An elevator is not a luxury that is out of your reach, as you might assume. These can easily be installed in your own home or any type of office building, either by building out an exterior wall or converting a small closet space. There are many different types of elevators from which to choose, and your contractor or elevator installation company will help you determine the right choice for your space and needs. However, you may also want to know something about the models and types available so you can take the time to shop around and decide what's best for you, even before you talk to a contractor.
1. Passenger versus freight elevators
A passenger elevator may have a lower load capacity than a freight elevator, and these are designed to look their best as well as be functional. However, a freight elevator is something like the workhorse of elevators; it will be stronger to hold larger loads, but may also travel more slowly so that loads don't topple and the excess weight doesn't cause added wear and tear on cables. The inside may also be more functional than attractive; it may have a metal floor rather than carpeting, and the metal may have a hexagon shape for added traction.
While you may assume you want a passenger elevator for home or office, consider that if you need an elevator at home for a wheelchair, a freight elevator's floor can be safer and will more readily accommodate the extra weight of the chair. For the office, if the elevator will be used mostly for moving office supplies and equipment or cleaning supplies, a freight elevator can also be a better choice.
If you do decide on a passenger elevator for home or the office, consider how you might have it personalized. For older homes, an elevator with wood trim and a metal gate can look very classic and fit in with the décor of your home. For the office, consider a covering over the elevator paint or materials that is vandal resistant, or that you cannot write on. You might also opt for a color scheme that fits the marketing material and brand of your business; if you use bold primary colors on your business card, don't choose an elevator with earth tone trim but opt for a color that you use elsewhere. This will make every aspect of your building look personal and professional, including the elevator.