A different way to build a house #46 – How to add an elevator to your home

Let’s imagine that you have a 2-story home, or a 2-story home with a basement, and you would like to add an elevator to it. You might consider doing this because you or someone else in your household has recently started using a wheelchair, or because of age. Or you might be doing it simply because it is cool.

If you are building a new house you can obviously design the space for the elevator shaft right into the house and it is no problem. You might install an elevator like this one in the shaft:

This article describes the four different drive mechanisms used to move residential elevators up and down. The one depicted above uses an electric motor, a chain drive and a counterweight. There are also pneumatic tube elevators that use a vacuum system to raise the elevator cab in a tube:


But if you are not building a new house, then you have 3 options:

1) Add an elevator shaft in available space inside the home. You might, for example, have room in or near the foyer or living room. You might make it a glass elevator, and when you get done it will look like this:

2) You can add a new elevator shaft outside the home. The following video shows what an exterior glass elevator might look like:

It could also be an non-glass shaft that matches your existing siding.

3) You can add an elevator shaft during a “gut/rehab” of the interior of your home, as described here:

In the previous video, the topic of price comes up. He mentions $20,000, then moves to $30,000, then suggests that framing, finishing and wiring are additional expenses that push the cost toward $40,000 or $50,000.

What if you don’t have $50K? Stair lifts are available from a number of companies and provide a lower-cost option. Here is one example:

There is also the DIY approach:

The following video suggests the possibility of using a electric shop winch to do the lifting for a DIY elevator:

There are also elevators for your stuff:

Other House Ideas

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