Residential elevators were once only dreamed of for very large houses and very rich people. But the baby boomers are changing that in that many wish to remain in their multi-floor houses long after climbing all those stairs has become quite a pain, if not impossible. Hence the development of a whole range of small scale domestic elevators and lifts who's costs are becoming reasonable. In fact, the Flex Housing program promoted by CMHC is suggesting overbuilding the structure of closets in a house during new construction to provide the easy ability to put in personal elevators cost effectively at a later date, allowing the aging population to transform their houses as they themselves change.
Ray Eleid from Solucore Inc., Mississauga, Ontario and Gary Ross, Concord Elevators & Lifts, Brampton, Ontario ran us through the basic requirements of residential elevators.
Minimum space requirements for a residential elevator are digging a pit 8 inches below the bottom floor you serve and having 92 inches free space above the top floor you serve. You also need to reinforce the structural wall where the lift equipment is mounted. The one we showed on the TV show has the car ridding on two main rails and is operated with a hydraulic jack and pulley arrangement. One of the important details is to always get a maintenance contract when you install an elevator. This is one piece of equipment that you cannot permit to not keep in top shape. Also make sure that all the equipment is CSA or UL approved -- that means that it has passed a third party safety standard and is not just put together by a creative mechanic.