Home elevators provide assistance to those with limited mobility, create ease of access between floors, and serve as a design element to enhance the beauty of the home. Whether your home elevator installation is for new or existing construction, you need to identify the optimum location for the elevator in consultation with an architect, builder and elevator contractor. As you look for the best place to install a home elevator, consider these important factors.
Reasons for Luxury Home Elevators
People install home elevators for several reasons:
- Mobility: If you have mobility issues, a luxury home lift makes it easier to access all levels of your home safely.
- Aging in Place: People who plan on spending their retirement years in their own homes often add elevators to prevent falls or in anticipation of age-related mobility issues.
- Convenience: Home elevators can make transporting groceries and heavy items much easier.
- Luxury: A home lift makes a stunning addition to your home, adding visual interest and often increasing your home value.
Do You Have the Space You Need for a Home Elevator?
One of the first steps in installing a home elevator is determining whether you have sufficient space. In many homes, you can convert closets into elevator hoistways or use areas of dead space. If you want your luxury home lift to stand out, you may choose to sacrifice some floor space in a highly visible area.
Older or smaller homes provide some challenges to elevator installation. If you have little available space for an elevator, you can choose a shaftless or machine room-less elevator. It’s also possible to install hoistways for luxury elevators in garages, carports, or along the exterior wall of your home.
Is it Hard to Add an Elevator to a House?
Professional elevator technicians will install your elevator for you. How invasive the installation process is, depends on the type of elevator installed. A hoistway elevator with a pit and machine room requires more renovations and construction than a shaftless elevator.
It takes about four days to install a two-stop elevator, with an additional day for every additional stop. With pre- and post-installation work, you should schedule approximately a week for full installation.
What is the Process for Installing a Residential Elevator?
Home elevator installation is straightforward if you work with experienced elevator installation technicians. The process of installing luxury home elevators varies from home to home but generally requires the following steps:
- Choose the type of home elevator you want with the help of an experienced elevator dealer.
- An architect, engineer, or both will visit your home to determine the best location for the elevator.
- Select the colors and customizable aspects of the elevator car.
- Licensed technicians prepare the location of the elevator.
- If needed, a shaft, pit, and machine room are installed.
- The car of the elevator is installed.
- The elevator is inspected to ensure all construction and installation meets local and national codes.
What is Retrofitting?
Retrofitting describes adapting your existing home layout and construction for a home elevator. Retrofitting a residential elevator presents some challenges, all of which can be overcome with the help of professional elevator installers. A standard elevator requires approximately 25 square feet of space, and the elevator drive system utilized may impact the floor plan. For instance, if the elevator model requires a machine room, additional space is needed.
Most elevators require a pit of approximately 8 inches. In addition, the shaftway must have adequate structural support, which may have to be constructed during the retrofit. Spaces around the stairway are often easily adapted to accommodate a home elevator. Other places that work well include closets, hallways, dens, and living rooms. If your garage can accommodate the installation of a hoistway without affecting parking, garage installations allow safe, quick access from the car to the home’s interior. Of equal importance is where the elevator opens onto the upper floor. Many people find a landing in or near a bedroom to be convenient.
When is it time to Upgrade an Existing Elevator in Your Home?
If your home has an existing elevator, you need to decide if it needs updating. On average, the operational lifespan of a residential elevator is between twenty to thirty years. If the elevator is in good operation, you may only need to replace or renovate the car, elevator doors, and decorative features. If, however, the entire elevator has to be replaced, you can easily find a new model that fits your existing hoistway. Newer luxury home elevators have the advantage of a wider range of customizable features.
A home elevator is a complex system that must be installed properly to accentuate its aesthetic qualities and to meet safety codes. Although it may be tempting to undertake a do-it-yourself home elevator retrofit, a professional home elevator contractor has the expertise to evaluate a space, discuss the advantages of the various residential elevator drive systems with you, and install the unit according to local safety codes. Symmetry Elevating Solutions custom-designs and builds each residential elevator it installs to meet your specific requirements.