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Would you ever put an elevator in your home?

Jeannie Nguyen
7 years ago
This is definitely a luxurious item, but would you ever consider putting one in your home? Let us know why or why not.

If you have one, please share your comments/photos with us!

Interiors · More Info
YES - Who wouldn't want that luxury?
NO - That's just a little ridiculous.
NEUTRAL - Doesn't matter to me.

Comments (127)

  • chookchook2
    7 years ago
    This discussion is uplifting. The author won't let you down.
  • Elizabeth vaughan
    7 years ago
    I am finalizing my plans for a house. It is going to have an elevator to access 3 floors (basement, 1st, and 2nd). I was wondering what Brands/models people might recommend. Some key features would be reliability/safety, quiet, easy to push buttons, attractive.
    Also, if anyone knows of any online resources with elevator reviews.
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  • Odette
    7 years ago
    We are in the process of designing our forever home, a bungalow with finished lower level. We will allocate a space for an elevator which will just be a large closet for now. Wiring and structural requirements will be put in. This is very little additional cost if done up front. If down the road we need an elevator to allow us to "age in place" we'll put in the elevator. Even the cost of an elevator down the road is less than half a year in a seniors complex or the realtor's commission if one were forced to move due to a physical challenge.
  • Eliza Jane Darling
    7 years ago
    I can see the uses for someone with mobility issues, or in a house with an upstairs fireplace/stove, but I certainly wouldn't install the tacky one pictured under the poll. Maybe a cleverly-hidden one. I've always wanted a dumbwaiter, though.
  • survivormaggie
    7 years ago
    We actually have a space that was built into our home when we designed it, just in case one of our parents needs to move in when they are older and need to be cared for.
  • PRO
    Executive Elevator Company
    7 years ago
    I grew up with an elevator in our house. It was used to safely move heavy or bulky furniture or appliances when needed. It was also used when one of us had and injury or even surgery and couldn't handle the steps. When elderly relatives came to visit it was used. It wasn't used like a commercial elevator so we didn't wear it out and it helped sell the home when we moved. If I was building a home now I would put one in or at least plan for the elevator by stacking closets on top of each other at each floor to provide a shaft for later. It would help keep me in my home instead of having to move to a single story. If the power went out it can always take me down for safety reasons.
  • jaimeb1776
    7 years ago
    We have an elevator in the home we are living in now. My boyfriend put it in when he was building the home (before he met me) because he thought it would be cool. Apparently they are not that expensive. Although we don't use it often, it has been useful. A few years ago he busted his knee so it a necessity for that. If the house has 3 or more stories, it's a good investment.
  • lincolnlover
    7 years ago
    Okay well it depends on the house but overall if it saves time and energy why not?
  • PRO
    Atlas Custom Cabinets Ltd
    6 years ago
    Good question. It does make sense to plan ahead and to make your house wheelchair accessible, but I would be tempted to use the elevator in everyday life and avoid taking the stairs. I think I would not install an elevator, until actually needed.
  • kristinanadreau
    5 years ago

    yes of course. I have 2 bad knees and a hinky hip! In our current house we had originally planned to put in an elevator but changed our minds because we turned the second floor into a rental, while we live on the first floor. just last night I went up the circular stairs and I would much rather live up there. We are located in Central America so our houses are concrete. Often stairs are located on the exterior of the house. I could have had a home made elevator contructed for less than $1000 US dollars and no one would ever require inspection.

  • Doc Sennett
    5 years ago
    As I get older, the desire for one grows stronger. What's sad is I only have a one story home.
  • kcren
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I picked no for a couple reasons. First, elevators will only encourage sedentary living. Where exercise is vital to us, I would prefer to use the stairs. Also, I don't like the feeling of being stuck in the elevator when it breaks down. Sure. An elevator for a multi-family unit is good, just not in a single family. Doesn't feel right.

    For mobility reasons I would prefer single story or multi-family housing.

