How We Found the best home elevators
8 experts consulted
45+ hours of research
10+ companies considered
7 companies selected

What You Should Know About Home Elevators

  • According to the CDC, 26.9% of seniors aged 65+ struggle with mobility.
  • A home elevator is one of the safest options for accessing different levels of a home.
  • Home elevator costs can be significantly lower than that of relocation to a single-floor house.
  • Financial assistance options for installing a home elevator include health insurance, grant programs, and financing. 

The question of what to do if one develops a mobility problem is often heavy on the minds of people who own multi-level homes. Recent CDC analysis of disability data shows that seniors disproportionately struggle to walk and climb stairs. Of the general American adult population, 13.7% struggle with mobility compared to 26.9% of adults aged 65 and older. For seniors, adults with disabilities, and those who are trying to plan ahead, installing a home elevator can be an elegant yet practical solution to mobility problems.

Home elevators are a surprisingly old solution to limited mobility. Their manually operated predecessors, dubbed “invalid lifts,” appeared in the mid-1800s, and powered home elevators came later in the early 1900s. Over the years, costs, appearances, efficiency, and safety have all improved dramatically for home elevators, making them more accessible than ever. Elevators remain a significant investment, however, and many people believe them to be financially out of reach or too complicated a purchase to contemplate. 

The alternatives to elevators can be less than ideal. Wheelchair lifts and stairlifts can both be unsightly and may not be a good long-term solution. Moving to a one-story residence is always an option, but for some adults and seniors, this is a sad and limiting prospect that they’d like to avoid. Rather than being daunted by the complexity of home elevator shopping, many people need resources that will help them truly evaluate if a home elevator is right for them. 

Our guide can help you decide if an elevator is a smart investment for your situation. In this guide, you’ll find reviews of the best elevators on the market. You’ll also learn about the basics of how elevators operate, how they’re installed, and how much they cost. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the buying process to help you feel more confident if you do decide to make the purchase. 

The Basics of Home Elevators

Those shopping for an elevator will encounter terminology and mechanical concepts they may not be familiar with. Below you can find a quick recap of key elevator terms followed by a simplified explanation of the major types of elevators. You’ll also find information on how dealers set prices.

Home Elevator Parts:

  • Hoistway: The shaft or hoistway is an enclosure built around some elevators to keep mechanical parts out of sight. The shaft may extend through the ceiling of the top floor.
  • Engine Room: Some elevators require a closet-like room to house the engine and various mechanical apparatus that move the elevator. 
  • Pit: Many elevators require that a 6”-12” pit be incorporated into the ground floor. Elevators that don’t require a pit will likely have some kind of step or a minimal ramp to the cab.
  • Car or Cab: The car or cab is an enclosed or partially enclosed vehicle that the passenger rides in to go from one floor to another. 
  • Hatch or Lid: Elevators without hoistways need hinged hatches (lids) over the holes in the floors that the elevator passes through. Hatches are covered with the home’s flooring and include safety sensors that stop the elevator if someone stands on the hatch. 
  • Door or Gate: Elevators may have one door, two parallel doors (called “walk through”), perpendicular doors, or even three doors. On an elevator with a hoistway, there will usually be a wooden door that’s the same as is used throughout the house, and when you open that door you will encounter a sliding or accordion-style “gate” of some kind. Shaftless elevators usually have acrylic or glass doors that slide away or open outward. Some have just a half-door. 

Home Elevator Types 

Manufacturers categorize elevators according to their power source and mechanics. The following categorizations should help you better understand companies’ offerings, though terminology may vary slightly. 

  • Hydraulic: With hydraulic elevators, a motor pushes oil into pistons that move the elevator. Hydraulic elevators often require a pit, a drilled hole in the pit for the piston, a hoistway, and a machine room or closet. Roped hydraulic elevators are modified with a pulley system that allows for the same amount of lift with a shorter piston. This kind of hydraulic system may often be installed without a piston hole or a machine room.
  • Overhead Cable Drum/Winding Drum: Many home elevators use a system that winds and unwinds chains (geared or ungeared) or cables/steel ropes in a compact “drum” situated on top of the cab. These systems may use a counterweight pulley system as well. They can be installed with or without a hoistway, and are often less expensive than a hydraulic elevator. Tracks are installed on one or two sides of the elevator if there is no hoistway.
  • Traction or Chain/Cable Drive: These terms may be used to refer to elevators that use a chain, pulley, and counterweight system that is not positioned atop the cab. Instead, the motor and other key components will be contained within an engine room or perhaps a small closet. This kind of elevator always requires a hoistway. 
  • Pneumatic: Pneumatic elevators are a new kind of elevator powered by a vacuum system. A passenger tube with door(s) fits inside a slightly larger tube and is suctioned upward. The descent is powered by gravity alone. These elevators use relatively little energy and are essentially plugged into your home’s electric system. They never require a hoistway, pit, or machine room. 

