Category Archives: Residential Elevators

Family Receives Donated Elevator to Help Disabled Child

donated elevator Caleb HitchcockA family in Calgary, Alberta in Canada has received a donated elevator to help them care for their son at home.

Six-year-old Caleb Hitchcock was born with polymicrogyria, which is caused by an underdeveloped brain. He appeared to be healthy for several months, but he eventually began to have seizures. He was soon having as many as 100 per day.

Caleb has significant physical and mental developmental delays because of his condition. His parents transport him in a wheelchair, but it was difficult to move him from one floor to another in their house. They considered installing a porch or a stair lift, but both were too expensive.

Give a Kid a Lift, a partnership involving Easter Seals Alberta and Canwest Elevator and Lifts, provided the Hitchcocks with an elevator in their home to make it easier to transport Caleb. Before, they had to lift him themselves.

In order to install the elevator, the family’s gas fireplace was removed. The City of Calgary granted permits for the renovation, and Canwest Elevator and Lifts installed an elevator donated by Garaventa Lift. The cost of the elevator and installation was about $50,000.

Canwest holds a fundraiser every March to raise money to donate elevators to people in need. Suppliers donate elevators and parts, and installers donate their time.

The elevator can lift more than its 750-pound capacity. It has also lifted the Hitchcock family’s spirits. They say it will help even more as Caleb grows up. The Hitchcocks are the sixth family to receive a home elevator through the Give a Kid a Lift program.

Common Misconceptions about Installing a Home Elevator

home elevator misconceptionsAt Nationwide Lifts, we have installed thousands of elevators in customers’ homes. Many people would love to have the convenience of a home elevator to improve mobility but are unsure if they have enough space. We have found that many homeowners have some common misconceptions, so we decided to take the time to clarify a few points.

One of the biggest sources of confusion is the amount of space required to install a home elevator. When people think of installing a typical elevator that is 36” wide and 48” deep, they often think that is all the space they will need. However, that is not the case. We also need space for rails, gates, and running clearances. The actual amount of space needed to install a 36” x 48” elevator is 52” wide and 54” deep.

There is one other important point to keep in mind. These 52” x 54” dimensions are for clear space in a finished shaft. If you are building new walls for the elevator, you will need to plan on framing and sheetrock. In most cases, these require an additional 5” per wall, which means that building a new elevator shaft will require a space 62” wide and 64” deep.

Many people look at these numbers and rule out the possibility of installing an elevator in their home. What they don’t realize, however, is that many home elevators require only a very small footprint. For example, the Vision 450 can fit in a space that is just 37” in diameter. It can fit nearly anywhere because of the integrated hoistway and compact cab design.

Nationwide Lifts Now Distributes Luxury DomusLifts

DomusLiftNationwide Lifts is pleased to announce a new partnership. We are now an official distributor of DomusLifts luxury elevators from IGV. The company, which is based in Milan, Italy, has done a tremendous amount of business around the world and is now expanding its reach into the United States. As of October, all Nationwide Lifts offices across the United States can sell, install, and maintain DomusLifts.

The DomusLift is unlike any other home elevator. This gearless traction elevator is commercial grade and offers homeowners the smoothest and quietest ride possible. The drive system is as good as it gets.

The DomusLift is the highest end elevator available for homes. The elevators can be customized with an amazing line of finish options. Homeowners have chosen to decorate their elevators with thousands of Swarovski crystals, mosaic design patterns, leather walls, and a variety of metallic finishes. IGV produces its own selection of sliding doors with metallic finishes, wood grains, and glass.

DomusLifts can be installed in both new and existing homes. The starting price for this line of luxury elevators is around $100,000. Choosing optional features can add to the cost. This is a very good value given the quality of the construction and the aesthetics.

IGV was founded by engineer Giovanni Volpe in 1966 and is now run by his son, Matteo. The company has been selling DomusLifts since 1998. Nationwide Lifts is very fortunate and proud to be able to represent IGV as it expands its operations into the United States.

2016 Elevator Prices

2016 home elevator pricesFor a person with limited mobility, getting around at home can be a challenge. If it has become difficult for you or a family member to walk up and down stairs, installing an elevator can be the best solution to make all the rooms in your house accessible again.

Many people are hesitant to install an elevator in their homes because they believe the cost is prohibitive. However, as the prices for many things have been going up, the cost of home elevators has actually been declining in many ways.

A new, low-cost elevator design can make it easy and inexpensive to add an elevator to your house. A shaft-less elevator costs only around $17,500 for two stops. This cost includes both the equipment and installation. Prices vary by location.

A shaft-less elevator can significantly cut down on site preparation costs. When adding an elevator to an existing home, the cost of the required renovations often exceeds the price of the elevator itself. Carpentry and electrical costs often total $15,000 to $20,000. With a shaft-less elevator, on the other hand, the site preparation cost is typically less than $3,000.

