How Much Do Residential Elevators Cost? A Price Guide for the Four Most Common Home Elevator Styles

For those with mobility issues or a large home, residential elevators can be an absolute lifesaver: they make it far easier to move easily between floors, saving a great deal of time and effort for those who may struggle to climb stairs. In addition, they’re an excellent way to add a touch of high-class elegance to any house, which can be a huge draw for those who adore luxury in all aspects of life.


When you’re considering renovating your home, you may have never considered adding an elevator, but once you recognize the value of this unique house feature, you’ll have wished you decided sooner to upgrade your property. However, what’s the best residential elevator based on cost? Today, we’ll explore the different types of residential elevators, compare their costs, and provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your own needs.

Cable-driven elevators: a small style great for tall homes

While cable-driven elevators aren’t the first choice for most homeowners, they’re attractive primarily because they’re smaller than other types of elevators, such as traditional elevators or hydraulic elevators. This style is best suited for tall, narrow homes, and as such, they have a more specialized market for residential installations. These are the cheapest elevators, ranging from $15,000 to $25,000.

Hydraulic elevators: maximum power for heavy loads

This is one of the most popular styles for residential elevators because it’s highly reliable, easy to use, and can handle a significant load. Hydraulic elevators are a great option for those who have a large family or who may regularly haul bulky items from floor to floor. These are slightly more expensive than cable-driven elevators, costing between $20,000 to $40,000, but they’re a great choice for someone who has a larger home; hydraulic elevators have a larger footprint, and they require heavy machinery, which will take up far more space than a cable-driven elevator.


Pneumatic elevators: small but mighty – and well priced

A newer style of residential elevator, pneumatic elevators use vacuum pressure to pull the cab up and down the tube casing; this makes them far lighter, smaller, and easier to install than larger, bulkier hydraulic elevators or even cable-driven elevators. It’s the reason that this particular style is becoming incredibly popular in the world of private elevators, with successful installations in thousands of homes across the United States.


In the rankings of residential elevator costs, pneumatic elevators are a bit pricier than hydraulic elevators, costing anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000; some deluxe models can be as high as $85,000. However, this style is well worth it for several reasons, including a far smaller footprint, an easier installation, and lower maintenance costs. Pneumatic elevators can be installed very quickly, as they don’t require the installation of heavy equipment like hydraulic elevators, and they take up much less space. You can even install them in a cupboard or a closet for an unobtrusive but invaluable transport option.

Traditional elevators: luxurious, old-world beauty

When we say “traditional elevators,” we’re referring to elevators similar to what one might see in a very old apartment building, with a pull-down cage that protects riders from an open shaft. These generally use a cable and pulley system, just like a cable-driven elevator, but they are heavier and larger, making them suitable for quite large homes. The draw here is that they have a very traditional look and feel to them, which is perfect for homeowners that want to keep the charm and beauty of their older home, while still enjoying the convenience of an elevator. These upscale elevators can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000, which might place them out of the realm of possibility for most homeowners.

The best elevator for your home depends on your particular needs

There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to installing an elevator in your home, including aesthetics, size, and budget. 


While it’s possible for any elevator to work well in a particular home, some homeowners may be quite particular about the style of their house, and they may wish to choose an elevator style that best matches the look and feel of their home. For contemporary homes, a pneumatic elevator is a great option, as it lends a futuristic air to the space; for houses of an older style, such as Queen Anne or Victorian, a traditional elevator may be the best bet.


Size and budget are also essential considerations. Pneumatic residential elevators are quite small and work incredibly well in a more modest home; cable-driven elevators are a bit larger than pneumatic elevators, but they can still work in a smaller house. Hydraulic and traditional elevators, however, are best suited for very large homes, as they have a big footprint and will overwhelm other houses. 


With more awareness of the price points of these options, as well as their drawbacks and benefits, you can make a calculated decision about what will work best for you. Each of these styles has their merits, and each is a great option for the right home. 

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