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How to Choose a Home Elevator: A Buyer’s Guide for Homeowners

A home elevator is an essential part of any home that has stairs to climb. It's not just for people with disabilities, either. For those who are elderly or have physical limitations, it can be a godsend.

However, choosing the right one can be difficult. That is where an elevator selection guide comes in handy. There are many factors to consider when you're shopping for the right elevator for your house. Here are some things to consider:

Type of elevator

There are several types of home elevators, including hydraulic, pneumatic, and cable-driven. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to research each one and determine which one is best suited for your needs.


You need to know how much space you have before you buy an elevator so that you know how big it will be when installed in your home. It's also important that you know how many people can fit inside the unit without crowding each other too much — this will determine whether or not you need two units or if one big enough for everyone at once would suffice.


You will need to consider the weight capacity of the elevator and how many people you want to be able to transport at once.

Safety features

Look for elevators with safety features such as emergency brakes, backup power supplies, and interlocks that prevent the door from opening unless the elevator is at the right level.

Maintenance and service

Make sure the elevator you choose comes with a warranty and that there is a service provider in your area who can provide regular maintenance and repairs.


The cost of the elevator will depend on several factors, including the type of elevator, size, and features. Make sure to set a budget and stick to it.


Home elevators can be customized to fit your home’s decor, so consider the design options available to you.

home eelevator - otstec

How to Choose a Home Elevator: Step-By-Step Guide

A home elevator is a great way to transport your goods and people up and down stairs in your home. However, not all home elevators are created equal. You need to choose the right one for your needs and budget. The best to achieve this is by following a professional elevator selection guide.

There are several factors to consider before you make your purchase. For example, what type of building do you have? Do you have a basement? If so, how many floors do you need to service? How much storage space do you have? Will there be any kids using the elevator?

How much does an elevator cost? Costs vary depending on how many floors need service, how many stops it will take and other factors such as whether or not it needs a platform. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right home elevator for your needs:

1.Choose a Location in the Home

If you're building a new home, then you'll have more flexibility in where you place your elevator than someone who's buying an existing home. For example, if you're building on a small lot and have room for just one elevator, then choose that position. If you have room for two elevators and want one near each entrance of your home, then consider placing one near each entrance.

If you're buying an existing home, then make sure that there are no restrictions on where the elevator can be located — such as not being able to build under the foundation — before making any decisions about placement. 

The location of the elevator should provide easy access to all the areas of your home that you want to reach. It should be easily accessible from the ground floor, upper floors, or basement, depending on your needs.

The location should have enough space to accommodate the elevator and its machinery. You need to consider the size of the elevator cab and the machinery room, as well as any required clearances.

Choose a Location in the Home - otstec

2. Choose a Cab Style

If you have a choice, it's always better to get a custom elevator cab rather than one that is pre-designed. The reason for this is that when you design your own cab, you can make it exactly the way you want it to be. You'll also be able to add any features that aren't available on the model you choose, such as special switches or lights.

There are many options when it comes to designing your own elevator cab. You can use wood or metal for the frame and walls, or even fabric if you want a more modern look. Metal is stronger than wood and fabric, so this would be ideal if you're looking for an elevator that will last for years without needing any repairs or maintenance.

You can also choose from different colors of paint and stain to make sure your elevator looks just right in your space. If you choose to go with metal instead of wood or fabric, then there are some other things that should come into play when choosing paint colors and stain color schemes because they will affect how your new elevator looks overall.

homeelevator Cab Style - OTSTEC

3.Customize the Cab

The cab has two main elements: the control panel and the seat. The control panel is where you'll find all of your controls, including buttons for your emergency stop button and instructions on how to use certain features of your home elevator (such as its emergency stop feature). The seat is what makes up the bulk of your time in a home elevator. It's where you'll sit and wait for someone to come help you out of your home elevator.

When choosing a home elevator, it's important to consider how much customization you want in terms of both elements — especially if you're going to be using it often or if there are people who are going to be using it frequently as well. 

