How much does a home elevator cost?
$30,000 – $60,000 average cost installed (two-story elevator)
+$10,000 – $15,000 for each additional floor
Home elevator cost
A home elevator costs $30,000 to $60,000 on average with installation, depending on the elevator type, size, features, drive system, and the construction required to prep the home. Most residential elevators are designed to serve two floors. Each additional floor adds $10,000 to $15,000 to the installation cost.
|National Average Cost||$48,000|
|Average Range||$30,000 to $60,000*|
*For a two-story home elevator with installation
Home elevator cost by type
The cost of a home elevator depends primarily on the type. Shaftless elevators are the cheapest because they require fewer structural modifications to the home. Traditional elevators feature a standard shaft and are what most people picture when thinking of an elevator.
|Elevator type||Average installed cost*|
|Traditional / hoistway||$40,000 – $60,000|
|Shaftless / through-the-floor||$30,000 – $50,000|
|Glass||$50,000 – $100,000+|
*For a two-story home elevator
A traditional home elevator costs $40,000 to $60,000 on average with installation. Traditional elevators are built in a shaft or hoistway and raised and lowered by a drive system. This type of elevator offers several advantages over a shaftless elevator:
Higher weight capacity of up to 1,000 lbs.
Ability to serve more than two floors
Many custom features and finishes available
Installing a traditional elevator involves extensive construction to build the shaft, along with a pit below the shaft to ensure the cab's floor is level with the home's first floor. Some traditional elevators also require a separate mechanical or machine room.
Shaftless / through-the-floor elevator
A shaftless or through-the-floor elevator costs $30,000 to $50,000 with installation. Shaftless home elevators feature a self-standing, box-style cab that travels up and down through a hole in the floor. When not in use, the elevator system closes off the hole between floors for safety.
Shaftless elevators require less construction and site preparation than a traditional elevator because they do not require a hoistway, pit, or machine room. They are easier to retrofit into an existing home. However, they have a lower weight capacity and are only allowed to pass through one floor.
A glass elevator costs $50,000 to $100,000+ installed. The glass-enclosed cabin offers a high-end, modern look and provides passengers with panoramic views. Glass elevators come in square, round, or octagonal models and are usually installed in a highly visible and open area of the home.
Elevator drive systems
The elevator's drive system also impacts the price. Winding drum or cable-driven systems are the original lift technology and cost the least, while hydraulic systems offer smooth and quiet operation at a mid-range price. Gearless systems are costly but use the newest technology and offer the smoothest and quietest ride.
|Elevator drive system||Average cost*|
|Hydraulic||$30,000 – $60,000|
|Winding drum / cable-driven||$28,000 – $50,000|
|Geared counterweight traction||$30,000 – $60,000|
|Gearless counterweight traction||$50,000 – $75,000|
|Pneumatic / vacuum||$50,000 – $100,000|
*For a two-story home elevator with installation
Residential elevator cost factors
The following factors impact the cost to install a home elevator:
Elevator type – Shaftless elevators require less construction to install and cost less than traditional elevators.
Elevator size – Larger elevators cost more and require more structural modifications to install.
Number of floors served – Most residential elevators are designed to serve two floors. Each additional floor adds $10,000 to $15,000 to the installation cost.
Structural modifications required – Costs increase if the contractors must move walls, reroute plumbing or heating and cooling systems, upgrade the electrical system, or adjust the foundation or roof.
Available space – The installation may cost less if your home has unused closets or other vacant space that can be repurposed for the elevator.
Exterior door configuration – An elevator with two doors on opposite sides costs more to install than one with a single door. However, some home layouts may necessitate an elevator with a two-door configuration.
Exterior door type – Elevator doors vary in price depending on the type and whether they are manual or automated. Common options include:
Manual gated entry
Manual swing door that opens and closes like a standard home door
Manual bifold door
Fully automatic sliding doors
Elevator cab interior finishes – Elevator manufacturers offer a wide range of finishing options for the interior walls, including metal, wood veneer, mirrors, paint, or wallpaper. High-end finishes like custom millwork or raised panels increase the cost.
Extras – Add-on features like handrails, phone boxes, and custom control panels cost extra.