  • PRO
    All-Ways Elevator INC
    5 years ago

    Planning ahead for the future is always a good idea. Making your home more accessible whether it be an Elevator, Vertical Platform Lift, or Stair Chair.

  • Hannah Rivera
    5 years ago
    YES!
  • nanasuesto10
    5 years ago

    We are in the planning stages to build a 3 story home on the Gulf coast. The ground floor is elevated on pilings to meet code and we will live on the 2nd & 3rd floors [master bedroom]. This is our dream home and our LAST home! We know the knees or hips will give out; or some medical aliment may occur and for those reasons an elevator is more a necessity than a luxury...and the size is being determined so that a wheelchair will fit! If anyone can make recommendations, experiences etc. I love to hear from you!!!

  • mkmort
    5 years ago

    Check the code in your municipality. I've heard an outside elevator has different requirements and fewer inspections than an inside elevator. If you live on the coast you may have seen a few that are up to balcony instead of enclosed in the home. I don't have specifics but I live on the coast and heard from a few people that the regulations for inside elevators are much more stringent.

  • nanasuesto10
    5 years ago

    Thanks! We're boxing for a shaft from the get-go as don't want to have to contend with bad weather. A couple of houses on our street are exterior retrofitted elevators and work great but no fun to use them when it's a monsoon outside!

  • PRO
    Dana Reynolds Interiors & Home Staging
    5 years ago

    I had a home with an elevator..... I only used it to take luggage up and down when traveling..... I was always afraid it would stop while I was in it.... So it was like a big expensive dumb waiter :) It was super cool though!

  • juliaserblowski
    5 years ago

    All the newer housing being built is all up at least 3 flights of massive stairs carrying laundry or a back injury an elevator would be a very welcome addition

  • julesxoxo
    5 years ago
    My mom is a paraplegic and in a wheelchair, an elevator would be awesome.
  • havingfun
    5 years ago

    I keep reading the same thing over and over, yes for aging in place. someone even said that it does no good if you are not prepared with extra wide passage for wheel chair. I am not considered aged, I have always been active and healthy, and I do not need a wheel chair. I looked it up and millions of people in the US have some form of lung disease it is the 3rd largest cause of death. I had a rare cancer, there are only 8000 of us alive in the world. Your wide hallways would make my life miserable but, i can not walk up or down stairs either. I moved here got sick within 6 months. To move now would be very difficult and here, people know me. I am close to neighbors, the hospital, and most of my doctors. I have lost the use of half my house. So no an elevator is not a luxury. Yes you might need it before you are old, and no there is a good chance you will never need a wheel chair, so those wide halls will make you curse yourself.

  • nanasuesto10
    5 years ago

    Thank you 'havingfun' for your input! I'm one of those who plans' on finishing my life in our latest building project here on the coast of Florida. Yes, we are putting in a wheelchair accessible elevator, as the 'living area' will be on the 2nd and 3rd floors... and only access to those floors would be by either a very full flight of stairs or the elevator. Worried about illness, physical incapacity or a combo dictates I should be prepared 'just in case'. Using ADA requirements, I decided to make sure most of the house would have 4' wide hallways, pathways and one bathroom on each floor wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair... I'm not bothering with being able to 'park' under counters, etc. ...I'll make do! Lastly, I'm having a propane back up generator installed for peace of mind and again, 'just in case'!!!


  • havingfun
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    As i said, many people young and old, need oxygen. When you have oxygen problems, going farther to the bathroom is a heartache, ramps are a heartache. Most of the people who use carts in stores, are either limited by their oxygen intake or some form of arthritis, walking is hard for any great distance.

    Just over 6.8 million community-resident Americans use assistive devices
    to help them with mobility. This group comprises 1.7 million wheelchair
    or scooter riders and 6.1 million users of other mobility devices, such
    as canes, crutches, and walkers.

    If you read the following article you will see that most mobility device users, use them due to arthritis and/or heart/oxy problems. They can hobble around their homes, most can make it up 2-5 steps with help. Ramps are worse because they take so long, same with extra space. These people make up roughly 5 times those in wheel chairs.

    http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/mobility-stats.php

    I hate to ask but how many out there are in wheel chairs, because wheel chair accessibility prevents them from getting around their homes?

