Stair Lifts and Home Elevators Offer Different Benefits to Homeowners

Although stair lifts are fairly familiar and are often associated with the homes of the elderly, home elevators with full-sized enclosed cabs offer a wider range of usage. People of any age can use an elevator, and it allows for quick transportation of laundry, groceries, small children, guests and much more.

It used to be that home elevators were found only in extravagant households. But as prices have fallen and demand has risen, residential elevators have become more common. If you are thinking about the installation of one of these devices in your house, consulting with a distributor or manufacturer can help you make the right choice given your options. Considerations to inquire about while shopping around include costs, design alternatives, setup procedures, capabilities and safety features.

Starting with price, a stair lift will likely be far less expensive compared to an elevator. Given a straight staircase and uncomplicated installation, a lift averages between $3,000 and $4,000. Curved stairways present a greater challenge because the rail will need to be custom-made; this will drive the cost up to as much as twice the price of a straight stairway. On the other hand, bare-bones residential elevator prices might start as low as $10,000, and based on the structure, the model, and the options selected, they could run much higher. A very high-end elaborate unit can be $100,000 or more – though most home owners should be able to find a model to suit their needs for significantly less. Refurbished units of both stair lifts and elevators are also sometimes available. While they are often like-new and may offer incredible savings, they must be adaptable to the design of your home. Also, as newer models roll out, they could have features that are indispensable for your needs, but cannot be modified to fit the older model.

In regards to space and installation, a stair lift is, by nature, a visible upgrade to a staircase, while an elevator is usually concealed inside a shaft. If aesthetics are the biggest factor, an elevator offers the most advantages. However, several options are offered with stair lifts that will help customize their look and feel. Color, material and chair design choices help them to blend more into the look of a home, while options such as arm rests, double seats and built-in massagers enhance their versatility. For new construction, it is important to remember that an elevator will use up a quarter of the square footage of a stair lift and may add up to 10 percent to the value of a home.

Besides cost, functionality will likely affect your selection the most. Think about weight and other needs; lifts are able to support as much as 400 pounds, although people in wheelchairs will probably have more difficulty with them. However, not all elevators are fully wheelchair-accessible either. That option is available though, and the full-cab model does offer a number of other benefits, since the size and weight limits can accommodate far more than just an elderly or disabled individual.

Safety factors are of primary importance. The stairway can be a possible hazard, especially for older residents, and both lifts and elevators can ensure easy passage between levels. Whatever the type, boarding needs to be easy and straightforward. A back-up power source should be in place in case of a power outage, and an alarm must also be readily accessible in the event of an emergency.

The best thing to do before deciding on any kind of building addition or modification is to have an expert come to your residence to help you understand the options available. Not all floor plans will easily allow for a complete elevator, so your choices could be restricted. Nevertheless, an expert can answer your questions, outline your options and help you figure out what will work best for your needs and lifestyle.

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If you seek home elevators, he recommends Symmetry. With 30 years of experience, their nationwide network of qualified professionals can help you install a custom elevator, with a variety of styles and choices to choose from.

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