Your questions answered
In your experience, what are the top reasons buyers choose an in-home elevator?
Many who choose an in-home elevator do so for convenience rather than need. As a significant number of new homes in the DMV are built up (with three to four stories) instead of out, an elevator is almost like an essential appliance for transporting luggage, heavy items, groceries and more throughout the home. It is also very useful, for example, if someone recently had surgery or is experiencing limited mobility, it offers the ability to continue to move throughout the home when it may not be possible (or as easy) without the elevator. Essentially, it offers the ability to plan ahead for the future.
Are in-home elevators safe?
Yes, residential elevators have proven to be very safe. They include safety features such as back-up batteries should you lose power and come equipped with a phone to call for assistance if needed. One thing to keep in mind is that a land line is required for installation. Should you get in the elevator without your cell phone, you want to ensure there is a way to call for assistance. Also, families need to make sure kids know they are not a toy and shouldn't be riding in it alone for fun or playing in it.
What are some of the most common maintenance issues and tips to maintain the elevator?
Like all appliances, there are parts that wear out over time and should be replaced. For example, back-up batteries may last 2-5 years depending on use. The best tip for maintaining an elevator is to get it serviced once a year so that the parts can be inspected and replaced as needed. New elevators come with a warranty. Post-warranty, homeowners can either purchase a service contract or request service as needed. Residential elevators can last for many, many years, especially if well maintained.
Is the design of an in-home elevator different from a commercial elevator?
The design of an in-home elevator is typically much nicer than a commercial elevator. The interior is finished, painted/paneled and the elevator door often is designed to blend in with the home, resembling a cabinet or closet. One of our clients uses the elevator essentially as an extra closet to store her vacuum cleaner, and just calls the elevator to whichever floor she wants to clean!
In many EYA homes, the elevator door looks just like a closet door and you'd never know the difference, which is nice from a design perspective.