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Elevator Answered

I have a basement with stairs that desperately  need repairing.  I also have a bad knee.  So to solve both problems, I need to know how to build an elevator in my ranch style home.  I'm tired and some what scared of the stairs, but the washer and dryer are downstairs and I have to get to them on a daily bases.  Please Help.



As a compromise, you might consider a stair lift. I would guess that you can fix the stairs and put in the stair lift for somewhat less than putting in an elevator.

If the stairs are the only exit, I'd also guess that having elevator only access will make passing code inspection tough if you ever have to sell the house. (Plus, it's good to have a non electrically powered exit in case of emergency)

Building an elevator into your home isn't really a DIY sort of project. You have to consider your safety and the building codes in your area (otherwise you could be forced to remove it after considerable time and expense).

I think you're better off getting the stairs repaired/replaced and reinforce a sturdier handrail. If you are able to, you could look at installing a laundry chute so that you don't have to carry your laundry with you. Or simply look at the possibility of moving your laundry room to the main floor (perhaps in a garage?) which would prevent you from having to go down the stairs to the basement as often. :-)

I've dealt with the home built elevator issue and it's going to be difficult to build one that will pass inspection for a permit. An you should get the construction permitted. If you don't and there is a problem fire/injury/damage etc. your home owner's insurance probably won't pay the claim.

Elevators need engineering for strength, they need safety features that a home builder isn't likely to be aware of let alone be able to design in.  A home built elevator would probably have to be removed before the sale of the house.

Residential elevators run about $10,000 installed by a contractor as a retrofit in my area of the country.  There is atleast one company offering elevators as a diy kit of parts.