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Installing Home Elevators for Elderly or Disabled

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-02-09 (Revised/Updated 2016-01-19) - If your residence is fitted with a narrow or curved stairway you might consider the advantages of a home elevator to a stair lift. For further information pertaining to this article contact: John den Haan.

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Quote: "If you are planning to purchase a residential elevator, the most appropriate moment to have one mounted, is during the building of the house."

Having a lift at home may sound extremely luxurious, but as a large amount of satisfied owners can testify, it may simply be a bare necessity to the elderly or disabled.

So, if it happens to be the case that your residence is fitted with a narrow or curved stairway, you might want to consider comparing the pros and cons of a home elevator in relation to those of a stair lift.

If it happens to be the case that you are disabled, there is a good chance that you experience major problems ascending the stairway of your home. For a large portion of these people, a similar situation will probably lead to the eventual installation of a wheelchair stair lift. However, in case you are cursed with a curved or narrow stairway, have problems with your weight or are unable to leave your wheelchair, having a stair lift installed might unfortunately not be suitable for your particular situation. In this case, you might be better served by a home elevator.

A secondary advantage of a home elevator, is that having one can have a positive influence the value of your property.

A properly maintained elevator will retain its value almost for a lifetime. In fact, home lifts are one of the most common amenities offered to boost the value of new built real estate. Given the current state of technology and thanks to recent drops in retail prices, a home elevator has now become an affordable solution to persons seeking to increase the quality of daily life. The old advice of 'just' relocating to a bungalow once the stairs become troublesome, simply holds no more value. Those still giving out this advice often underestimate the emotional effects that come with having to move one's place of residence.

If you are planning to purchase a residential elevator, the most appropriate moment to have one mounted, is during the building of the house. However, during construction time, most home owners forget that they could one day be in dire need of mechanical help in climbing the stairs. Since elevators require a shaft, a foundation, an engine and multiple (mostly two) entry points, not all buildings are able to support an elevator 'out of the box'. Chances are therefore, that significant adaptations are needed before being able to have a home elevator installed. A number of these adaptations could have large aesthetic or financial consequences.

In order to be thoroughly informed on your house's suitability, you would do well to consult a local company before having the elevator installed. They will send an engineer to survey your house for any possible problems. The report issued to you after the inspection may include a price quote for having the work done by the company themselves. If you want to get a non-subjective opinion of the situation, make sure to have it evaluated by several firms.

If your residence has been found appropriate for elevator installation, it is time to start bothering about the smaller details of the lift in question.

The primary factors that will decide the price of your installation are track height, number of stops and the elevator's carriage capacity (weight). Usually, the lower these values, the less costly your elevator will be.

Another factor that might greatly influence your choice of elevator, is drive type. You will find many types of drives, including the chain hydraulic drive, cable hydraulic drive and the vacuum lift.

Each system has its specific (dis-)advantages in noise, speed, durability, cost and capacity. So, be sure you are well-informed by your local company, so you can make a well-educated decision.

Lastly, you probably want to be sure the interior of the lift cabin has all the features you seek. Things you could consider are an emergency button, a telephone jack and gate type. An accordion-type gate is usually recommended, since a scissor gate could close on your fingers when used incorrectly.

Reference: In case you have a desire to learn more about the, make sure to visit our website, which has guides and tips on residential elevators.

Related Information:

  1. Home Elevators for the Elderly and People with a Disability - Robert H Harris
  2. What to Do if You Are Stuck in an Elevator - National Elevator Industry Inc. (NEII)
  3. Wheelchair Stair Lifts - Ned D'Agostino

Information from our Disability Transfer Hoists & Stair Lifts Information section - (Full List).

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