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Thread: Home Elevator

  1. #1

    Home Elevator

    Hello all,
    We are thinking about building a new house and have many concerns. We would like to build a ranch, but I never knew they are more expensive to build than 2 story homes. Soo, we are now considering the idea of a 2 story home with a home elevator. I've done a little research and it seems that if you design the elevator shaft into the blueprints, it saves a lot of money compared to remodeling an existing home. So I am thinking that since a 2 story is cheaper to build than a ranch, it might even out after the cost of the elevator and installation.
    So, for anyone who has an elevator in their home, how much did it cost? What type of elevator and who installed it? We are in western Pennsylvania. Any recommendations for installers in that area? How do you like your elevator - any complaints or issues? Has anyone built their house with blueprints allowing for the elevator? If so, did this save you a lot of money?
    I know a lot of questions but any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffycuts99 View Post
    Hello all,
    We are thinking about building a new house and have many concerns. We would like to build a ranch, but I never knew they are more expensive to build than 2 story homes. Soo, we are now considering the idea of a 2 story home with a home elevator. I've done a little research and it seems that if you design the elevator shaft into the blueprints, it saves a lot of money compared to remodeling an existing home. So I am thinking that since a 2 story is cheaper to build than a ranch, it might even out after the cost of the elevator and installation.
    So, for anyone who has an elevator in their home, how much did it cost? What type of elevator and who installed it? We are in western Pennsylvania. Any recommendations for installers in that area? How do you like your elevator - any complaints or issues? Has anyone built their house with blueprints allowing for the elevator? If so, did this save you a lot of money?
    I know a lot of questions but any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
    I don't have any great expertise but it is my understanding that an elevator costs in the low teens (thousands). It is easier to incorporate it into a new house but that is not always a big problem depending on the layout of an old house. I did have a friend who built an elevator shaft into a new house in case he wanted an elevator later. He was a design guy so I am pretty sure he had the economics figured out.
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  3. #3
    I am a building designer/draftsman. A home elevator is a practical idea and pretty easy to include in a house plan, if your architect or draftee has the correct specs. Of the elevator in question they can easily integrate it into the design of a new house, if you are mplanning on putting one into an existing house, all you really need is a good place to put it. If you have to add the elevator to the outside of the building, like in say a townhouse, depending on where you live and what permits your local council require you should have no problems.

    They are expensive though $20k plus any work you may need to do to the existing house.

    A lot of people without disabilities put elevators in as a feature. I'd love to build a top story on our house just to have an elevator...lol
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  4. #4
    In 2003 we build a ranch style house with a walk out basement! My house is totally accessible. I recommend installing pocket doors instead of you traditional doors with hinges. Pocket doors save a lot of room and they are real easy to open and close.

    I also recommend putting in tube sky lights in your bathrooms and closets. They'll save you boat load of money when it comes to your electric bill. Here's the link to home depot. This is a GREAT investment.
    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053.

    We also installed a Concord elevator. Try to get one as large as possible. I don't know if your in a manual chair or electric but put one in that's larger than needed. I think I paid 17,000 for mine in 2003. Mine works great! I believe i can put a very large refrigerator in mine if needed. Call your nearest elevator company in your area and they'll work with you!! I don't know were you live but i'm sure your builder will know an elevator company to deal with but you'll have to do the leg work when it comes to making your house totally accessible for your needs.

    Chris

  5. #5
    thanks for the replies everyone - they've been really helpful. chris - that's awesome that you have a walk out basement. that would be really cool. we would like a basement, too...not sure if we could do a walk out basement. i wasn't really thinking about a basement before. I was just thinking about an elevator from the first to the second floor. BUT, yea if we have a basement, I guess it would only make sense to extend the shaft to the basement as well. i use both a manual and electric chair, depending on where i'm going or what i'm doing. around the house, i usually use the electric chair mainly for practical purposes. it's just easier to carry things with one arm open instead of pushing the manual chair.

  6. #6
    I spoke with a company today that said it would cost about $23,000 to install an Inclinator 200 home elevator in new construction, with 3 stops - basement, main floor and second floor. that's about what i expected. i plan on following up with some more companies to compare quotes.

  7. #7
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    Our local place would not sell me an elevator to go to the basement without having another access out of the basement for safety reasons. Just something to think about. Ours was a remodel to make the house more accessable so I ended up buying a 8ft. porch lift from a trucking company that someone failed to pay for so I got a great deal then I just made a closet for it where our steps were so I still need to do the other access, for now its just hope nothing happens but I have looked into having someone come and just dig me out a walk out, shouldn't be that hard and with me and my dad doing most of the labor, should be do-able. Only wish we were going brand new construction.

  8. #8
    I had a lift installed in my house which was less expensive than your traditional elevator. The contractor made it look like an elevator.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSWIFE1 View Post
    Our local place would not sell me an elevator to go to the basement without having another access out of the basement for safety reasons.
    That makes sense. If there was a power outage or fire you need stairs (or a walk out) since you couldn't use the elevator.

    I think a walk out basement would depend on the lot you're building the house on? If I'm remembering correctly and thinking of the right things, a walk out basement is a result of the lot having a slope down in the back, and you can't change the lot to get a walk out basement if its just flat. I have seen basement garages though where the lot was basically flat and you drove up to get out, like basement level in a parking garage. I've always thought those were pretty neat!

    Ugghhhh I hate elevators so I cringe reading this post haha. Though it would be nice to be able to live in a 2 story house. I like tall houses. I especially love old houses though, victorian style. So I don't know if you could add an elevator in one of those! I'd love to have a 3 story victorian house. I went to look at an old victorian house before when I was meeting with the people to discuss moving in as a roommate. I nearly got lost due to all the rooms and the way the floor plan was lol. I loved it! Didn't work out personality wise with the people though.
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  10. #10
    Whoever told you ranch is more expensive? That might be true in subdivisions with lots measured in square feet. It takes a larger lot to fit a ranch of the same square footage. From a cost of material and labor standpoint it's dead wrong. All you are doing is trading roof square footage for walls. Finished roofs are generally cheaper per square foot than walls. Labor is certainly more as you go up in the air. Heating/cooling, and plumbing systems become more complicated, Don't forget the stairway is a big waste of space. And they not only count it in the square footage, but they count it twice.. The only real savings is basement. A 2 story obviously sits on a smaller basement. But no way is it going to cost an extra 20K to double the size of the basement. If it's on a slab, that tips it even more to ranch. Concrete floors are cheaper than wood. There is no legitimate basis to claim that ranches cost more.

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