When planning your residential elevator, a key item to consider is the entranceway. The doors and gates used on your elevator provide not only safety for all passengers, but an aesthetic tie to the rest of the home. There are a number of items to consider when determining the appropriate fit for your home elevator doors and gates. There are two types of elevator doors that should be incorporated into all residential elevators the first is the car door the second is the landing door.
Elevator Car Door/Gate
A car door is installed on the car, in which you ride. The car door/gate keeps you safely inside the car while the elevator is in motion. This door can be operated automatically or manually and is monitored to ensure that the car door is in the closed position before the elevator will leave a landing. At times, a light ray, or light curtain is also installed. This device is similar to the safety device used to detect obstacles interfering in the travel path of an overhead garage door, but has many more sensors to guard a much larger area.
The car door typically matches the décor of the elevator car and comes in several styles. Popular options include:
- Accordion gates
- Collapsible gates (sometimes referred to as a Scissor gate)
- Wrap around or tambour gates
- Two or three speed automatic (commercial-style) doors
Landing or Hoistway Door
The landing door is the one that is seen when you approach the elevator to call it to your location. The landing door is designed to be closed and locked when the elevator is not at the landing, or is at the landing, but has not been used for a minute or two. It is monitored by the controller to prevent the elevator from moving when the door is open. A variety of options exist to ensure the door aligns with the décor of your home.
The landing door can be either a swing door, which resembles the typical hallway door in your house, or a two or three speed door. A swing door is designed to match the other doors in your home. With swing doors, you can have either fire rated, or non-rated doors; this will depend on the local building code. Fire rated doors can be steel or wood swinging panel in a metal doorjamb. The non-rated door is typically a wood jamb with wood swinging panel. Some manufacturers offer a non-rated wood doorjamb with a swinging door panel provided to match the room décor. Two or three speed automatic doors are similar in style to commercial elevators.
When you are ready to select the styles and finishes for your car and landing doors/gates, contact a local home elevator company. This company will assist you in understanding the options available to you and work with your design team to make sure your elevator entranceway is both functional and stylish.