  • PRO
    Lori Dennis, Inc.
    5 years ago

    If an elevator fit in the budget, I would definitely add one. It allows for comfort at any age and ability, while living in a vertical home with less sprawl.

  • ninigret
    5 years ago

    my house has 3 levels of living space + the basement, and i have the spot for the elevator all ready. it was part of our decision process when we bought this house in our mid 50s.

  • PRO
    Andy McRory Photography
    5 years ago
    It's case-by-case. For lux factor, I think it's a waste of money. But for needs, it's great. My niece has CP, and my BIL designed their home with an elevator in mind for a powered chair.
  • havingfun
    5 years ago

    I agree andy. Just like to get the word out there that for most, if not due to be afflicted with a degenerative disease, that wheel chair bit is going to be a killer.

  • PRO
    Andy McRory Photography
    5 years ago
    I will amend my earlier answer: I shoot a lot of new vacation beach-front properties (for VRBO, AirBnb, etc). Many builders/remodelers are adding small elevators when there are 3 floors and lots of stairs. Helps a ton with luggage and the mgmt can charge a rent premium that many people will gladly pay for the convenience.
  • Ruby Stewart
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yes, we have one, and its great for elderly people, luggage, groceries to come upstairs from the garage, and also at times when you're feeling lazy;D

  • havingfun
    5 years ago

    starting to hate the term elderly.

  • PRO
    Andy McRory Photography
    5 years ago

    You sound elderly.

  • havingfun
    5 years ago

    nope in 50s, just get tired of being clumped all together. or everyone thinking that is all they need to plan for.

  • luvourhome
    5 years ago

    Sure, an elevator that allowed someone to stay at home longer or made life easier for their challenge so they could stay at home would be great. Just for the sake of having one? No. If you need an elevator in your home otherwise? It's too big. Or you're too lazy, or both, lol. I suppose if you have lots of money and can foot the bill, an elevator is like another toy to add to the shoe collection.

    I wouldn't mind an elevator for groceries and such--like an old school dumb-waiter, but I still want stairs.

    If I had the money for an elevator? I'd use it to build one at a church we know needs one, not for our home.

  • Pam Lowery
    4 years ago

    PirateFoxy makes a good point about the emotional value and a long-loved house being "home" and a great comfort in our later years.

    To expand on that, a long-owned home may not be financially feasible to move from. If you've owned your home 20+ years, you're still paying property taxes on a value much closer to what you paid than current prices and you may still have a mortgage payment that is reasonable. Moving can increase property taxes, mortgage interest and payments and bring about homeowner's association dues that one may not have on an existing/older home. And if retired, most of us can expect reduced income... Just another side to consider. So, adding or having an elevator may be the best fix for aging at home!

  • PRO
    Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This is a virtual blue print of what I would like in my dream home, but not green tinted!

    Once I've got my location, I'm having my home designed and built with a lift/stairs feature incorporated in it very similar to this. As many others have commented on the mobility issues, this is exactly the reason I hope to settle in my new home for the foreseeable and thus have future issues covered as best I can.

  • PRO
    Through The Garden, Inc.
    4 years ago

    That's a very nice elevator first thing i have to say. I guess depends how the house looks. I think it some instances it would look a very nice feature to have and other instances it maybe such a waste of space and money.

  • havingfun
    4 years ago

    although i have not bought one yet, the stairlift might be a more reasonable idea

  • PRO
    Through The Garden, Inc.
    4 years ago

    I live in an historic home with an elevator. It is an interesting conversation piece but we only use it once or twice a year. It's mostly used for temporary storage.

