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Can You Install a New Elevator in an Old House

Home elevators can make your life easier by providing ease of access to all levels of your home. For people with mobility issues, home elevators improve both independence and safety; and retrofitting a house to include an elevator often increases its market value.

Can You Add an Elevator to an Existing House?

If your home was built in the 1990s or later, retrofitting home elevators is often an uncomplicated business. Multi-story homes built in this timeframe typically have stacked closets, meaning closets on one level are directly above the lower level’s closets, providing a ready-made location for home elevators. If you need to retrofit a home elevator without using stacking closets, the process is more complicated but remains possible.

House plans with elevators in mind are less common in older houses. You’ll need to find a suitable installation location for the elevator car and hoistway. Depending on the type of model you choose, you may need space for a machine room (if you have a basement, the machine room can be located there). Typically, a residential elevator requires 20 square feet of floor space or 5’0” x 4’0” of space. If you cannot sacrifice this much floor space, you can buy a home elevator designed with less space in mind.

Space is not the only consideration when you retrofit houses to include elevators. You’ll also need to work with a qualified home elevator technician to ensure the retrofit is up to local, state, and federal codes.

Symmetry Shafless Home Elevator Sliding Door Open Seat Down

How Do You Retrofit an Elevator?

Working closely with an experienced residential elevator dealer is the most important factor when you retrofit a house elevator. An experienced dealer will help you address a range of factors and considerations:

  • Location: Will you locate the elevator in the closet, pantry, or an unused section of your den or living room? Very small homes may need a semi-addition built on the side of the home to accommodate the elevator hoistway.
  • Type of Elevator: Depending on available space you may choose to install a winding drum drive elevator, a machine room-less elevator, a shaftless elevator, or a pitless elevator. Each style of elevator comes with its own distinct advantages.
  • Elevator Appearance: Do you want the elevator to stand out as a decorative feature or blend in with the style and decor of your home? What cladding, lighting, doors, and flooring do you want for the elevator car? Symmetry Elevators offers a wide range of customizable elevator features.
Symmetry Custom Home Elevator

Ready to Retrofit? Contact Symmetry Elevators Today

If you’re thinking of retrofitting your house to install a residential elevator, contact your local Symmetry Elevators dealer today for advice on how to proceed. Our friendly, knowledgeable dealers will answer your questions and work with you to install the elevator that best fits your needs and your house plan.

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