This week we coordinated the installation of a residential elevator in a home for a client. The house has living areas on two floors. To make it easier for the client to access the upper level an elevator was desired. The Vision EC model by Nationwide Lifts was selected for this application.

The nice thing about this style is that it does not require the construction of an enclosed hoistway. The elevator has the power unit attached to the wall and the cab rides up and down on that unit. We had to cut an appropriate sized hole in the ceiling of the main floor, providing the access between the floors of the home. This was not difficult work, but did involve some structural modifications. The hole in the floor is protected by a ‘plug’ that rides on top of the cab. When the cab is on the lower floor the ‘plug’ fills in the floor opening, allowing traffic to cross the elevator hole. I suspect the cab will be stored on the upper floor most of the time and brought down to the main level when it is needed. A permit from the State of Minnesota is necessary for an elevator installation.

The elevator has constant power hydraulics to raise and lower the cab. With this type of hydraulics the cab ride is completely smooth without any bumps or jerks. While we do not install a lot of these units, it is something to consider for people that have difficulty climbing stairs. In most cases it is far more cost effective to install a residential elevator like this as opposed to moving to a new one level home.