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San Francisco Elevator 101: 5 Considerations Before Installing A Residential Lift

Residential lifts can solve many problems of the people who live in an apartment. Somehow, with the rise of buildings, lifts have become an essential part of apartments since they allow convenience and easy access. However, there’s still some consideration you might want to take into account before installing a residential lift yourself. Here are the things you should look out for.

1.Type of Residential Lift

Being one of the most populated states in the country, San Francisco has lots of apartments and condominiums to house its citizens. This is why residential lifts have also become a part of people’s lives. One thing you might want to consider before installing a lift is the type of elevator. There are several types of residential lifts to choose from.

  • Hydraulic Lifts – These hydraulic lifts can carry heavier weights and fit more people
  • Lift for Stairs – If the building isn’t too high, but you have some elderly people living inside the building, you might want to install a lift for stairs. This type of residential lift is attached to the side of the staircase. With this type, you won’t need any major renovations in your home.
  • Platform Lifts – This kind of lift is also recommended for homes with lesser staircases. Platform lifts allow people in wheelchairs to be seated on the platform and lifted up.

Consider these types before installing a residential lift. For some choices of lifts, you can check out a selection here.

2.Elevator Contractor

The next thing you have to consider is your contractor for the installation of your residential lift. You have to make sure you choose the right contractor for the job. For example, non-proprietary contractors are usually better for the job since they cost less. Whereas, the proprietary service contractors have limited maintenance choices, require specialized elevators and specialized tools. Hiring a proprietary service contractor will only require you to spend more.

3.Lift Specifications

Different residential units will require a different kind of specification. Some specifications that you need to consider are the following.

  • Size – The size will depend on the number of people using the lift, size of the house, and features of the house.
  • Doors – Automatic sliding doors are ideal for residential applications compared to the accordion-style doors. Automatic sliding doors will give the elderly or disabled person a more convenient way of using the elevator
  • Weight limitations – Weight limitations will also depend on the number of people using it.
  • Safety features – You also want to make sure that your elevator is safe to ride in.
  • Travel speed – Know the travel speed and maximum floors it can travel to in a single ride.

Lift specifications are necessary to consider since this will dictate the use of your residential lift. Reviewing the specifications will also help you tailor your elevator according to the needs of your residents.


Of course, for residential areas, you would want your lift to go with the overall design of your residents apartment. It will need to match your current theme or existing interior design and be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. For instance, a glass lift might be an option for your lift to blend in with your residence seamlessly. This will also allow a more scenic view when you’re riding the elevator.


Last but not the least, you must consider the safety of your lift installation. This is critical to ensure that your residential lift can bear the weight of its passengers. The lift must undergo weight tests to make sure it can hold the maximum capacity it has promised. Moreover, your elevator must have a fully-functioning alarm system in case your elevator breaks down. Furthermore, as a safety precaution, your elevator must have a phoning device in case the elevator malfunctions someday, and passengers get stuck. The area where the lift will be installed also has to be checked for safety and stability before any installation work begins.


Many factors come into play to work together and provide an excellent, safe residential lift. Taking into consideration the matters listed above, you will be able to install your residential lift in no time. Having an elevator at home or in your building will make a significant difference in the lives of its residence.