Persons with mobility difficulties no longer have to view stairs as an obstacle to reach other levels in their residence. Small elevators are becoming increasingly popular in homes to better accommodate mobility impaired individuals. Decreasing costs, improved ease of installation, increased reliability and greater availability have increased the acceptance of residential elevators.
Aging Population Expected to Increase Demand
An aging population and the onset of health issues are expected to increase the need for mobility aids prompting a growing demand for elevators where stairs and ramps have typically been the only alternative. The US Census Bureau indicated in 2000 that 13% of the population was over 65. That number is expected to increase to 20% by 2030. The aging baby boomer population, perhaps due to a societal trend toward addressing mobility issues, will not accept barriers to mobility like stairs. Consequently, many persons are planning for, or are installing lifts in their homes. Often individuals have spent many years in a two story home and don’t see themselves moving somewhere else just to have one floor. Moving may not be financially viable and may necessitate relocating to surroundings that are unfamiliar.
Alternatives to Meet a Range of Needs
Stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, and residential elevators are three alternatives that are feasible for homes. Stair lifts are affordable and are relatively straightforward to install. However, they assume sufficient mobility to get on and off of them. If a mobility aid like a walker is required, a second one would be necessary on the second floor if it can’t be carried up. Wheelchair lifts are platforms for lifting a wheelchair 2 – 14ft vertically especially where there is not enough space to install a ramp. Examples of applications include getting to the first floor from the garage in a home, or up a short set of stairs in an older facility. Versions such as the Lift-Avator Verti-Lift are built for public or private use. Installed costs for wheelchair lifts range from $6,000 to $19,000.
Home elevators can provide service up to 50 feet, and are available in various sizes and with various options to accommodate the needs of residential use. Base equipment costs for a home elevator are typically around $20,000. Home elevators can range in size up to 15 ft. Planning during the design phase of new construction for a possible future elevator installation is the most cost effective solution because the building structure is easily modified during the building phase.
Fortunately, mobility barriers are becoming less prevalent. A range of choices in affordable, reliable lifts present alternatives that architects and builders can offer to their clients to help them overcome the barriers that cannot be designed out. We expect to see continued growth in the market.
If you would like to discuss an elevator upfit for your residence, do not hesitate to contact us today at 888-634-1717 or visit our showroom at 4430 Hwy 70 E, New Bern.