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Thread: Home Elevator

  1. #11
    I was told that ranches cost more to build by one general contractor and also by one realtor. They didn't go into the details of why this was the case. Both only said that it costs more to build out than to build up.

    Another question - - has anyone ever had any experience dealing with a big national production builder? I'm talking about Wayne Homes or Paul Schumacker homes. If you haven't had direct experience, have you ever heard any reviews about them - positive or negative? There costs are so much lower than what a local builder would cost. I know the quality of construction might not be as good, but they still have to be ok construction, right?

  2. #12
    When i lived in Chicago, we installed a lift called a porch lift which stopped at three floors. It was horrible, slow and the door locks were a BIG pain in the ASS. The Concord elevator we have now in our ranch style house is hydraulic. It is quiet and I haven't had a single issue with it since it was installed. If by chance the power goes out while your in the elevator there is a battery backup to at least get you to the ground floor so you can get out of it. I more than happy with it. When i get some time I'll post some photos.

  3. #13
    Chris - photos would be awesome! I checked out their website and the Concord elevators look really nice. The local elevator company I talked with mainly installs Inclinator elevators - they are also hydraulic elevators. I plan on asking him if they also install Concord elevators and how the prices compare.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    My elevator was made by http://www.customelevatorinc.com/ . It has been trouble free for seven years. Note that they are in Pennsylvania.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

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  5. #15
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    One story/two story - Given a choice, I will always pick the accessibility solution that doesn't make me dependent on a machine. I can't imagine that any considerations other than those imposed by the lot or zoning would sway me to build the barrier of gravity into my home.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  6. #16
    I purchased a 3 story home and added an extension for one of these about 15 years ago. It's worked great and not much has gone wrong with it. I'd highly recommend an hydraulic one. They are very smooth and quite. You'll need to make sure you include a separate machine room for the motor and hydraulics. The hydraulic version also gives you a bit more freedom in the machine room placement. The elevator cost about 20K while the additional extension cost another 40K. Expensive, but was well worth it.

    Good luck,
    David

  7. #17
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffycuts99 View Post
    Chris - photos would be awesome! I checked out their website and the Concord elevators look really nice. The local elevator company I talked with mainly installs Inclinator elevators - they are also hydraulic elevators. I plan on asking him if they also install Concord elevators and how the prices compare.
    I'll get those photos posted as soon as i can. I'm very busy this weekend Snuffycuts. Whatever you do, do not go with a screw drive type lift. They are noisy and slow.

  9. #19
    When we built in '08 we talked with a couple of the big national builders, but they were not willing to make many changes to their existing plans. We wound up with a local developer who was willing to build whatever we wanted. We significantly modified one of his existing plans.

    As for elevators, why pay for somebody's overhead? We built our own when I was injured in '72, and it is still working today with a replaced motor. All you need is an engine hoist motor and some steel. Steel U brackets bolted to floor in basement and frame above. A steel floor with rectangular steel pieces welded to each side to run in the U brackets. When we were building in '08 we looked at the possibility of a walk out basement. I priced the materials to build the same elevator at about $3k then.

    The cost of the walkout basement finished was about the same as adding 240 sq ft to an existing ranch, and you got a whole lot more space. We went with the added square footage on a ranch since it gave us the bigger rooms we wanted. BTW Chief Architect software is easy to use, if you want to get into designing your place. http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/...esigner-suite/

  10. #20
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I'm with Foolish even though my dream pre-injury was to buy and renovate a Victorian or even a Prairie Victorian. I will say that a decent elevator company will do good work because of the heavy codes most municipalities wrote up when they came into use and most state's also add updates. My new BHM track ceiling lift was installed by Access Elevator http://accesselevator.net/index.html out of their Milwaukee area office. They have several locations and install just about every kind of lift, door openers, elevators and even vehicle lifts for carrying chairs/scooters on the outside of a vehicle.
    Short of trying to find an empty lot inside of a good size city or high density areas or where codes require so many acres per home I can't imagine why a ranch would cost more than a 2 story. And I would never live on a slab I wasn't actively involved in building again. Wood floors can be leveled a lot easier than a poured concrete slab. A ranch can also allow for a much better 'open' layout even in bedroom areas than most 2 stories IMO. If you do go the elevator route I'd suggest hitting a lot of hotel lobbies or hospitals and pay careful attention to inside of the elevator layout with location of controls. Also check out width of halls, bathroom doors, bedroom doors, etc. that you may need to hit soon after leaving the elevator.
    As far as a walk out basement you can, depending on local codes and neighboring lots, build up the front of the lot and use a curved walkway to get to the front door. Then you would need very little down slope in the rear for the cut out. Many townhomes are built with a few stairs and a split floor entrance or more stairs and a complete 3 floors with the basement open. Here the added cost would be in the size of the lot. Do check your areas tax laws on how they tax your land versus the home. In some areas, this was true where I lived in Maryland, only so much of a lot can be covered by 'developed structures' so make sure you know what they consider developed--3 season or 4 season rooms, decks, covered decks and sheds. Connected garages are considered as part of the primary in every place I've heard of that has such restrictions. Adding another garage would cut into your required open space as would the other add ons.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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