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Residential Elevator, Retrofit

 
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:09 PM   #1
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Residential Elevator, Retrofit


I'm beginning to mull the idea of a residential elevator for my aging parents. Home is two story, 60's vintage, plus finished basement office.

Anything pertinent you could share would be most welcome. Brands, mechanical types (of the several), min space considerations, etc.

Thank you.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:16 PM   #2
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


don't have any specific recommendations but...

will likely boil down to which outfit can supply the package that meets your site conditions & design criteria.

also who YOU feel most comfortable working with.

a true elevator will have a myriad of fire codes to comply with.

talk to a rep or three and see what they recommend.

Good Luck...

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Old 05-27-2019, 11:36 PM   #3
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


If they don’t have a landline phone they’ll need one. All elevators must have a functioning landline phone.

Can you carve out an area for the shaft?

Tom
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:39 PM   #4
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


the fire, mechanical & electrical codes/requirements for elevators can be daunting...

a good rep is worth their weight in gold....
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:44 PM   #5
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Check for how frequently the unit has to be maintained, inspected, etc., it can add up as a recurring cost.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:26 AM   #6
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


I have done the foundation work on a couple residential elevators.

If I recall, the pit was about 5' square, same with framing for the shaft, so you'll need a good bit of room. A lot of disruption in an existing home due to the wood framing of headers and walls.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:06 AM   #7
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjbnwi View Post
If they donít have a landline phone theyíll need one. All elevators must have a functioning landline phone.

Can you carve out an area for the shaft?

Tom
In Ontario there is an exception for residential.

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Old 05-28-2019, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
the fire, mechanical & electrical codes/requirements for elevators can be daunting...



a good rep is worth their weight in gold....
Here they are in a commercial environment, but in residential it's a completely different ball game. Pit and framing aside, the car, mech, computer and install is only 25-30K.

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Old 05-28-2019, 08:04 AM   #9
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjbnwi View Post
If they donít have a landline phone theyíll need one. All elevators must have a functioning landline phone.

Can you carve out an area for the shaft?

Tom
I don't think they are required here in residential, I have 2 customers who have them and no phone is in either one.

One came prefabbed, just bolted the sections together after the shaft was finished.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:14 AM   #10
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


I'd do this backwards.

Find out who does service and inspection for your area and see what ones they service. It isn't like putting in a staircase where you can call dozens of carpenter's to fix it.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:39 AM   #11
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


I can't add any specific info. on home elevators,other than it is a very good idea to pre-plan for one in new residential construction if possible. A possibility is stacked closets in common areas of the home,already framed out to accommodate a future installation.


I think FHB ran an article on that topic many moons ago.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:55 AM   #12
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Yup, expert advice, serviceability, etc..all good advice.

Thanks for the feedback. Just kicking this around (more than once), but I will have to come up with something to solve a looming problem.

The ones by stiltz seem interesting, since they don't require a support wall.

It doesn't take much imagination before one start thinking about enough room to accommodate assistive gear like a walker or wheelchair.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:56 PM   #13
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Quote:
Originally Posted by rrk View Post
I don't think they are required here in residential, I have 2 customers who have them and no phone is in either one.

One came prefabbed, just bolted the sections together after the shaft was finished.
Iíve put 2 in, neither could be inspected until the phone was live.

Tom
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:29 PM   #14
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjbnwi View Post
Iíve put 2 in, neither could be inspected until the phone was live.

Tom
Here in commercial buildings the phone/intercom goes to a central station monitoring service or a manned 24 hr office at the property

A while ago I used to repair them and used to get dizzy trying to work in or on the top of a working elevator because they would not shut them down
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:38 PM   #15
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


R.S. Means estimating for remodeling????

Cheap starts with a two men stand up, but common sense demands a car that can hold an attendant and owner/patient in a hospital gurney/bed...

more stops = More $$

More doors in different directions = More $$$

Back up Power????,

Its a Billion dollar niche market as wealthy baby boomers age in place as much as possible in multi story homes....
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:00 PM   #16
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


A buddy of mine had one installed on the exterior of his parents beach house. Wouldn't help with the basement but maybe could work for you? Think he said cost was about 20k. Can find more info if you are interested.

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Old 05-28-2019, 03:08 PM   #17
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


A cheaper option would be to install a vertical platform wheelchair lift. Just build closets around it. The major faults with those are they are quite slow, and loud.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:57 PM   #18
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
I'm beginning to mull the idea of a residential elevator for my aging parents. Home is two story, 60's vintage, plus finished basement office.

Anything pertinent you could share would be most welcome. Brands, mechanical types (of the several), min space considerations, etc.

Thank you.
The ones you mentioned like Stilz are simpler no pit, etc.

It's been about 25 years since I built a remodel shaft but back then I built about 20 of them( with another guy, he was the boss). We built a lot of them in churches and Legion type halls. Not as daunting as you might think. I doubt codes have changed a lot. We were working with the winding drum type(cable and motor in separate mechanical room). Double 5/8" type X on the shaft. A double (LVL) for the rail to lag to. Knocked down drywall frames for the doors. You prob need a 4' x '5' area. Dig out the pit, form up and pour foundation/pit, frame up under the floor joists, cut out the floor joists, move to next floor. Hang drywall and install doors. 2 stories and a basement is pretty easy. Now I think they offer systems with an overhead motor so no need for a mechanical room. You could always build the shaft then hang some floors in it and make it a closet for when you're ready or to break up the cost.(I think the closet idea was suggested by a member already) Prob be a good selling point for the house. We used to use a plumb bob. They would be perfectly plumb over 5 stories.

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Last edited by Sleepinggiant; 05-28-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:17 PM   #19
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


I put one of these in a few years back, pretty simple, works off a long acme thread. My only advice is to make the opening to their specs! Mine was a bit short and it did get jammed once because the rather large owner didn't stand directly in the middle and it cocked a little and caught the gate on the door header. Theirs went from the drive in basement to the first floor. They had to have doors to conceal it but it would have been nicer without the doors at the bottom. We also got the enter and exit at 90* option, customer support was great, assembly fairly straight forward. https://www.ameriglide.com/item/Amer...gaAjvgEALw_wcB
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:38 PM   #20
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Re: Residential Elevator, Retrofit


I was in the forklift business for years and stayed in it a bit once I went to residential construction. I used to scrap 20 to 30 orderpickers a year basically on a pennies per pound basis and always thought that with some modifications they would make a perfect elevator base. For $1000, you get a platform and hydraulics that will go from ground level up to 18 feet or more. I hated scrapping all those perfectly good mechanicals.

I know it's not what you're looking for, but someone smarter than me should start a business repurposing old machines for residential elevators.

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