How to Add an After-Market Residential Elevator

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Installing a home elevator is a time-, labor- and cost-intensive process but well worth it if you or a loved one have mobility issues. Before getting started, check local state laws on electrical and elevator permits. In some states required instillation must be performed by a licensed contractor. If it's an option, ask yourself if you can handle the installation or if the more prudent choice is to have an expert do it.

  • Choose the elevator that suits your needs. Chair lifts attach to stair railing and allow seated passengers to escalate, making them a low-end alternative for those with mobility issues. Shop the dozens of online specialists for a favorite design or check your phone book for a local contractor who may be able to build a custom elevator to your specifications.

  • Prepare the desired area for installation. If you hire an installer, check to see if they do demolition work (and cleanup). If not, you have the option to do those things on your own or hire additional help.

  • Install your elevator of choice. This may be as simple as watching the contractor and his team, but with such a significant and electronically sensitive addition, you'd be well served to check every step of their work from the first nail hammered to the wording on final permits.

  • Dispose of sensitive wiring and other demolished materials appropriately.

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