How Much Does a Home Elevator Cost?

Typical Range:

$2,558 - $5,704

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 392 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated August 9, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Installing a home elevator costs $2,558 and $5,704, or $4,131 on average. You’ll pay $1,000 to $40,000 for the equipment and $1,000 to $20,000 for installation. Price depends mostly on the type. An outdoor lift runs $2,000 to $10,000, while a pneumatic vacuum style ranges from $35,000 to $60,000.

Residents of multi-level homes can benefit from installing an elevator or lift, especially those who use a wheelchair or plan to age in place. This project increases the home’s property value and makes it more accessible for those with mobility issues, making the cost to install a home elevator worth every penny.

9 types of elevators compared by cost of installation, with cable-driven ranging $15,000 to $35,000
Photo: piovesempre/iStock/Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

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National Average $4,131
Typical Range $2,558 - $5,704
Low End - High End $550 - $12,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 392 HomeAdvisor members.

Average Residential Elevator Costs

Average Cost$30,000
High Cost$60,000
Low Cost$2,000

Home Elevator Cost Factors

A home elevator costs between $2,000 and $60,000. The wide price range is due to the number of variables, including labor, number of floors, footprint, type of construction, and more. 

"When you choose to add an elevator to a house, consider what could happen if you decide to sell your house,” says Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor. “A prospective buyer may not want an elevator, so if possible, outfit the elevator with a door and trim that is similar to the other doors in your house to help it blend in."

Labor

Labor costs make up to 25% of a home elevator installation project. Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $15,000 in labor costs. Installing an elevator is a labor-intensive project, particularly if retrofitting an existing structure. This is because an elevator requires an elevator shaft and a mechanical room and, depending on your home's setup, may require significant structural work.

Number of Floors

If you want an elevator that moves more than one story, you should add $5,000 to $15,000 per floor. Most residential options assume an 84” maximum cab height and no more than four floors. Some styles, like vertical platform lifts or shaftless models, only travel two floors.

Elevator Costs Per Floor
2-story$2,000 – $60,000
3-story$7,000 – $75,000
4-story$12,000 – $90,000
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Size

Elevators take up significant floor space on each floor. While a small church elevator takes up only 10 to 15 square feet of floor space, the usual footprint is between 25 and 40 square feet per floor. And, the more floor space a lift takes up, the more it costs to construct, in terms of both materials and labor. 

While a church elevator sounds like an attractive option, it's so small that it can't accommodate any mobility aids, such as a wheelchair, and can only accommodate one person. Therefore, a church model isn't a good choice if mobility aids are necessary, or the primary user requires a companion to use the elevator safely.

Financing and Tax Benefits

With prices up to $60,000, you may need financing for this project. Before you apply for a home equity loan or put it on a credit card, look for local and state grants for accessibility upgrades.

If you’re installing an elevator to address a medical need, you may be able to deduct its cost on your federal taxes. Keep in mind that medical expense deductions only apply to improvements that don’t increase your home’s value. Talk to your accountant before you proceed with the installation.

New Construction vs. Retrofit

Most elevator installation prices assume that you’re building in new construction. If you’re adding one to your existing home, you may need these services:

Brand

Many companies specialize in building elevators and lifts for homeowners. As with all home elevators, the prices vary significantly. For example, Stiltz elevator costs vary significantly from Savaria costs.

Brand Cost Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Easy Climber $12,000 – $16,000 $14,000
Stiltz $20,000 – $25,000 $22,500
Inclinator 25,000 – $35,000 $30,000
Savaria $28,000 – $36,000 $32,000
Crystal $30,000 – $40,000 $35,000
Stratus $32,000 – $40,000 $36,000
Otis $40,000 – $50,000 $45,000
Pneumatic $35,000 – $60,000 $47,500

Home Repairs

If you're having an elevator installed at the same time as remodeling another part of your home, you may be able to save money by bundling the two projects together. That way, minimum rates, travel expenses, and other base costs are only billed once for the whole project, instead of twice if you split the tasks into separate jobs. 

Permits and Inspections

Installing an elevator usually requires a building permit. Where you live determines which permit you need and how much it'll cost. Typically, you can expect to pay between $200 and $1,000 for a permit to install an elevator.

You'll also need to pay for an annual elevator inspection to remain compliant with local codes and ensure the elevator works safely. Yearly inspections cost between $75 and $300, but you can save that cost by purchasing a home elevator maintenance contract, which usually includes the inspection cost.

Home Elevator Pricing by Type

There are six key types of drive system, and which one you choose is one of the biggest cost factors for your elevator installation project. Cable-driven models are the most affordable, but the cable has to be replaced every five years for safety. Pneumatic-driven models are among the most expensive, but don't require a machine room and are easy to retrofit.

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Elevator Drive System Cost Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Outdoor $2,000 – $10,000 $6,000
Vertical Lift $5,000 – $20,000 $12,500
Shaftless $15,000 – $25,000 $20,000
Cable-driven $15,000–$35,000 $25,000
Geared traction $25,000–$38,000 $31,500
Hydraulic $22,000–$53,000 $37,500
Gearless traction $29,000–$55,000 $42,000
Chain-driven $27,000–$62,000 $44,500
Pneumatic $35,000–$60,000 $47,500

Outdoor 

Outdoor elevators cost $6,000, on average, or between $2,000 and $10,000. An outdoor elevator is a solid option with a tight budget or if the existing property doesn't allow for an internal elevator. These models offer high-strength, weatherproof and temperature-proof materials. Users can access the elevator indoors via an entryway in the wall; your elevator installer will build and attach the elevator against the wall.

