Elevator Advice, please

August 8, 2019
last modified: August 8, 2019

We are trying to figure out where to put an elevator modification to the permitted plans on a lot in the Florida Keys and could use recommendations for (or against) any manufacturers, installers, or basic advice from those who have gone before.

I‘ve read some previous threads but they were mostly pro/con and this is a “go”. Stairlift is not an option. This is the start to making the home truly wheelchair-accessible, not an “aging-in-place” type plan. Bathroom plans next but that will be another thread. And then kitchen of course.

Thanks, friends!

Comments (14)

  • artemis_ma

    CPArtist will no doubt see this post. She lives in south Florida and has put one in her home.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Check other local projects that have elevators to see what and who they used.

  • new-beginning

    inside the home or on the outside?

  • di0spyr0s


  • qam999

    Safety devices to prevent anyone ever being trapped, including power outages and loss of consciousness of a single user.

  • cpartist

    Sorry I won't recommend our elevator installers. I'll ask our inspector whom he might recommend.

  • c9pilot

    We don’t live there and don’t know of any other homes that have elevators installed in the area. We are hoping this will add appeal to our home as a seasonal rental over others.

    Depending on the dimensions, it is likely to be inside the ground level garage but opening outside on a patio on the 1st level. It will only work on the back side of the house and that’s all patio.

    cpartist - I’ve read up on your home and elevator, but could you briefly say why you wouldn’t recommend your installers if it’s something I should look out for? And would you recommend a specific brand?

  • cpartist

    Two of our three elevator installers were just as incompetent as the rest of the subs our builder hired. The elevator stopped working several times and eventually the whole brand new pump had to be replaced after 90 year old friends got stuck upstairs (thankfully not in the elevator) but they had to walk downstairs carefully.

  • c9pilot

    Anybody have experience with Stiltz lifts?

  • weedyacres

    Inclinator has been around a long time and makes good residential elevators.

  • new-beginning

    for an elevator that won't be INSIDE the home, I am going to recommend Affordable Wheelchair Lifts. We just installed one. Work in the entirety done by two 30 yr old DIYers. If you want photos I can do that tomorrow.

    c9pilot thanked new-beginning
  • CJ Haus

    Our 3-stop elevator was made by the Residential Elevator Company. It's HQ is in FL; I think it's in Tallahassee but am not positive. After over a decade, we're still pleased with it. So far it's needed the back-up battery replaced only once. It has a 900 (or 950 - too lazy to go verify) lb. capacity and is large enough to hold a person in a wheelchair plus at least two others standing.

    Over night guests park in our basement level garage and use the elevator to haul their luggage to the second floor. We've used it to move furniture and each year we move our artificial Christmas trees from a storage room in the basement where they can remain set up under old sheets. I now use it almost daily due to some mobility problems that developed in my fifties.

    If you're interested in the Stiltz elevator, check out YouTube for a video of a self-install job by a young husband and his helper. It was impressive.

  • cpartist

    I believe Keywest also put in an elevator in FL by Residential Elevator Co. (Wish we had!)

  • Ron Natalie

    I have a three landing elevator from Garaventa. We don't "need" it yet, but boy am I glad we have it. We have had some aged house guests (as well as an aged dog) that have made use of it. We've gotten big on carts. Much easier to put stuff on a cart and send it up int he elevator than to lug it on the stairs.

    Most of the residential units are pretty much the same. They are a platform that cilmbs a set of rails mounted to a stout wall on one side of the shaft. Either a electric winding drum or hydrualic motor moves it.

    In the event of power problems, you can always open the doors from the inside (you need to know how). A "key" opens the hoistway doors from the outside. I've got a UPS in it PLUS there's a manual lowering device if you go to the top floor. Further, since have a generator, I'm not overly concerned.

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