Elevator Costs

It’s impossible to get 100% accurate cost information until you’ve picked customizations and consulted with installers on labor and retrofitting costs. Most companies will provide a ballpark “starting cost” over the phone with the caveat that costs could be higher. An itemized, accurate cost requires a meeting with a local dealer/installer. The fewer home modifications and elevator customizations required, the cheaper the final cost will be. Starting costs are often $20,000 or more.

How We Chose the Best Home Elevators

How We Chose the Best Home Elevators

When considering the best home elevators for seniors and disabled homeowners, we wanted to make sure we performed the best research possible. Our team spoke with eight experts and researched the best residential elevators for 45+ hours to compile our list. After finding 10+ companies that specialize in residential elevators, we chose our favorite seven. 

When it comes to specifics of the elevators, we considered three main factors:

  • Wheelchair Compatibility: Many customers look for a residential elevator due to a disability rather than mere convenience. Every company on our list offers at least one wheelchair-friendly model.
  • Small-Space Options: Not every homeowner has a lot of space for installing a residential elevator. Every company on our list offers at least one model that does not require a large machine room.
  • Quality Sales Materials: It can be stressful to understand all the nuances involved with installing a residential elevator. It was important to us that the companies on our list offer clear, concise, and detailed sales materials.

The 7 Best Home Elevator Companies of 2022

Styles

Hoistway Required?

Pricing*

U.S. Made?

Maximum Weight Capacity

Warranty

-Roped hydraulic
-Overhead winding drum 

Some models

$14,500+ (not including installation)

Yes

500 -1,400 lbs

2-5 year limited

-Roped Hydraulic
-Geared chain drive
-Geared traction with a counterweight

Some models

$30,000+ 

No

500 -1,400 lbs

3 year limited (parts)

Pneumatic only

No models

About $30,000+ 

Yes

350-525 lbs

1 year limited

Overhead winding drum only

No models

About $22,000+ 

No

375-500 lbs

2 year limited

-Hydraulic
-Cable drive
-Overhead cable drive
-Pneumatic 

Some models

$20,000+ 

Varies by model

450-1,500 lbs

10 year limited or other

-Chain drive
-Cable drive

Always

About $30,000+ 

No

750-1400 lbs

2 year limited

-Cable drive
-Overhead winding drum
-Hydraulic

Most models

About $40,000+

Yes

500-1,000 lbs

2-3 years limited (varies by drive style)

*Note: All listed costs are for the lowest-cost model offered, without add-ons, for a “2 stop” (two-story home) installation. All include basic installation costs, besides the construction of a hoistway, unless otherwise stated. Actual costs can vary dramatically, and most companies do not provide information on the upper limit of their product line’s costs. In rare cases, some projects could cost up to $100,000.

Ameriglide 

Most Transparent Pricing

Ameriglide is a mobility company that focuses on affordable home modifications for the average homeowner. Founded in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2004, this company caters to homeowners with a DIY mentality, and it is perhaps most famous for its stairlifts. Now with stores in sixteen American states as well as one store in Ontario, Canada, Ameriglide showrooms are accessible to many consumers. Even those unable to visit a showroom can order online or over the phone, however, with no need to deal with a middle man. 

Of all the excellent elevator companies on our list, Ameriglide is the only one that directly lists its itemized prices on its websites. To obtain information about pricing from other companies, customers must call a representative who will frequently direct the customer to call a local dealer. The dealer may not give the customer a ballpark number until an in-home visit is completed. Ameriglide operates under an entirely different business model, listing its prices and itemizing the cost of most upgrades right in the product listings of its elevators (installation, taxes, and permits cannot be listed online, however). Those who value transparency will appreciate the way Ameriglide communicates prices online.

Overview of Ameriglide Home Elevators

 

Victorian

Elite

Elite Plus

Lula

Elevator Style

Winding Drum

Machine-Room-Less

Roped Hydraulic

Roped Hydraulic

Price

$15,495

$18,999

$19,995

N/A

Maximum Weight Capacity

950 lbs

950 lbs

1,000 lbs

1,400 lbs

Warranty

2 year

N/A

N/A

5 year Structural Components, 

2 year Major Components

Pros and Cons of Ameriglide Home Elevators

Pros:

  • Outdoor option for those who want access between an upper deck and ground-level walkway
  • Endless customization options, including different finishes, lighting choices, fixture options, handrail setups, and more
  • Wheelchair access for customers who cannot easily stand or walk
  • No machine room, saving additional space inside the home

Cons:

  • Requires a hoistway and an 8+” pit created underneath the elevator
  • A limited number of models, both of which feature an old-fashioned look

Ameriglide offers a wide range of customization for its two models of elevator. The outdoor option makes them unique compared to other companies. For those who don’t mind few model choices but tons of customization options, Ameriglide may have what you need.

