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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Residential Elevator

freedom750_lrg_1Installing an elevator in your home can dramatically improve the quality of life for a family member with mobility problems, while also adding to the value of your house. Here are some facts to help you choose the type of elevator that will be best for your home.

Consider the different types of residential elevators on the market. Traditional hydraulic elevators use pistons and cables, while pneumatic or vacuum elevators use changes in air pressure to move the cars. Simple elevators can use mechanical motors to raise and lower small cars.

Another important consideration is the distance the elevator will need to travel. Small platform lifts can only travel up to eight feet, while vacuum elevators can travel up to four stories. Hydraulic elevators can be used in tall buildings, even skyscrapers.
The weights of passengers and their wheelchairs or other mobility devices are important factors. Pneumatic elevators can only transport up to 450 pounds, while hydraulic elevators can carry much larger weights.

Size is another important factor. Vacuum elevators are generally not large enough to transport a wheelchair, while hydraulic elevators have much more interior room and can easily accommodate a wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility device.

Installation requirements vary widely depending on the type of elevator. Hydraulic elevators require demolition and remodeling to create a pit for the pistons and other equipment needed for the elevator to operate. Vacuum elevators, on the other hand, require no excavation. Also consider the electrical power requirements of each type of elevator and whether your home’s current electrical system can support them.

Costs for various types of elevators also vary greatly. The average cost for a hydraulic residential elevator is $15,000, while vacuum elevators cost $20,000 to $28,000. Vacuum elevators have lower maintenance costs than hydraulic elevators because they have fewer mechanical parts. When discussing prices with an elevator dealer, inquire about service plans.

Lastly, consider how the new elevator will fit in with the appearance of the rest of your home. Hydraulic elevators are hidden behind walls and require a separate machine room, while vacuum elevators are exposed. Elevators are generally installed in a central location or at the very end of a home. The simplest place to add an elevator is on an exterior wall. Do not replace a staircase with an elevator, as this generally decreases a home’s value.

Choosing a residential elevator is a smart option to help a family member with mobility problems. Nationwide Lifts can help you choose the model that best suits your needs.

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