Many seniors these days are opting to age in place in their own homes and one of the home modifications they are considering are the installation of a new home elevator.
When it comes to home elevators (aka residential elevators and in-home lifts), one of the first questions people ask is how much do they cost. The answer to this question can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of elevator and the features you choose.
However, in general, home elevators tend to be expensive. The cost of a home elevator can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Residential elevators solve multistory mobility challenges. Home elevator costs have a wide price range of $2,000 to $60,000, so talk to an installer for a custom quote.Bobvila.com
Of course, prices can range even higher than quoted here.
There are a number of reasons why in-home elevators tend to be expensive. This includes everything from the cost of labor and materials, construction costs, the number of floors that need to be accessed and the size and type of elevator.
Additional cost factors may include the need for a generator or elevator pit, as well as the installation of electrical wiring and hydraulic lines. Also, if you want your home elevator to be wheelchair-accessible or if you want it to include a built-in music system, that will add to the overall cost.
Other factors that contribute to the cost of a residential elevator include:
- Home elevators are typically custom-made to fit the specific dimensions of your home.
- They require specialized installation and maintenance.
- Costs will vary whether it’s being installed in a new construction or an existing house.
- They are a luxury item, and many people are willing to pay a premium for the added convenience and security that they provide.
I would recommend to consult with professional home elevator companies in your area. They can help you evaluate your needs and choose the best model for your home.
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Types Of Home Elevators
There are five main types of elevators:
- Hydraulic – Cost ranges $30,000 to $50,000. Hydraulic elevators are powered by a piston that moves up and down in a cylindrical shaft. Hydraulic drive system is the most common type of home elevator.
- Pneumatic – Cost ranges $35,000 to $60,000. Another good option to be installed in existing homes. Pneumatic elevators are excellent for smaller spaces.
- Traction – Cost ranges $25,000 to $55,000. Traction elevators are the most common type of elevators in high rise buildings.
- Cable – Cost is approximately $15,000 to $35,000. These are what most traditional elevators use and they are often found in commercial buildings.
- Chain – Cost is approximately $27,000 to $62.000.
If you are adding an in-home elevator to your existing home, I would recommend to look into the elevator type known as Shaftless. They may be the best option for you.
Shaftless elevators are home elevators that do not require a cylindrical shaft. They use a guide rail system to travel up and down in your home. This is a great option if you do not have enough space for a traditional home elevator or if you want to save on installation costs.
The type of home elevator that you choose will depend on your budget and your needs or the needs of your family members.
What Factors To Consider When Choosing A Home Elevator?
- The size of your home.
- The weight capacity you need.
- Will it need to accommodate a wheelchair? Multiple persons?
- If you are planning to install the elevator in an existing structure or if you will have a new structure built.
- Accessibility needs, such as doors and hallways.
- Available electrical outlets near the installation location.
- Whether you would like to operate the elevator manually or with a remote control.
- If you want optional features, such as music and lights.
These factors and more will determine not only the type but the size of the unit that you purchase. There are, however, certain requirements that must be adhered to.
To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) specifically, a home elevator cab must have a depth of at least 51 inches, a width of at least 68 inches if it uses side doors, a width of at least 80 inches if it uses centered doors, and a door width of at least 36 inches.Forbes.com
Are Residential Elevators Worth It?
There’s no question that home elevators provide a wealth of benefits for home owners especially older adults with limited mobility and disabled adults. Not only do they make your home more accessible and comfortable, but they also add to the value and security of your home.
According to RetirementLiving.com, a home elevator can add to the property value by 10% or more. The personal value, however, is priceless, as an elevator allows the homeowner to age in place. The term “forever home” is often a wistful goal, but with an elevator, remaining in one’s home for life is an actual possibility.Millionacres.com
Personally, I believe that for older adults who live in a multi-level house and have progressive medical conditions or are currently confined to a wheelchair or are dealing with issues of limited mobility, the installation of a residential elevator is more of a necessity than not.
Does A Home Elevator Add Value?
One of the questions that often comes up when considering installing a home elevator is whether or not it will add value to your home. It is a home improvement?
Generally speaking, home elevators can add value to your home if you have an elderly parent or relative who needs assistance getting around or if you live in a multi-level home and need easy access between floors.
I would recommend to talk to a real estate agent in your area to get a more accurate idea of how much value a home elevator will add to your specific home.
Are Home Elevators Safe?
