Things to Consider When Adding a Home Elevator
With advancing technology and increased demand for accessibility at home, residential elevators are becoming much more common in homes across the country. People are living longer, and they want to continue to age in their own homes rather than having to move to a care facility, so having access to a safe, efficient way to move between floors of their homes is extremely important. If you’re considering professional elevators installation for your home, it’s important that you give a choice some careful thought before diving in. Keep reading to learn a few things that you should consider when adding a residential elevator to your home.
Many people believe that all elevators are alike. However, elevators can come with various lift systems that impact their speed, noise levels, maintenance, and other factors. Certain lift types may not work for you, depending on the size of your home and the available space for the elevator shaft. It’s important that you thoroughly research all of your options regarding your residential elevator and discuss which choices are most viable for your home with a professional installer.
Traction and hydraulic lift systems are the two most commonly used types of residential elevators. Here’s a bit of additional information on both of these choices:
- Traction elevators – This elevator type has three subcategories: traction, geared traction, and gearless traction. However, the important thing to know here is that a traction elevator uses a system of cables that pass over a wheel attached to an electric motor. It also uses a counterweight to help lift and lower the elevator cab. As the counterweight drops, the motor cranks the wheel, and the cables move to lift the cab; when lowering the cab, the counterweight rises as the wheel turns.
- Hydraulic elevators – Hydraulic elevators can also be broken into subcategories: roped hydraulic, conventional hydraulic, and hole-less hydraulic. Roped hydraulic elevators combine the use of ropes and pistons to move the elevator car. A conventional version has an elevator pit that houses a piston to help support a gentle ascent and descent for the cab. Hole-less models are similar but don’t require a hole or sheave below the pit as conventional models do.
If you’re not sure which type of elevator is right for you, reach out to K N Enterprise, LLC, today. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each model type with you and the details of your space and needs so that you can determine the best elevator type for your home.
Elevators are large electrical devices, and certain electrical requirements will need to be met before we can install an elevator in your home. Your elevator will need access to a 240-volt, 30-amp dedicated service with the ground, as well as a 120-volt 20-amp service, both of which must be in a 4-by-4 electrical box. This will supply the necessary power to your elevator. Most homes don’t have these electrical connections conveniently waiting for elevator installation. Still, we can help you determine exactly what’s needed and recommend a professional electrician familiar with the elevator’s electrical needs to help run the necessary lines.
It’s also important to keep in mind that installing an elevator is not a simple plug-and-play upgrade to your home. This is a major, complex renovation that requires a lot of pre-installation work to do properly. Depending on your elevator and space, we may need to do the following:
- Woodframe blocking – Installing a sturdy wooden frame attached to appropriate wall supports to support the elevator's weight.
- Creating a pit – Removing a portion of flooring to create a pit for the elevator and its components to rest in a while, allowing the elevator door to rest flush with the surrounding floor.
- Adding a machine room – Building a machine room (only necessary for some types of elevators) to house necessary machinery adjacent to the elevator.
- Creating passing space between floors – Removing ceiling/flooring to allow the elevator to pass between floors of your home.
This must be done before the elevator is delivered and installed in your home. Depending on the amount of work needed, an elevator installation will typically take several days. Please keep this in mind when planning and scheduling your installation.
Finally, you should give very careful thought to where you will want your elevator to be located. It’s a good idea to make this decision with the advice of an installation professional. We can examine your home and determine a location that will require the least amount of construction/demolition while still providing you with maximum usability and benefit.
Contact K N Enterprise, LLC, today to learn more about our residential elevators and other mobility services.