Four Parts to Consider When Installing a Home Elevator

If you are considering the addition of a home elevator, you may wonder how the installation process works. Whether new construction or renovation, your construction team will focus on these four main parts during the installation of a residential elevator: the hoistway, the machine room, the structure and the elevator car.

1. Elevator Hoistway

Think of the elevator shaft or hoistway as a vertical hallway within the home. Instead of the hallway connecting rooms, it is connecting floors. The hoistway contains three parts:

  • The pit, which is the space below the lowest landing that allows the elevator floor to become flush with the lowest landing floor.
  • The travel, which is the distance from the lowest floor to the uppermost floor.
  • The overhead, which is the amount of space required for the elevator to level up to the uppermost floor, and maintain adequate clearance above the car to the ceiling of the shaft.

The shaft must be structurally sound so that it can support the weight and other forces that the elevator structure will place on it. Once the structural inspection is done, the shaft will be finished, usually with drywall, and then painted. 

2. The Machine Room

The machine room is where the functional components of the elevator that make the elevator work, will be installed. This room will normally contain the control box, hydraulic tank, or drum motor and cables. A machine room typically requires a 30” wide x 36” deep working space in front of the controller. Certain elevator drives do not require a machine room; these elevators are often referred to as machine-room-less (MRL) elevators. If you have the desire and ability to use an MRL elevator, the motor and controller will be mounted inside the elevator shaft, typically at the top of the hoistway.

3. The Structure

The elevator structure anchors to a wall in the shaft. It consists of the guide rails, rail brackets, counterweight system, and some mechanical devices that will vary depending on the drive system. The elevator car will travel up and down on the structure. The structure is the part of the home elevator that transmits power and provides stability.

4. The Car

The elevator car is the final part of the elevator. This is the part that the user gets to see, and can be customized to obtain the look you want for your home. Read more on home elevator customization here.

Next Steps

While installation can seem like a complex project to undertake, your local home elevator company can ensure the process is seamless. If you are ready to move forward with home elevator installation, contact a dealer today to understand your options and design the custom elevator that is right for you.

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