Savaria

Best for High Weight Capacity Elevators

Marcel Bourassa founded Savaria in 1989, originally focusing on offering wheelchair lifts to those with disabilities. With headquarters in Laval, Quebec, and over 1,500 employees around the world, the company now serves customers who have all kinds of mobility needs. Savaria has product lines and subsidiary companies that offer home and commercial elevators, stairlifts, patient lifts, automobile modifications, adjustable beds, and more. In addition to growing the business, Marcel Bourassa founded the Bourassa Savaria Foundation in 2014 as a way to give back to the community.  

Savaria is one of the best choices for those looking for a minimalist design with a high weight capacity. Shaftless elevators with transparent walls have become quite popular with homeowners due to their ability to blend into both modern and classic home plans. They’re also extremely popular because they require little modification to the home. Many such designs from other companies are small and have a maximum capacity of 500 lbs or less, but multiple designs from Savaria have roomy cars and the capacity to carry well over 800 lbs, including the Infinity HD model which can carry up to 1,400 lbs. For those who want a sleek design with few restrictions, Savaria is the ideal choice.

Overview of Savaria Home Elevators

 

Eclipse

Infinity

Zenith

Vuelift Mini

Elevator Style

Machine-Room-Less

Hydraulic

Machine-Room-Less

Winding Drive

Price

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

Maximum Weight Capacity

950 lbs

1,000 lbs (1,400 lbs for HD model)

1,400 lbs

950 lbs

Warranty

3 year

3 year

3 year

N/A

  • Note: The above models are a sampling of what Savaria has to offer. Check the company website to learn more about other models of residential elevators.
  • Note: Pricing estimates were obtained from third-party online sources.

Pros and Cons of Savaria Home Elevators

Pros:

  • Six models of elevator in varying sizes and styles
  • High weight capacities, including the Infinity HD model which can carry up to 1,400 lbs
  • Longer warranties compared to some other companies
  • Minimalist designs can be desirable for those who don’t want a major visual change

Cons:

  • Difficult to find specific pricing information for any elevator option
  • Various warranty exclusions make it difficult to determine exactly what is covered

Savaria elevators are an exceptional option for those who require a high-capacity elevator. Some homeowners may anticipate the need for multiple guests to ride the elevator at once or deliver large furniture from one floor to another, making Savaria elevators an optimal choice.

PVE Home Elevators

Most Innovative Design

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators, known more commonly as PVE, was founded in 2002 by CEO Juan de Ledebur. The brand’s sleek, tubular elevator design has been featured in the home of an NBA star, as well as in the homes of seniors and a variety of other customers across North America and on four other continents. This brand has a network of 250 authorized dealers, all of which it trains at its Miami, Florida facility prior to authorization. Although PVE has a simple product line, the company enjoys great success and remains popular with customers.

PVE is the only manufacturer of vacuum-powered elevators. These elevators look and indeed operate much like the vacuum tubes that some bank drive-thru’s use, but on a much larger scale. This elevator design operates on relatively simple principles of physics, maintaining an elegantly understated look and requiring little maintenance. Passengers of the elevator can enjoy a 360-degree view of their homes as they travel up and down. PVE’s innovative design provides a new way for those with compact homes to enjoy the benefits of a truly modern elevator.   

Overview of PVE Home Elevators

 

PVE 30

PVE 30 ECO

PVE 37

PVE 52

Elevator Style

Pneumatic Vacuum

Pneumatic Vacuum

Pneumatic Vacuum

Pneumatic Vacuum

Price

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

Maximum Weight Capacity

350 lbs

350 lbs

450 lbs

525 lbs

Warranty

1 year

1 year

1 year

1 year

The Pros and Cons of PVE Home Elevators

Pros:

  • Efficient elevators that don’t require a machine room, shaftway, or pit
  • Ideal elevators for smaller homes
  • Overall versatility, allowing for up to 5 floors of travel and a capacity of 1 - 3 people
  • Elevators built by a company that solely focuses on one style

Cons:

  • Small interiors can be claustrophobic for riders who want more space
  • Noisy operation due to the functioning of pneumatic vacuums

PVE Home Elevators offers high-grade, low-profile home elevators that require few labor hours for installation and low construction costs. Maintenance is easy, requiring no machine room repairs and only a seal replacement every five years or so. The elevators can be installed in a variety of spaces and have even been installed in yachts and nightclubs. If versatility is a priority, PVE Home Elevators may be the right choice.

Stiltz 

Least Obtrusive Design

Stiltz was founded by Australians Lachlan Faulkner and Cameron, Peter, and James Gillespie in 2010. The company established its business headquarters in the United Kingdom and its factories in China. In 2013, the business expanded to the United States, establishing its United States headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A few years after its U.S. debut, Stiltz again expanded, this time across Europe. Stiltz’s only products are its elevators, which the brand prides itself on making affordable and simple to install. 

