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Home Elevator FAQs

Residential elevators provide a safe and convenient way to navigate all floor levels of a home. To help you with you get started in your research on the purchase of a home elevator, we’ve provided answers to the most commonly asked questions that we receive from our customers.

Does an elevator add value to my home?

Yes, the installation of a home elevator can increase the value of a home. In fact, there was a study done by Florida State University that found that a residential elevator can add up to 10% to a home’s value. A residential elevator can significantly reduce the time your home is on the market if you ever decide to sell.

How much does a home elevator cost?

The average price of a home elevator starts at about $30,000 and ranges upward from there (this does not include the cost of construction or home renovations). The cost of the elevator will depend on several factors such as model, brand, type of elevator, design, floors served, and more. 

How many floor levels can a home elevator travel?

Typically, home elevators can travel between 2-6 floor levels, but this is going to vary depending on the type of elevator model selected.

Can an elevator be addied to existing homes & new construction?

The simple answer is yes, elevators can be added to existing homes and new construction. Adding an elevator to new construction is an easier task as it can be built into the floor plan. If you’re looking to add one to an existing home, you may be limited on the types of elevators that can be installed, or additional construction may be required for retrofit it to your home.

What are alternatives to an elevator in the home?

If an elevator is not a fit for your home or within budget, stair lifts, and platform lifts are affordable alternatives to consider for safer & convenient access to all the floor levels of your home.

What is a “through the floor” elevator?

A through the floor elevator is exactly what it sounds like! It literally travels through the floor of a home on a guide rail-system through a floor cut out. These types of residential elevators are preferred by homeowners looking to save money on construction.

What is a shaftless home elevator?

A shaftless home elevator is an elevator designed to seamlessly fit into a current home. No hoistway is required as the elevator cab travels through a floor cutout via a guide rail system. These types of elevators are commonly referred to as “through the floor elevators” and are great for homes with limited space.

How many floors can a residential elevator travel?

We have two different styles of residential elevators, so this depends on the model that you choose. For most standard style residential elevators, there can be up to six total stops. Through the floor elevators, however, are designed to only travel between two floor levels.

Are elevators accessible for wheelchair users?

Most types of home elevators are accessible for wheelchair users. 

Can an elevator be added to my current home, or can it only be added to a new home?

Yes, an elevator can be added to a home that has already been built. Lifeway Mobility provides the services of an architect, contractor, and years of elevator experience. We can help you find the best location in your home for the elevator to help you save some money and seamlessly fit with the design of your home.

Does a home elevator require maintenance?

Yes. Just like your automobile, furnace, or air conditioner, a residential elevator is a mechanical investment. Maintenance costs will vary based on the location of the elevator, amount of use and the lifting system.

Can I install an elevator on my own?

The current home building codes require a licensed installer with a licensed company to install and maintain residential elevators. An error during installation can result in serious injuries, which is why you’ll need trained and licensed technicians to install your elevator.

How much space is needed for a residential elevator?

A good rule of thumb is 5 foot by 5 foot. Some instances will call for a slightly larger location, some will require less. Each individual elevator is unique.

What does a home elevator look like?

A home elevator looks very similar to a commercial that you see at local malls and retail stores. It is a rectangular box that can come in a variety of finishes. You can visit our style & design page to see the options that you can choose from.

“Through the floor” residential elevators, however, look a bit different than your standard elevator. They are often described to look like old telephone booths.

Is a home elevator a better solution than a stair lift?

This depends on numerous factors. A home elevator costs a lot more than a stair lift, but it is more of a luxurious addition and also adds value to a home. If you are looking for a quick and more affordable solution, then a stair lift is the better solution. If getting on and off of a chair is too difficult for the user, then a residential elevator would be a better and safer solution.

Can I have an elevator with doors that slide like those on commercial elevators?

Yes, you can purchase automatic sliding doors that closely resemble a commercial elevator, but please know that these are an “upgrade” door option, which means that they add an additional fee to the total cost of the elevator.

As described above, home elevators look very similar to your average commercial elevator. However, that does not mean that they have all of the same features and functions. Commercial elevators are equipped with automatic sliding doors, while residential elevators usually come with standard swing doors.

What happens when the power goes out?

The manufacturers we represent provide a battery backup system that is standard with your residential elevator. In the event of a power failure, the battery takes over control of the system and safely takes you to the nearest floor landing so that you can exit the elevator.

Are residential elevators safe?

Yes, residential elevators are safe to ride. Residential elevators are built to meet very stringent safety standards as put forth by the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Additionally, the elevator must meet state and local codes and inspections.

Fact: You are less likely to get injured in an elevator than climbing a set of stairs!

What is the best drive system for a home elevator?

This depends on your specific needs, the home the elevator is being installed in, and what you expect from the elevator. It is best to sit down with an elevator specialist and determine your specific requirements before choosing an elevator for your home.

Why Choose Lifeway Mobility for a home elevator?

Lifeway Mobility Chicago, formerly EHLS & To The Top Elevators has been providing residential elevators in the Chicagoland area since 2004. We are locally operated, and we offer you the ability to see and test-ride a residential elevator at our showroom in Arlington Heights, IL. Our very own factory-trained technicians install and service all of the equipment that we sell.

How do I know if a residential elevator will fit in my home?

There are different types of home elevators available for installation. Some considerations are space and cost, but many types are far less expensive than you might expect. The home elevators we install range from the traditional hydraulic drive system which requires space for a machine room to an innovative solution called a "vanishing" elevator that travels on a guide rail system through a floor cut-out.

How much construction is required to install a home elevator?

The amount of construction that will take place for the installation of a home elevator depends on the type of elevator model selected and whether or not the home is new or existing.


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