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Accessible Home Design: Adding Elevators or Lifts

If you already own a multistory home or are deciding to purchase one, there are four alternatives to provide access to two or more interior floor levels. These are (1) residential elevator, (2) stair lifts, and (3) inclined platform lifts.


Equipment Cost Advantages/Disadvantages
Residential Elevator $16,000 + shaft cost * Most accessible and easiest to operate, but most expensive to install

* Can serve more than 2 floors for little additional cost

* Adds equity to most homes

* Can be difficult to retrofit to existing homes

Stair Lifts $3,500 for simple stair * Least expensive and easiest option to retrofit

* Not accessible for some homeowners

Inclined Platform Lifts $7,000+ * Serves the needs of most wheelchair users

* Often difficult to retrofit to existing homes

* Generally less economical option to serve more than 2 floors




An inclined stair lift provides access that is suitable for some homeowners. The lift seat swivels forward to allow the user to seat him- or herself then sideways for transit. Installation costs for these lifts vary with the complexity of your stair arrangement. In most cases, this is the lowest cost accessibility option, if it meets your needs.
An inclined stair lift provides access that is suitable for some homeowners. The lift seat swivels forward to allow the user to seat him- or herself then sideways for transit. Installation costs for these lifts vary with the complexity of your stair arrangement. In most cases, this is the lowest cost accessibility option, if it meets your needs.



Residential elevators provide the best accessibility for most wheelchair users. They are most economical when installed in new construction, but can be retrofitted into many existing homes. Note the homeowner's chain installed on the door's inside face that allows her to pull it closed once she is inside.
Residential elevators provide the best accessibility for most wheelchair users. They are most economical when installed in new construction, but can be retrofitted into many existing homes. Note the homeowner’s chain installed on the door’s inside face that allows her to pull it closed once she is inside.

 

 

Copyright Paralyzed Veterans of America





For more in-depth information on making your home accessible, follow this link to purchase the PVA’s second edition of Accessible Home Design: Architectural Solutions for the Wheelchair User or buy it directly from Amazon.