Home Elevator Design – 4 Different Types

home lift design

Have you even thought of installing an elevator in your home? Having a home lift will make life much more convenient and pleasant for you, with access to the top floors just a step away. It is not only the frail elderly that need a lift in their home. Stairs take a great deal of energy to use and are actually quite dangerous, especially if you are carrying goods – or the baby. Lifts these days have undergone a transformation; they don’t all look like a square box in the wall and they are certainly not something the home handyman should attempt to install. In fact, you can even get an octagonal or tubular lift for your home, depending on your needs. However the main difference in lifts is the way they work.

Cable Winding Drum

This is one of the most affordable home elevators to install; unfortunately, the ongoing costs are fairly high because cables eventually stretch and wear, so have to be replaced. This can happen every 2/3 years, so you may not save as much as you thought. Another downside is that it does not give a smooth ride. You may not mind feeling the tremors; many people don’t. However, if you are not expecting it, you may think something is wrong with the lift. It is also fairly noisy, which could be a problem.

Hydraulic Lift

The hydraulic lift is a more expensive option, but offers a ride that is much smoother and quieter than the cable winding drum. The descent especially is smoother. However, it still does use cables and these must be replaced every five years. Because of the hydraulic setup the cables are more difficult to access than the cables in the winding drum lift, so it will cost more to replace them. In addition, the hydraulic hoses also need to be replaced.

Chain Drive Counterweight

This type of lift offers a good ride and quiet operation. It may not be quite as smooth as the hydraulic lift, but other advantages make it one of the more popular choices. It is low maintenance and has a low running cost over the lifetime of the lift. As far as installation expense goes it is around the middle of the spectrum – more expensive than the winding drum, but less than the hydraulic. It needs an access door at the top of the hoistway.

Inline Gear Chain Drive

This is similar to the usual chain drive but it has some improvements. Less head room is needed because the assembly is at the top of the shaft instead of on the roof of the cab. Thus the construction costs are reduced and the emergency controls outside of the car provide faster access, thus increasing safety. It is also more energy efficient due to the inline gear system.

Regardless of how they work you need to think about what you require in a lift before making a final decision. For instance, some small lifts are not big enough for a wheelchair. If you have a health problem that will eventually require you to use a wheelchair, the smaller lift will not be a good investment.

It is also necessary to stick with the kind of lifts that can be retrofitted if you have your home built already. But if you are building a new home, you will not be limited in this way and can choose other options if they suit you better.

Resources

Winding Drum Elevator How does it work

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