Customize the Cab - OTSTEC

4.Choose the Electrical Components

Use a multi-metric tool to check the voltage and amperage at the motor and controls. The motor and controls should have a minimum of 20 amps per phase. If you do not have a multi-metric tool, use an electrical item tester (tester) to measure these measurements.

If your elevator has more than one motor, make sure that each motor is rated for the same number of amps. For example, if your home elevator has two motors, both motors must be rated for at least 20 amps.

Here are more electrical components to consider: 

Drive system

The drive system is responsible for moving the elevator car up and down. There are two main types of drive systems: hydraulic and electric. Hydraulic systems use fluid to lift the elevator car, while electric systems use a motor and pulley system. Electric systems are more energy-efficient and quieter, but hydraulic systems can handle heavier loads.

Control system

The control system manages the elevator's operation, including starting, stopping, and positioning the car. It includes the controller, motor, and other components. The control system should be user-friendly and easy to use.

Safety system

Safety should be a top priority when choosing the electrical components for your elevator. The safety system should include features such as emergency stop buttons, door interlocks, and backup power systems. It should be able to detect any malfunctions or abnormalities and shut down the elevator to prevent accidents.

Wiring and cabling

The wiring and cabling are responsible for connecting all the electrical components and powering the elevator. They should be installed by a licensed electrician and meet all local electrical codes.

Lighting and fixtures

Lighting and fixtures are important for the elevator's usability and aesthetics. They should be energy-efficient and meet local building codes.

Choose the Electrical Components - OTSTEC

5. Choose Elevator Gates and Operators

Manual elevators use a lever, rope or chain to move your belongings up and down stairs. These are typically cheaper than hydraulic elevators, but they can be difficult to use if you have a lot of heavy items. Also, they're not ideal for people with limited mobility or who have difficulty walking long distances.

Some manual elevators have both a keypad and a handle, while others only have one of these options. When choosing an elevator gate, you need to consider how much space you have in your home and whether or not you will be using the elevator frequently.

The best way to choose an operator is to get recommendations from professionals. You can also ask around at your local hardware stores or even at your local department store. If you find something that looks good or has good reviews, then go ahead and choose it.

Choose Elevator Gates and Operators - OTSTEC

6. Choose a Drive System

Drive systems vary by manufacturer, so it's important to consider your needs when choosing an elevator. Whether you need a high-capacity unit or one that offers multiple loading options, there are several factors to consider. The most obvious difference between drive systems is the size of the motor and the number of units they can lift at once. In general, larger motors can move more weight, but they also consume more energy and generate more noise. Smaller motors are quieter but not as powerful.

The other factor to consider is whether you plan to use the elevator for residential or commercial use. Some models are engineered for both applications, while others are designed exclusively for commercial use. This may impact what type of cables and components you need in your home environment, so be sure to consider this when deciding on a model.

Choose a Drive System - OTSTEC

7. Find an Authorized Dealer of the Manufacturer

If you can't find an authorized dealer in your area, ask friends or family members who have used home elevators before and let them know about your plans. If they have used one in the past, they may be able to point you in the right direction. 

You can also search online for authorized dealers. You will find many websites that sell these kinds of products and services, but it is important that you check whether or not these companies are authorized or certified by the manufacturer itself. 

Authorized dealers are more likely to have more information about the home elevators and they will be able to provide you with a better service. They are also likely to be familiar with all kinds of home elevators and hence, can help you choose the best one for your needs. 

Common FAQs on Home Elevators

1. How Much Do Home Elevators Cost?

While the costs may increase as you choose more custom options, this home elevator will likely be the only one you want for your home. It could also increase your home’s value, giving you a return on what you spend to install the elevator. Make the most of your investment by selecting choices that make it as comfortable and useful as possible.

Besides, it’s not just about the cost of installation; it’s also about how much time it takes to complete your project. If you have a lot of stairs in your house or a large property to cover with an elevator, then it could take several months or longer to complete your project.

