Glass door for Home Elevator

Exterior Elevator, glazed cab

There are different types of residential lifts on the market to choose from such as Electric, Overhead Winding Drum, Vacuum and Hydraulic Home Elevators.  All have advantages and disadvantages ranging from noise, reliability, space and installation requirements.  For residences in a seismic zone like Vancouver, BC or California, US  the recommended system is the Hydraulic as it can run in a power failure, does not require gears or a counter balance to work and is the most reliable of all the systems in an emergency, getting the occupants “down” to the exit level.  The mechanical room is usually in the basement or  as an addition to the outside of the house. (local codes permitting)  The size and load capacity of the elevator depends on the occupants usage.

The Hydraulic model comes in 2 basic styles; the more traditional enclosed version with drywall surround and  finished to match existing paneling in the home.  There is also a glazed version called the “Crystal” which allows the occupant to take in the view on the way to the top.  This style also helps relieve any claustrophobic feeling of being confined to small spaces;  the occupant always knows where they are between levels.  This would be the perfect option when the elevator is on the outside of the house.  Both glazed and enclosed types go into existing homes by cutting through floors for access.  One of the major advantages of Canada Home Elevator’s models is that they only need 4”  to countersink flush to the landing .  Other models have an 8” rise which aesthetically is more challenging if countersinking the elevator flush to the landing is not an option.  In this case the elevator will be sitting above grade. This is where the 4” rise has the advantage as it will mean a shorter ramp down to make the grade.

There are many things to consider when selecting the right home elevator.  If you would like to know more detailed information about Home Elevators I would recommend talking with Ben Lean of Canada Home Elevators.  Ben is very personable,  has an engineering background and  over 25 years experience dealing in elevators.  Janice Clements at Target Interiors would be willing to help you with incorporating barrier free design into your home or business.

written by: J. Clements

photos courtesy of Canada Home Elevator