If you are building a new house, adding an elevator shaft will not add much to your overall project costs. In that case, installing a traditional elevator with a shaft makes the most sense.

Home elevator prices have gone down a bit over the past several years. A typical two-stop home elevator costs about $20,000, and the price of a three-stop elevator is around $24,000. These are costs for both equipment and installation. Prices vary by location depending on the costs of labor, insurance, and licensing.

Mother Gets Bill after Jumping Stalls Elevator

jump in elevatorAn Idaho mother got a shock when she received a bill for $1,100 after she and her children were stuck in an elevator for over an hour.

On July 4, Karen Bryan took her three children to visit a friend at an apartment building in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. When they were leaving the apartment in the elevator, she and her kids jumped. Bryan said she thought that getting a weightless feeling from jumping in a descending elevator would be fun for her and her kids.

Instead, the elevator stopped. The family called for help, and an elevator technician came over an hour later to free them from the stuck elevator.

The elevator company sent a bill for $1,100 in repairs to the building’s administration. The administration forwarded the bill to Bryan’s friend, who paid it. Bryan plans to repay her friend if she is unable to resolve the situation and get the charges dropped. She believes a sign should have been posted warning passengers that jumping in an elevator could cause it to stall. Most elevators do not have signs warning people not to jump. She is considering taking legal action.

Many buildings use cable-traction elevators. If a passenger jumps, the cables can stretch and slacken with the bouncing. There are safeties built into the elevator system to sense if the cables go slack. If these safeties are triggered, they will shut down the elevator and require a manual reset by an elevator mechanic.

National Association of Elevator Contractors Holds Conference in Boston

National Association of Elevator Contractors conferenceThe National Association of Elevator Contractors is holding its 66th annual conference at the Westin Boston Waterfront & Boston Convention & Exhibition Center from Monday, September 28 to Thursday, October 1, 2015. The event is billed as the largest vertical transportation show in the United States.

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about elevators and many related subjects. Several topics will be covered in discussions and presentations at the conference this year. Some areas that will be addressed include controlling worker’s compensation costs, implementing an MCP program, machine room-less vs. overhead traction elevators, vertical wheelchair lifts and LULA elevators, the internet of things, and ways to improve customer service.

Attendees will be able to view product demonstrations, receive expert advice, expand their knowledge of the elevator industry, learn about emerging technologies, view over 200 industry exhibits, attend educational sessions, network with others in the industry, and gain an edge over their competitors.

Exhibits will feature the newest products and technology in the elevator industry from the United States and other countries. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with their peers in the industry from around the world.

The National Association of Elevator Contractors’ annual conference is an exciting opportunity for elevator manufacturers, technicians, installers, and others in the vertical lift industry to come together to share information and advice, broaden their knowledge, and expand their ability to succeed in the competitive international elevator market. This event has helped many companies and individuals in the industry expand their knowledge and grow and promote their businesses.

Singapore Apartment Building Has ‘Parking Lot in the Sky’

Hamilton Scotts apartments Singapore car elevatorsWealthy residents of luxury apartment buildings in Singapore have a problem: where to park their expensive cars. The Hamilton Scotts residential building in the Asian city-state has come up with a solution. Elevators take cars straight up to apartments and park them in the living rooms.

The “parking lot in the sky” is the building’s standout feature. Residents can transport their cars to their apartments, whether they live on a lower floor, the penthouse, or anywhere in between. The project’s director said the goal was to make a car a part of the living room ensemble, like a piece of furniture.

A resident drives a car into the basement, parks it on a movable metal plate, and enters a code or gives a fingerprint to start the transport process. The car is moved into an elevator shaft that carries it to the appropriate apartment. Each apartment’s sky garage is large enough to house two cars. Residents are not able to ride up to their apartments in their vehicles.

The Hamilton Scotts building was constructed shortly before the 2008 financial crash and soon began to struggle. China-based investment company Reignwood Group took over management of the building in 2013 because it saw long-term potential in the property and the Singapore market. The group wanted to find an iconic building to broaden its name and develop its business. Reignwood Group performed some renovations on the property and added some amenities, such as free breakfast for residents every day.

Hamilton Scotts has 36 floors with 56 units. The building is currently 70 percent occupied. Prices for a 2,755-square-foot apartment start at $10 million.

Singapore’s luxury real estate sector is still struggling. Prices are 20 to 30 percent below their peaks in 2007, even though Singapore has the highest per capita GDP in the world and 10 percent of households contain a millionaire. Luxury real estate prices in Singapore are less than half of those in Hong Kong. Members of the real estate sector believe this is due to government policies and a glut of supply.

