All About Home Elevators

October 1, 2016


Do you know that the first home elevator in North America was installed in 1929? But home elevators only shot up in popularity during the last 25 years.  People realized that other than mobility, convenience, and an increase in residence value, another advantage of having a home elevator is that they require minimal maintenance.  


Imagine a day when you do not have to climb all those stairs to get to your room after a long, tiring day.  Magic happens with just a press of a button.


Based on your aesthetic tastes or other practical needs, you can choose from solid wood panels to clear glass panels for the cab interior. A home elevator can be installed inside a drywall hoistway or from a self-standing and self contained clear glass hoistway with colourful aluminum extrusions.


There are four common types of home elevators, each having distinct pros and cons on features and costs. Make sure that you are very well-informed about these kinds so you are better prepared when weighing benefits and drawbacks relative to your budget, space constraints, and possible legal restrictions.



Hydraulic Home Elevators


Hydraulic home elevators are often classified as being the optimal purchase, primarily as they may be the safest of the four types. As a result of its features, it is very reliable during emergencies including earthquakes and fire incidents. However, this type requires a machine room located in the basement, and must be placed on top of the house’s cement foundation. In comparison to other forms of home elevators, installing this may take a relatively longer period of time. Another concern is the smell caused by hydraulic oil.



Electric Home Elevators


Counter-weights are utilized for this type of home elevator. If the home is inside the seismic zone locations (Vancouver is at Seismic Zone 4 which is the same as California), this is not the type of elevator for you. Although this type does not use oil and saves space by operating with no machine room, the suspension characteristic of such home elevator makes this difficult to rely on during earthquakes.



Overhead Winding Drum Elevators


Like the counter-weighted type, the Overhead Winding Drum home elevator does not require oil, and therefore it is environmentally friendly. Also, it does not need counter weights to work. However, noise from the gear box of the machine could be a nuisance. Furthermore, the ride quality of a gear motor system has no advantage over a hydraulic system because torque control is difficult at slow levelling speeds.



Vacuum Home Elevators


They are operated by way of a pneumatic vacuum that creates suction which leads to its disadvantages — noise. It requires less installation charges than hydraulic elevators. However, when compared to other types, its carrying capacity is low at a maximum of 525 lbs. If you prefer this, you should refer to legal rules in order to understand if this sort of home elevator is allowed for residential application. Please note that Canada Elevator Code B44 does not specify this type among the four.



No matter what you select, you could always approach elevator professionals or call up companies and manufacturers of home elevators for more information. Quality and safety should invariably be the most important factors when deciding upon a home elevator. Remember, although costs could possibly be challenging to handle, with such high quality home elevators, you’re still making a worthy investment on your property.


I love elevators.  They are simply awesome and in my opinion definitely one of the most spectacular and innovative inventions ever.  If you have any questions about elevators, please feel free to drop a question in the Comments box below or contact me directly.  I am more than happy to answer.

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