If you are not able to install it yourself or want someone else to do it for you, then hiring a professional to do so would be a better option as compared to doing it yourself. You can reduce the installation cost by working with a contractor who has experience installing elevators in homes similar to yours. They can recommend ways to save money while still ensuring that your new elevator meets all safety requirements.

2. What Safety Features Do Home Elevators Have?

Home elevators have many safety features inside to protect the rider. Inclinator installs emergency features such as lighting and battery-powered lowering. To prevent doors at landings from opening if the elevator is on another floor, we install interlocks on the doors, which block access to the empty well to protect others in the home while someone uses the elevator.

Our elevators have a switch inside that prevents the system from moving if you have the gate open. This action reduces the chances of someone getting caught by a moving cab. Additionally, if the power shuts off, the elevator does not stop between floors. A backup battery lowers it to the ground and emergency lights come on.

For those who stand while riding the elevator, we install a handrail in all our cabs. This railing helps to keep the rider steady throughout the ride.

Always ask about the safety features of an elevator before deciding on a brand for your home because not all manufacturers offer the same safety options for their products.

The safety features of elevators vary from brand to brand, but generally speaking, they are designed to prevent accidents and injuries. In some cases, they will warn you when they are approaching a floor that you should not enter.

Some elevators will have emergency stop buttons that will automatically stop the elevator if someone is trapped inside. Others will have "panic buttons" that can be used in an emergency situation.

Some elevators will have other safety features such as fire suppression systems and automatic fire doors that close after an alarm goes off.

Elevator manufacturers also take steps to ensure that their elevators are safe for their users. They typically test their elevators before they ship them off to ensure that they meet all safety standards set by the government departments, as well as any local building codes or regulations in your area. 

3. How Much Space Do I Need for a Home Elevator?

Our cabs have a standard 15 square foot size, but you can also opt for a smaller 12 square foot cab if you choose a cable drum system. Because elevators will need space for the pit, cab and machinery, talk to a dealer for information about specifics for the model and drive system you want.

Most home elevators are installed in a basement or crawl space, but they can also be installed outdoors. If you plan to install your elevator in an outdoor location, you'll need to make sure it's weatherproof and will stand up to the elements.

There are two main types of elevators: cable drum and hydraulic. Cable drums require more space than hydraulic elevators because the drive system is larger and requires more room for the pit and cab. Cable drum systems also take up more floor space than hydraulic systems because they're heavier and have longer cables that run under the flooring.

You'll also need extra space for your home elevators equipment and machinery, like cables, hoses, and pulleys. The amount of space needed depends on the size of your home elevator and how it's built. You'll need enough room for all these things plus room for the installation of your new home elevator system.

4. How Many Floors Can a Home Elevator Travel?

The number of floors a home elevator can reach depends significantly on the brand. Inclinator models can access six levels, but not all brands can. If you have a tall home, ask about the total travel distance the elevator can reach.

It is important to note that the maximum height a home elevator can travel is limited by safety regulations and building codes, which vary depending on the location. In some areas, the maximum height limit may be set at 50 feet, while in others it may be higher or lower.

It's also essential to consider the space available for the elevator and the weight it can support. A qualified elevator technician can help determine the appropriate elevator for your home and advise you on its maximum travel distance.

If you want to know how many floors your home elevator can go, there are several factors that determine this number, including:

The amount of weight being transported

The size of the elevator car

The grade of the stairs going up (if stairs are used)

The type of doors in each floor (if doors are used)

5. Does a Home Elevator Add Resale Value to My House?

Installing a home elevator can increase the overall value of your property, as it adds an attractive feature to your home that can appeal to a broader range of potential buyers. Additionally, a home elevator can make your property stand out from other homes on the market, which can help you sell your home more quickly and at a higher price point.

However, the exact amount of value that a home elevator adds to your home can depend on several factors, including the quality of the installation, the location of the elevator within the home, and the demand for such features in your local real estate market. It's always a good idea to consult with a real estate professional before making any significant home renovations to ensure that you are investing in upgrades that will add the most value to your property.

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