How Much Does a Home Elevator Cost?

Normal range: $2,599 - $5,712

The average home elevator costs $4,140, but prices range from $2,599 to $5,712 depending on elevator type, size, and number of floors.

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Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated September 29, 2022
Modern staircase and elevator
Photo: johny87 / Adobe Stock

The average home elevator costs $4,140, but ranges between $2,599 and $5,712. The final price depends on the type of elevator, whether it’s a retrofit, how many floors it needs to reach, and the level of customization.

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How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$2,599 - $5,712
  • Average
  • $4,140
  • Low end
  • $600
  • high end
  • $12,000
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Installing a home elevator can be a game-changer for many, and this investment won’t just make transporting a big grocery haul upstairs a breeze. The cost to install a home elevator can make your house more wheelchair accessible and add to its resale value. 

Home Elevator Cost Breakdown

Your final residential elevator cost will depend on many factors, including the equipment itself, site preparation, local labor fees, and how much construction is needed.

Equipment

To install an elevator, you’ll typically pay $1,000 to $40,000 for the equipment. 

Site Preparation

Installing an elevator requires preparing the area, which can cost between $500 to $15,000 to get the site ready for the cabin.

Labor

Expect to pay $500 to $15,000 in labor fees to hire a local contractor to install an elevator. It depends on how much adjustment your home needs and the type of elevator you’re installing.

New Construction

In many situations, you may need to build new construction for the elevator. If that’s the case, you’ll want to hire a local architect for around $2,000 to $9,300 and a structural engineer near you who will likely charge you $350 to $700. For electric wiring, expect to pay $500 to $2,100. It costs $500 to $1,800 to upgrade or replace an electrical panel.

Home Elevator Cost By Type

Elevator in luxury home
Photo: rilueda / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

The final cost to install a home elevator depends mostly on the type of elevator. Different brands have different features, but the basic mechanics remain the same.

Vertical Platform Lift Cost

A vertical platform elevator is a basic lifting device that can travel up to 14 feet. You can install it both indoors and outdoors, and you can customize it in various ways.

A vertical platform lift is an affordable home elevator option with a ballpark figure of $5,000 to $20,000. In some cases, when installing a vertical platform lift, you may need some structural modifications to your home, such as adding more studs or ramps. In this case, expect to pay extra.

Pneumatic Elevator Cost

Pneumatic elevators are the most expensive home elevators, so expect to pay $35,000 to $60,000.

The cabin of pneumatic elevators is made of glass, which gives the home a modern look and gives the passengers a glimpse of the view outside. This style takes the least space, and it's meant to be visible (if you’re looking for a private elevator, the pneumatic elevator is not for you).

Pneumatic elevators use vacuum pressure to move the cab from one floor to another.

Hydraulic Elevator Cost

On average, hydraulic elevators cost between $25,000 to $50,000

The elevator operates with a hydraulic pump connected to a cylinder that raises and lowers a piston to move the elevator cab. It's one of the most durable elevators and doesn't need a separate mechanical room, making the design slim and quiet compared to other elevators. It serves a large capacity and a higher number of floors, so it's perfect for wheelchair users.

Shaftless Elevator Cost

A shaftless elevator costs between $15,000 to $25,000. It's small and compact, making it ideal for single-person use in small spaces, and can only travel up to one floor. Installation only requires drilling through your ceiling or attaching the unit to your home's exterior.

If you'd like to have a custom-built elevator, you may have options like tile, wood paneling, or if you'd like to conceal the elevator behind walls, be prepared to pay an extra cost of $70,000 or more.

Cable-Driven Elevator Cost

Expect to pay between $15,000 and $35,000 for a cable-driven elevator and factor in $2,000 to $3,000 for cable replacement every three to five years.

This common type probably springs to mind when you think of home elevators. It uses a pulley system of traction steel ropes that attach to a counter-weight drum and activates via an electric motor gearbox. These lifts don’t need tons of space, but the drum is pretty bulky. 

Geared Traction Elevator Cost

You’ll pay between $25,000 and $38,000 for a geared traction elevator. 

Operating through a system of geared pulleys, you’ll take longer to reach your floor than in gearless models, but it helps lower your energy bills. Their maximum traveling distance is 250 feet, but this isn’t a problem in a home setting. Be ready for higher maintenance bills than with gearless models.