Permits – Permit costs range from $300 to $2,000, depending on your location and the structural modifications required for the installation.
Homeowners insurance – Your insurance premium will likely increase after installing an elevator in your home. In addition, the policy may not cover personal injury or property damage claims unless a Qualified Elevator Inspector (QEI) regularly inspects your elevator. Retain the inspection records as proof.
Inspections & maintenance
A home elevator inspection costs $150 to $700 on average, depending on the elevator type, age, condition, and the maintenance services included. A comprehensive inspection includes functional testing of all the elevator's systems.
Most states mandate an annual inspection by a licensed elevator technician for all home elevators.
All major home elevator manufacturers require homeowners to follow a maintenance schedule for the warranty to remain valid.
Home elevator vs. stair lift
Both a home elevator and a stair lift increase independence and safety for homeowners with disabilities or limited mobility. However, an elevator is much more expensive, and installation often requires major structural modifications.
A stair lift costs $2,000 to $15,000, is easier to install, and requires no major structural modifications.
|Factor||Home elevator||Stair lift|
|Average installed cost||$30,000 – $60,000||$2,000 – $15,000|
|Installation timeframe||4 days to 5 weeks||2 to 8 hours|
Home elevator FAQs
Does an elevator add value to a home?
A home elevator may add value to a home in an area with many aging residents. However, most buyers are not willing to pay extra for a home with an elevator.
According to the National Association of Home Builders "What Home Buyers Really Want" report, home elevators topped the list of features that buyers do not want, with 56% of buyers stating they would be unlikely to buy a home with an elevator.
Are home elevators worth it?
A home elevator is a costly investment that typically does not add enough resale value to pay for itself. However, an elevator may be worth it to improve mobility and safety for homeowners with disabilities or those who want to age in place in a multi-story home.
What are the dimensions of a residential elevator?
Home elevators come in various sizes and capacities, with some elevators holding up to four people. The elevator's dimensions are limited by the available space in your home. Most installations require at least 20 to 25 square feet, usually in a 4'x5' or 5'x'5 space.
The table below shows common sizes and capacities for home elevators:
|Size||Dimensions||Weight capacity (pounds)||Space for:|
|Small||32" x 32"||750||One person or wheelchair|
|Medium||38" x 45"||750||One wheelchair plus one person|
|Medium-large||36" x 60"||1,000||Up to three people|
|Large||45" x 54"||1,000||Up to four people|
|Extra-large||60" x 60"||1,500||Up to four people|
Who installs home elevators?
Most states require a licensed contractor and elevator mechanic to install a home elevator. Many elevator manufacturers provide installation services. For the best results, hire a general contractor to coordinate the structural modifications to accommodate the elevator.
How long does it take to install a home elevator?
Installing a residential elevator takes 4 to 7 days once the site is structurally ready. Construction to prepare the home for a traditional elevator takes 4 to 5 weeks on average, while preparing the home for a shaftless elevator takes 1 to 3 weeks.
Getting estimates from home elevator installers
Installing a home elevator is a complex construction project. Follow these tips to insure you hire the best home elevator company near you:
Compare at least 3 quotes for similar elevator models and features.
Choose an installer trained by the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP).
Select a contractor who is a member of the local International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) and the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII).
Read contractor reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Before making any payments, get a detailed written estimate and contract that includes the elevator specifications.
Never pay in full until the project is complete, and the elevator has passed all the required inspections.
Questions to ask home elevator companies
When evaluating home elevator installers, be sure to ask these important questions:
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
How many home elevators have you installed?
Can you provide references from past installations?
Are you NEIEP-trained?
Are you a member of the local IUEC and the NEII?
Which type of elevator do you recommend for my home, and why?
What drive system do you recommend?
What structural modifications will my house require to accommodate the elevator?
Will my electrical system need any upgrades to handle the elevator's electrical requirements?
How long will the installation take?
Will the project require permits? If yes, will you obtain them?
What is the elevator's maximum weight capacity and occupancy?
Can the elevator be customized to match my design style?
What safety features does the elevator have?
What kind of maintenance will the elevator require?
How long is the warranty, and what does it cover?