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New Design Heights: Elevators in Chicago Homes

New Design Heights: Elevators in Chicago Homes

If you’ve ever tried hauling a storage box from your lower level (formerly known as the basement) to an upstairs bedroom, you just might have thought about it: a home elevator.

Single-family homes in Chicago are often four levels, including that lower level. Builders are discovering more new construction and remodeling clients are requesting elevators and homewaiters for convenience, practicality and resale value.  

There are many reasons an elevator could be beneficial. Just imagine your ease around the holidays as an elevator or homewaiter carried your decorations to their designated destinations throughout your house. An elevator also provides the ability for people to age in place. In later years people experience reduced mobility. With an elevator, they can achieve safe, convenient access to all levels of their home.

The cost of an elevator is relatively low, ranging from $20,000 to $25,000 for a custom design. You can choose from various panel styles and finishes so the elevator matches the look of your home. Residential elevator companies believe elevators will add to homes’ resale value. 

There are some drawbacks. Elevators take up space in the home that you might want to devote to other amenities. You might have to sacrifice closet space or room space to accommodate the elevator. Also taking the stairs usually is a healthier option than standing in an elevator.

To help alleviate the space issue while still experiencing the convenience of an elevator, some people are installing homewaiters. A homewaiter is a modern term for a dumbwaiter. Dumbwaiters were most commonly used in Europe prior to the 1930s.  They were small freight elevators or lifts used to carry food or goods between the kitchen and a floor above or below. People and animals could not fit inside them. Today’s homewaiters are electric. They are still smaller than an elevator and serve the same function as their European predecessors. Homewaiters are slightly less expensive than an elevator at about $15,000.  

If your office or entertainment room is on the top level of your home, you can use a homewaiter to transport boxes to your office or food and drinks to your party. Sometimes skipping the stairs makes more sense.

Let Jim Miller and JM Partners elevate your home buying or selling experience. Contact them at 773.617.6638 or