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.

Residential Elevators

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.

Sheave: Pulley.

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.

What are home elevator prices? What is the price of a home elevator? How much does a residential elevator cost? Who sells home elevators?

These are the first questions people ask about home elevators. They are not uncommon or quite frankly unreasonable questions. Most people have limited experience with elevators and tend to think about the elevator they rode at the university, hospital or big commercial building they were in last week. If that is your last or only experience with elevators, it is no wonder you think they are so expensive only the “rich & famous” can afford them.

While you can spend a significant amount of money on customizing your home elevator with marble floor, beveled mirrors, fancy paintings and the latest in technology – an integrated LCD screen mounted in the wall of your elevator cab, most people don’t. The average price of a home elevator is about what you would expect to pay for a basic kitchen remodel, or a set of high end kitchen appliances.

When faced with the question of if I can’t get upstairs and I may have to sell the house, a home elevator becomes a very cost effective solution.

If you would like to have an elevator sales consultant meet with you or your architect and builder, contact your local Symmetry dealer. They will provide a complete analysis of your home to find the best location for the retro-fit of your new elevator. If you are in the design phase, your Symmetry dealer can provide electrical schematics, framing specifications, and complete hoistway layout to make integrating a home elevator into your new home a quick, painless and enjoyable experience.

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.

The best way to determine if an elevator can be added to your current home is to contact your local Symmetry dealer. They will provide a complete analysis of your home and discuss with you your options.

Vertical Platform Lifts

A vertical platform lift is a specific type of wheelchair lift.

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.

LU/LA Elevators

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 dimensions for a limited use/limited application elevator are dependent on your needs and application. Download our LULA design guide for details. Or contact your local Symmetry dealer.  

ADA/ADAAG

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.

Symmetry

  1. 100% US owned and operated
  2. Best warranties in the industry: Vertical Wheelchair Lifts (4 years), Limited Use/Limited Application Elevator (3 years), Residential Elevators (2 years).
  3. Largest network of independently operated elevator and accessibility companies in North America.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Contact your local Symmetry dealer for details on the warranty, maintenance and service of a Symmetry product.

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.