Residential vs. Commercial Elevators

There are two types of elevators: residential and commercial. Designed for use in homes, residential elevators will be smaller and less complex than those for commercial buildings, which often have to accommodate higher weight limits and require multiple shafts. There are some similarities between the two, as well as some differences.

Residential Elevators

Residential elevators include stair chairs, stair lifts, dumbwaiters, and passenger elevators. Many homeowners go with such residential elevators due to the speed, convenience, and flexibility they afford. From transporting food and drink between floors using a dumbwaiter to transporting people and luggage in a passenger elevator, there are many uses for home elevators, as well as some considerations when thinking about installation.

Home Elevator Safety
  • Layout: Space constraints are important to consider, to ensure the unit integrates well with your home’s design. For small homes, you’ll need a compact model. For larger homes, you can get a bit more creative.
  • Styles: From classically styled elevators with luxurious embellishments and finishes great for a grand home with one big sweeping staircase, to sleeker and more streamlined options for modern and contemporary homes, you have many styles to choose from.
  • Budget: Standard home elevators usually range between $25,000 and $80,000. Those that serve two floors are about $30,000, but for more floors than that, you will generally spend $10,000 for each floor. Your price tag will increase with custom cab finishes or several cab entrances. Installation and labor costs will add to your price tag, too, of about $25,000.

Commercial Elevators

Commercial elevators carry heavy loads while withstanding demanding work conditions – not to mention heavy traffic demands. They are called passenger elevators in business settings, such as a doctors’ offices, hospitals or high rises.

Installing Elevators in Rentals

Commercial elevators can also act as freight elevators, responsible for transporting freight and cargo and not people. They travel more slowly than passenger elevators and have vertically opening doors.

Commercial elevators are larger and travel at higher speeds than residential elevators. Plus, they can handle more weight and traffic.

  • Office buildings and hotels: Weight capacity of 3,500 pounds.
  • Residential commercial elevators (apartment buildings): Weight capacity of 2,500 pounds.
  • Service freight elevators: Weight capacity of 4,500 pounds.
  • Hospital vehicle elevators: Weight capacity of 6,000 pounds (to better accommodate wheelchairs, gurneys and medical equipment).

You’ll find a few different commercial elevator types, depending on their purpose and how they operate:

  • Hydraulic: These have cylinders and pistons that will lift the cab, usually seen in low-rise buildings below five stories.
  • Traction: These have steel ropes that raise and lower the cab, usually seen in mid- to high-rise buildings.
  • Machine Room-Less (MRL): These can be hydraulic or traction in nature, but don’t need a machine room, which frees up space and energy.

Contact Mowrey Elevator

Mowrey can supply you with the cabs, accessories and other products you need to install and maintain your residential or commercial elevator. To find out more, call us today and then browse our online catalog.