According to the National Association of Home Builders, “the median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2020 stands at 8,306 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre.” House lots are getting smaller, and as they do, the average size of a single-family detached house is also shrinking. In 2020, the average new home was 2,333 square feet, according to the United States Census Bureau, a drop from the 2,467 square feet reported in 2015.
Due to shrinking lot size, the popularity of multi-level single-family dwellings is increasing. Bungalows are losing ground to two- or even three-story dwellings. If you plan to build a new home, you may want to consider how to leverage your available space and plan for long-term viability. Often this includes accommodating the desire to age in place. Installing home elevators during construction offers you increased mobility and convenience now and in the future.
The Functionality of the Home Elevator
Stairs are a standard means of egress in multi-level structures, but adding home elevators is increasingly common. Elevators are a functional addition to any multi-level building, aiding occupants in transporting persons or goods. Whether it is used to move a laundry basket from the bedroom to the washing machine or provide access for a disabled loved one to all floors of the home, a home elevator may be what you need. As lot sizes continue to decline, an elevator provides an effective means of building up while still fully utilizing your space.
Aging in Place
You may want to consider a home elevator even if, at present, you don’t need one. “Aging in place,” or enjoying retirement in your current residence, is an increasingly popular choice. The AARP reports that 77% of adults 50 and over plan to age in place. Of this number, a third say they will need to modify their home to make this a reality, with 71% reporting their home has “inside and outside accessibility issues.”
Elevator safety is a priority at Symmetry Elevators. Our experienced elevator installers ensure your new home elevator is fully up to code. If you plan to age in place, elevator safety means much more: it means the ability to travel between the different levels of your home without the risk of falling, a common staircase accident in the elderly that can lead to serious injury.
Considering Future Use
Finding the right location for your elevator is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome when renovating your home for an elevator. The actual footprint of an elevator is typically the size of a large closet, normally around 4’ x 5’. An elevator shaft can be included within your home design and disguised or repurposed as a series of closets. By placing one closet on top of another and adding the structural elements required, your home can be easily modified for the future addition of an elevator, allowing you to pay today’s prices for tomorrow’s expenses. Designing for the future enables you to stay in your home longer and will broaden its marketability if you should sell in the future.
Compact Home Elevators
If you’re retrofitting a home elevator into an older home or a home with a small floor plan, your elevator may need a smaller than normal footprint. Compact elevators such as the shaftless home elevator can fit into smaller spaces with a minimum of installation. Just because it’s smaller does not mean a shaftless home elevator lacks the features of its larger cousins, as you can see in our product design guides.
Putting a Plan in Place
In response to an aging society desiring to remain at home, architects have begun designing residences for the future addition of an elevator. Planning for the installation of a home elevator now can save you money in the long run. Read up on the different types of elevators available, and determine your budget. If you don’t need a home elevator immediately, consider starting a savings fund for one as part of your larger aging-in-place plan.
You may not need an elevator now, but it may be a convenience, or even a necessity, in the future. To determine how to proceed, contact a local home elevator company.