Vertical Platform Lift 

Vertical platform lifts cost around $12,500. You could pay as little as $5,000 or as much as $20,000. This type of lift works similarly to a forklift and is a popular option where function is preferable to form. 

Vertical platform lifts are a common choice for those operating on a tight budget but who need to move a wheelchair between floors. The lower cost is because this elevator type doesn't need a full shaft, pit, or mechanical room.

Shaftless

Shaftless, or church elevators, cost around $20,000, and you can expect to pay between $15,000 and $25,000. Church elevators don't require a shaft and take up very little floor space. However, their compact size and shaftless style mean that they can only work over two stories, only one person can use them at a time, and they cannot accommodate mobility aids like walkers or wheelchairs.

Cable-Driven

Cable-driven elevators cost an average of $25,000 to install, with a typical range of $15,000 to $35,000. A cable wrapped tightly around a drum raises and lowers the elevator as it winds and unwinds. The lifts themselves have fairly small footprints, but they need lots of space for the drum. Although affordable, you must have the cable replaced every five years for safety reasons.

Geared Traction

Geared traction elevators cost around $31,500, or somewhere between $25,000 and $38,000. They have a maximum travel distance of 250 feet. This type of elevator has a system of geared pulleys that operate the elevator. They're slower than gearless models, but attractive because of their low energy consumption.

Hydraulic

Installing a hydraulic elevator typically costs $37,500, but you could pay as little as $22,000 or as much as $53,000. Hydraulic models are popular because they don't require a machine room, taking up less space and requiring less home modification than those that require a machine room. 

The elevator mechanism is a hydraulic cylinder and piston setup housed inside the elevator shaft. However, just like cable-driven models, hydraulic systems have a cable that requires replacement every five years. Some hydraulic models also require the cylinder to go deep into the ground, so a pit is necessary to accommodate it. 

Gearless Traction

Gearless traction elevator installation prices are around $42,000, or somewhere between $29,000 and $55,000. This type of elevator has a track and counterweight to raise and lower the cab. 

Gearless traction models don't have a huge footprint and do not require mechanical rooms or pits, making them a popular option for retrofitting existing properties. However, not all existing homes have enough space to accommodate the extra space at the top of the shaft that houses the mechanisms.

Chain-Driven

The price of installing a chain-driven elevator is around $44,500. Expect to pay somewhere between $27,000 and $62,000. Chain-driven elevators have a counterweight and a chain that raises and lowers the elevator. Although this type of elevator doesn't require a mechanical room, it does require a larger shaft to accommodate the counterweight and chain system.

Pneumatic

Pneumatic elevators typically cost $47,500, or between $35,000 and $60,000 to install. They operate via a vacuum tube that pulls the elevator up and pushes it back down. No pit or machine room is necessary, and these models take up the least space. 

Therefore, for those who can afford it, pneumatic elevators are a popular choice. However, because they can't easily hide away, most people who choose them opt to make a feature out of them, which can increase costs.

"When you choose to add an elevator to a house, consider what could happen if you decide to sell your house. A prospective buyer may not want an elevator, so if possible, outfit the elevator with a door and trim that is similar to the other doors in your house to help it blend in." Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Benefits of Installing a Home Elevator

Installing an elevator can be a game-changer for many households. It makes many tasks easier for the entire household. Chores like carrying endless loads of laundry or heavy objects upstairs suddenly become infinitely easier. Whatever your mobility, an elevator makes getting about your home easier. 

It's also safer for those who have issues with weakness or balancing, and makes aging in place safer, helping people to retain their independence for longer, whether they're at an increased risk of falls, suffer pain from arthritis or other conditions, or need a wheelchair to get around. 

DIY Home Elevator Kits vs. Hire a Pro

Since installing an elevator is extremely complicated and requires an expert to confirm it will be safe, it’s not appropriate to DIY. A professional can ensure that all aspects of the project meet accessibility standards and your expectations. When you’re ready to find home elevator installers near you, be sure to:

  • Ask for experience working on accessible projects, including references.

  • Request an in-person consultation.

  • Get at least three quotes before you choose a pro.

FAQs

How much does a chair lift cost?

The cost to install a chair lift ranges from $2,000 to $15,000. This project is an affordable alternative, primarily for people who struggle to manage stairs.

What is the smallest residential elevator?

The smallest residential elevator is a shaftless type. Meant to work in the tightest spaces, it’s usually only large enough for one person to stand. It can only travel up to one floor.

How long does it take to install an elevator?

Installing an elevator takes 2 to 4 weeks for most types. Simple lifts may take 1 to 2 days.

How much do commercial elevators cost?

Commercial elevators cost between $20,000 and $150,000. A simple church elevator, for use by one person at a time, costs from $20,000, while a large freight elevator can cost up to $150,000.

How long will my home elevator last?

How long an elevator lasts depends on the type and how much use and maintenance it gets. For models that use a cable, you must have the cable replaced every five years. Regardless of elevator type, yearly inspection and maintenance will help keep your elevator in good working order for decades.

Does an elevator add value to a home?

Yes, generally, adding an elevator adds to your home's value. On average, installing an elevator brings a 50% ROI, and, depending on the type of property and elevator, installation could increase your home's value by as much as 25%.

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