A new home with an elevator used to be considered very high-end. Now we’ve noticed a trend over the last few years where homeowners are seeing elevators as a very smart and practical investment. It allows them to stay in their multi-story home, and also increase the resale value of their property.
Several homes we’ve designed recently include an elevator. A number of them that don’t are designed with “stacked” closets (one on the first floor and one on the second floor directly over the first). Planning for a future elevator does add a little more cost initially in labor and building materials. But isn’t it reassuring to know the space can easily be used to install an elevator if any of the family member’s physical condition requires it?
The National Association of Homebuilders has also noticed a growing interest in elevators from homeowners. In 2001 only 8% of homeowners said an elevator was a must or a want. In 2011, 25% of those surveyed listed an elevator as desirable or essential. Although it’s seen as a luxury, including an elevator in your home may add as much as 10% to the value of your home. (Think of resale and how many more buyers would be attracted to your multi-story home!) Hydraulic elevator units can range from $20,000 to over $100,000.
We see elevators and other elements of universal design as great ways to expand the usefulness of your home. In future blogs I’ll talk more on the topic of universal design. After all, if a home can be designed to be safer, easier to maneuver in and equally accessible for anyone from the able bodied, small children, older adults and the mobility challenged, why not do so?