Frequently Asked Questions about Home and Residential Elevators
1. How long does it take to install a home elevator?
That depends. Is it in a new home under construction? Is this a retrofit to an existing home? Who is building the hoistway? Advent can help with any of these situations. The elevator itself can be installed in as few as two to three days if the hoistway is prepared and ready. Or Advent can build a hoistway either inside or attached to an existing home. This process may take five to six weeks, including the elevator.
2. Can I purchase an elevator on the Internet and install it myself?
Elevators are sophisticated items that should always be delivered and installed by professionals - for your safety and for code compliance. The Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association (AEMA) has issued a position paper stating that they do not support self-installation.
3. How much does a home elevator cost?
There are many variables when pricing an elevator, such as: How many floors is the elevator serving? What is the travel? Where is the jobsite located? Which system works best for the home? What are the finish requirements of the elevator cab? On average, prices for an elevator (hoistway construction not included) begin around $20,000.00.
4. How long does it take to build a home elevator?
Most elevators require 4-8 weeks to manufacture. This time starts from the framing stage of the job.
5. How much space do I need for a home elevator?
The national code for residential elevators specifies a minimum of 12 square feet or a maximum of 15 square feet for the car. On average this will require about a 4 1/2' x 5' area within the footprint on each level served. Smaller cars are available, as are custom dimensioned cars for special applications.
6. What if I don't want to give up any space?
To avoid the loss of space within the existing floorplan, the elevator hoistway can be built up the outside of the house. The hoistway will be positioned to allow the elevator to serve the areas you need and will be finished in matching or appropriate interior and exterior materials to blend with your home.
7. How deep should the pit be for a home elevator?
Pit depth requirements vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some are 6", 8" or 12". If you use 12" as a standard, most manufacturers will fit. Pits can be dug to the required depth through exisisting basement floors, but when there are obstacles in the way, such as plumbing or radiant heating, a pitless elevator may be your best solution.
8. How many floors can a home elevator serve?
Up to 5 floors can be served. 50' of travel is the maximum for a residential elevator, providing basement to top story access with service up to five stops.
9. What if I need to enter my elevator from one side on one floor, and another side at a different level?
Most home elevator systems can be accessed from up to 3 sides of the car. The car can be configured with a single door, two adjacent doors or two doors opposite each other for a straight through passage.
10. Can a wheelchair fit inside a home elevator?
Generally the interior of the car should be at least 36" x 48" to accommodate a wheelchair. A larger car, however, is more comfortable, especially if the wheelchair is one of the larger powered models and someone else is riding along in the elevator.
11. Will all the home elevator equipment fit inside the elevator shaft or do you need another room?
That depends on the operating system you choose. Traditional hydraulic and winding drum systems require a separate machine room. However, the newer systems such as counter-weighted chain drives and friction drives do not, as all the mechanism resides within the elevator shaft itself. The newer systems also offer the advantage of being "Green" because they require less electricity and don't require hydraulic fluid.
12. What is the better elevator drive system hydraulic, winding drum, counter weighted chain drive or friction drive?
"Better" is in the eyes of the customer! Each system has advantages, applications and price points. Winding drums and hydraulic drives have been the backbone of the industry for years. While being reliable and of aaverage cost, they do require a separate machine room, hydraulic fluids, and some special anchoring. Counter-weighted chain drives are shaft contained, don't require fluids, and are very cost competitive. Friction drives are the newest technology. The drive system and controller are contained within the hoistway. They are somewhat more expensive, but are the ultimate in smooth and quiet operation.
13. Does my home elevator need to be serviced? If so, how often?
Elevators are like automobiles, they operate best when well maintained. Fortunately, simple preventive maintanence on an annual schedule is all that is required.
14. How will an elevator affect my home's value?
Making a home truly "accessible" by adding a residential elevator enhances the value of your home and makes it more desireable at re-sale time. A residential elevator can add up to 10% or more to the value of your home.
15. Is there an elevator tax deduction?
Individuals who obtain a physician's letter stating that the elevator is medically necessary may be eligible for a tax deduction or credit. Your accountant should be consulted for details.
16. Are elevators child safe?
Absolutely. All residential elevators are designed with multiple fail safe mechanisms that prevent harm from misuse.