In a recent Boston Globe article, “The rich are different. They have home elevators,” writer Beth Teitell explains how home elevators have become more popular in recent years. This is true, however, they have also become more affordable over the years, similar to the home computer. A two-stop home elevator, serving two floors of a home, can start at under $30,000 (not including the modifications to the home as mentioned in the article). If you spread the cost of a home elevator over the term of a 30-year mortgage, it ends up being $2.74 per day or $1,000 per year, which is half the cost of the average home internet/cable yearly expense. As the article mentions, the average annual maintenance is typically $500 to $800, which is comparable to the annual vehicle maintenance of the average family fleet. However, the useful life of a home elevator is 20 to 30 years, which is far more than the average car.
In 2006, Nationwide Lifts of Massachusetts retrofitted a three-stop home elevator in Burlington, MA for a gentleman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. The total project cost was under $100,000. Cost can be further minimized by planning for a shaft way and pit during the original construction of the house. We encourage designers, architects and general contractors to think ahead and design stackable 5’x5’ closets that can easily be converted into an elevator shaft way as part of a “universal design” or “aging-in-place plan.”
This is not to say that high-end, luxury home elevators are a thing of the past. Our glass home elevators are a showcase work of art and a conversational piece that would undoubtedly “one-up” The Real Housewives! To the Boston Globe article click here.
~ Terry Steen