Gearless Traction Elevator Cost

The average price to buy and install a gearless traction elevator is between $29,000 and $55,000

You might opt for this compact model if you’re retrofitting in your current home. It uses a track and counter-weight system which means, unlike pulley system elevators, they don’t need pits or rooms for the mechanics. You just need ample space above the shaft to accommodate the operating equipment.

Outdoor Elevator Cost

An outdoor elevator can be a great option for a limited budget since it costs anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000

Outdoor elevators are usually made from durable materials like aluminum that would withstand weather elements. They also come with various platform sizes and features to match your needs.

Additional Costs to Consider 

It’s not just the model which affects how much your residential elevator costs. Keep these factors in mind to save you from going over your budget.

Number of Floors

The more floors your elevator goes up, the more labor and parts there are. For every floor above one story, budget an extra $5,000 to $15,000. So, if you have a tall four-story home, your bill could go up by $15,000 to $45,000

You’ll also have to rule out vertical platform lifts or shaftless models if you have three or four stories—they only travel a maximum of two floors.

Customizations

Want to match your elevator with your home’s overall aesthetic? Customized modern glass paneling or wooden Victorian features push home elevator prices over $50,000. Adding smaller design features, built-in phones, or music speakers won’t break the bank, but it’s still worth comparing quotes for basic customizations.

Gates and Doors

Accordion fold gate doors are a standard option for home elevators, but they’re not usually the most attractive design. Add up to $25,000 if you want a decorative door that seamlessly fits in with your home design or a modern, automatic sliding door. In terms of resale, fitting a concealed door can be a good investment. 

Inspections and Maintenance

To keep your elevator legally compliant, safe, and running smoothly, you’ll need to beef up your budget as follows:

  • Building permit costs: $200–$2,000

  • Annual inspection: $75–$300

  • Maintenance contract: $200–$350 per year 

While maintenance contracts are optional, they can be worthwhile. Elevator repair and upkeep can be pricey, with contractors typically charging between $75 and $100 per hour for labor alone. Annual inspections are often thrown in as part of the contract. 

The Elevator’s Brand

Many brands offer a range in prices and styles, so which you choose will ultimately depend on your style and budget.

A brand like Easy Climber runs an average of $12,000 to $16,000, while a Telecab elevator costs an average of $28,000. Stiltz home elevator costs an average of $20,000 to $25,000. And an Inclinator elevator costs an average of $25,000 to $35,000.

Cost to Install a Residential Elevator Yourself

Even if you bought a home elevator kit, installing an elevator is not an average DIY project. It’s a complicated endeavor, as you might imagine, and requires some intense electrical and renovation work. You’ll need to know how to knock down load-bearing walls and add reinforcement to ensure your house can carry the weight of the elevator. 

It’s not just the complicated machinery and building work that make it a less-than-ideal DIY job. Local safety and accessibility laws often require a licensed professional to complete the work. We recommend finding a pro who can install the elevator for you and letting them handle the job while you enjoy a weekend to yourself.

5 Ways to Save Money When Installing a Home Elevator

When it comes to keeping residential elevator costs down, it’s not just about finding a competitive quote from a top-notch contractor. 

1. Opt For a Basic Design

Simple vertical platform lifts and cable-driven elevators are the most wallet-friendly options. Ask yourself whether you really need that dream top-of-the-range pneumatic model with customized glass panels.

2. Stick With Small

Is a spacious 5 x 7 feet elevator essential for your family? You’ll save a lot opting for a more compact 3 x 4 feet design, even if you can only fit one person in at a time. 

3. Fewer Floors 

Do you need elevator access to all the floors of a 4-story townhouse? If not, installing a lift to reach only the second story delivers big savings.

4. Avoid Retrofitting

Are you debating whether to install an elevator during a new home build? Remember that doing it at this stage is more cost-effective than ripping out and retrofitting further down the line.

5. DIY Prep or Finish Work

If you’re a keen DIYer, check with your contractor if there are any simple prep or tidy-up jobs you can do to cut down on their labor charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Home elevators are safe, but to properly install an elevator, you should first get a home inspection. Safety codes ensure that a pro installs your elevator properly and safely. You’ll also need to apply for a building permit. 

If you want the elevator to be more secure, you’ll want to add overrides or safety devices. Many of these precautions are included in the elevator price, although some may cost an additional fee of $2,500.

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