When it comes to choosing a home elevator, there are several factors that you should consider. Deciding on the best time to buy a home elevator requires first knowing your full mobility needs before you begin selection and installation. Home elevators come in a wide variety of styles, with installation prep work that depends on the style you choose, not to mention the budget you’ve allocated.
There are at least three main types of elevators that most people have installed in their homes. The loud, cable-based elevators in commercial buildings are not suited to residential life. Therefore, most homeowners turn to a hydraulic, pneumatic vacuum, or shaftless elevator for their needs.
- Hydraulic Elevators – These elevators are much quieter than the traditional cable-pulley elevators in commercial buildings. A typical installation includes a car that is big enough for two passengers to stand side-by-side. These elevators can be concealed and can span across multiple floors.
- Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators – Pneumatic vacuum elevators have become popular options because they are much more affordable than hydraulic elevators. These elevators use a vacuum pump to move the elevator car between floors. They are quiet, but they cannot be concealed behind walls like a hydraulic elevator. The installation process also requires plenty of prep work.
- Shaftless Elevators – These elevators are ideal for any home that does not have space inside for an elevator install. They can be added to the outside of a home, but they cannot span across multiple floors. These elevators are best suited for two-story homeowners who have limited space on the property.
Tips for Choosing the Right Elevator
With so many options available to you, you should understand a few key factors when choosing the elevator type. Your main consideration should be the size and space available in your home before you begin work on a home upgrade of this magnitude. If your residence is rather small without much room for upgrading, then a compact shaftless elevator might suit your needs best. Before you get your heart set on a specific residential elevator, know the limitations of your area. Knowing the size limitations will help you later on when choosing the style of the elevator to match your home. Pneumatic elevators are very modern-looking, giving any room they grace a contemporary look. If you have an older colonial-style home where you would want to hide a modern contraption, then a hydraulic elevator might suit your needs best.
Whichever style elevator you choose, you should read up on the maintenance of that elevator as a deciding factor. Elevators need regular maintenance, and certain styles require more intervention than others. Maintenance includes refilling fluids, checking machine rooms, cables, and other moving parts. If you’re not willing to do this yourself, you will have to factor in the cost of hiring someone to maintain the equipment for you. Most elevator models need a yearly maintenance check to stay operational. Cable-based elevators require more maintenance than most but are not traditionally sold as residential elevators.
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