All Stiltz home elevators have something in common- they blend in. According to Stiltz, these elevators are “whisper” quiet, making less noise than the perennially popular hydraulic elevators or the newer vacuum elevators. These elevators, which operate with an electrically powered overhead winding drum system, are also often quite small. Finally, these shaftway-free elevators can be either transparent or made of panels in colors that match the buyer’s home. Customers of Stiltz say that sometimes their visitors don’t even notice the lift until it’s pointed out to them. For the customer who wants a small elevator that can blend in anywhere, Stiltz is the answer. 

Overview of Stiltz Home Elevators

 

Duo Home Elevator

Trio Classic Wheelchair Elevator

Trio Alta Wheelchair Elevator

Elevator Style

Overhead Winding Drum

Overhead Winding Drum

Overhead Winding Drum

Price

About $22,000+ 

About $22,000+ 

About $22,000+ 

Maximum Weight Capacity

375 lbs

485 lbs

500 lbs

Warranty

2 year

2 year

2 year

Pros and Cons of Stiltz Home Elevators

Pros:

  • Dual rails eliminate the need for a supporting wall and shaftway
  • Low-cost elevators which may be as low as $22,000, much lower than elevators from other companies
  • Minimalist design that “hides” the elevator very well if desired

Cons:

  • Continuous-touch operation adds safety but can be a nuisance
  • Can only be built for up to three floors

Stiltz Home Elevators builds its products with cost-efficiency and safety in mind. For customers who don’t mind a continuous-touch operation and are looking to save money on their home elevator, Stiltz may be the right choice.

Nationwide Lifts

Best Warranty

Nationwide Lifts is a nationwide retailer of both commercial and residential elevators. This brand was founded in 2003 by brothers Andy and Tom Darnley. The brothers are the third generation of elevator mechanics in their family. Nationwide Lifts operates through a franchise system with corporate headquarters in New York, Southern California, and Florida. The brand also works with many affiliate elevator companies to serve areas that don’t have a local franchise. Nationwide Lifts initially focused just on selling elevators made by other companies, but since 2017 it has also been manufacturing its own line of Freedom elevators. 

Nationwide Elevators makes the bold claim that it offers “America’s best warranty” for elevators. Indeed, when the company’s warranty policy is compared to others on our list, all others fall behind. This brand offers 10 years of coverage on mechanical parts, three years of coverage on electrical parts, and one year of coverage for labor costs. Many other companies offer a mere year or two on very limited parts. Where other warranty terms are short and are poorly explained, Nationwide Lift’s warranty shines not only for its impressive length and coverage but also for its clarity.

Overview of Nationwide Lifts Home Elevators

 

Freedom Green

Freedom Hydro

Freedom Elite

Elevator Style

Machine-Room-Less

Hydraulic

Hydraulic

Price

$20,000+ 

$20,000+ 

$20,000+ 

Maximum Weight Capacity

1,000 lbs

1,000 lbs

1,500 lbs

Warranty

10 year mechanical, 3 year electrical, 

1 year labor

10 year mechanical, 3 year electrical, 

1 year labor

10 year mechanical, 3 year electrical, 

1 year labor

Pros and Cons of Nationwide Lifts Home Elevators

Pros:

  • Exceptional customer service with 24/7 assistance and high-quality warranties
  • High-capacity elevators that can carry up to 1,500 lbs
  • Large selection of elevators, including models from other manufacturers on our list
  • Financing options are available

Cons:

  • Financing interest rates can be as high as 10 percent

Nationwide Lifts Home Elevators includes the highest-capacity elevator on our list, the Freedom Elite, which can carry up to 1,500 lbs. The company’s financing options (through Truist Bank) help make purchase and installation more obtainable. For customers who want an endless number of elevator choices and high levels of capacity, Nationwide Lifts Home Elevators is a great option.

RAM

Most Informative Website

Richard A. Meunier founded RAM in 1987 with the goal of providing long-term value to residential and commercial customers. This brand provides both wheelchair lifts and elevators across the United States and Canada through its extensive dealer network. RAM even has one dealer in Hawaii, a state that often isn’t served by otherwise national companies. RAM elevators and lifts are custom-made in a 30,000 square foot factory in Canada by the company’s highly experienced employees. Over the years, RAM’s dedication to providing custom-made, quality products has resulted in many positive customer testimonials, an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and thousands of excellent lifts and elevators in homes across the continent. 

With an elevator company like RAM that offers numerous customizations, it can be difficult to imagine all the possibilities. RAM makes it a little easier for customers to visualize what RAM elevators look like in a real home. The company publishes numerous examples of real-life RAM installations under the “News” tab on its website. Customers can simply go online to read about the installation details and look at the pictures. For customers who are uncertain of what they want, this detailed information and images are a great benefit.

