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Which Type of Elevator Is Right for Your Home?

elevatorIf you are considering installing an elevator in your home, you have several options. Cable-driven, hydraulic, and pneumatic elevators each offer benefits and drawbacks.

A cable-driven elevator uses cables wound around a drum to raise and lower the elevator in the shaft. Some excavation may be required to install the elevator. Cable-driven elevators are generally less expensive than hydraulic models, but the cables must be replaced every three to five years. Cable-driven elevators are also noisier and not as smooth as other types of elevators.

Hydraulic elevators use pressurized hydraulic fluid to move the cab. They use more consumable elements and require more maintenance than other residential elevators. They are more expensive than cable-driven elevators, but they offer a quieter and smoother ride. Some require a pit and machine room.

vacuum elevatorA pneumatic, or vacuum, elevator works by using changes in air pressure to move the cab. A vacuum elevator does not require a pit, shaft, or machine room. Instead, it can travel through a hole in the floor or be attached to a balcony. A vacuum elevator also allows you to have a panoramic view of your home since it is not enclosed like other types of elevators. A vacuum elevator may be a better option if you have less space, but it would not be hidden like a cable-driven or hydraulic elevator. A pneumatic elevator should not be installed in a small area because it can dominate the room. Pneumatic elevators use less energy than other types, making their monthly usage costs lower.

If you are choosing an elevator for your home, think about where you want to install it and how much space you have available. Cable-driven and hydraulic elevators generally require more space than vacuum models. You may also have to do some excavating to make room for a pit, shaft, and machine room if you chose a cable-driven or hydraulic elevator. This could inconvenience your family during the installation process. You should also consider the costs for installation, energy to run the elevator, and regular maintenance, when making your selection.

2014 Home Elevator Prices

elevator 1Installing an elevator in your home can increase the mobility of yourself or a loved one and make all areas of your home accessible. An elevator can also provide convenience, making it easier to transport items like groceries or laundry from one floor to another.

A variety of elevator designs and features are available to create a customized solution for any home. With the range of configurations available, prices can vary widely. While a basic home elevator can cost $15,000 to $50,000, a more expensive model with optional features could cost $100,000 or more.

If you are thinking about installing a residential elevator, one of the primary factors determining the price will be the type of system you choose. You have several options:

  • Hydraulic elevators are smooth and quiet. Some require a pit and machine room, which means you might need to do some excavating prior to having it installed. That could increase the price.
  • Cable-driven elevators use a motor, counterweight, and cables. If you choose one that does not require a pit or machine room, that could reduce the installation cost.
  • A pneumatic elevator can be attached to a balcony or travel through a hole in the floor. It does not require a pit or machine room, which reduces the cost of installation. A pneumatic elevator moves by using changes in air pressure. Since it utilizes the least amount of energy, it would result in the lowest monthly operating costs.

elevator 2Residential elevators are available in a variety of sizes. Some are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. You can also choose from a variety of colors and finishes. All of those factors will affect the price.

If you need to improve the mobility of yourself or a family member or just want added convenience, a home elevator could be the solution. Since there are so many options to consider, it is best to discuss your needs and budget with a professional. Contact Nationwide Lifts today to request a quote.

A Vision Elevator Can Make Your Entire Home Accessible

A Vision elevator from Nationwide Lifts can improve accessibility at home. Vision elevators offer a clear design and a panoramic view of your home. They come in a variety of types, and many do not require a machine room, pit, or hoistway, which makes the amount of space and money required for installation less than those associated with other elevators.

Vision 830The Vision 830 uses an integrated, completely clear acrylic hoistway and offers a completely self-contained design that does not require a shaft, pit, or machine room. This cable-driven residential elevator can operate up to five stops and 40 feet, can transport up to 830 pounds, and is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Our Vision pneumatic elevators can travel through a hole in the floor or attach to a balcony. They do not require a pit, hoistway, or machine room. The Vision 550 can travel up to four stops and 35 feet at a rate of 20 feet per minute. The Vision 450 can transport up to 450 pounds and can travel up to 30 feet per minute with up to three stops. The Vision 350 can travel up to four stops and 35 feet at a speed of 30 feet per minute.

The Vision EC home elevator uses a hydraulic drive system. It does not require a pit, hoistway, or machine room. The Vision EC can transport up to 500 pounds up to 23 feet at a rate of 25 feet per minute and is best for a two-story house.

If you need to make your home more accessible to someone who cannot climb the stairs, consider installing a Vision elevator. Whether you choose a cable-driven, pneumatic, or hydraulic home elevator, they all come with standard safety features and optional features to create a reliable, customized solution for your mobility needs.

Vacuum Elevators Offer a Safe, Affordable In-Home Option

vacuum elevator gizmag.comPneumatic, or vacuum, elevators can be installed in homes at a lower cost and in a fraction of the time than traditional residential elevators.

The elevators work on the principle that air will travel from an area of high to low pressure. The air in the area below the cab is kept at atmospheric pressure using a suction device. When the air pressure above the cab is lowered, the difference in pressure causes the cab to rise. When a valve in the upper part of the shaft lets air at atmospheric pressure into the low-pressure chamber, the difference in pressure lowers the cab.

The system operates without cables, pulleys, or pistons. Locking devices inside the shaft stop the cab at the top and bottom exactly at floor level. Since it is controlled by air pressure, rather than a mechanical system, starts and stops are very smooth. A braking system consisting of a diaphragm or piston on the roof of the cab activates if the tube above the cab suddenly returns to atmospheric pressure. Vacuum elevators are safe and reliable, since it is almost impossible to get stuck between floors or freefall. If the power goes out when the cab is descending, the elevator will automatically stop and lock at the next floor.

Vacuum elevators are transparent, self-supporting, constructed of aluminum and polycarbonate, and are quick to install. They are extremely light, have a capacity of up to 450 pounds, and take up only about one square-meter in area. They can work in almost any two- or three-story building, including non-conventional homes. They are a good option for existing homes, since they do not require excavation of a pit and hoistway. Maintenance costs are much lower than those for traditional residential elevators. Vacuum elevators use low amounts of energy when ascending and no energy when descending, making them a more affordable and environmentally-friendly option than other residential elevators.

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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