Installing an elevator in your home can be life changing for many people because they help reduce the strain that comes with carrying things down or up the stairs, help aging homeowners stay in their homes longer, and help people with mobility issues get around the house. You can factor your home elevator cost in when you do a remodel or add an extension, and you get the choice of three different elevators. Two elevators allow you to retrofit them into a current home, but one can only go in if you’re building from scratch.
You can make them look decorative or concealed, or you can add them right out in the open to add a whimsical look to your home while making the house more functional. Additionally, you can help justify the home elevator cost by thinking about how it’ll increase your home’s overall value. This type of thing looks very good to buyers, especially if they’re older and want to find a home to live in by themselves as they continue to age. It makes the entire home more accessible too.
Pneumatic and hydraulic elevators are the two most common types you see installed in homes today. If you want to have a pneumatic elevator installed, your home elevator cost will hover around $45,000. For an installed hydraulic elevator, your home elevator cost will range around $30,000. On the higher end of the price spectrum, your home elevator cost could easily reach $60,000. The most common price range estimate for this project is $35,000 to $50,000. For the equipment, your home elevator cost is between $1,000 and $40,000. Labor adds another $1,000 to $20,000. Finally, an outdoor lift will cost between $2,000 to $10,000.
As you can see, this is a broad range, and your home elevator cost can quickly and easily climb up into the tens of thousands of dollars range. This is why it’s necessary to know the scope of the project and have a rough estimate on your final costs. Doing so will help ensure you get the best type of elevator for your home that matches your needs without having a surprising bill in the end. We’ll break down the biggest components of your home elevator cost below.
Your home elevator can be a sleek and simple device or something much more complex. If you go with the complex elevator, your installation costs will rise because there are more components to worry about. Elevator by Matt Acevedo / CC BY 2.0
Home Elevator Costs by Different Types
Today, you can choose from five different types of home elevators. Depending on the manufacturer you go with, you could get variations inside these five basic types. However, the mechanics don’t change a lot. You’ll most commonly find pneumatic and hydraulic in homes. The biggest types and their price points are:
On average, your home elevator cost for a cable-driven system ranges from $15,000 to $35,000. In this elevator type, a cable winds around a turning drum. This is what will make the elevator raise or lower. The drum does need a significant amount of space, and this doesn’t include the space the shaft needs. It does come with a slightly smaller footprint.
You’ll typically see this type of elevator in new house builds, but it’s relatively easy to add it to existing homes without making your home elevator cost skyrocket. These are very similar to the style elevators you’d find in office buildings, commercial buildings, and hotels. You’ll have to have a mechanical room for them to operate. However, the cable can break without proper maintenance. You’ll want to replace it on a schedule once every five years to keep it safe.
The home elevator cost for a chain-driven system ranges from $27,000 to $62,000. With this style elevator, you’ll attach a counterweight to a chain. The counterweight travels in the opposite direction of the car. The shaft on this elevator system has to be a lot larger, but it doesn’t need to accommodate a separate motor room like you’d have on a cable-driven system.
This elevator runs just like a cable-driven model does, but the chains are much stronger than the cables. It’s more durable, and it’ll generally last longer. This can help you justify the home elevator cost. You’ll have less maintenance, but they’re louder to operate. This is why most people avoid them for home elevator projects.
For home models, geared traction-style elevators have an average home elevator cost range of $25,000 to $38,000. This is on the slightly lower end of the spectrum. The motor comes with a gearbox attached to it, and it uses a pulley system to lower and raise the elevator car. This type of elevator has a slightly slower speed than other models, and it has a maximum travel distance of 250 feet. However, it has lower energy consumption levels associated with it.
This type of elevator has a slightly more broad cost range associated with it. Your home elevator cost will range from $29,000 to $55,000. These elevators work by sliding along a track, and there is a counterweight system attached that will lower and raise the elevator. This is a great pick if you already have an existing home over a build from scratch because they don’t take up a lot of room. There is also no need for a mechanical room or pit with it.
