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Thread: Residential lifts/elevators

  1. #1
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Residential lifts/elevators

    I'm currently looking at buying a two-story house that will require a lift/elevator to get me from one level to another. I'd like to hear from people who have installed vertical platform lifts or elevators in their homes. Brands, costs, funding, lessons learned, advice, etc. A lift that moves along the stairs will not work because of the staircase design. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    The elevator I have installed in my home is a Minivator by Access Industries. This operates with a motor and cable (not hydralic).

    http://www.accessind.com/elevators.html

    Lesson learned:
    FIND A REALLY RELIABLE CONTRACTOR AND STAY ON TOP OF THEM.
    The track that my elevator rides on is cut to a specific height. Therefore, you really need to pay attention to the building plans of the elevator and the plans of your remodel. The most important thing is the thickness of the floor of your second story. I think that it requires a 1 ft floor. If you floor is greater (as mine was) extra retrofitting will need to be done to the ceiling and floor. You will also need to reinforce your walls. I used 4x6 posts. So that baby ain't going anywhere. You will need to run electrical for a connection to the motor (which would be located about 1ft from the second story ceiling).
    Cost for this was about $23,000 installed.

    Hydralic elevators will run you about $50,000+. Very important to determine if you have a post tension foundation. The sump is usually required to be in the floor and you will need to build a shaft. The inclinator did not require this (foundation cut or shaft).

    Hope this helps ya a little.

    Cappy

  3. #3
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    Thanks Cappy! Just the kind of info I was looking for.

  4. #4
    I had an elevator put in my last house. I don't remember the brand. Cost was $30,000. Took two guys about 3 months to put it in. I get claustrophobic and so I had them put glass doors on. It was pretty cool. Lesson learned - get a one level house! I figured I would be in that house forever, so why not spend the money for an elevator so that I could get to the upstairs and the basement. 2 years later I got a divorce and had to move. Having an elevator in your home decreases the resale value. Having that thing put in was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I'm wishing I had that $30,000 now! If, however, money isn't an issue, then I suppose there is no reason to not get one. Now I live in a one level house and I like it much better. Just my experience of course.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Beaker:

    I had an elevator put in my last house. I don't remember the brand. Cost was $30,000. Took two guys about 3 months to put it in. I get claustrophobic and so I had them put glass doors on. It was pretty cool. Lesson learned - get a one level house! I figured I would be in that house forever, so why not spend the money for an elevator so that I could get to the upstairs and the basement. 2 years later I got a divorce and had to move. Having an elevator in your home decreases the resale value. Having that thing put in was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I'm wishing I had that $30,000 now! If, however, money isn't an issue, then I suppose there is no reason to not get one. Now I live in a one level house and I like it much better. Just my experience of course.

    Beaker,

    The house I'm looking at is in Portland. We've looked at TONS of homes, and single-level would certainly be my preference. But single-level homes are not abundant in the area we desire, unless we go for something tiny. Thanks much for your input.

  6. #6
    Ah, well I'm guessing you are looking at homes in older neighborhoods. That was my problem when I bought my first house. I really wanted a home that was built in around the 20s but all the houses that were big enough were not one level. Then after my divorce, I was okay with a smaller house and I found a one level that built in 1924. It's only 900 square feet though.

    So if you are looking in Portland, I'd like to recommend Dave Bearson of Bearson Enterprises. Hmmm, I was just looking up their phone number in the phone book and I'm not finding it. I'll look into it further and get back to you. They are the people who put mine in and they're very nice, and I think they did an excellent job.

  7. #7
    They do make stair chair lifts that run on a track and go around corners. Certainly a lot cheaper than an elevator or lift. I think I paid $3500.00 for mine about ten years ago, I believe http://www.chair-lift.com/products/s...rway_glide.htm.
    The only problem is 1) you have to transfer on and off it 2) you have to have another wheelchair at the top of the stairs. The newer ones have a battery backup too so that if the power goes off you are not screwed. Happened to me once when I was halfway up the stairs. Had to jump off the lift and climb up the rest of the stairs on my ass.

    I agree with with Beaker, try real hard to find a ranch, it makes life much more simple and less expensive and less to go wrong. You always have to worry about lifts breaking down.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #8
    I found his business card Clipper. It's Dave Bearson Const./Enterprises, Inc. Specializing in building and modifications for the disabled. 503-233-6422. Ask for Dave or Ken.

    I interviewed about 3 other places and I liked them the best. It was about 5 years ago that they put it in, but if you tell them Shannon from off of 36th and Hawthorne recommended them, they'd probably remember me. The people who bought my house didn't need the elevator, but they said they were going to leave it. I'm guessing they'd let you take a look at it if you were interested. Just send me an email if you'd like to try to arrange that.

    Let me know if I can be of any other help.

  9. #9
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    To Beaker:

    Bearson is the company that came out today to prepare an estimate! Yeah, 900 would be too tiny for us. We have 1350 now and are cramped. Thanks for getting that info!

    To Curtis:

    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I cannot transfer myself, and the staircase spirals and cannot be relocated without excessive cost. Ranch homes cannot be found in this particular part of the city, so I'm locked in with a two-level home. This particular house won't require much more than the lift.

  10. #10
    Try phoning American Lifts...I believe they are listed in the 800-555-1212 toll free directory.

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