the car and travels with the car.
Car: Finished portion of the elevator in which people ride.
Electromechanical Interlocks: Electrically wired lock in the hoistway door that prevents the door from opening when the elevator is not stopped at the landing. The elevator will not run unless all doors are closed.
Hoistway: Door opening to hoistway at a landing.
Home Elevator: A home (or residential) elevator is an elevator primarily designed for the needs of private residences and multi-family housing such as townhomes and condominiums.
Jack (Hydraulic): A unit consisting of a cylinder equipped with a plunger or piston which applies the energy provided by a liquid under pressure.
Machine Room: A room constructed adjacent to the elevator hoistway to accommodate the drive system and electrical control box.
Overhead Clearance: The clearance needed to accommodate the components on top of an elevator car. It is measured from the upper level floor to the lowest obstruction at the top of the hoistway.
Pit: Portion of a hoistway extending from sill level of lowest landing to the floor at the bottom of the hoistway.
Rail: The metal track that guides the elevator in a vertical path.
Roped Hydraulic: A drive system utilizing a hydraulic jack connected to the car wire ropes or indirectly coupled to the car via wire ropes and sheaves.
Residential Elevator: A residential (or home) elevator is an elevator primarily designed for the needs of private homes and multi-family housing such as townhomes and condominiums.
Sling: L-shaped heavy-duty metal support that the elevator car rests on. The sling travels up and down, carrying the elevator car.
Winding Drum: A geared drive machine in which the suspension ropes are fastened to and wind on a rotating drum.
It wasn’t that long ago that it was rare to find a whirlpool bathtub in a house, now it’s not uncommon to find a home elevator in the plans of a single-family home and condominium. Over 10,000 residential elevators are installed each year and the number is growing as more builders and buyers discover their many advantages:
Convenience: Todays homes are larger and require more effort to go from one level to another. Multi-story homes and townhomes are more enjoyable with a residential elevator to provide convenient floor-to-floor travel.
Surprisingly Affordable: The cost for a residential elevator is lower than many people think costing no more than an extra guest room or third car garage in many cases.
Multi-Function: There are a few conveniences that can be added to a home that will be used and appreciated as much as a residential elevator. An elevator can be elegantly appointed and featured as a dramatic focal point in a key part of the house. For people who entertain, it welcomes and accommodates all guests. Home elevators can add tremendous value to a home and increase a home’s resale value.
The answer is ‘yes,’ when installed and used properly. The home elevator when installed by a Symmetry Elevator dealer has several safety devices including:
• Doors: All landing doors are mechanically locked and only can be opened when the elevator is at that floor. The door cannot be opened while the elevator is traveling between floors.
• Power Failure: The home elevator is equipped with a battery operated safety feature which returns the elevator to the designated floor and emergency lighting comes on to illuminate the car interior.
This is a very common question asked by a lot of our clients. Most states require a contractor’s license for installation of an elevator. Please contact your local Symmetry dealer to learn more about your states policies.
All Symmetry residential elevators start at 1000 pound capacity, where most standard elevators capacity is 750 pounds. We offer a Luxury line of 1400 pound capacity residential elevators as well. See the LUXURY REDEFINED line of Symmetry elevators.
The home elevator is equipped with a battery operated safety feature which returns the elevator to the designated floor and emergency lighting comes on to illuminate the car interior.
Shaftless Home Elevators
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator offers a compact space-saving design, with minimal home alterations. It does not require a shaft, pit or machine room.
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator is battery powered, allowing use even during power outages.
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator only travels two (2) levels. As the unit passes between floors, it has a hatch cover that lifts up with the car top and returns back to be the floor over the hole when the unit is down, not allowing the home elevator to go higher than two (2) levels.
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator is not intended for wheelchair use. You may consider a wheelchair lift or another Symmetry Home Elevator model. Contact an authorized Symmetry dealer to discuss your specific needs.
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator is capable of being uninstalled and moved to another location.
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator is only available for indoor, 2 story applications. If you require an outdoor elevator and installation or a garage installation, please consider our other home elevator models.
The Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator can be installed to provide access to a balcony or mezzanine by installing a gate in the railing at the upper landing. The gate will have to be wired into the elevator’s control circuit allowing the gate to be locked when the shaftless elevator is not at that landing.
The Shaftless Home Elevator runs on battery power; the batteries in the system are continuously charged by an onboard charging system which is powered by standard household power. The charger has a 2-amp draw, so a dedicated power line is not required, however, local building or elevator codes may require it to be on a dedicated circuit.
Ideally, a shaftless elevator should be anchored to a wall. We understand that not all applications have this option, so we developed a semi-freestanding package, which allows the elevator to be anchored at the lowest floor, the upper landing’s floor joists, and the ceiling at the upper landing.
The Shaftless Home Elevator is equipped with top and bottom pressure sensors which will stop the elevator if there is an obstruction either above or below the elevator.
Vertical Platform Lifts
A vertical platform lift is a specific type of wheelchair lift. Vertical platform lifts have a platform which travels straight up and down, as opposed to an incline such as a staircase. The vertical platform lifts from Symmetry are available for residential or commercial use. Commercial vertical platform lifts are approved in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines as a means to provide unassisted entry and exit from buildings, service or recreational facilities.
The travel or lifting height of a vertical platform lift is limited by the national code to fourteen (14) feet. You should check your state and local code requirements as they may vary from the national code.