You will need to have extra space at the top of the elevator because this is where the mechanical parts responsible for lifting and lowering the elevator are. It’s a great choice for commercial projects, but it’s not popular for homes due to the odd space constraints.
The home elevator cost for a hydraulic lift model starts at $22,000 and goes up to $53,000. With this style of elevator, you get a cylinder with a piston inside of it that moves and powers the elevator to raise or lower it. The entire power system for this elevator is inside the elevator shaft, they won’t need a machine room or a separate mechanical room. The controller is also very compact, and it’ll fit easily inside a cabinet on the wall right alongside the elevator.
You can choose from two hydraulic systems, including holeless and holed. A holed system requires that you set it up so the cylinder goes down into the ground, so you’ll have to have space for a pit. The holeless system doesn’t need a pit to operate. You should replace the cables once every five years to keep it safe and operational, so add this to your ongoing home elevator costs.
This is one of the highest home elevator costs on the list at $35,000 to $60,000. This elevator features a vacuum tube that pulls the elevator car up and drops it back down. It takes up slightly less space, but it’s very visible. When it comes to this style elevator, you won’t need to worry about a machine room or pit, and this makes it very easy to retrofit into your home during a remodel project. However, it’s highly visible and you can’t hide it once you have it installed.
The type of elevator you want will impact your total project costs because some are much more involved to install because they require extensive renovations to your home. Others are more straightforward and simple. Elevator by OiMax / CC BY 2.0
Home Elevator Prices by Size
How big your elevator is will directly impact your total home elevator costs. Most building codes will limit the size of your residential elevator to a maximum of 18-square feet or less. If you want to have an hydraulic elevator that fits these codes, you must block off a five-square foot area. This elevator gets built into your home, and you can easily conceal them behind a bookcase or door. Most get finished or decorated to look like they were always a part of the home.
Pneumatic or vacuum elevators take up less space, and you can get away with a model that is three-feet by four-feet. This is enough room for a single occupant in a wheelchair, and these are the passengers most pneumatic elevators come designed to carry. Even a bigger elevator may only hold one or two occupants because they have a weight limit of 450 to 500-pounds.
A pneumatic elevator is a transparent or clear tube that is right out in the open in your home. They have fewer decorative options or features on them. However, your home elevator cost will be significantly lower because they take up less space and have lower labor needs. You can use them in areas that are smaller too.
A more simple elevator that will fit one or two occupants will give you a space-saving design. Weight capacities and diameters are more modest because they’re designed to help one person who has mobility issues. Bigger elevators are a more solid choice if you have room to accommodate the size requirements. If you get a heavy-duty elevator, it can usually accommodate wheelchairs and hold up to $1,400 pounds. Other common size limitations include:
- 1 Occupant – 350-pound weight limit – $18,000
- 2 Occupants – 500-pound weight limit – $25,000
- 3 Occupants – 900-pound weight limit – $32,000
- 4 Occupants – 1,100-pound weight limit – $40,000
- 5 Occupants – 1,250-pound weight limit – $48,000
- 6 Occupants – 1,400-pound weight limit – $65,000
Home Elevator Costs by Brand
When it comes to home elevator costs, you want to shop through a few different brands to ensure you’re getting the best deals while still getting quality. The elevator you pick out should depend on how well it meets your wants and needs, but the most popular brands are:
Your home elevator cost for a Crystal model will range from $30,000 to $40,000. These are usually a custom option if you want a more high-end lift. You can easily pick out the size of the elevator you want, but it also comes with design elements like recessed lighting. This manufacturer uses self-contained equipment pieces, so you won’t need to worry about a machine room.
This brand comes with some of the lowest home elevator costs on the market. On average, you’ll pay between $12,000 and $16,000. The goal of this brand is to give their client base very reliable and solid home elevators. You won’t need a shaft to install it in, and you can install it on any type of load-bearing wall in your home.
Each model runs very quietly, and you can fit a wheelchair comfortably in them. You won’t need major construction or rewiring for this elevator, so you won’t have to do a remodeling project with it.
