As small residential elevators experience a surge upwards in popularity, they’re going down in price. The passenger elevator has become the new status symbol, surpassing even home theaters and gourmet kitchens, and why not? They’re surprisingly affordable and add immense value.
Who Installs an Elevator at Home?
There are a number of reasons why home owners would install small residential elevators, or have them incorporated into the design of a new home. Firstly, if the house is on more than two levels – sometimes even if there are only two levels – it can be such a convenience to not have to travel up and down stairs all the time.
Secondly, if any of the home’s occupants are mobility impaired and can’t physically walk up and down a set of stairs without difficulty, small residential elevators can be extremely beneficial. Also, for some, the very idea of adding ease and convenience is just one more way they can add an element of luxury to their every day living.
Whatever the reason, there are small residential elevators to suit the purpose. From very basic, budget models to upscale units with all the bells and whistles built in, it’s possible to enjoy this extra comfort and convenience thanks to the number of manufacturers who are developing them for home use.
The pneumatic vacuum residential elevator, which operates on a suction principle, was developed just a couple of years ago with the eager home market in mind. Starting at around $20,000 and leveling out at about $30,000, the price includes installation. Regular elevators range in price from $14,000 to a costly $100,000.
The pneumatic model is built to accommodate one or two passengers and is more readily and inexpensively installed than the traditional variety. It doesn’t require a shaft nor a control room for the hydraulic machinery to be housed. This makes for very tempting possibilities for home owners who enjoy the latest in convenience gadgetry.
The ceiling is the limit on small residential elevators. From marble floors and elegant oak paneling, they can be designed to be as basic or as luxurious as the style of the home dictates. Then there are the important additions such as communications features.
Getting stuck in your elevator for whatever reason can be a traumatic experience. Installing a phone is the logical solution. You won’t always have your cell phone with you and pressing a buzzer would fall on deaf ears if no one else is home. Emergency contact is essential.
You can order your residential elevator with retro style metal ‘accordion’ gates, glass panel doors, carpeting, a mirrored ceiling and walls, piped music or any other variation you care to pay for.
Post installation, these small residential elevators can be kept in smooth running order with optional maintenance agreements. Considering the electrical and mechanical elements involved, particularly in the non-pneumatic units, it’s always wise to have the elevator thoroughly checked on a periodical basis to ensure there are no potentially hazardous issues such as power failures, door jams or between-floor stoppages. Maintenance agreements can be negotiated regarding frequency of visits, what’s included and for how long the agreement lasts.
Before deciding upon a small residential elevator for your home, check with your city authorities to find out if you need a permit to operate it, and also regarding construction permission for installation.
photo by Dave Fletcher / CreativeCommons