The speed of a vertical platform lift is dependent on the drive type used. Symmetry Vertical Platform Lifts have drives available with speeds from ten (10) feet per minute to twenty (20) feet per minute. Your authorized Symmetry dealer can help to determine the best drive for your use.
Yes, but vertical platform lifts do operate very differently. A vertical platform lift uses a constant pressure system, which means you will need to press and hold the control button in order for the lift to operate. There are applications that may make sense for the vertical platform lift over an elevator, but it is advised to have an authorized Symmetry dealer evaluate your specific uses and needs to determine the best lift type and product for you.
Platform gates on the wide side of the platform tend to sag and cause operational challenges for the lift so we do not provide the platform gate on the wide side of the platform.
The Symmetry standby power package will raise and lower the lift the rated load a minimum of five times.
In order for the 5 ftc lights to work during a power outage, a battery backup package must be used.
Symmetry vertical platform lift color options are Ivory, White, Gray, and Black. We also offer a full set of custom RAL colors. For more information about the color options available on a wheelchair lift or to see samples please contact your local Symmetry dealer.
Yes. All of the Symmetry wheelchair lifts are designed to be completely weather resistant. They are fully sealed and can be used with confidence both indoors and out.
Symmetry wheelchair lifts have a rated capacity of 750 pounds.
The lifting height is 168 inches or 14 feet. You will need to verify with your local elevator inspector and local code jurisdiction for compliance. Contact your local Symmetry dealer for assistance.
Symmetry wheelchair lifts have many safety features, such as nonskid platform surface, grab rail, landing interlocks to keep doors closed when lift is on another floor, uninterruptible power supply for car lowering in the event of power failure, landing interlocks keep doors locked when lift is on another floor, alarm and emergency stop switch.
The limited use/limited application (LU/LA) elevator is designed to provide access for low occupancy / low rise commercial buildings where a traditional passenger elevator is not feasible or required by code.
There are many aspects that go into pricing your LU/LA elevator. Please contact your local Symmetry dealer for details.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that went into effect in 1991. The law is designed to eliminate any discrimination because of disabilities. The ADA covers many different areas of discrimination but what affects our products is how the ADA addresses accessibility. Under Section 504 of the ADA, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, also known as “Access Board” was required to develop and issue guidelines which would become the final ADA accessibility standards. The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) was written and went into effect in January of 1992. These guidelines were written to try and clarify how architectural barriers should be eliminated and still comply with the intent of the ADA. The ADA identifies what needs to be accessible and refers back to ASME standards as to what equipment can be used. Over the past few years, a committee has been working on updating ADAAG so it is more consistent with available technologies and with the ASME standard. The recommendations for the ADAAG have been published and submitted to the Access Board for adoption.
The ADAAG has a couple of changes on the acceptable use of platform lifts to remove barriers but most important it now recognizes ASME A17.1-2000, Part 5.2 for LU/LA elevators.
Yes. Platform lifts are defined in Section 3.5 as an accessible route and are covered in Section 4.11.
No. Existing buildings require only what is readily achievable and cannot cause a financial hardship on the building owner. If a new or altered building has fewer than 3 stories or is less than 3 stories or is less than 3000 square feet per floor, it does not need to be equipped with an elevator. This exception does not apply to shopping malls or offices of health care providers. The ground floor, however, must be accessible. If an elevator is installed it must meet the ADAAG requirements.
Yes. A minimum clear floor or ground space of 30” x 48” is required on vertical platform lifts. The ADAAG also requires platform lifts where the lift does not allow a user to pass through the lift to have power openers on the gates or door.
Yes. The ADA recognizes the need for keys. While Section 4.11 still stipulates that platform lifts shall facilitate unassisted entry, operation and exit from the lift, the preamble states that this does not preclude the use of a key to operate a lift as long as the key is readily available and allows for unassisted operation.
The ADA does not approve anything. The ADA is a civil rights law and the only way to get a ruling is if someone files a complaint with the Attorney General.
Independent test laboratories such as UL or ETL now inspect and test accessibility equipment to comply with ASME standards. Any equipment that displays one of these labels shows that the equipment has been inspected and tested to these standards and has passed. Many states require an independent laboratory label to be on equipment and many listed, but if it allows our equipment to be more widely accepted and adds to the credibility of quality, it is well worth the added expense.
- 100% US owned and operated
- Best warranties in the industry: Vertical Wheelchair Lifts (4 years), Limited Use/Limited Application Elevator (3 years), Residential Elevators (2 years).
- Largest network of independently operated elevator and accessibility companies in North America.
- Symmetry equipment is designed and developed from conception to completion by the contractors who work most closely with the clients. The Symmetry product line is the ONLY product line with this hands-on approach to delivering only the best products available.
- The dealers in the Symmetry network are among the largest and most specialized companies in our industry – they all have access to EVERY manufacturer in the industry. They choose Symmetry.
Bella Elevator, the manufacturer of Symmetry Elevator products, does not sell direct to consumer. Please contact your local Symmetry dealer to order a Symmetry elevator or vertical platform lift.
Symmetry does not manufacture Inclined Platform Lifts, Stairlifts, Dumbwaiters or Specialty Lifts, however, our Dealer Network will be a great place to start with additional questions on any of those products. Contact your local Symmetry Dealer today.