Overview of RAM Home Elevators

 

Trus-T-Lift

Stratus 

Crystal

Elevator Style

Electric

Machine-Room-Less

Machine-Room-Less

Price

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

About $30,000+ 

Maximum Weight Capacity

750 lbs

800 lbs

1,400 lbs

Warranty

2 year

2 year

2 year

The Pros and Cons of RAM Home Elevators

Pros:

  • The low-cost option, the Stratus, offers a simpler installation compared to other models
  • Endless customization options for three elevator models
  • Many visual examples of the final product available on their website

Cons:

  • No shaftless models are available, and some models require a machine room

RAM Home Elevators has expanded its line to include three models at different price points, heights, and weight capacities. Customization options including door placement, steel kickplates, extended warranties, and more. If a customer has the physical space in their home to add a machine room and/or shaftway, RAM Home Elevators has plenty of quality elevators available.

Inclinator 

Most Industry Experience 

Inclinator was founded in Philadelphia by C.C. Crispin in the early 1920s following Mr. Crispin’s invention of an early version of the stairlift. As the company grew, it expanded into the home elevator business, launching its first model in 1928. The brand now has quite the reach, with Inclinator products offered not only in America but also in Canada, the eastern Caribbean, Mexico, and throughout Central and South America. Inclinator is now led by CEO and President Cliff Warner and members of the Crispen family still sit on the board and are involved in the company’s regular operations.

Inclinator is by far the oldest company on our list, with over 90 years of experience in the mobility industry. This company has a long history of service and quality workmanship.  Incredibly, Inclinator is still providing maintenance work for elevators that were originally installed in the 1930s when the company had just barely begun making elevators. Over the years, Inclinator has shifted its product line slightly, but its track record of excellence has never changed.

Overview of Inclinator Home Elevators

 

200 Cab

300 Cab

400 Cab

500 Cab

Elevator Style

Cable Drum, Hydraulic, Overhead Winding Drum

Cable Drum, Hydraulic, Overhead Winding Drum

Cable Drum, Hydraulic, Overhead Winding Drum

Cable Drum, Hydraulic, Overhead Winding Drum

Price

About $40,000+

About $40,000+

About $40,000+

About $40,000+

Maximum Weight Capacity

500 - 1,000 lbs

500 - 1,000 lbs

500 - 1,000 lbs

500 - 1,000 lbs

Warranty

2-3 year limited (varies by drive style)

2-3 year limited (varies by drive style)

2-3 year limited (varies by drive style)

2-3 year limited (varies by drive style)

Note: The above models are a sampling of what Inclinator has to offer. Check the company website to learn more about other models of residential elevators.

Pros and Cons of Inclinator Home Elevators

Pros:

  • The exterior installation option can be beneficial for a variety of customers.
  • The all-glass option offers a modern style unavailable from other companies.
  • stylish safety features provide security while not sacrificing look.

Cons:

  • Significant construction may be a deterrent for those with a small home or those on a budget.

Inclinator Home Elevators takes pride in its flexibility and customization, offering a wide range of stylish features. The elevators do come with a high price, both financial and spatial. For the customer who has the physical space for a machine room and hoistway, Inclinator may be a viable choice for an in-home elevator.

How to Get Financial Assistance for Home Elevators

Installing a home elevator can be very expensive. Some of the least expensive systems are upwards of $20,000 or more, with the highest-end models reaching up to $100,000. Fortunately, financial assistance is available.

A home elevator can qualify as medical durable medical equipment (DME). When prescribed by a doctor, these installations can be considered medically necessary and covered, in part or in full, by insurance. Programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Affairs benefits can be used to cover the cost of a home elevator.

Below are more details of how Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and other programs can drive down the cost of an elevator in your home.

Medicare Coverage of Home Elevators

Medically-prescribed home lifts can be covered by Medicare Part B insurance. If a doctor prescribes that a home lift is vital to a patient’s health and wellbeing, the home elevator is considered Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Medicare Part B will pay 80% of the cost of the elevator and its installation after the patient has paid their deductible.

It’s important to confirm that everyone involved in the home elevator installation process is enrolled in Medicare. The prescribing doctor, the elevator manufacturer, and the elevator supplier/installer must all be members of Medicare. If any party is not enrolled, Medicare may not pay as much, or any, of the costs.

How To Get Started

  • Discuss with your doctor the idea of getting a home elevator, then obtain a prescription.
  • Research home elevators to find a few models that fit your specific needs.
  • Contact home elevator companies and installers to verify that they are members of Medicare.
  • Contact a Medicare representative to discuss your prescription and home elevator company of choice.
  • Make a purchase and schedule the installation of your home elevator.

Medicaid Coverage for Home Elevators

Finances from Medicaid can be used for covering the cost of durable medical equipment (DME). Home elevators can be considered DME, as well as their installation and servicing.

Medicaid programs are run by each individual state, so every program has different benefits and requirements. Some states provide financial reimbursement for elevator purchase and installation, labeling a home elevator as durable medical equipment. Other states, however, do not offer any coverage for these systems.