  • Sue Burns
    4 years ago
    There are a lot of valid comments on reasons to have an elevator in your home and I agree with all of them! We will be building a new home in a couple of years and because it will be a two story, will be putting in the shaft or stacked closets to install an elevator when needed. There are many reasons for this, one being our intention to "age in place" (please forgive the term, @havingfun!). But I also live with some chronic health issues that have caused us to change things in our current home to work better for us. Universal design is the name for making areas of your home accessible for anyone who might have difficulty getting around. Our bathroom shower will be wheelchair accessible, the toilet ADA, etc. It isn't a matter of not wanting to use stairs or stay fit. Speaking just for myself, I can use them, it is carrying things up and down that I have trouble with. We plan to live on the first floor, but chose to put in a second floor for extra bedrooms and storage, as well as my husband's office. This will be our last home as well as a legacy to our family ( it is on a beautiful, pristine lake) and we want to enjoy every day of living there.
  • elipres
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    It would depend on the house and the physical abilities of those living there. Might make absolute sense or might be ridiculous

  • Donna
    last year

    We plan to have a vertical lift installed in our three-story home. It appears that the smallest footprint for a wheelchair-accessible lift is about 50' x 54'. Does anyone have advice or information on anything smaller that accommodates a wheelchair? Any comments from people with experience? Many thanks.

  • nanasuesto10
    last year

    As a former nurse and having had an elevator installed in my new three-story home the following thoughts might help you. The purpose is to transport not only a wheelchair but another person assisting as one without the other could be quite frustrating, especially as the wheelchairee becomes older. What may possibly meet your needs today may be too small tomorrow. If medical equipment may ever need to be transported at any time, that should weigh into your decision on size too. Much better to err on the side of too big vs too small.... as too small could become useless over time. The mentioned size is approximately what I have installed...the measurement is ID.... on the inside of the elevator. Good luck~

  • Donna
    last year

    Thank you for your very helpful response.

  • Karen Falls
    last year

    Yes! Looking to have one added to our 3 story home now, as my husband, a disabled Vietnam Veteran, keeps falling down the stairs. Agent Orange is/has been wreaking havoc with his body. He's not ready to go to a nursing home. It's the only way he can stay in our home!

  • worthy
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Instead of installing a chairlift, my mother had a knee replacement. The operation was a success. But she died, long and agonizingly, from a c. dificile infection picked up in the hospital. Our latest new home will have an elevator shaft, just in case an elevator is ever needed.

  • Lars
    last year

    I was told that they are illegal in San Francisco, due to the risk of being trapped during an earthquake, but I knew someone who had one in his house on Telegraph Hill. I think he was the one who told me that it was illegal.

  • Elyn's Library
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Your information is outdated. Your friend's elevator may have been out of date and therefore illegal. Of course elevators are allowed in San Francisco County. They just have to meet current Building Codes.

  • Esther Tropper
    last year

    My family has 2 special needs children so it is helpful but for a regular family with no need specific need for it, it is useless.

  • htaffy httaff
    7 months ago

    Good to have for two+ stories homes and not just for health. If you need to carry items, carry a child, laundry or have large items moved to the second floor, an elevator would definitely help and prevent accidents such as falling down the stairs when carrying items up to the stairs.

    Lastly, if this is your 2+ story dream home, an elevator is a must so that you can Age In Place and don't have to move because you can no longer go up the stairs. Many of my friends parents that live in two story homes either end up living downstairs only and no longer go up to the second floor or they sell their homes for a single level home.

  • Gary Ellis
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Many good personal and future-minded reasons for adding an elevator here to agree with. I am building a 3-storey townhouse, and for me there are also other reasons: layout will have kind of an upside-down design where kitchen and living areas are on top, with bedrooms on middle floor. While an elevator's practical usefulness speaks for itself, there is also a psychological reason for it. Not just knowing I will be OK if my mobility fails but also, for example, having to let guests in on the ground floor and making them walk 2 flights up would not be a source of pride. So even if the stairs are still mostly used it will always be of comfort knowing the elevator is there. Also, since there will be an elevator I am OK not putting a powder room on top floor, because nobody will be forced to use stairs to reach a bathroom. But most no-brainer of all is elevators typically provide a positive return on investment if/when the house is sold. Which makes for good 'bidness sense.