opinion on elevator install

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BrianD

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I would like to get some opinions regarding an install of an elevator in my house. For various reasons, we believe an elevator is the right choice for us.

However one specific aspect of it is whether to install automatic door and gate openers. This would add a significant cost to the project. Since I am arms onset, I fully expect to not be able to press buttons/open doors/open gates sooner rather than later. It was the opinion of the contractor (which specializes in accessibility modifications as recommended by our ALSA chapter) that once I got to that point, I would need help getting around and doing much of anything else anyway.

I guess in my mind I had envisioned still being able to independently maneuver around the house and go outside using a head array/eyegaze/whatever, and need the assistance for eating and bathroom of course. This is assuming I have a wireless mechanism for pressing the buttons on the elevator. Am I not being realistic in this goal? I know what Steve Saling who designed the ALS residence would say... but how about some others that have traveled the journey already.

So for the automatic openers... go for it, or the unfortunate reality is probably not useful.

Thanks for your help... Brian
 

joelc

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I don't think you are being unrealistic at all. What you want to do is totally possible and I can testify to that by personal experience.

I am not sure what to recommend about the automatic gate openers though. They might be handy but I agree about the price.
 

Josall

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I am sure you have thought this through but is the bathroom on the other floor Handi-cap acces. if not I would think for the price of an elevator and a bath remodel you could add a bedroom and bath to the main floor. My guess is the return on an elevator is close to 0. Just my thoughts.

I would do the automatic openers.
 

Lavender Lady

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My husband and I have discussed that option for our home, but we decided it would be a better option to invest in fixing up our downstairs to make it handicap accessable. We have a split level and there is a bedroom down stairs and a huge rec room and large bathroom with washer and dryer. This could also be a selling point in the future of our house as well. There are 2 steps in from the garage so we can put a ramp there. just some thoughts!
 

mare

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Hi, Brian-
We have an elevator with the automatic opener. My husband is leg onset, in PWC since Fall '09. I would definitely do the opener. We saw the usefulness of it this summer while on vacation.

The rental property had an elevator but no auto. opener. It was difficult for him to open the door, get in the cab & then close the door. Remember the door swings out; once in the cab he would have to lean way forward to grab the doorknob & close the door. Most of the time I ended up standing by to help him, whereas at home he is independent.

If you are considering an elevator, you must get the auto. opener (IMHO) Also, be sure you get the biggest residential elevator you can. Even these are not big; there are code restrictions. I don't know if they vary state to state. The rental property had the smaller one & my husband barely fit- he had to raise the foot plates in order to close the gate.

If you have any further questions, feel free to pm me.
 

abbas child

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Brian, I have a lift without any doors, but also without a wireless mechanism for pressing "bars" for up and down. It's becoming hard for my shoulders to lift my arms enough to use my hands, so I'm currently using my elbows or arms. I have a bathroom only on the upper level, with kitchen and living room on the lower (a split level house.... I use only two levels). I'm up and down several times per day. I can save caregivers a lot of time if I'm able to get myself upstairs alone. After looking at Joel's website, I forwarded a link to Phil, hoping he'll look into the remote devices.

Rox, it sounds great to me. All you need is a kitchen or a cook/waiter. I'd shoot for the latter. :)

As for resale, the high rate of baby boomers is making a good market for accessible housing. My BIL is building a house with an elevator just for future possible needs.
 

Lavender Lady

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It all sounds good to me! We certainly have enough room downstairs for a small kitchenette area as well.
 
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