How To

Here's how one man built a personal elevator in his home

July 28th, 2019

Putting an elevator in your house might sound like something only a mansion owner could dream of. But did you know that you can actually do it for yourself? Believe it or not, installing an elevator is a much simpler DIY project than you might think.

Most people probably don’t need a home elevator. But people who use wheelchairs face a big obstacle when it comes to getting around their home. For them, an elevator is a great choice — and it’s something you can even do yourself.

The first step, as you might imagine, is cutting a hole in the floor of the top-level to make a passage between the two stories.

“So since we’re cutting a hole in the ceiling right here, these three [beams] are gonna be coming down. We need to support it with one huge beam over here on this side,” said Zack, the YouTube personality of JerryRigEverything.

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YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything Source: YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything

He showed how he and his team replaced the support around the elevator shaft.

He also noted that it was important to erect a temporary wall during construction to support the ceiling, otherwise, there would be a danger of it caving in.

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YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything Source: YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything

The team then removed the carpet and traced a spot on the floor where the elevator would go.

They then had to drill a corresponding hole in the top story.

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YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything Source: YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything

After designing the space for the elevator, it was time to bring in the professionals.

Stiltz is a company that designs elevators, some for personal home use. They are expensive, but certainly worth it for anyone who needs help getting around the house.

But it’s nerve-wracking to install your own elevator, especially considering that you need to make sure it’s safe and reliable.

But Zack took the time to explain the safety measures that Stiltz put in place in its elevator model.

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YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything Source: YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything

“So these two pillars right here are something called an infrared light curtain,” he said. “And it’s one of the many safety features of the elevator. These light bars automatically sense when someone crosses the threshold of the elevator and turn on the inner lights as well as — if the elevator is moving and the light curtain is crossed — it’ll pause the elevator where it’s at so no one gets hurt.”

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YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything Source: YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything

There was a lot of setup for the elevator, as you might imagine, with dozens of fail-safes, safety measures, and electrical components to put together.

Zack explained that it took the team about two days to completely install the elevator from start to finish. Simply put, it was a big investment!

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YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything Source: YouTube Screenshot/JerryRigEverything

But it was worth it, because now, Zack’s fiancee, Cambry, who uses a wheelchair, can easily get up and down to each floor level independently. Once, she had had to maneuver the stairs, which was dangerous and physically taxing. Their only other option was for Zack to carry her up and down the stairs. With the elevator, Cambry can move independently and safely throughout her house.

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Source: YouTube

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