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Having a home elevator installed is a process that requires careful thought and consideration both from the homeowner and from the elevator company doing the work. There are different types of elevators to choose from, and some residential elevators are easier to install than others. But no matter what kind of elevator you plan to add, here’s some advice for planning and designing elevator systems for the home.

How to Design and Plan an Elevator

Before the elevator design and installation process begins, these are some of the carefully thought out points that will need to be covered:

  • Where in your home the elevator will be installed
  • Power requirements
  • Elevator safety
  • The elevator drive system
  • Insurance considerations
  • Entry/exit configuration

Some of these steps are more related to the design process while others have more to do with the actual planning of where the elevator will go and how it will work. Keep reading to learn more about all of this! 

How to Plan for a Residential Elevator

If your home was built after the mid 1990s, there’s a chance your home has a preplanned elevator hoistway included, such as areas with stack closets to allow for the installation of a home elevator at a later date. Your home multi-story home might even have a small stacked pantry or office which allows for easy renovation to create the elevator hoistway.

But if a hoistway wasn’t preplanned in the home in an existing space, the location of your elevator will have to be where there’s a landing location on each floor. Finding an accessible route for the elevator can be more challenging depending on the type of elevator you’re choosing. 

In many cases, a vacuum elevator will take up less space than a hydraulic elevator, but they can be harder to “hide” within the home. If you opt for an elevator with a drive system that doesn’t require a separate machine room, this is also another good way to save space. Have a look at some of our machine roomless elevator options here. 

Whichever kind of elevator you choose, at least 25 square feet of indoor, unobstructed floor space is usually required for the installation process. 

Another planning consideration involves giving your home insurance company a call to see how adding an elevator to your home could affect your policy. The rebuild cost of your home is likely to go up after the addition of an elevator, which means you’ll need more dwelling coverage to have the proper financial protection in place. 

Depending on why your elevator is being installed, you may also need to consider ADA compliance. Learn more about that here. 

Now that we’ve covered some of the planning considerations for your home elevator, let’s talk about some of your design choices. 

How to Design an Elevator

There are so many excellent elevator styles and options to choose from so they can be built to accommodate any taste. 

When it comes to elevator interiors, these are some of the design choices you’ll need to make:  

● Lights: Including LED lighting or a variety of lights.

● Wood and stain: At Rise Above Elevator, you can choose from maple and oak wood as standard options. Additionally, we offer upgrades like natural walnut, cherry, and Sapele and 20 more stain options to choose from.

● Handrails: Handrails come in a multitude of materials, styles, and colors, that can be built to complement the style of your home.

● Gates: We offer accordion-style and scissor-style gates that can be manually or automatically opened. Depending on the style of gate you choose, you can choose from a wide selection of colors and materials.

● Accessories: Some of the elevator accessories you have to choose from include full and half glass walls, and full and half wall mirrors.

● Window treatments: Curtains and vinyl wraps are some of your window treatment options. Want to learn more about elevator windows? Take a look at our Home Elevator Cabs With Windows Style Guide.

Your elevator entry/exit configuration has to do with both the planning and the design of your elevator. Homeowners may be able to choose from a single opening, a straight-through opening (similar to a hallway), or a 90°. Some of these options might not work in every home depending on size constraints and other factors. 

What You Need for an Elevator Installation

Before your elevator is installed, you’ll want to have several things in place. 

What you need for an elevator installation is a combination of things from the homeowner as well as the elevator company. 

At Rise Above Elevator, we like to take care of as much of this process as we can to make it as hassle-free for the homeowner as possible. Give us a call today to find out more about exactly what you need to have in place before the process can begin. 

Things to Think About When Planning an Elevator for Your Home

Before you take the first step of inquiring about a residential elevator, we can summarize these points with some things you’ll want to have considered already. Of course, we can help with all of your planning and design needs, but this is a good place to start. 

  • Where in your home would offer enough space for a residential elevator? 
  • Have you inquired with your home insurance company about what an elevator will mean for your policy? 
  • Who will use the elevator? Is it required or being added for convenience?
  • How much room do you have in your budget for elevator installation? Here’s more on that topic. 
  • What type of elevator would you like in your home? A vacuum elevator? A hydraulic elevator? A machine roomless elevator?
  • Would you like your elevator to match the style and decor of your existing space or would you opt for more of a statement elevator? 

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about! But we’re here to help every step of the way. Get in touch today and we’ll get started!