Rules of Elevator Etiquette

elevator etiquette tipsElevators can be uncomfortable places for many people. With strangers so close to each other, people who don’t know etiquette can make rides awkward. The next time you ride in an elevator, be sure to follow these tips to make the ride as pleasant as possible for you and your fellow passengers.

• People should exit the elevator as quickly as possible. Be patient and courteous with your fellow passengers, especially those with limited mobility.

• No matter how long you have been waiting, wait until everyone who needs to get off the elevator has exited before you try to enter.

• If the elevator is getting crowded, wait for the next one.

• Always face forward, unless you are speaking to someone. In that case, you can angle your body, but don’t stand facing everyone else in the elevator.

• It is generally believed, although not universally required, that the person closest to the buttons should ask the other passengers their destination floors and press the appropriate buttons.

• If you are carrying a backpack or large bag, hold it in front of you.

• Don’t try to be a comedian. No one will appreciate corny elevator jokes.

• If you feel a need to strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers, or if someone wants to talk to you, be prepared to discuss some general interest topics (not the weather). You can try local sports, non-political news, inoffensive workplace topics, or something related to your apartment building.

• If you have something important to discuss with your boss or a coworker, don’t do it in the elevator. Schedule a meeting or send an email.

• If someone breaks one of these rules, don’t get upset. Just smile or try to laugh and don’t let it get to you.

• If you have any doubts about whether a comment or behavior would be appropriate, keep it to yourself or wait until the elevator ride is over.

Unique Stiltz Residential Elevators

Stiltz home elevatorsStiltz is one of Nationwide Lift’s new suppliers. Their innovative residential elevators make it easy for seniors and others with limited mobility to get around at home.

Stiltz elevators have a unique design and can fit nearly anywhere in a home. Their elevators do not use hydraulics for power and do not have any load-bearing walls. Instead, they are driven by an intelligent electric motor drive system that plugs into a 110V power outlet. They travel along a dual rail support. Minimal construction is required prior to installation. This offers more flexibility in placement than is possible with other types of home elevators.

The Duo is Stiltz’s original elevator. It is the perfect alternative to a stair lift or a traditional elevator. The Duo can transport two passengers up to one floor in less than 30 seconds. It has a self-supporting structure and a quiet and compact design. The Duo is the only elevator that can fit nearly anywhere in a home. With an area of less than seven square feet, it has the smallest footprint of any elevator on the market. It can be installed in less than two days. The Duo has several safety features and additional options available.

The Stiltz Vista elevator is a premier lift for homeowners who want a more luxurious lifestyle. It has clear polycarbonate panels that allow it to blend into a room’s décor and can add style and value to a home. Natural light can pass through the clear panels. The Vista elevator can even be installed right in front of an existing window. It has a footprint of less than seven square feet and can be installed in under two days.

The Stiltz Trio elevator has a deeper footprint and a wider opening, making it large enough to fit a standard-sized wheelchair. It offers a quiet and compact design and flawless performance. The Trio is the only wheelchair elevator on the market that can fit nearly anywhere in a home. With an area of 12 square feet, the Trio is the smallest wheelchair elevator on the market. It can be installed in less than two days. The Trio is the ideal alternative to a stair lift or hydraulic elevator.

Home Elevator Costs

home elevatorIf you need to improve mobility at home for yourself or a family member, an elevator is the best solution. A residential elevator can make it easy for a person who has trouble using the stairs to travel from floor to floor. An elevator can also be of assistance to someone who needs to transport heavy objects, such as bags of groceries or a laundry basket, and would have difficulty doing so while walking up or down stairs.

Home elevators vary in terms of construction and price. A traditional residential elevator in an enclosed shaft typically costs $20,000 to $25,000 for a two-story house and $22,000 to $27,000 for a three-level dwelling. This is the cost for the elevator equipment and installation. A carpenter or general contractor will need to be hired to build a hoistway. This will be a separate expense in addition to the cost of the elevator. In an existing home, the cost for remodeling will probably be around $15,000 to $20,000. The cost for remodeling and installing an elevator will be around $40,000 for a two-story house and $50,000 for a three-level home.

glass elevatorA glass elevator does not require a constructed hoistway. Instead, it attaches to a balcony or travels through a hole in the floor. A glass elevator such as the Vision 450 is a great solution for an existing home because the elevator and hoistway are included in one package. A very minimal amount of remodeling work is required. A Vision 450 elevator, including both equipment and installation, costs about $35,000 for a two-level house and $45,000 for a three-story home. The cost for site preparation is generally around $1,000 to $5,000.

The above numbers are just estimates for budgetary purposes. Prices vary greatly based on local labor costs, licensing, and site-specific details. Contact your local Nationwide Lifts representative for an accurate quotation.

There is simply no other company that can offer you all of this.

If you are looking for a customized quote or just want to ask a question, get in touch with Nationwide Lifts today to start talking to a Home Elevator expert.