Home Elevator vs. Stair Lift

home elevator living room

Many homes have more than one level, and most of them require climbing up and down the stairs to access those levels. Unfortunately, not everyone can manage this movement. Whether your home includes someone in a wheelchair or you have an aging parent who has difficulty navigating stairs on their own, you need an alternative to assist your loved one with moving from floor to floor.

The good news is, you have options. Home elevators and stair lifts both provide vital assistance to people who cannot climb stairs. Which one offers a better fit for your household? Let’s explore the possibilities.

Pros of a Home Elevator

  • Flexible installation locations throughout your home
  • Complete configuration and design customization
  • Safest and most improved home mobility
  • Increase in home value

Home elevators offer many benefits. They prove a convenient way for residents who use wheelchairs or experience difficulty walking to move between the floors of your home and are intuitive to operate. Our home elevators can accommodate up to six levels, making the journey to the attic or basement much faster for those with limited mobility.

Here are some of the biggest advantages of choosing a home elevator over a stair lift.

1. Flexible Installation Locations

You can put your home elevator practically anywhere in the house — you’re not limited to a single area. Imagine the possibilities. You could have the elevator in the back of your home, where guests can’t see it, or make it the focal point of the entryway. You may decide to place it near the bedroom of the person who most needs its services. Stair lifts, by contrast, can only be placed in one area of the home — on the stairs.

2. Customizable Configuration and Design

Stair lifts can be difficult to disguise within a home’s aesthetic and often draw unwarranted attention. You can customize the design of your elevator to meet your decor preferences. Do you love modern? Traditional? Even something with a little country flair is fair game when you get to pick the design. You’ll even have options for the configuration that powers your system, such as:

  • Cable drum
  • MRL overhead cable drum
  • Hydraulic

3. Safe and Improved Home Mobility

Elevators give those with limited mobility a chance to do things independently. They can get into and out of the elevator by themselves, unlike with a stair lift, where they may require assistance. Elevators are safe spaces, too. Handrails give people something to lean on. They don’t have to balance in a moving chair that could stop or start unexpectedly. With an elevator, they can take control of their movement — which many people appreciate.

4. Increases Home Resale Value

Home improvements often increase the resale value of a home. An elevator is an especially valuable addition because it makes the house accessible to more people. When you pay for an elevator in your home, you’re making an investment in the future. Not only will the resale value of your home rise, but you’ll also attract more people interested in your house because of that versatility.

5. Safety and Reliability

Today’s home elevators include a variety of safety features, helping you move around your home with ease and peace of mind. Additional safety features like space guards can ensure safety, especially for children who may use a home elevator. A phone inside the elevator, an emergency stop, lights and more help keep everyone safe. By riding an elevator, guests and family members can avoid falls on a staircase and access your home safely.

Cons of Stair Lifts

  • Difficult to conceal and sticks out in your home’s design
  • Limited to no customization to match your home
  • Does not add to home resale value
  • Bulky equipment that takes up staircase space

Stair lifts provide another option for those with limited mobility get around the house. However, unlike elevators, stair lifts come with several drawbacks. Their limited range and single-rider design are a few of the more apparent efficiencies of stair lifts. Here are some of the other cons of installing a stair lift.

Difficult to Conceal

Everyone can see stair lifts and they are often not the most attractive addition. There’s no cover or drape that you can put over it. Visitors and guests will instantly see the bulky lift — there are few options on the market for disguising stair lifts.

Few Design Options

With an elevator, you can choose the cab style, the design and the types of materials used. Stair lifts are far less easy to customize. Essentially all chair lifts have the same design. You may not even have a choice of color, depending on where you get your lift.

Does Not Increase Home Resale Value

Stair lifts are not a highly desirable feature in a home, so they won’t raise the resale price of your house. You won’t get back the money you put into installing the stair lift. In fact, you may even limit the number of potential buyers. If someone doesn’t want a stair lift in their home, they’ll have to pay to have it removed, which is a high initial cost. They’ll likely look at other houses instead.

Takes up Stair Space

Many homes have relatively narrow stairways. Some also have steep stairways. Just getting up and down these stairwells under normal circumstances can feel challenging. When you add a stair lift, you narrow the existing space even more. The addition of a stair lift can make residents and guests feel like they have to squeeze themselves around the lift just to get up and down the stairs.

That lack of space can also make it more difficult to do everyday tasks such as bringing in groceries or moving something from one floor to the other. The chair on the stair lift will get in the way. If the staircase is narrow enough, lifts can potentially create safety hazards if people must dramatically maneuver around them.

Shop Home Elevators

If you’re trying to decide between a stair lift and a home elevator, the answer is probably clear to you now. You can receive more value, enjoy more versatility and get more return from a home elevator. And with so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that fits your house perfectly.

Are you ready to begin shopping? We have a selection of home elevators to suit your unique needs. Our dedicated team can discuss the best options for your home based on size, style and budget. Get in touch with us today by calling 800-343-9007 or contact your local dealer to get started. We look forward to helping you.


Updated: 12/06/2019