Whether you call them elevators or lifts, one thing is certain: they’re making their way into custom home design more and more and with good reason (actually, for a lot of good reasons). Not only are they practical and serve to make your home safer and truly multigenerational, they also add a bit of luxury, because today’s home elevators are visually stunning.
Below are some key things to discuss with your builder and architect if you’re interested including a home elevator as part of your custom built home. We’ve also broken down the types of home elevators, as well as some of the biggest benefits to having one in your home.
So, you’re interested in a home elevator. Here are things to consider:
Plan early. This one is important (hence, it’s first on the list). The best time to add an elevator to your custom home is when you’re still in the design phase. If you wait until your home is complete (or if you’re adding a lift to an older home) it can cost quite a bit more and may involve an extensive redesign.
You don’t have to add an elevator right away, but you’ll do best by having a home already fitted for one, so that when the time comes to add the elevator, it will be easier to do. One of the easiest ways to do this is by including closets on each floor above (and below) each other. The closets simply need to be large enough for the cab of the elevator.
Choose the right type. Typically, homeowners choose from three types of elevators. These vary in cost, how they’re operated, and how they look.
Hydraulic elevators run by pumping hydraulic fluid into pistons that cause it to lift from the pressure. These can be less expensive, but they require more space to operate.
Chain elevators are often more cost-effective in the long run because chains last about 20 years, whereas cables, used in hydraulic elevators, last about five.
Pneumatic elevators use a vacuum system and require little or no extra room. These tend to be the most expensive type of home elevator. They’re also very modern looking and often feature glass shafts that work well in traditional and modern homes.
A word about maintenance. Some home elevators require more maintenance than others, so you’ll want to consider that when choosing the one that’s best for your home. Cable and chain driven elevators require at least once a year maintenance while vacuum type elevators require less. Remember: You’ll also need to adhere to safety requirements.
The top reasons to add a home elevator
Elevators “elevate” style. Today’s home elevators can add an incredible style to your home. Glass enclosed elevators are sleek and can add simple elegance to your custom built home, while wood paneled elevators add warmth and luxury. These work particularly well in homes that already feature beautiful woodwork.
Ultimate functionality. When it comes to creating a custom home that you can enjoy for generations, an elevator is a perfect addition. From helping you move heavy objects to letting you move from floor-to-floor with greater ease, elevators truly make living easier and your home more accessible for everyone.
Many elevators are wide enough to fit a wheelchair comfortably, so they’re a perfect choice for aging in place. Additionally, elevators add a layer of security for your family and help lessen the likelihood of children falling down the stairs.
Space saving. Elevators require a lot less space than staircases, so you’ll have more room in your home for more living space, storage or closet space. Elevators work particularly well in homes with an open floor plan and create an even more expansive floorplan and seamless aesthetic.
Increase your home’s value. You may not ever want to leave your custom built home, but in event that you decide to move, a home elevator can certainly increase its value. Many homebuyers look closely at functionality and accessibility when choosing a new home, and a home lift, as we already discussed, offers both of these in spades.
Interested in adding an elevator to your custom built home? Take a look at Houzz for home elevator inspiration. We can help you choose the best lift that suits your family’s lifestyle and your home’s style perfectly.