The idea of residential homeowners installing a home elevator isn’t just the preserve of those fancying a bit of luxury living in a sprawling country mansion or a multi-story townhouse in a high priced neighbourhood.
With the desire of more and more homeowners to stay living in their established home for longer – a state dubbed ‘ageing in situ’ – the need to adapt it to meet their changing circumstances is becoming more and more important, and installing a home elevator is becoming a popular solution.
How the demand has grown
A key issue as people age is mobility and access, and moving about the home can sometimes become a challenge. A home elevator to make moving from floor to floor easier is one way of adapting a property to meet changing personal circumstances, and it’s a growth market both in the UK and internationally fuelled by generally ageing populations.
The manufacturers clearly think so: many of the smaller to medium companies are now established in the domestic market and offer home elevators to go with their commercial solutions.
It’s not just the ageing householder who is being catered for. Some homeowners are finding that a home elevator is a good way of making access to other floors and levels quicker and easier, especially those who have built extensions or basements thus creating more levels or wishing to link outer buildings that may be on a different level to the main property.
The home elevator defined
It’s important to clarify what is meant by ‘home elevator’ as it isn’t the stair lift which has been a common feature of homes containing ageing residents for some time now.
A home elevator is like the lift in a department store, large office building or airport in that it travels vertically and transports one or more people up and down the floors or levels in a house. Some are designed to be sat in when used whereas others can be stood up in just like commercial types.
Years ago the upheaval of installing a lift in the home would have made it too much of an undertaking what with the need for a shaft, load bearing walls and the space required to house the machinery. Now though, manufacturing techniques such as the use of hydraulics and electrically operated systems with compact machinery make home elevators a far more realistic option.
Installing a home elevator may seem very expensive when all the costs are taken into account. Then again, when the alternative for older homeowners is the expense and upheaval of moving into a residential care home, or selling up and moving to a smaller property or a bungalow, then an elevator is often worth considering,
Similarly, for people extending their homes and installing an elevator, the costs compared to the expense and upheaval of moving to a larger property make it worthy of consideration
When they say the market is rising – in the case of home elevators it’s literally true.