Elevators used to be mainly in commercial and industrial spaces, appearing in retail stores and office buildings but very rarely in homes. A home elevator was perceived as a luxury only the wealthy could enjoy.
Times have changed. Today, many families are opting for home elevators as a practical in-home mobility solution. This movement has fueled a transformation in the way that people think about elevator technologies. It’s also improved the overall quality of life for untold numbers of people.
Why has the home elevator movement enjoyed such a surge over the past couple of decades? The answer stems from several different reasons.
1. A Desire by Older Adults to Age Comfortably in Place
Members of generations like the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers and even Generation X have made it clear that they want to avoid moving to long-term healthcare facilities at the end of their lives. They love their residences and want to remain at home even as their health conditions require greater management.
The problem, of course, is that mobility can become a problem for many adults as they age. Getting up and down stairs can be unsafe, unpractical or legitimately impossible. In these situations, having a home elevator can allow older individuals to move freely around their homes without navigating staircases.
2. An Opportunity to Add Value and Curb Appeal to a Property
Homeowners frequently look for ways to bump up the perceived and real values of their properties. That’s why many add sunrooms, renovate kitchens and create spa-like master suites. Home elevators can represent an in-home mobility solution as well as an opportunity to increase the expected selling price of a property.
This doesn’t mean that homeowners with in-house elevators are prepared to put their residences on the market today or next year. However, they know that their homes will have more curb appeal when they do, especially to buyers looking for a house that already has one of the most popular in-home mobility solutions.
3. A Goal of a Thriving Multigenerational Household
All families are different. Many include members of several generations living together. This family structure allows grandparents to enjoy their grandchildren and adult children to keep a watchful eye on aging parents. However, having so many people in one spot requires in-home mobility solutions that fit everyone’s needs.
A home elevator can provide more than just a resource for older family members to go upstairs and downstairs. It can also be an easier way to move items from one floor to the next and make the home more accessible for everyone. Additionally, it may make it easier to invite extended family and friends with mobility issues to visit for more than a day.
4. A Need to Prepare for Impending Mobility Issues
Sometimes, people know well in advance that mobility will one day become a major concern. For instance, a diagnosis of certain medical conditions may mean that a patient will require assistive devices like canes and wheelchairs in the future.
Investing in a home elevator in advance of someone experiencing limited mobility can make the situation much less stressful down the road. With the elevator already in place, the individual facing limited mobility can seamlessly use it from the moment it’s needed. That’s a huge relief to everyone and can reduce friction points associated with changing daily behaviors.
5. A Solution to Staying at Home Alone
Loving partners hope that they can remain in the same house together at the end of their lives, but that dream doesn’t always happen as planned. Many men and women find themselves single at the end of their lives. Often, their children become concerned about their safety. What happens if they fall down the stairs, especially if they tend to be unstable when walking? How can they move heavy laundry baskets from one floor to the next?
Home elevators remove all these concerns. They also give the single individual the ability to stay in a multistory home longer, regardless of having a solo status. Adult children frequently feel less anxious about having an aging parent living alone when the parent has full use of a home elevator.
6. A Way to Encourage Independence in Those Who Use Scooters and Wheelchairs
Most people enjoy having independence, including children, teens and adults who need to use scooters and wheelchairs. Home elevators present a wonderful opportunity to introduce independent movement to those who would otherwise need someone else’s help to get around all the levels of a house.
A home elevator can make a terrific addition to other accessibility features like ramps and chair lifts, and it gives everyone the chance to freely go from room to room as desired without barriers.
7. A Realization That Home Elevators Aren’t out of Reach
As mentioned previously, plenty of people have grown up believing that home elevators may be something only the elite can have in their residences. When they discover that home elevators can be affordable for many budgets, they often change their minds about installing one.
But what about space for a home elevator? Another delightful surprise for interested homeowners is that elevators can be installed in many areas that they never realized were well-suited for one or more types of elevator models. For instance, closets can sometimes be converted into elevator shafts. With a little imagination and creativity, elevator installers can frequently suggest innovative ways to place a unit in almost any home.
8. An Intention to Use Elevators as a Design Element
Though most installations of home elevators are as in-home mobility solutions, some are purely driven by design. You may have seen pictures of elegant beach houses enclosed mainly in glass that feature gorgeous elevators. In these situations, the property owners aren’t seeing home elevators as mobility devices alone. Certainly, they’re aware of the convenience that these features provide, though they’re also interested in having one to bring an architectural element to life.
Once again, this point of appeal doesn’t negate the underlying mobility advantages of a home elevator, though it does prove that where these features are concerned, every homeowner has a different reason for wanting one.
The Future of the Home Elevator Market
Currently, millions of people count themselves among the oldest generational cohorts in the country — and most aren’t interested in giving up the homes or lifestyles they love just because they’ve had a hip replaced, have trouble dealing with stairs or need the help of assistive devices. For them, home elevators offer a reasonable way to keep living the best life they can no matter what.
Will the future of the home elevator as a primary in-home mobility solution continue to grow? All signs point to the idea that the home elevator will only become more popular over time, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of leaving your beloved residence just because of mobility problems, you might want to reconsider.
A home elevator can enable you to go about your daily routines without missing a beat. Plus, you’ll have an elevator on hand for all those “little extras” like moving heavy loads safely or helping your older pet get upstairs at night for bedtime.
Want to find out if a home elevator is the right in-home mobility solution for you? Contact Residential Elevators today.