There are three main types of home elevators. The first type is a hydraulic elevator that is moved by a hydraulic piston device. They require additional space for a machine room to house equipment but are the quieter, smoother, and faster than the other types. Traction and winding drum elevators work by sliding up and down a track with a counterweight or hoist mechanism. Pneumatic elevators use air pressure tubes to move the cab. They move slower than the other elevator types but don’t need a newly-constructed elevator shaft or machine room and take up little space.
You can design the three basic areas of your own home elevator: the door, the cab and the control panel. The steel doors of traditional elevators can be replaced by wood and you can use different door styles on different floors. Your contractor will build the cab to code but you can design it with any style of flooring and wall covering in dark or light colors. Materials for the interior space can complement your home décor with sleek metal sides or glass panels that provide breathtaking views of your home interior. The choice of lighting is another way to customize your elevator. Art deco light fixtures or modern fixtures can brighten the space and you can even add windows to bring in natural light.
Cab sizes vary with a 36″ x 48″ size practical to move someone in a wheelchair. This size holds two people or one in a wheelchair and one standing. Larger sizes are available.
Installing a home elevator adds mobility options and increases the value of your home by about 10 percent.
Prices range from $10,000 to just over $30,000, with retrofitting more expensive than installing a home elevator during construction.