Previous generations sought ranch houses knowing that when they grew older, climbing stairs would become more difficult. People who purchased their homes 20-30 years ago are finding it less costly to install a home elevator than it is to move, while increasing the resale value of their home at the same time.
Now, land is more expensive and becoming more scarce. As a result, houses are being built taller and home elevators are gaining popularity with older and younger homeowners alike.
The aging population see themselves in their last home and they want to have access to all levels. Others look to accommodate a family member with limited mobility or a handicap and they want them to have easy access in the house. Another key issue is the likelihood that a parent or grandparent will end up moving in eventually.
In recent years, home designs have shifted towards having the master bedroom suite on the first floor. This added a lot of additional square footage to the house. Adding an elevator into the design gives the option of locating the master suite on the second or even third floor at a fraction of the cost as compared to adding an extra 1,000 sq. ft. to the floor plan.
“Reverse Living” design homes have gained much popularity along our coastal regions where bedrooms are located on the lower floors with the kitchen and family rooms on the top floor to capture the water views. This, coupled with Federal Flood Regulations, puts a lot of stairs between the street level and the kitchen, making a home elevator a perfect solution.
Many homes are designed today where the elevator shafts are framed and designed to accept an elevator in the future. Removable floors are installed and the space can be used as walk-in closets at each level.
In an era when home improvements include wine cellars, indoor pools, commercial-class ranges and refrigerators, an elevator is becoming an essential amenity to thousands of homeowners and the numbers are growing every year.