Sunday, January 13, 2013

Residential elevators in the modern home

Modern Day Construction for custom homes Part 14

In today’s modern world of construction things are changing year to year faster than they did decade to decade in any other previous time period. In this multi part series I will traverse through an entire house starting with the foundation and working my way up to the roof and then to the finishing’s. I will explain what has changed in the last twenty years in custom home building.

One thing that you should be able to take away from this is how important it is to not just hire the right general contractor to build your custom home but how important it is to hire one that is up on today’s building methods.


Residential elevators where almost unheard of in residential homes unless you were in a mansion or a commercial setting twenty years ago. People usually settled for the powered chair that is installed over the existing stairs if they needed assistance getting up to the second floor of their home.

Today residential elevators are being “roughed in” to the framing of custom homes. With an ageing population that has large amounts of money and credit available to them, they are able to plan for their future more effectively. The future is an elevator which will allow them access to the upper levels of their home so that they can stay longer in their dream home. With the ever increasing need for residential housing in a community setting, developers are building homes vertically instead of horizontally so that people can get more square footage on the same size lot. Because of this fact there are an increasing number of stairs in residential homes. Add the fact that baby boomers with modern medicine are living longer and are leading more active lives, builders are encouraged to help homeowners stay independent in their own homes.

Residential elevators are not as expensive as people believe, they are more of a lift then an actual elevator. The equipment that is required is not that hard to install, especially if the house has been built to accommodate it already.

Custom home builders are now able to rough in elevator shafts in to peoples custom home plans, this then allows the homeowner to install the elevator when and if they require it. All that is required for the rough-in is for the engineer to include extra beams and supports in the floor where the elevator will be installed to create the shaft for the future lift.

Most residential homes are only two stories so your elevator doesn’t actually have to be that complicated or that expensive. As long as the rough in of the beams and the shaft are there then you will always have the option for that elevator and until you actually install it you can use the space as closets or storage.

Looking for part 15 coming soon....

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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