There are several things you need to understand when considering the purchase of a residential elevator. If you are reading this, then you already know you want to install a house elevator. So what do you need to know to make the best choices moving forward? There are a few key items to consider when designing your elevator.
1. Where is the elevator going to be placed in the home?
Some people want a home elevator that is discreetly positioned, while others want to make the elevator a focal centerpiece. The exact location of a personal elevator depends on your home’s layout in addition to your personal preferences. In smaller homes, it’s often possible to conserve living space by building the elevator shaft flush against the side of an exterior wall, or installing the shaft in a garage or storage area.
2. How much space does a residential elevator need?
Residential elevator dimensions depend on the purpose of the elevator: a personal elevator designed for a wheelchair will take up more floor space than a one-person shaftless elevator. Small elevators for homes may also need space for a machine room and pit. Typically, elevator size ranges from 48-inches by 60-inches including the elevator hoistway.
In order to determine how much space is necessary and the appropriate configuration for the elevator, contact a local home elevator company. These individuals can walk you through your options and help you understand how an elevator will work best in your floor plan.
3. Aging in Place
Aging in place refers to the desire many people have to live out their later years in their own homes for as long as possible. Approximately 76 percent of Americans over the age of fifty would prefer to remain in their current residence as they age.
Mobility problems can interfere with your goal of aging in place. Forty percent of people over the age of 65 have at least one disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Two-thirds of this group have difficulty walking or climbing stairs. A personal elevator allows you to continue to access all levels of your home should you develop mobility issues as you age.
4. Cost vs. Investment
A home elevator costs between $18,000 to upwards of $100,000, depending on the type of elevator, site conditions, installation fees, door styles, number of floors serviced, luxury accessories, and other options. This cost must be balanced against your improved quality of life, ability to age in place, and the value a personal elevator adds to your home’s value. The addition of a home elevator can increase house values by 10 percent.
5. What factors influence the cost of a home elevator?
The cost of the elevator is dependent on the drive selected, travel distance, number of stops, number of openings in the car, customizations made, installation costs, and permitting and inspections. Your local elevator company can assist you in budgeting for your home elevator.
6. How does the elevator work, and how safe is it?
Residential elevators contain several parts that work together to provide seamless travel. When properly maintained and utilized, home elevators are exceptionally safe. One very important factor to understand is the drive system options. There are a few different options that all work a little differently.
7. What does it look like, and what customization options are available?
A personal elevator can be customized to meet your needs and match or accentuate the decor of your home. You have your choice of materials and finish options for the fixtures, gates/doors, and the elevator car itself, so you can customize the elevator to meet your personal needs and preferences.
8. What does an elevator’s user interface include?
Your standard contact points with the elevator are the hall call, entrances, elevator car, and car operating panel (COP). You call the elevator to your location via the hall call, then will pass through the doors, enter the car, and finally choose your destination using the COP. These touchpoints of the elevator have vast flexibility for customization.
All home elevators serve the same basic function: the transportation of people and items between different house levels. In addition, different styles of elevators have their own specific functionality. Some are intended for single-person transport, while others are designed with multiple passengers and wheelchairs in mind. Some are best used only for transporting people, while others can move large objects. Talk to your local elevator company to discover the model and style of elevator that works best for you.
10. When do you upgrade an existing elevator?
You may wish to upgrade an existing elevator for a variety of reasons. Older models can see improved ride smoothness and lower energy costs by replacing the elevator’s machine room and hoistway components. In other cases, you may wish to alter the appearance of the elevator to match changes to your home decor, or replace outdated and worn-down car components, such as handrails, wall paneling, or car operating panels.
Making Your Elevator a Reality
By understanding these factors, you ensure you are creating the best possible elevator for your specific situation. When you are prepared to have an additional discussion, contact your local home elevator company for further assistance. They’ll help you settle on the right type of personal elevator for your home and customize the look of your new elevator.