Your guide to home elevators, presented by Craig Jones of Country Home Elevator

Home Elevator Pricing

Why won’t anybody just price a residential elevator up-front?

The first question most people ask when considering a home elevator is, “How much will it cost?” Unfortunately, it’s somewhat difficult to get an answer (even a ballpark answer) to this question, as very few installers offer a published price. This is due to the fact that a home elevator is not a self-contained unit like a piece of furniture; each individual elevator is customized in twenty or thirty different areas, like a set of cabinets built to order for your kitchen.

pricing

A single change in the style of the cab interior or the call boxes, for instance, can swing the final package price 8% or more in either direction. At Country Home Elevator, we tackled this problem by creating 3 basic packages to represent the low, mid, and higher price ranges in a 2-stop home elevator. We call them the “Country Classic,” “Country Estate,” and “Country Elegance.” We have these elevator packages in a comparison table on our website, with immediate, automatic pricing available via email. Get elevator pricing now >>

When it comes to home elevators, you get what you pay for

When you start looking at home elevator prices,you’ll find that they’re all over the map, for products that seem comparable to the untrained eye. After all, a home elevator is just a box with some cables and a motor to make it go up and down – right? Wrong, but that pretty much describes certain low-end home elevators being marketed heavily today.

cheap_elevator

Just add cables to make a typical price-point home elevator…

A quick way to identify one of these lightweight crackerbox elevators is to look at the cab material. Less-expensive elevator cabs are usually made of a vinyl coated pasteboard similar to prefab office furniture. This type of laminate has one outstanding virtue: It’s extremely inexpensive. Apart from that, any laminate finish is going to look and feel like what it is – cheap (with the possible exception of Formica, a material most commonly found on kitchen countertops that tends to look somewhat out of place in a home elevator cab).

After seeing and feeling samples of laminate, most homeowners will not be happy. This is fine with the salesman, because upgrades are the name of the game, introduced one at a time after the customer is mentally committed.

Another area in which low-end elevators skimp is that of cab size. Typically, such an elevator will come with a cramped 36″ x 48″ cab at the advertised price – yet another opportunity for upselling later.

Very few “economy” elevators are actually ever installed at the advertised price, with the advertised components. The sad thing is, in most cases, customers who spring for a low-price elevator end up paying almost as much as they would have for a higher-quality product.

Tips for pricing home elevators

As with any big-ticket purchase, it pays to do your homework, take your time, and not make a decision after seeing just one quote – not even one from Country Home Elevator. If you get a lowball blowout price, ask probing questions about the components that go into the elevator, particularly the cab material and finish. You should also ask whether or not the contractor has a physical location within driving distance. Some national elevator dealers imply in their marketing that they are “local,” but, in fact, are only as local as the local airport.

Technicians fly in to do the job and fly back out again when it’s done. The “local maintenance” to which they refer often consists of nothing more than a partnership agreement with a handyman. Even if the handyman is competent to repair elevators (which often isn’t the case) he typically won’t carry any parts in inventory, which means crippling delays in the event of a malfunction.