Below you can find additional information on state-specific Medicaid coverage for home elevators. Be sure to contact your state’s Medicaid office to confirm coverage, as these rules can change over time.

State

Home Elevator Benefit

State Medicaid Website

State Medicaid Contact

Alabama

Partial or total cost of least-expensive option

334-242-5000

Alaska

Partial or total cost of least-expensive option

800-780-9972

Arizona

Partial or total cost

855-432-7587

Arkansas

Partial or total cost

855-372-1084

California

Partial coverage based on need

800-541-5555

Colorado

Partial or total cost

800-221-3943

Connecticut

Partial or total cost

800-842-1508

Delaware

No information available

800-464-4957

District of Columbia

No information available

202-645-4614

Florida 

Partial or total cost

877-711-3662

Georgia

Partial or total cost

404-651-9982

Hawaii

Partial or total cost

808-524-3370

Idaho

Partial or total cost

877-456-1233

Illinois

Partial or total cost

800-843-6154

Indiana

Partial or total cost after passing an asset test

800-457-4584

Iowa

Partial or total cost

855-889-7985

Kansas

Partial coverage based on need

800-792-4884

Kentucky

Partial or total cost with certificate of medical necessity

800-635-2570

Louisiana

Partial or total cost of least-expensive option

888-342-6207

Maine

Partial or total cost of least-expensive option

207-287-3707

Maryland

Partial cost with approval

877-463-3464

Massachusetts

Partial or total cost

800-841-2900

Michigan

Partial or total cost

800-642-3195

Minnesota

Partial cost with approval

651-431-2700

Mississippi

Partial cost with approval

800-421-2408

Missouri

Partial or total cost

800-735-2466

Montana

Partial or total cost

800-362-8312

Nebraska

Partial or total cost

855-632-7633

Nevada

Partial or total cost

800-992-0900

New Hampshire

Partial or total cost

800-852-3345

New Jersey

Partial cost with approval

nj.gov 

800-356-1561

New Mexico 

Partial cost with approval

888-997-2583

New York

Partial cost with approval

800-541-2831

North Carolina

Partial or total cost

800-662-7030

North Dakota

Partial or total cost

800-472-2622

Ohio

Partial or total cost

800-324-8680

Oklahoma

Partial or total cost

800-522-0310

Oregon

Partial or total cost

800-527-5772

Pennsylvania

Partial or total cost

800-692-7462

Rhode Island

Partial or total cost

401-462-5300

South Carolina

Partial or total cost

888-549-0820

South Dakota 

Partial cost with approval

800-597-1603

Tennessee

Partial cost with approval

800-342-3145

Texas

Partial or total cost

877-541-7905

Utah

Partial or total cost

800-662-9651

Vermont

Partial or total cost

800-250-8427

Virginia

Not covered

804-786-7933

Washington

Partial cost with approval

800-562-3022

West Virginia

Partial cost with approval

800-642-8589

Wisconsin

Partial cost with approval

800-362-3002

Wyoming 

Partial or total cost

866-571-0944

Veterans Resources for Home Elevators

Veterans Affairs provides coverage for durable medical equipment when deemed medically necessary by a healthcare provider. Each request must be made in writing using VA Form 10-10172. DME requests are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

A variety of grant programs offer coverage for home modifications, including home elevator installation. Each of the following programs is available for veterans and allows for the coverage of many different home mobility modifications. Take note that each program provides a different maximum payout, which can change annually.

Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant

The SAH grant provides funds of up to $101,754 to veterans who have certain severe service-related disabilities. This grant is designed to provide major accessibility modifications or a new home purchase for those who have severe injuries due to their time in the military.

Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant

The SHA grant operates similarly to the SAH grant but is less restrictive in terms of who can receive the funds. This grant provides up to $20,387 for home accessibility modifications. Certain service-related disabilities are required to obtain funds. The purpose of the SHA grant is to help disabled veterans stay in their current homes by making necessary modifications to their residences.

Home Improvements and Structural Assistance (HISA) Grant

The HISA grant from Veterans Affairs can cover up to $6,800 worth of home improvements for the purpose of improving overall accessibility within a veteran’s primary residence. The money can be used for improving entrance and exit access, improving kitchen or bathroom fixture access, and resolving electrical or plumbing issues created by the upgrades. This grant does not cover improvements to walkways, installation of hot tubs, new construction, or new decking. A doctor’s prescription is required to obtain these funds.

Additional Financial Resources for Home Elevators

Depending on the manufacturer and the supplier, individual companies may also provide discounts to veterans, seniors, and other customers. Before making a purchase, be sure to ask about any discounts that are available.

Most home elevator companies offer financing for their products. By partnering with banks, Paypal, and other financial services, these companies offer loans to cover the cost of the elevator and installation –  sometimes with a 0% interest rate for the first few months. Much like any other loan, the buyer is responsible for making monthly payments until the loan is fully paid off.

