How Long Does It Take to Install a Home Elevator?
Aug 1, 2023
If you’re considering getting a residential elevator installed in your home, you may be wondering how long the process will take. After all, wouldn’t such a large and complex feature take a while to successfully install? As it turns out, the process doesn’t have to be a drawn-out ordeal; this will mostly depend on the type of elevator you choose. Residential elevators represent a significant investment regardless of their drive type or size, but this doesn’t mean that they have to take forever to install.
Companies like Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators can have an installation completed in as little as 2 or 3 days, which is nothing compared to the weeks or months that some types of elevators require. It will also take some time to get quotes, customize the design, etc., but the main concern is usually with how long the actual installation takes. Why is there such a drastic difference, though? Here are the factors that influence how much time it takes to install a home elevator.
It’s important to consider all the options and choose the one that’s best for you. This includes not only the style and design of the elevator, but also the cost, the company’s reputation, the longevity of the elevator, and so on. Most home elevator companies make it easy to get in touch for a quote; if they emphasize top-notch service, they’ll get back to you fairly quickly. Unless you already know exactly which type of home elevator you want, it’s recommended to talk over your options with each company’s representative to figure out which one could be the best fit.
Planning the elevator’s location
One of the earliest steps in the process will involve figuring out where the home elevator will be installed. This isn’t just important because it’s a key detail of the installation; it’s also crucial because certain types of elevators need a lot of space. If a customer decided on one type of elevator and then discovered that it wouldn’t fit in their house, they might have to switch to something more space-efficient.
In some cases, the elevator installation will also require a dedicated machine room for the equipment that moves the elevator up and down. This will require even more space, which will be an important consideration during the planning stage.
The amount of time this takes will largely depend on the availability of the person who will be making the assessment. It’s unlikely to happen on a next-day basis, but it generally doesn’t take too long.
Customizing the elevator
Given how big an investment a home elevator is, it only makes sense that customizations would be standard from major elevator companies. This gives the customer a way to make their elevator their own, adding to the aesthetic of their home as well as to its functionality.
Customizations may include:
- The number of stops - 2-5 stops are available for most fully certified home elevators.
- The type of finish – Clear or opaque for glass, different colors of stains for wood, or polished vs. matte finish for metal (to name just a few)
- The light fixtures – Eco-friendly LED lights, Victorian-style lamps, art deco fixtures, and so on
- The style of control panel – These are located on both the inside and the outside of the elevator, and can often be customized according to several predetermined styles
- The type of drive – This will heavily depend on the company you’re working with, and could include anything from pneumatic, to hydraulic, to traction (MRL), and much more
- The size of the elevator – Every home elevator company offers multiple sizes; some of them are quite compact, while others are very roomy.
Once you’ve figured out all the details and placed your order, the elevator company will custom-build your home elevator. This process typically takes a few weeks or more, depending on the level of customizations, complexity of the drive type, and the speed of the company’s overall manufacturing process.
Installing the elevator
This is usually the stage where people are most concerned to know how long it will take. After all, it will require the presence of contractors, a certain amount of debris, and disruption to daily life. This being the case, the installation stage should play a big role in which elevator is chosen. Why? Because if a more conventional type of elevator is selected, with a machine room and a dedicated space for the elevator shaft, the process could take weeks to months. That’s right – the installation team could potentially have to remodel part of the home to make room for the elevator and associated machinery. With this arrangement, you may have to hire additional contracting help to retrofit the home for the elevator, and then coordinate with the elevator company for the installation itself.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the elevators (such as pneumatic elevators) that require minimum prep to the installation site, and only two or three days to install. When the home elevator is designed to stand independently from the structure of the house and doesn’t require all kinds of extra equipment, this simplifies the process by a large margin. If the elevator is built to travel more than two stories, the installation will take longer.
Making sure you choose the best home elevator company
While there are many options to choose from, not all home elevator companies are created equal. When considering which companies might be a good fit for you, keep the following criteria in mind:
- The company’s reputation and reviews – Look for companies that have a long track record of success, and plenty of positive online reviews.
- Their maintenance policy – Maintenance is key in preserving the usefulness and value of your home elevator, so you should choose a company that offers maintenance services.
- Availability – If an elevator company checks all the boxes, but is slow in responding to your inquiries, maybe you should look for a company that’s more responsive.
Having an elevator installed can take time, but the installation itself can be brief with the right choice of elevator.