Symmetry Elevators Blog: Articles About Home Elevators & Lifts

Common Questions About Shaftless Elevators (and the Answers!)

A home elevator is a great addition to a multi-story home, especially if you plan to age in place. The design of most modern homes accounts for future elevator installation, with closets on an upper floor positioned directly above a closet on the lower level. Such planning usually provides enough space for the installation of an elevator shaft.

Older homes, or smaller houses, may not have the floor space necessary for an elevator shaft. Fortunately, there are several small elevators for home use on the market. The leader among them is the shaftless home elevator.

What is a shaftless elevator?

As the name suggests, a shaftless elevator is an elevator that does not need a shaft, the hoistway containing the elevator car. With no need for a shaft, a shaftless elevator takes up minimal space in your home, installation doesn’t take as long, and the installation process tends to be more affordable. Shaftless home elevators are excellent for smaller homes where the elevator only needs to travel between two levels.

How does a shaftless elevator work?

A shaftless elevator travels along rails secured to a wall. The elevator is raised and lowered by a winding drum system which raises and lowers the elevator by winding and unwinding steel ropes on a revolving drum. To operate the elevator, you press and hold the control button. Releasing the control button instantly stops the elevator cab.

How much does a shaftless elevator cost?

The cost of a shaftless home elevator depends on multiple factors, including the model of elevator you choose: larger models with more features will have a higher cost. When customizing your elevator, the choices you make will affect the final cost.

Installation costs must also be considered, including any necessary construction, remodeling, and electrical work. Different elevator installation companies will charge slightly different rates, so ask for quotes and choose a contractor you trust.

On average, a shaftless home elevator costs between $20,000 to $30,000, plus the installation cost.

How big is a shaftless elevator?

The average size of a home elevator car is 40” x 54” x 76” or 36” x 60 x 76”, plus the hoistway or shaft. A standard-size shaftless elevator, in contrast, has a car size of 33” x 35” x 76”, with no hoistway to take up additional floor space. The car can hold one or two people.

If you need a slightly larger elevator car, you can increase your shaftless elevator size to 33” x 39” x 76”. The extra space gives people using walkers or transporter chairs more room to maneuver in and out of the car.

How many floors can you travel with a shaftless elevator?

Due to the lack of a hoistway, Symmetry Shaftless Elevators can only travel between two floors. If you need to travel between three or more floors, you should consider a different type of elevator.

Symmetry Shaftless Home Elevator in standard Grey

What is the weight capacity rating of a shaftless elevator?

Despite their compact nature, shaftless elevators can typically handle 400 lbs. Ideally, you want an elevator with a weight capacity rating that is more than what you need to accommodate any changes as you age in place or as your mobility issues advance.

How fast does a shaftless elevator travel?

The average home elevator travels at rates of thirty feet per minute (fpm). A shaftless elevator moves at a slightly slower rate and averages fourteen fpm. This reduction in speed is the trade-off for a smaller physical footprint. As a shaftless home elevator only serves two floors, the slower speed is rarely an issue.

Are shaftless elevators safe?

A shaftless home elevator is exceptionally safe. Sensors on the top and bottom of the elevator car detect any obstructions, halting the elevator automatically if an object is detected. You have full control of the elevator and can stop at any time by releasing the control button.

Like other small elevators for homes, shaftless elevator doors lock into place to ensure the elevator will not move unless the doors are securely shut. A shaftless home elevator comes with additional safety features, such as interior emergency lighting, battery backups that raise or lower the car in the event of a power failure, an onboard telephone, and emergency stop and alarm buttons.

How can you customize a shaftless home elevator?

Your home decor is unique, and you’ll want your shaftless elevator to complement its surroundings, either by blending in or acting as a focal centerpiece in the room. Almost all aspects of your new elevator can be customized, including the car door, lighting, fixtures, accent panels, and handrails. You can add optional features to the elevator, such as an upper landing gate or remote control fobs, so you can call the elevator without pressing control panel buttons. Check out our Shaftless Elevator Brochure to view the options and colors available.

A shaftless elevator provides convenient access to two levels of your home if you have mobility issues while adding visual interest to your home. Check out the many shaftless home elevator options available through Symmetry Elevators, or contact one of our experienced, licensed home elevator dealers to find out which type of home elevator best fits your needs.

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