What real estate agents need to know about installing an elevator

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The independence that a small residential elevator gives to the homeowner, as well as the value it adds to the price of the home, make it a profitable investment. However, it comes with many requirements, content and costs. Here are a few.

Aging in place is a term that is often used to describe homeowners who wish to continue living in their long-standing family home.

Remodeling and renovating an existing home can help older people avoid moving to a new location. These renovations often include some additions to the home, such as adding a bathroom with a barrier-free shower or replacing the outer staircase with a ramp.

It could also include creating living space on the ground floor so that the homeowner can avoid using one of the most difficult parts of the home: the stairs.

Adding an elevator or “vertical transport” may seem like a simple and inexpensive solution to help senior homeowners avoid using stairs in an old or existing home.

In its simplest form, an elevator requires a car or box, an electronic mechanism, and an opening in the floor of the house to allow it to move between levels. What could be tricky adding an elevator, making it easier to move between floors and adding a common house value?

Well, there is something to think about.

Elevators require permits, maintenance contracts, safety equipment (including ringing bell, telephone and interior lighting, door locking) and, in most cases, an engine room where the mechanical equipment is located.

A back-up power system is always a good idea in case a home’s power goes out or the elevator stops between floors and someone, perhaps in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled, is inside the cabin.

The main thought when adding an elevator is to provide independence to someone who may be unstable or unable to move up stairs. In fact, caring for a home elevator, as well as its daily operation, requires control, planning and supervision.

Using the elevator alone when no one is at home is impractical, since malfunctions, even in a two-story house, are always relevant. The cab doors may become stuck or the cab may not line up with the floor when stopped, preventing the doors from opening easily.

Should Fire occur in a house, a resident who has come to rely on an elevator will not be able to leave the house using the stairs. (The general rule is never to use the elevator in the event of a fire.)

What’s more, housing codes, which vary from location to location, also dictate the type of lift that can be used.

The first solution is to place the lift in the footprint of the house and decide where to cut the hole in the floor. In most cases, placing an elevator in an entryway next to an existing staircase is the most common placement option.

If you need a mechanical room, you must make room for it. Small residential elevators may include self-contained electric motors and use vertical rails attached to the wall, powerful motors, or cables used in larger elevators.

The drive system behind, used with a small elevator, will determine the power and strength of the elevator system. Another requirement is electromechanical interlocking (EMI), a safe door locking system.

Another type of small lift mechanism is a hydraulic lift, in which a pump transfers hydraulic fluid to a jack to raise and lower the cab. In addition to regularly checking the elevator equipment, cables for small units should be replaced every five years.

A vacuum self-sustaining system that moves air pressure through pumps and turbines is another way to control an elevator car without using an elevator image or elevator.

The doors of the elevator car can be opened from both sides or only from one side, depending on the amount of space outside the landing area. Another consideration is the speed at which a small residential elevator will go up and down. In most cases, small units (as opposed to commercial units) move slowly.

Adding an elevator to an existing home comes with many requirements, upkeep, and costs. However, the independence that a small residential elevator gives to a resident, as well as the added value to the price of the house, can make this an event worth seeing.

Look online and you will find many companies that offer many elevator options. They often ship, install, and service components. In general, homeowners looking to take on such a large project should consider it carefully. They must determine its validity, and whether there will be residents who will use the elevator, will they be able to use it, and more importantly, will they be comfortable in using it.

Gerard Splendor is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Warburg Real Estate in New York… Contact him at LinkedIn



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