How Much Does It Cost to Install an Elevator


In multilevel homes, installing either an elevator or a Passenger Elevator can be an option. Although both are often expensive additions to a home, they can serve to increase the total value of the property and make it more accessible for residents. Since the expense of installing either an elevator or a chairlift can be daunting, breaking down the cost of each gives potential buyers a better understanding of what influences prices and which option will be best for their house and budget.

Types of Elevators

In homes where elevators are the best choice, there will be the option of selecting between hydraulic elevators and pneumatic elevators. Hydraulic elevators are the most popular option, and they are also the most expensive to construct and maintain. Hydraulic elevators run by using a hydraulic arm that physically lifts and lowers the elevator cab itself. This kind of elevator is relatively quiet, at least compared to the cable elevators in larger apartment buildings.

It is often large enough for multiple passengers or two wheelchairs to fit side by side. A pneumatic elevator is a relatively new option that is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its affordable cost, minimal maintenance and speed of installation. The cabs of pneumatic elevators are made from glass, which lends a contemporary look to the home and can provide a view as passengers ride up or down between floors. Although there is technically a third option for elevators, cable-operated elevators are generally too large, too noisy and too expensive to consider for a private residence.

Elevator Cost Breakdown

Clearly, the installation of a system such as a residential elevator is going to require the hiring of licensed and experienced professionals. There are residential elevator contractors selling and installing all major brands, and their work will include:

  • Installation of a custom elevator designed to meet the needs of the owner. For this discussion we have selected a 15 square foot model of "average" design, which would include:
    • A cab of 6-10" in height, a single incandescent light, hardwood handrails, and an integrated control panel with built in emergency lighting and telephone fixture;
    • Vinyl or hardwood accordion gate to serve as entry door; and
    • A hydraulic system that offered up to 950 pounds in capacity, a travel speed of 40 feet per minute, and an auto lowering emergency system.
  • Installation of electronic control systems for style selected; and
  • Components designed to meet or exceed National Safety Codes for Elevator Safety.

Additional Factors That Can Influence Elevator Price

Along with the major features mentioned above, there are some optional additions or circumstances that can raise the price. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Vertical shaft created by an architect
  • Permits for construction and installation
  • Carpentry work for a custom job
  • Upscale features or materials
  • Higher ceilings or access to more than two floors

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