There are endless possibilities when it comes to elevator Cab & Hoistway choices. More often people are choosing fancier finishes than the old plain options of the past.
The central feature of a home elevator – and the part that people see the most – is the cab, or car, where the passengers ride. The choice and quality of materials used here will determine whether your elevator is just a box that goes up and down or a beautiful and functional addition to your home.
Size of a Home Elevator Cab
36″ by 48″ (12 sq. ft.) is the standard cab size for a home elevator. Most people would choose this or a smaller cab size in the case of a hoistway size or space restriction. 36’ x 60” or 40″ x 54″ (15 sq. ft.) is becoming a more popular choice. This configuration provides extra room, allowing enough room for someone in a wheelchair and an attendant. Although 15 sq. ft. is the recommended maximum listed in the residential elevator code, there are always opportunities to go slightly “bigger”.
Interior Elevator Finish
The type of wood and decorative trim used on the inside of a home elevator cab largely determines the “feel” of the entire installation. Ultra-cheap elevators are typically priced with a type of laminate or other inexpensive wall material that is low quality and few people choose this option. The inside of an elevator should not look like the inside of a pantry or cheap office furniture, but that’s exactly what you’ll get with a low cost photo-lam finish.
The next step up from laminate is a basic flat wood interior with minimal trim. Birch, oak, and maple are popular low-cost woods for this application. Even unfinished, any of these will look and feel much better than low-cost laminate.
At the high end of the spectrum are furniture-grade woods like cherry, mahogany or alder. Finished properly and trimmed with raised panels, an interior made from one of these will look extremely nice. The addition of glass panels and stainless steel or bronze can really improve the look as well.
Naturally, better grades of wood, glass panels and fancier types of trim or metal finishes can substantially increase the cost of a home elevator installation, but even if you can’t swing dark cherry and library panels, you really should try to get some kind of real wood. Other options are available such as Thermofoil or even a veneer over a less expensive wood.
Elevator control devices
The controls of any elevator are those inside the cab for floor selection and door operation (the Car Operation Panel, or “COP”); and the ones outside the hoistway for calling the elevator (hall call stations). Additionally, the emergency phone inside the elevator is now usually contained in a box instead of hanging on the wall and usually matches the control panel (COP) trim. The emergency phone can also be incorporated in the COP panel as an option as.
The choice of finish on your control devices is almost as important as the choice of wood and trim for your home elevator cab. From an aesthetic perspective, these devices are much like the chrome on your car, and can make or break your elevator’s appearance. The least expensive finish is #4 brushed stainless, which looks fine. Upgrades from this include polished stainless steel, brass, vintage bronze, oil rubbed bronze, or brushed nickel. Once again, every upgrade in this area impacts the final cost of the elevator.
The hoistway can be the least or most attractive part of the elevator system. The standard framed and drywalled hoistway is rarely seen and usually unfinished, that is to say not textured or painted. The addition of glass panels in the elevator car can expose the interior of the hoistway as do all clear gates. The most elaborate would be an elevator car with all glass panels and a clear gate making the entire interior of the hoistway viewable. This is an option we are seeing more often. The hoistway is then either incorporated with glass panels with custom wood or metal trim. Occasionally, the hoistway is solid and decorated with art or decorative pattern finishes.
Whether your preference is simple or complex, we are here to educate you on your options. Call TL Shield & Assoc., Inc. or Inclinator Co. of Ca. today for a free consultation at (800)954-3887 or (800)201-1212.