Residential Elevators: Which One is Best for You?

Today, residential elevators were once considered as a luxury, have become quite common to incorporate within houses. A house with an elevator will seem classy and expensive in most homes. There are four different types of elevators that you’ll find in the market today. The purpose of all of them is the same but due to the different lifting mechanisms; the prices vary. Some will prefer one type over the other. The characteristics of each elevator vary based on the lifting systems: hydraulic lifts, vacuum lifts, electric traction, and counter weight.

Hydraulic Residential Elevators:

This type of elevator uses hydraulic lifting systems and offers the smoothest of rides you can experience. Although no adjoining closet is needed for it to work, there is still the need for a machine room. The machine room can be any room in the house. Most people prefer to house it in their basement. It does take up space but it also gives you the advantage of deciding where you want your elevator to reside. Hydraulic elevators are a little more expensive than any other elevator. They are perfect for the home and meet ADA (Americans with Disability Act) regulations for individuals needing an elevator for mobility. The oil pipes for the elevator to run are like water lines in the house. The safest type of elevator is a hydraulic elevator as you can rely on it in even during the most outrageous times of an earthquake or any other calamity.

Vacuum Residential Elevators:

round residential elevator

Machine-Room-less Residential Elevator

As the name implies, it uses a pneumatic vacuum that causes the changes in pressure, thus causing it to lift or descend. A cab is fitted within a tube and certain atmospheric pressure must be present to operate it. There is no need of wiring, machine room or pistons etc. The cab goes up when the pressure is low above it and vice versa to go down. It comes down when an air bubble is produced underneath it. This suction is the main source of operating this elevator. Due to these factors, vacuum elevator can be bought at a very cheap price. But the down side if you live in an area susceptible to earthquakes is that it will not pass state regulations.

Electric Traction Elevators:

Nothing extraordinary is needed to operate them. No oil, additional machine room space and minimal complexity make them very likable. They are not likely to be seen in houses though. Commercial buildings such as malls, hospitals and schools install these elevators. They use counter-weight technology as well. Because they usually sway up and down, people find them unsafe.

Winding Drum & Counterweight Elevators:

Winding drum & counterweight elevators also use counter-weight technology. By using the conventional cable winding function, the cab lifts up or drops down. These are relatively cheaper to the above mentioned vacuum and hydraulic elevators. There are a couple of advantages of installing this elevator. First, you can place the winding motor anywhere, either on the top or the bottom of the hoist. Secondly, they are cheaper than the other technologies. Also they occupy little space, however; they are noisy and one of the least liked for homes.

The best local company I have found for installing an elevator in your home is Remi Home Elevators at They sell the components and diagrams for installation and then employ locally authorized contractors to install them. This is a great way to get keep your spending in your local community and still get the quality you would expect from a large corporation.