One of the biggest concerns people have about home elevators is safety. But the truth is, home elevators are just as safe as any other type of elevator. In fact, home elevators undergo more rigorous safety testing than commercial elevators do.
That said, it’s important to choose a reputable home elevator manufacturer and to always follow their safety instructions closely. And if you ever have any doubts or concerns about your home elevator, be sure to contact your local elevator inspector.
The safety features that your home elevator should have installed are:
- Emergency alarm and lighting
- Power backup
- Door interlock system
- One touch screen controls
- Safety sensors
- Lockable control panel
And there are more, so I would encourage you to speak to your home elevator manufacturer to find out what safety features are available on their elevators.
Overall, home elevators are safe and reliable, and can provide a much-needed sense of independence and freedom for those who need them. So if you’re considering installing a home elevator, be sure to weigh all your options and make an informed decision.
Can An Elevator Be Installed In An Existing Home?
Yes, home elevators can be installed in existing homes, but it’s important to work with a reputable home elevator manufacturer to ensure that the installation is done correctly.
The most difficult aspect of adding an elevator into a house that’s already built is to find the best location for the elevator shaft. This is something that needs to be planned out during the home elevator design process.
It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to install an elevator into your home so expect that time frame when planning your home renovation project.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Home Elevator?
There are a number of pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to install a home elevator. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Independence: A home elevator can give those who need it a sense of independence and freedom, which is priceless.
- No need to transfer: A wheelchair bound individual does not have to transfer onto a stair lift chair to change floors.
- Convenience: Home elevators make it easy to move between floors, which can be especially helpful for seniors or those with mobility issues.
- Safety: Home elevators are safe, and provide an added layer of safety for those who need them.
- Weight: Depending on the type of elevator you choose, the weight limit they can accommodate ranges anywhere from 500 to over 1000 lbs of weight.
- Cost: Home elevators can be expensive to install, so you’ll need to weigh the cost against the benefits.
- Size: Home elevators can take up a lot of space, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough room for one before installing one.
- Regular Maintenance: Yearly inspections are recommended to keep the unit running safely and smoothly.
- Separate mechanical room: Some in-home elevators require a separate machine room for the mechanics to work.
Comparing A Home Elevator to a Stair lift
There are a few key differences between home elevators and stair lifts that you should consider before making a purchase.
Some of these differences are:
- More accessibility: Home elevators can accommodate large wheelchairs and scooters, and can be used by people of all ages and abilities.
- Can move more than people: Items like some furniture, boxes and more can be moved from floor to floor via an elevator.
- More convenience: They can be used to transport items between floors, making it easier to move groceries or laundry up and down stairs.
- Great for wheelchairs: It’s very convenient for wheelchair users to remain in their chair while changing floors!
- More security: They offer a sense of privacy and security that stair lifts cannot provide.
- Faster: Generally, a person can get from one floor to another quicker with a residential elevator than with a stair lift.
- Quieter: Another great benefit is that the elevator is oftentimes quieter than a stair lift.
At the end of the day, whether you are installing a residential elevator in your home or in a new construction, I do not believe you will regret the decision. Especially if this is your forever home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if a home elevator gets stuck?
If your home elevator gets stuck, don’t panic! There are emergency buttons located inside and outside of the lift that will allow you to summon help. Most home elevators also have a telephone handset that you can use to communicate with someone outside of the lift.
Do I need a permit for a home elevator?
Most home elevators do require a permit, but the laws are different depending on where you live. Your elevator installation company should take care of getting a permit if it’s needed.
What is the cost of a stair lift vs. a home elevator?
As mentioned above, the cost of a home elevator can range from $10,000 to $60,000. Whereas a stair lift typically costs can range from $3,000 to $10,000.
Which is better for my home: a home elevator or a stair lift?
That depends on your needs and budget. A home elevator is more expensive than a stair lift, but it can accommodate more people and is easier to use. A stair lift is less expensive than a home elevator, but it only accommodates one person at a time and can be difficult to use for larger items.
How long will a home elevator last?
A home elevator should last 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance.
How much space will I need?
You will need at least 5 feet of vertical and horizontal space to install a home elevator. Of course this changes depending on the type and size of elevator you choose.
What is the difference between a home elevator and a wheelchair lift?
Wheelchair lifts are designed to transport people in wheelchairs, while home elevators can transport both people and objects. Home elevators are also larger and more expensive than wheelchair lifts.