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JLeslie's avatar

Are residential elevators overpriced?

Asked by JLeslie (61795points) February 24th, 2013

From what I have been told, and the minimal research I have done, it looks like residential elevators cost an average of $25,000 istalled. I have to wonder what type of profit they are making on that? Since this is a newer thing people are adding to their home, and from what I understand sometimes you can get a tax write off if it is necessary for medical reasons, I am just wondering if the price is very high now, but will eventually come down as more competition comes into the market.

So, I am interested in whatever you know about residential elevators regarding cost.


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15 Answers

jca's avatar

I think for 25,000 I would save it and buy a larger ranch style house, rather than putting 25k into an elevator. My guess would be that the few companies that install residential elevators know that if you can afford one, and need one, you might not argue too much about the price. Plus you have to figure the cost of cutting out the floor, installing the electrical, the unit itself, and the labor for all the rest.

burntbonez's avatar

That sounds cheap to me. Remember, you have to tear out a lot of walls. Rebuild structural supports. Perhaps dig out and lay a new foundation in the basement. Buy the hardware. Install it (which is probably pretty complicated, and install the programming to make it work.

In most houses, I bet it would cost 50K. 25k sounds cheap to me.

Aethelwine's avatar

My husband’s former boss was disabled and he had an elevator installed in his home for about $25K to $30K. This was about 5 years ago. They had the money, so price wasn’t a concern. I wouldn’t mind paying extra for something like this if I had the money and it was needed. You do get what you pay for.

wundayatta's avatar

I have four flights of steps in my house. If we are to stay here when we are immobile, we’ll need an elevator and something to get us up the outside steps, as well. The house is over 100 years old. I think there’s a place we could put in the elevator, although it would probably be a shame. Probably better to move to a condo downtown.

I think it would be pretty expensive to put one in. A good deal more than 15K. Though who knows. These days, 25K isn’t much for a home improvement. It costs that much for a new porch or a new paint job or a new roof.

Judi's avatar

That sounds about right to me. Maybe a little more for remodel but I can’t imagine it being much less for new construction.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie Not a new thing. In the 1960’s, some college friends rented a house in the “high rent district”. It came with a “lift” that went from the living room through the second floor landing up to the three floor bedroom. House was built in the 1920’s. It also had a butler’s quarters at the end of the pantry that was 8 by 12 foot.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie It’s a newish thing for the middle class. Many areas now have three story townhouses, which can be a real pain with groceries. A dumb waiter is a possibilty, which woud be much cheaper if just for groceries and laundry.

@jca In parts of FL near the coast flood insurance is very expensive. A lot of houses are now being built with mostly garage on the ground floor and then the floor above is basicaly the main floor.

If we build new I was thinking of leaving space for an elevator if we go with that basic style of house, so it can be added easily later if smeine wanted to. It could be used as storage space in the mean time. I’m just bouncing ideas around.

wundayatta's avatar

I think building with an idea of installing an elevator later is a good idea. Particularly, if you are building for storm surge in an area where there may be lots of old folks living.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta We actually are happy to see large garages as the first floor becoming nornal there. As you know my husband has a lot of cars, and this might solve our problem of storing the cars. However, we also like the idea of switching to condo life possibly.

I wonder if you have to pre-install the electrical work though? Like when you plumb a space for a bathroom even though you don’t finish it immediately.

wundayatta's avatar

You could preinstall, but I doubt it would be worth it. You’re going to have to tear out stuff anyway. I think you would want to plan for the right amount of electricity from the beginning, and get the power installed, but wait until later to do anything else.

DO they make brick houses in Florida?

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Great idea. This is all day dreaming right now.

There are very few brick houses in south FL. I’m moving to the Tampa area, which isn’t very south, but still, mostly you see a lot of stucco, not siding or brick. Many houses are now constructed with CBS (concrete block). North FL and the pan handle are more like living in Georgia and Alabama and you see more houses that are built like and look like the rest of the country. Where I live in TN I was amazed at how the majority of houses are all sides brick, even not very expebsive ones, but then I heard on the radio just a few weeks something about a lot of brick is made in TN, so that makes sense.

Interestingly, in Tampa area many houses have fire places. In southeast FL, like Boca, Ft. laud, Miami, it is extremely rare. I don’t want a fireplace, I can’t believe so many places have them. All those transplanted midwesterners just think it is something that has to be there I guess.

Judi's avatar

Hubby (contractor) says it will take a lot of 220 so he says he would run the wires durring construction even if you are not putting the elevator in until later. It’s a lot cheaper to do it now than later. At least run a pretty good sized conduit to the area.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi If we actually do wind up building I want to pick your brain for “green” options for the house.

Judi's avatar

Ok. Love that stuff.

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