One of the coolest home improvement investment for your property is an outside elevator for your home. They are also very convenient if you have a home that is more than a couple of stories tall.
This article will help guide you why you would want an elevator outside your home. Additionally, it will also go over how to start planning. And, in no time you will have a beautiful and useful addition to your home that has increased its property value.
Why Do We Need One?
You are familiar with outside elevators. You’ve seen them in outside malls, or, in beautiful courtyard hotels. But, have you ever imagined one in your own home?
You may have different motives to install an outside elevator. Traditionally, if you installed an elevator inside your home it was because you or a family member had a disability that made moving difficult. Whether from age or accident, you installed an elevator to get around.
And, that still holds true. With the rise of an aging population, many of the elderly are opting to install elevators inside their homes. But, what about those on the outside of your home?
There are many reasons to have outside elevators. One of the reasons is because your building is built on different landscape levels.
Suppose your garage is at the top of a ravine near the road, but your home nestles at the bottom. Would you want to carry groceries up and down those stairs all the time? Probably not. This is where the installation of an outside elevator would benefit you and your family.
Alternatively, you may have a home on a cliff. If that home is built part ways into the cliff you may want to install an outside elevator. It would be for ease of access from one part of the house to another. But, fancy home designs aren’t the only reason to have an elevator.
You may have simple reasons for installing an elevator. You don’t want to climb stairs. Regardless if your home is 2 or 5 stories, if stairs are a problem then an elevator is the solution.
But, inside elevators take space, and, it could take up a lot of space in your home. It all depends on how fancy your elevator is. So, the solution is an outside elevator.
Reasons for Installing an Outside Elevator
- To connect parts of your home on different landscape levels
- Elevated porch or deck
- Beachside or coastal property
- Inconvenient to take stairs to transport cargo
Outside Elevator Quick Overview
Just like inside elevators, outside elevators also have a space-consuming shaft. But, unlike an inside elevator, the shaft does not take up space inside the house; instead, it goes alongside the house.
Alternatively, you can also go with a lift. A lift is a little different than an elevator because it is not fully enclosed, and, it often does not need a shaft.
These lifts may also be referred to as vertical platform lifts, or porch lifts, and, they are very popular with people who are wheelchair bound or have other issues with mobility.
So, are outside elevators and lifts only for people with problems getting around? Not at all, though you may benefit from planning for the future. Outside elevators can create ambiance getting to the top floors of decks or above flood lines.
For example, if you have an elevated outdoor deck, rather than having a couple of flights of stairs, you can install a glass enclosed elevator or lift instead. This way, you can still enjoy being outside without the physical stress of climbing stairs.
Alternatively, you may have a beautiful beach house situated on a cliff. The view is breathtaking. But, the trek down to the beach takes your breath away in a different way. So, you can build an outside elevator or vertical lift to bypass many flights of stairs and get to the beach more easily.
How Do I Get One?
So, now that you know a little more about them, how do you go about getting an outside elevator? Unfortunately, the process is not quite so simple.
There are many considerations to take in. This includes: price, shaft placement, drive system, gates, and cab. You need to decide on every point before actual installation.
There is no way around it. An elevator will be expensive. It doesn’t matter where you decide to put it, or which incarnation you decide on. It will be an investment.
Typically, you will speak with an installation consultant or contractor to receive an estimate. Even so, they may be reluctant to give you an actual price. This is because elevators have highly customized components.
Even when you receive a quote, it may change depending whether your final product contains high- or low-end changes. Unfortunately, many companies take advantage of this ignorance and offer cheap packages.
These cheap packages are more than simply low in price; they are also low-end quality. Like pricing expensive custom furniture, make sure to check out the cab material.
Also, take a good look at the cab size. Many cheap packages are sold with cramped elevator cabs. Both this and the material give a savvy salesman the opportunity to up-sale a previously “cheap” elevator package.
Another consideration is where you intend to put the elevator shaft. Since this article is primarily about outside elevators, think about where on your property this will go. It will also need to attach to the house in some way for access.
Next, decide what type of drive system you want. Some are quieter than others. Some are more cost effective. And, still others require more maintenance.
You will go over all the pros and cons of each type with your contractor. But, it’s important to know that this will play a large part in the final cost of your elevator.
Gates and Cab
Finally, the gates and cab are the last decision you will make about your new outside elevator for home. The cab is what you, and what you are transporting, will ride in. This is when you will decide how big it should be, and what materials you want for it.
The gates are the security feature to keep the occupants of the cab in place. Like the cab, it can be as functional or as opulent as you want it to be, which will reflect in the price. You will also be looking at device control choices as you choose the materials and design your elevator.
Choosing to install an outside elevator for home use is a worthy, but costly investment. Even if you are not experiencing any mobility issues, it can improve your quality of life. Think of how much easier it would be to carry things back and forth.
However, it is also not a decision to take lightly. This will take up room on your property and diminish your bank account quite a bit. But, it will over time increase the value of your home.
So, weigh the pros and cons of having an outside elevator. They were once a luxury item for the rich, but, nowadays, home elevators are becoming more commonplace. Perhaps this is also the right step for you.