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Home lifts have previously sat firmly in two camps, they were either a luxury commodity only found in the grandest of homes, or they were a clunky, medical-looking mobility device for those needing wheelchair transport between the floors of their home.

However, with the rise of the radical new-generation of home lifts those days are gladly in the past, as modern domestic lifts are now affordable, attractive and appeal to a huge range of people with different lifestyle needs.

Due to an aging population who wish to remain independent in spite of mobility issues or difficulty with stairs for medical reasons, an increase in multi-floor living, the rise of younger people wishing to future-proof their homes or add value to their properties, home elevators have had a dramatic increase in sales.

In turn, domestic lift designers have met this huge demand by developing in state-of-the-art technology, and world-class design to make home lifts an extremely desirable, practical and affordable addition to any home, meaning they are no longer reserved for the properties of the super-rich.

Add to this the ingenious modular build systems and one-day installation times of some home elevators on the market and it is no wonder that home owners across New Zealand are adding a domestic lift to their home improvement wish-lists.

If you are considering a home lift in your own house, you might have wondered, is a home elevator an affordable solution for my family? How much does a home lift cost to install in New Zealand?

What are the different types of home lift?
There is a huge variety of home lifts available on the market today, each with a different home lift cost bracket, and the main differences between them influencing the domestic lifts prices are the style of lift and how they are powered.

Hydraulic Cable Elevator
Also often referred to as ‘Traction Elevators,’ hydraulic cable lifts work using either a lift shaft, pit or machine room. They are often powered by a motor which rotates a drum which in turn pulls a cable lifting the elevator upwards. The motor and drum are most often positioned in a pit below the elevator or in a machine room with the cables routed downwards. The cables tend to stretch over time and will need to be replaced every five years which is an extra cost to factor in when buying a Hydraulic Cable Lift. Due to the construction needed, these types of lifts are more cost-effective when built into new homes. Hydraulic cable domestic lift costs start at $23,000.


Non-Hydraulic Cable Elevator
Here at Stiltz Home Lifts, we offer cable lifts without a shaft, which are much more flexible and accommodating as they can be installed quickly and easily – and in nearly any location in a private property. These attractive and elegant lifts were introduced in Europe in 2010, and launched in the USA three years later. Non-Hydraulic Cable home lifts are usually substantially cheaper than any other type of domestic lift. The smart design of these home elevators means they do not require supporting walls or hydraulics. These lifts are powered by a self-contained roped drum braked gear motor drive system which never needs to be replaced and is hidden, out of sight, on top of the lift. It simply plugs straight into a domestic power socket. These home lifts are freestanding and move upwards on unique self-supporting rails with the capsule shaped lift gliding ‘through the floor’ with no extra weight burden on the home. Thanks to the modular system which involves different units being put together, typical installation can take just one day. Stiltz Home Lifts prices start from around $32,000.


Chain Elevators
Chain elevators as you would expect are operated by a chain – instead of a cable – and use counterweights to balance the lift. It is powered by a geared-motor which turns a toothed flywheel at the top of the shaft which in turn moves the chain. The chain then passes around a toothed flywheel on the top of the lift and back down to the counterweight. As chains tend to last for 20 years instead of the five that cables do, this is a more cost-effective solution than the hydraulic cable lift. Costs for these type of domestic lifts prices start at $30,000.


Hydraulic Elevators
Hydraulic lifts are driven by pumping hydraulic fluid into the cylinder of a hydraulic arm through a valve. A piston is forced up by the pressure of the fluid and the elevator is pushed up with it. Hydraulic elevators tend to need a lot of space and a separate machine room which means this isn’t practical in many homes as a wider area needs to be sacrificed for the lift and often it’s difficult to find a suitable location. Hydraulic lifts typically need more regular servicing and maintenance which means they can prove expensive in the long run compared to other lifts on the market. Home lift costs start from around $30,000.

Pneumatic Elevators
Also known as ‘Vacuum Elevators,’ unlike other elevators pneumatic lifts do not need a machine room or pit. Rather, these lifts use a vacuum system within a tube to power the lift. The lift is self-supporting and air pressure, pumps and turbines pull the lift upwards and downwards which can often be noisy. Domestic lift costs start at around $53,000.


How much does a domestic lift cost?
The cost to install a lift in the home has reduced significantly since the 1990s when home lifts were made more widely available. The reduction in cost has been down to developments in the design and production of home elevators, in the way they are powered, the higher volume of units being manufactured and the increase in competition with more manufacturers introducing new products to the market place.
Many customers consider the cost alternatives, to installing a home lift to help them decide to buy a domestic lift. Alternative solutions such as moving house to a single storey home, extending and adapting ground floor living space, or even moving into costly residential care each carry a financial burden. Home lift cost factors aside, the alternatives also mean a large upheaval or change in circumstances which can be an unwelcome life-change. By installing a home lift, you can add value to your home, stay in your family home longer, and enjoy independence into older age.