How to Add an Elevator to an Existing Home

Home elevators can come in many forms. Some residences need a passenger elevator to allow easier access for disabled or elderly people. Others may require something as simple as a dumbwaiter for the movement of personal belongings over several stories.

The convenience of an elevator can be easily integrated into many home environments.

Installation will usually be carried out by a specialist company that can implement the procedure safely. However, there are many ways to get involved in a project and it is possible to contribute to your home elevator installation as soon as the seeds of an idea are sewn.

  1. Establish the exact reasons why you need an elevator. If disabled people are living in your house, decide whether your ideas concerning the installation will give them access to key areas that they frequently use. Determine how big the elevator will have to be, especially if it needs to accommodate a wheelchair or a helper. Consider a smaller installation that minimizes the loss of available space if you only intend to move personal property from one floor to another.

  2. Consider the possible location of an elevator and try to pick an area where the installation won’t affect the day-to-day comforts of your home life. Often, basements can be created in bottom floor utility rooms which are seldom used as living quarters. Alternatively, plan the location of a shaft in unused areas, especially if a flue is already in position for an unused fireplace that runs from the bottom of your home to the top.

  3. Establish how your home elevator will be powered. In most cases, this will be determined by the structure of your home. If your house is in the process of being built, a hydraulic operating system can be installed quite easily. Consider a traction or counter-weighted chain drive system if you already live in an established home.

  4. Consult with a home elevator installation company and talk through your ideas. Ask for some product catalogs and review the full range of elevators to find the perfect choice for your home. Discuss your current electrical supply and determine whether modifications will have to be made to accommodate your home elevator installation.

  5. Find out how long the installation will take to complete and ask for a fixed inclusive price that includes labor and materials to ensure your budget won’t be exceeded. Most importantly, find out if the installation company can take care of any planning permission obligations you may have. If they are not able do this, you will need to deal with the relevant paperwork yourself.

  6. Review your plans before installation commences. It will be very difficult to adjust your ideas once the fabrication of the elevator shaft has started. Hold regular meetings with the project manager to ensure that the installation is following the plans you originally agreed on. Arrange safety testing with a certified examiner if the installation company cannot offer the service itself.