On average, this home elevator cost will range from $25,000 to $35,000. Every elevator gets made to order, and this allows you to have as much control over the design process as you possibly can. You can pick out the style and size, and you can add important safety features to the design like gates. There are several drive options available due to the custom natural of the company.
The average home elevator cost range from one from Otis falls between $40,000 and $50,000. This is one of the most well-known companies available all around the world. You can choose from a big number of elevators and lifts for residential and commercial purposes. You can get them retrofit or built with new construction, and they offer a host of compact elevator choices. You can even get ones for apartments. Residential-style elevators measure up to 12 meters cubed.
If you install a pneumatic-style elevator, your home elevator cost will range from $35,000 to $60,000. You’ll get a slightly more compact design that gives homeowners more options for the elevator’s location in the home. You can accommodate up to four stops with this style, and most will give you a maximum weight limit of 350 to 500 pounds.
This elevator brand has an average home elevator cost of $28,000 to $36,000. They specialize in high-end elevators that save space for private residences. Some models won’t need a hoistway for the installation like Telecab, and they have a maximum of two stops. The Telecab model is slightly more budget-friendly, and it costs around $28,000, including installation. Gearless and Infinity models have slightly higher weight limits, can transverse several floors up to 50-feet, and they offer different cab options.
If you buy an elevator from this brand, your home elevator cost will range between $32,000 and $45,000. This is an ideal choice for people who only need the elevator to go to two floors. It uses an electric drivetrain to keep the noise outputs low. You don’t need a machine room, and they need very little maintenance to keep them in top running shape.
Stiltz has options that will land your home elevator cost between $20,000 and $25,000. You’ll get an affordable and simple elevator and lift. Most models can comfortably hold between one and three passengers. There are bigger models available that have a higher weight limit to them, and they come designed to be accessible for wheelchairs. The home elevator costs are minimal with this brand because of the self-contained drive systems and the save-saving designs.
Ideally, you’ll pick out a well-known elevator brand when you start shopping to help ensure you get a high-quality product that is going to work wonderfully for years and use durable materials. Elevator by Tine Steiss / CC BY-SA 2.0
Price Points for the Number of Stops the Elevator Can Perform
Your home elevator cost will depend on how many stories your home has and how tall the property is. If you need to put an elevator into a three-story house, it will cost more than the same model that goes into a two-story house because you’ll need more parts and labor during the installation process. Generally speaking, your home elevator cost will go up by around $10,000 for each story you need, including:
- Two-Story Home – $38,000 to $55,000
- Three-Story Home – $48,000 to $62,000
- Four-Story Home – $55,000 to $70,000
Installation Process for Home Elevators
How the contractors install your elevator and how much it adds to your home elevator costs will depend heavily on the location and the type of elevator you pick out. If you have a shaftless elevator, the installation process is relatively simple with positioning the lift, rewiring the area, cutting the holes between floors, and finishing them out. For any elevator that needs a shaft, the installation process will vary depending on if you need a second machine room, where you want the elevator, and if you’ll conceal it or not.
For elevators with a shaft, your contractor will pour a concrete pit that has eight-inch thick walls and twelve-inch thick floors. They’ll cut door openings, and these openings can be as wide as hallways or as narrow as a standard door. The elevator’s cab can’t be bigger than 18-square feet to keep with building codes. If the elevator needs a machine room, this is the next step.
The size of your machine room will vary depending on the motor size, but you’ll need a minimum of 30-inches wide to give you good access. A hydraulic lift needs machinery installed from below or above the elevator inside of the shaft. The contractors will also run electricity to the area before building the cab in place.
If the elevator has a hydraulic lift and a cable drum, the contractors will need an access panel built into the cab. This allows you to carry out regular maintenance. Most modern elevators come with a backup battery system in place that ensures you never lose access, even when the power goes out. All of these modifications typically come quoted in the total home elevator cost.
