How much does a home lift cost?

By Bethany Ward on 13th June 2023

Home lifts are considered a luxury feature in most homes. But they also help solve multistory mobility challenges. Home lifts are more accessible and can be accessed standing, sitting or even in a wheelchair, depending on the type of home lift you install.

There’s no shortage of options when installing a home lift for your home. However, you should know that your choices and selections will reflect on the lift’s cost.

On average, installing a home lift is a significant investment. Home lift prices vary depending on numerous factors like the drive system, the quality of materials used to construct the home lift and other aesthetic qualities. On average, the cost of installing a home lift ranges from £20,000 – £60,000, sometimes higher depending on the configuration. As you can see, this price range varies wildly because of the numerous factors affecting the final cost you pay, which will be highlighted later. Understanding the costs can help you better budget and make the necessary financial plan to make the lift installation a reality. Here is everything you need to know about installing a home lift.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Home Lift

The factors that impact the cost of installing a home lift can be divided into two categories; the lift itself and the installation work required on the lift.

Home Lift Factors: The cost of installing a home lift varies based on various factors, including the type of lift you want to install and the scope of work involved in the installation. Determining these factors will help you understand the final price tag you pay. You can also identify areas where you can cut back to ensure the installation stays within your budget.

Type of home lift: Home lift technology has come a long way. For customers, that means a variety of options to choose from and varying price points. Common types of home lifts include;

Size of the lift: Most home lifts can fit in a 25 by 40 square foot space on each floor. However, some are bigger than others. The larger the space or the elevator, the more it costs since more materials and labour are needed.

There are smaller lifts you can install to save money. The smaller options work best in small old buildings with little space or when you don’t need to have wheelchair access to the lift.

Type of lift drive system: Home lifts have different types of motor drives. Each type of drive system has different benefits and technology and influences the cost of the lift differently.

Hydraulic drive system: Hydraulic drive systems are the latest technology in the industry. They are known for their smooth and quiet operation. Hydraulic systems are flexible and have remote machine room capability. However, the machine must be located in a separate machine room, which requires more space and has fluid concerns.

The Number of Stops and Travel Distance: A home lift can serve between two and six levels. The cost of the lift increases with each additional stop and travel distance. Generally, lifts with a shorter distance will cost less to install. If you have more stops and the lift has to travel longer, the effects will reflect on the cost of installing the lift.

Car and Landing Configuration: The lift can be designed with one or two doors with an opposite orientation. It is more cost-effective to load the lift on the same side. Various factors can influence the orientation of the doors depending on your needs and the home’s design.

Type of Doors: Home Lifts come in various car gate and landing door options. The doors can be simplistic or have decorative panels or all metal panels. Ultimately, the type of gate and doors you choose for the lift will affect the overall cost of the lift.

Besides the design of the doors, you can also determine whether you want them to be fully automatic or not. This upgrade provides easy access to power chairs and wheelchairs.

Cab finishes: The cab is the inside of the home lift. It comes in various finishes. While the finish doesn’t affect the lift’s performance, it significantly affects the comfort levels. Common cab finishes include wood veneer, glass and mirror. You can also get raised panel options.

Installation Factors: After squaring away with the different factors of the type of lift you want for your home, you also have to consider the installation, which also makes up a significant part of the overall cost.

Labour: Installing a home lift takes a fair amount of work to get it done correctly. The installation gets even trickier if the home lift is being added to an existing house. The labour costs for installing the home lift vary from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds.

If your home needs a shaft and a mechanical room, the labour costs will ramp up compared to installing a simple vertical lift or exterior elevator.

Site Preparation and Installation: The easiest and possibly the most cost-effective time to install a home lift is during new home construction. That’s because the installers don’t have to rip out existing structures or adjust mechanical systems to install the lift.

If the lift is being installed in an existing house, the contractor needs to inspect the walls and floors to see what will be affected, and they also have to consider the cost of refinishing the house to restore it to its initial state.

Any floor where the lift will access will have construction debris after installation, requiring removal and cleaning services.

All these services will attract costs and increase the overall cost of installing the lift. When the lift is being installed in a newly constructed home designed with the lift in mind, the installation costs are lower because most of the provisions are catered for.

Benefits of Installing a Home Lift

Convenience: The best way to determine the cost of installing a lift in your home is by getting a comprehensive quote from your installer. There’s no doubt this is a substantial financial undertaking. However, it is not without benefits when installed in the right home.Adding a home lift can make getting around your home easier and more convenient. You can easily move décor and the boxes you use frequently around the house easily and with minimal effort. You can also easily make cleaning equipment around the house and avoid carrying shopping and other supplies over a flight of stairs.

Safety: Installing a lift can also make the house safer, especially when there are kids or other elderly people with limited mobility in the house. Stairs pose a huge trip and fall hazard, leading to serious injuries and death. With a lift, such people don’t have to take the risk of taking the stairs, ultimately eliminating the risk of falling down the stairs.

Space saving: If you’re building a home and have to choose between a lift and a staircase, a lift takes up less space than a staircase. It could give you more functional space to work with, or you could also consider adding a lift to the house’s exterior to create more room inside the house.

Age in place: After years of living in your home, it’s hard to come to terms with leaving the home where you have created thousands of memories. However, most homeowners are faced with the challenge of going up and down the stairs and often have no other option but to move to a bungalow where they don’t have to worry about the stairs.

With a lift, you can age in place. You can use the lift if you can’t go up the stairs. It allows you to maintain your full independence and freedom around the house for as long as you want.

Installing a home lift might cost you a pretty penny, but it isn’t without benefits, making it worth the price.

Home Lift vs Stairlift

Home lifts and stairlifts share the same function. However, they are two distinct products with different costs.

Home lift: The home lift is designed to carry at least one or two people and can carry people in wheelchairs. You can move from one level of the house to the next using the lift. The lift works in houses with at least two stories. They are an easier method of carrying things and people between the floors.

There are numerous ways to install a home lift. The easiest is to install a vertical lift style lift on the house’s exterior but with an interior entrance. This reduces the construction work required to install the elevator and reduces the overall cost.

Stairlift: A stair lift is an alternative to installing a fully-fledged elevator. The lift is installed along the stairs and features a motorised seat that the user sits on and is carried up the stairs.

If you have two staircases on top of each other, you can install a curved stairlift to take you up one or both staircases. Stairlifts work well in homes that don’t have the right space to install a home lift; the home has only one user who still has adequate mobility and can get on and off the stairlift safely. Stairlifts are much easier to install and cost less than home lifts. So if you have a tight budget and want something that overcomes your mobility obstacles, they are worth considering.

Why not also read our blog post on how much does a stairlift cost