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Home Elevators A Rising Trend

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At a point not too long ago, home elevators seemed like something one would only see watching ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’. However, over recent years, they have gained in popularity to serve many functions. While some might choose to add an elevator to their property as a status symbol, there are numerous other reasons that people opt for the construction of or retrofit installation of the mighty lift in their homes. It will be interesting to follow the home architecture trends through upcoming years to see if the elevator soars to new heights of popularity or peters merely out the way most trends do.

Elevator Types

There are three main elevator types that homeowners can choose from when it comes to adding one to their abode: hydraulic, traction, and pneumatic.

Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic elevators take up the most space and require the most planning. As they need a separate machine room to house the lift’s mechanics, this type of elevator must be part of a home’s construction or architectural plans. A hydraulic elevator is not an option for a retrofit. Due to the extra space and mechanics room required with a hydraulic elevator, it is one of the more expensive elevator-installation options.

Traction Elevators

Traction elevators are also referred to as machine room-less elevators (MRLs); hence, it does not require a separate space to function as a machine room for the lift’s mechanics. Traction elevators slide up and down a track via the mechanics of a counterweight. While it does not require a machine room, it does need a space on the lift’s top to store the machinery.

Pneumatic Elevators

With pneumatic elevators, a polycarbonate tube that houses a second separate internal tube uses air pressure to slide the lift up and down. Pneumatic elevators are the best choice for retrofit options as the outer tube diameter ranges from 30-to-52 inches, and it can be installed without the need for a shaft or separate machinery room. What homes need to retrofit a pneumatic elevator into their home is an opening that is wider than the tubes, in which the elevator can move up and down.

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Why Add an Elevator to a Home?

While it might make sense to some to add an elevator into a home, many see them as necessities exclusive to apartment buildings and high-rise office buildings.

Mobility Issues

The most obvious reason for adding one to a home is if someone in the home has a mobility-restricting medical issue that makes stairs an impossibility. For people like this who don’t want to live on one floor, adding an elevator to their home can solve a lot of mobility and transport issues.

Busy Families with Children

For some growing families with multiple residents, children, pets, strollers, and groceries to move up and down stairs, an elevator can be more than a luxury. For this demographic, designing a home is something many couples dream of, and in these designs, home elevators are becoming more and more commonplace.

Business Owners

More and more people are running businesses from inside their homes. For those whose business requires the regular transport of materials like caterers, interior designers, home stagers, or furniture flippers, an elevator can be a highly practical and functional way to merge their home and business lives.

Palatial Properties

For those whose homes are palatial properties with multiple floors and wings, elevators are both luxuries and necessities. Even if the property owners are young and have no mobility issues, at some point or another, they are likely to have a houseguest who would need assistance moving around the property. Transporting furniture, food, and people around properties of immense proportion would most certainly be a challenge that could easily be solved by the addition of an elevator, or two.


Let’s face it, there is another reason people might opt for adding a lift to their property: a status symbol. Still, a throwback to luxurious properties of the rich and famous, some homeowners with plenty of disposable income might opt for adding an elevator to their property for the mere status of it all.

Regardless of the reason for the addition of elevators to residential homes, when it comes to architectural trends, they are moving up.


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