Cost to Install an Elevator
Most elevator installation processes are taken care of by the companies or manufacturers that sell them. Each type of elevator is unique to the company, and they’re also unique to the setting where you want them to install it in your home. Usually, installation costs get figured into the original home elevator cost when they quote you. This is especially true for those projects that are straightforward and simple because they don’t require a shaft or a lot of construction like removing and replacing drywall.
The cost to install your elevator will vary depending on the type of elevator, how many floors it has to climb, and whether or not it needs a shaft to function. The costs can start at $8,500 and go up to $35,000. The job size will factor in too. If the elevator does require a shaft or a larger remodeling project, the company may give you the home elevator cost for the unit itself without the installation. The representative may have to come out and view the space before they’ll give you a total project cost.
A shaftless elevator is straightforward to install, and it usually takes between one and three days. An elevator that needs a machine room and shaft is much more complex, and this can stretch out to three or four weeks. It can include cutting holes between your floors and building a room for the cab and machinery. Most cabs arrive assembled or almost totally assembled, including custom ones.
This means that the biggest labor portion of this project accounts for modifying your home for the elevator itself. The company will usually include any modifications in the installation costs. However, some companies charge a flat rate per hour for carpentry work, and this can add between $55.00 and $75.00 per hour into your total home elevator costs. Be sure to double-check with the company before the project starts.
Price to Replace an Elevator
If you already have an elevator in place but you want to replace it, this can help save you money on your home elevator costs. The type of elevator you want to replace, how much work the contractor needs to do, and whether you switch out for a new type of elevator will all impact the prices. Replacing an elevator can be as low as $10,000. However, it can get up to $50,000 or more. If you were to switch from a cable-driven elevator to a hydraulic one, it can add between $5,000 and $10,000 to your home elevator costs.
You want to factor ongoing maintenance into your home elevator cost to keep it working at the correct levels and safe to use. When you pick out a new home elevator, warranty coverage is also important. The goal is to have coverage for at least five years after you buy it to protect yourself from any issues. Many newer models offer designs that will reduce the maintenance needs, including grease-less drive trains. You should talk to the company when they install it to see about recommended maintenance needs.
You should do routine maintenance to troubleshoot potential issues. Confirm that all of the lights and buttons are working in your elevator, and the door should close and open correctly with every use. If you plan to install a new lift, see about getting an elevator maintenance contract. You’ll pay right around $350 a year to get and maintain a service contract with a licensed elevator technician. The contract will typically include basic upkeep and an annual inspection of the unit. If you need repairs, this will cost you extra.
Where to Find Home Elevator Installers Near You
If you want to figure out your home elevator cost, one of the first things you have to do is contact elevator installers in your local area. They can give you quotes for the project based on your wants and needs, and you can start here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing which questions to ask when you contact the installation companies can give you a much better understanding of the project’s scope and the difference between the types of elevators. Elevators by Valerie Everett / CC BY-SA 2.0
1. How much of your home elevator cost can you recoup with your home’s value increasing?
Since your home elevator cost can go up significantly throughout the project, it’s important to know how much of the upfront cost you can recoup in your home’s value. The good news is, you can get almost 50% of the project’s total back.
2. How often should you do maintenance inspections?
You want to inspect your elevator annual to ensure that it functions properly. Almost any company that sells you an elevator will also schedule routine service inspections. These fees start around $75.00, and they’ll start to climb depending on the type of elevator you have and the size.
3. What is the cost to go from the basement to the second floor?
For a standard two-stop elevator, each additional floor will increase your home elevator cost by around $10,000. Most project totals will range from $15,000 to $50,000. The type of elevator will be instrumental in determining the total.
4. What is a stairlift’s average cost?
The average price range to install a stairlift over an elevator is $3,000 to $5,000. It’s a nice alternative if you don’t have the budget for an elevator but still need help going up and down stairs.
Your home elevator costs have several factors that influence them, and knowing these factors can help you get a realistic estimate before you start this project. Make sure you contact several companies in your area to get accurate price quotes, choose a well-known company, and enjoy all of the benefits that come with having your own elevator in your home.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.