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Pro Tips: Adding an Elevator to Your Home

You may want to consider adding an elevator to your home renovation project list if you are looking to stay in your home long term. Has mobility started to become an issue for you? As we all get older, going up and down the stairs daily can become challenging. Residential elevators not only increase accessibility and allow you to age in place, but they also will add value to your home. Here’s what you need to know before starting your project.

Cost

The cost of installing a residential elevator depends on which kind of elevator you choose and what type of installation is required for your space. Installing an elevator in your home may have once been considered a luxury project for home remodelers. However, the installation of a home elevator increases the marketability of the house. A home elevator is an attractive asset for future buyers. Whether this is a feature they desire, or it’s something they’ll need in the future. Installing a home elevator is considered an excellent investment, and one that is worth the cost down the road. You may find that you can gain 50% of the total cost at the time of resale. The cost of a residential elevator has a few variables. Installation costs usually start at around $20,000. Then depending on the type of elevator you choose, the price can vary from $18,000 to $40,000.

Space Needed

If you’re wondering if you have the room for a project like this, consider a few types of elevators:

  • Standard Home Elevators

Standard home elevators are ideal for inclusion in a new home, but may also be retro-fitted to an existing home. These elevators usually do require a separate machine room for maintenance purposes. The significant benefit to these elevators is that the opening of the shaft is hidden behind a door, and won’t be visible to guests in your home.
Pros: Discrete
Cons: Uses more space

  • Pneumatic Elevator

Pneumatic or Vacuum elevators are best if you have limited space and are retro-fitting your home for an elevator. They do not require machine rooms and can enhance your home’s design with a clear cylindrical shaft. The Vacuum pump generates atmospheric pressure to move the unit smoothly between floors while conserving energy.
Pros: Energy efficient
Cons: Visible and placed in the open

Installation

Installation can vary upon the type and location of your elevator. The process for shaftless elevators may vary depending on whether you need a separate machine room or not. It may be as simple as positioning the lift, running electricity, and finishing the holes between the floors. For elevators that do require a shaft, the process can still vary. Using an existing closet or using the side of the house are two options for placement. A shaft elevator usually requires pouring a concrete pit, cutting openings for the shaft entrances, and then installation of a machine room. Hydraulic lifts will need the mechanism installed above or below the elevator inside the shaft.

Safety

Elevators require a permit and inspection to ensure they are safe and running correctly. Home elevator doors have an interlocking system that will only let the doors open when and where they should open unless they are forced open. Most elevators will have a manual lowering system in case of a power outage. This safety mechanism ensures the passenger can manually lower or raise themselves if power has been cut off. All home elevators should have an emergency lighting system inside the elevator that will switch on in the event of a power failer. Alarms and in-cab telephones can be included to get in touch with someone in case of an urgent situation. Choosing what safety features are essential for your home elevator can help customize your experience for enhanced mobility in your home.

There are different brands and styles of elevators to choose from to fit your lifestyle. Whether you require a home modification or you are designing your forever home, consider the above options. Including a residential elevator in your upcoming home remodel can be an excellent investment in your home and your long term health.

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