How to Choose a Home Elevator

How to Choose a Home Elevator

It’s easy to get confused when looking for a home elevator. The step-by-step guide below will help you evaluate the suitability of an elevator for your home, explain the best method to compare models, and know what to expect for pricing, installation, and maintenance.

Step 1: Weigh the Pros and Cons of Elevators and Their Alternatives

Before you start shopping for a home elevator, take time to really consider its suitability for your situation. Start by thinking about why you want or need one.

Common reasons for buying home elevators include:

  • Stair climbing fatigue experienced by you, loved ones, pets, or household staff.
  • The desire to be able to easily transport things like laundry up and down the stairs.
  • Experiencing issues with energy, balance, pain, stiffness, poor eyesight, or falling.
  • Preparing for potential future mobility problems.

Can these or other reasons you have for wanting a home elevator be met by an alternative product or lifestyle change? Consider some common alternatives below.

Common alternatives to elevators include:

  • Stairlifts: A stairlift is a chair with armrests and a footrest that mounts on a rail system and moves along the staircase. Stairlifts may cost anywhere from about $3,000-$15,000, including installation. Click here to get a free quote for the purchase and installation of a stairlift in your home.
  • Wheelchair Lifts: A wheelchair lift is a platform that moves vertically much like an elevator but that usually isn’t enclosed and isn’t decorative in any way. These may cost roughly $3,000-$5,000 before installation.
  • Downsizing: Seniors and disabled homeowners with multi-level homes can move to a one-level home or an assisted living community. Predicting how much you’ll save or spend on a move is difficult because there are so many variables.

The above alternatives can all, in theory, cost less than an elevator, but they do have some downsides. Both lifts prohibit multiple passengers or carrying extra objects, and many people consider them eyesores, too. Stairlifts require the patient to transfer into and out of the chair repeatedly, which is dangerous for some. Downsizing can put money in your pockets, but leaving a home you love is difficult. Discuss elevators and alternatives with your loved ones and financial advisor to get a well-rounded perspective on your situation.

Step 2: Learn About Elevator Pricing 

If you’ve determined a home elevator is for you, then it’s time to consider costs in detail. A home elevator plus its installation often costs above $20,000-$30,000, and in some cases, it can be as high as $100,000. You’ll need to get detailed quotes from multiple companies before making a choice. Below you can see how different factors affect final costs.

Factors that affect elevator costs include:

  • Home Modification: If the elevator needs a hoistway, machine room, wall reinforcements, or a pit, then your construction costs will be fairly high. Pneumatic or shaftless overhead winding cable drive elevators are likely to be the most economical choices overall, while other cable/chain drive and hydraulic options tend to be more expensive due to the above home modification needs. Many installation quotes from dealers do not include the cost of a hoistway construction because the company expects that you’ll use another contractor for that. Hoistway construction alone could easily cost $2,000-$4,000. 
  • Labor Costs: Your elevator will most likely be installed by a local dealer. Labor costs depend on project complexity and skilled labor costs in your area. Count on needing to pay for at least one to three full days of labor for a small crew of workers, in addition to the labor costs of building a hoistway (if necessary). 
  • Size and Customization: A higher ceiling, larger cab, extra lights, custom flooring, special wall veneers, a fold-down seat, extra handlebars, and any other “extras” can each add between a few hundred and about a thousand extra dollars to the tab. 
  • Number of Stops: Basic elevator costs usually reflect the cost of a “2 stop” elevator, that is, one that only travels between the first and second floors. Each additional stop could cost about $1,000 extra.
  • Shipping, Taxes, Permits, and Inspections: When speaking with dealers you’ll want to ask about shipping, taxes, permits, and inspection fees. These are all based on location, but shipping may be several hundred or even $1,000, and taxes should be a percentage of the purchase price. Your county may charge you for permits and inspections as well. Make sure you know what is and isn’t included in your quote. 

Step 3: Learn About Elevator Safety 

Before you start talking to companies you should also learn the basics of elevator safety so that you can ask the right questions. 

General Home Elevator Safety 

In general, all elevators should include a redundant power source or some plan for stopping a freefall in case of a power failure. Other common safety features include in-cab phone lines, sensors that stop the elevator or its doors in dangerous situations, and keys that limit child access to the elevator if desired. Grab bars and fold-down seats are another form of safety feature, though they are often optional. The most important standard of safety is the ASME A17.1, a set of safety standards put forth by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. If a company doesn’t want to talk about ASME compliance, that’s a safety red flag.

Child Safety

In some tragic cases, children have been killed or seriously injured due to badly designed home elevators that have hoistways. The United States Safety Commission offers a warning about gaps in some elevators between the hoistway door and the elevator gate that can be deadly to small children. Some companies have been slow to address this problem even in their new designs. Ask companies how they eliminate this dangerous gap. Keep in mind that there is less information available on how safe shaftless elevators are for children since they are a relatively new invention. 

