If you’ve made the decision to install an elevator in your home for any purpose, whether for yourself or a loved one, you’re entering a process that has a few distinct steps. What are the important elements you should be preparing yourself to deal with and select between as part of this installation?
At A+ Elevators & Lifts, we’re happy to offer an unmatched selection of residential elevators and related lift products for clients throughout Denver and many other areas. We’ll walk you through every basic step of the selection process from start to finish, ensuring you’re clear on every detail. What are some of the key steps that will be part of this process? Here’s a simple primer.
Choosing Elevator Location
One of the first and most important decisions you’ll make is where to place the elevator in your home. It’s important to consider how much space is available and what will be the most convenient location for users. If you’re installing an elevator for accessibility purposes, you’ll also want to be sure it meets all relevant ADA guidelines.
Our team can help you assess your home’s layout and make recommendations for the ideal elevator placement. We’ll also work with you to ensure the installation meets any relevant ADA guidelines.
Some of the main factors that influence elevator placement are common entry and exit points, the distance the elevator will travel, and overall aesthetics. For instance, if you want the elevator to be hidden from view, we can work with you to find a location that will allow for that.
Choosing a Cab Style
Once you have a good idea of where the elevator will be located, you can start thinking about cab style. The cab is the actual “elevator car” itself, and there are several different options to choose from.
Some common styles include traditional cabs with four walls, center-opening cabs that open from the middle on both sides, and side-opening cabs that only have one door. There are also various cab sizes to choose from depending on how many people will be using the elevator and what type of wheelchair accessibility is required.
Again, our team can help you assess your needs and desires when it comes to cab style. If someone in your home uses a wheelchair, for instance, we can help you choose a cab style that will allow for easy accessibility.
Down related lines, there are many situations where buyers of new elevators will need to customize their cabs to some extent. This is particularly common when the elevator will be used by someone in a wheelchair or with other mobility issues.
There are many types of cab customization that can be performed, from installing handrails and grab bars to widening doorways and adding special features like turning seats. We’ll work with you to determine what types of customization are necessary to make the elevator as functional and safe as possible.
Choosing a Power Source
Elevators require some type of power source in order to operate. The vast majority of residential elevators use either hydraulics or winding drums, though some newer models use linear motors.
Hydraulic elevators are powered by a hydraulic pump that uses oil to push a piston. This type of elevator is very common in residential settings and is generally quite reliable.
Winding drum elevators, on the other hand, use a steel cable wrapped around a drum. As the drum turns, it winds or unwinds the cable, which moves the cab up or down. This type of elevator is also quite common in residential settings and is generally less expensive to install than a hydraulic elevator.
Finally, linear motor elevators use magnets to move the cab up and down a steel track. These are newer types of elevators that are gradually becoming more common in residential settings. They tend to be very quiet and smooth-running, but they are also more expensive than other types of elevators.
Our team can help you assess your needs and budget to determine the best type of power source for your new elevator.
Electrical Component Selection
Next up, you need to think about the lights and other electrical components that will be installed in the elevator cab.
There are many different types of lighting available for elevators, from traditional incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs. You’ll also need to decide on a lighting control system, which can range from simple switch plates to more complex motion-activated systems.
In addition to lights, you’ll also need to select other electrical components like call buttons, intercoms, and alarm systems. Again, there are many different options available, so our team can help you assess your needs and choose the best components for your elevator.
Gates and Operators
From here, you’ll need to select the gates and operators that will be used for your elevator. The type of gate you choose will depend on the size and style of the cab, as well as any accessibility requirements.
There are two main types of operators: manual and automatic. Manual operators must be operated by someone in the cab, while automatic operators can be operated by either someone in the cab or remotely.
There are also several different types of automatic operators, including push-button, key-switch, and card-reader operators. Again, our team can help you assess your needs and choose the best gates and operators for your elevator.
Last but not least, you’ll need to select a drive system for your elevator. The drive system is what actually moves the cab up and down the shaft.
There are two main types of drive systems: traction and hydraulic. Traction drive systems use electric motors to move the cab, while hydraulic drive systems use oil-powered pumps.
Traction drive systems are generally more efficient and require less maintenance than hydraulic drive systems. However, they are also more expensive to install.
For more on the steps that will be followed when selecting any new residential elevator, or to learn about any of our affordable home elevator and lift products in Denver and nearby areas, speak to the team at A+ Elevators & Lifts today.