Step 4: Consider Your Needs and Compare Quotes

If you understand elevator alternatives, costs, and safety, then it’s time to start looking at companies and elevator types. As you do so, you’ll want to consider the following topics.

Space and Weight Capacity

Consider space inside and outside of the elevator. How much space does your body and potentially your wheelchair/walker need? Do you need it to have the weight capacity and space for multiple people? How much space are you willing to lose within the room so that the elevator can be installed? The manufacturer should be able to tell you the interior measurements, including height, and they should also list the exterior “footprint” and the weight limit. Look into whether or not the elevator needs a hoistway, pit, or machine room/closet. Also, ask if the hoistway needs to extend into the attic area.

Style

Home elevators come in all shapes and sizes, and many are customizable. There are a few key style questions you should ask yourself:

  • Do I want my elevator to be visible or covered?
  • Do I want my elevator to blend into surroundings, to fully match surroundings, or to stand out as a focal point?
  • What style points am I willing to compromise on for the sake of cost or other factors?

Elevators enclosed in a hoistway are the easiest to hide and also usually have the most customization options. Shaftless overhead cable drive elevators can stand out or blend in, depending on the design and how large they are. Pneumatic elevators and overhead cable drive elevators that are fully transparent tend to stand out due to their glossy, light-catching appearance, but they’re versatile enough to look good with a wide variety of home styles.

Noise

If you’re sensitive to noise within your home, ask salespeople for a noise comparison. Hearing “this elevator is as loud as…” can help you make a choice. It will also help to visit a showroom and ride elevators there. Vacuum elevators are considered some of the loudest elevators, while cable drive and overhead cable drive fall somewhere in the middle, and hydraulic elevators are said to be the quietest. Noise levels can vary by brand.

Step 5: Plan for Installation and Maintenance 

When you’ve selected your elevator brand and local dealer, it’s time to plan for installation. If the elevator is a traditional style (hydraulic or cable drive with a hoistway) that will be fully customized, it may take as long as eight weeks to manufacture, and then it will have to be shipped, possibly across the country. If you opt for an elevator that requires a shaft, machine room, and/or pit, then you’ll likely have to book a separate contractor to do that preparatory work. The dealer should be able to give you guidance on the kind of person you should hire.

The actual installation of an elevator, after preparatory work is done, generally takes between one and three days. After installation, you will need to have the elevator inspected by a local authority, an appointment that the dealer should help you arrange. After passing inspection you’ll need to have a yearly inspection by either the company that installed it or by another certified professional in your area. Certain parts, such as the vacuum seal in a pneumatic elevator, may need to be replaced on a schedule every few years. Making these inspections and replacements part of your yearly routine is crucial for catching any problems early. This limits your liability and will help to keep your homeowner’s insurance company happy with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I pay for a home elevator?

Home elevators are not cheap, and figuring out how to pay for one can be a challenge. Payment plans are available through some elevator companies, but interest rates could be as high as 10%. If you’re going to get financing then you’ll want to shop around, and you might consider using some of the equity in your home. 

In some cases, the Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants or other home improvement programs from HUD may be available to help you add an elevator to your home. It may also be worthwhile for you to look into your state’s Medicaid programs as well, as some versions of Medicaid do provide help with home modifications or improvement in limited circumstances. Elevators are often considered luxury items, however, so there’s no guarantee that a grant program will look favorably on them.

Can an elevator be used like a dumbwaiter?

Elevators can, like a dumbwaiter, be used to transport goods that you don’t want to carry up and down the stairs. Elevators generally have a “call” button that will bring the elevator to whatever floor you are on, making it convenient to have the elevator come to you when you need it. Many people find that using an elevator as part of their chore routine helps them to be less tired and better able to cope with their household needs.

Can I get a home elevator if my home has more than two stories?

Some home elevator brands only build elevators that serve two stories, but most offer options for more. Typically, the maximum amount of stops that a home elevator is capable of is six or seven, but this varies. On their specification sheets, most companies will list the maximum feet that the elevator is capable of traveling as well as how many stops it can make. Each stop beyond the second floor may add about $1,000 to the total cost of your elevator.

What’s the difference between a lift and an elevator?

Most of the world says ‘lift’, but Americans say ‘elevator’. Therefore, you may sometimes find companies that call their elevators “lifts.” In some cases, however, the term lift can be defined more narrowly to mean an elevator that’s not fully enclosed, that only travels a short distance, or that has a constant touch button for operation. These lifts tend to give the user a little more control than an elevator does, but they may be less aesthetically pleasing.

Can I get a seat in my home elevator?

Many home elevator brands allow you to add a seat and extra grab bars to your elevator if you would like. Often the seat will be made of sturdy plastic and will fold up against the wall when not in use. The seat can be a nice option for those who don’t use a wheelchair but who do like the option of sitting. Most companies don’t heavily advertise their seat option even though they have it, so you may need to ask if a seat is available. Adding a seat may add about $100 to your cost in some cases.