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glass PVE elevator installed in the open stairwell of a sweeping staircase of a mediterranean style home

The best home elevator installation location for your house is determined by looking at the architecture and discussing how you use your home’s interior space and how you plan to use the elevator. Many factors go into the decision and the pre-construction and post-construction costs can vary widely between location options.

The complexity of this decision is the reason we must complete an in-home residential elevator consultation so that we can provide the very best information about location options for your home elevator.

Below are general installation locations for residential elevators. Not all of them will apply to your home.

In a Closet

Modern homes built after 2000, were architected with closets that align on all floors.

This pre-planning on the part of home architects makes the home elevator installation easy and less costly especially for traditional traction or hydraulic elevators.

Traditional Elevators

Though not always the case, often the aligning closets are small, like coat closets. The storage space is eliminated by the traditional elevator’s shaft. Losing closet space is never an easy thing to do, but may be your best option to solve your mobility needs. If your home is equipped with aligning closets, then the shaft exterior is hidden saving you finishing costs. And the doors can be designed to match your home’s existing doors so that it still just looks like a closet, well, one that has elevator buttons next to it.

Vacuum Elevators

While many people find the tube elevators to be attractive, if you want to hide your PVE or using the aligned closets is just the best use of space in your home, your vacuum elevator can be installed in a closet. The PVE’s smaller footprint may result in some closet space being left for storage.


The PVE through-floor installation is used to put your elevator in aligning closets. Keep in mind that unlike traditional elevators where the closet becomes the shaft, for the vacuum elevator, the shaft remains the tube. So placing it in aligned closets may be the best location in your home due to its architecture and your usage, but the closet will not become a part of the shaft.

Multi-Story Rooms

Many multi-story homes built in the last 40 years have multi-story foyers especially those with stairwells or open space to a loft or mezzanine floor.

Traditional Elevators

This can be a very affordable option for installing a traditional hydraulic or traction elevator especially if a machine room-less (MRL) home elevator model is chosen.

When an open 2-story room is available to install an elevator, there is little demolition and pre-construction is mostly building the shaft and finishing it to match your existing wall finishes and trimwork. When our team is done, it will look like it has always been there. Plus, using an open room keeps your closed storage spaces such as closets available instead of using that space for a shaft.

Vacuum Elevators

But the quickest and least disruptive type of home elevator installation is installing a vacuum elevator in a multi-story room known as a balcony-mounted PVE application. After mounting the PVE base to the first floor, the modular units of the tube are stacked and attached the upper floor(s).

Then landings are constructed to cover the space between the elevator unit and the upper floor’s surface.

In the Middle of a Room

This is rarely the best choice for maintaining usable space and traffic flow in a home. But if the home is large enough to spare the space and based on other architectural restrictions, it may be the best place for your home elevator.

Traditional Elevators

This type of application where a shaft is constructed in the middle of a room, for example between the living area and dining area in a great room, requires that the shaft construction have 4 finished sides. So, this does add to the cost of the project. But this installation can make access the elevator very convenient if it aligns at a central open location on all floors.

Vacuum Elevators

Installing a vacuum elevator in the middle of a room takes up much less living space and can be a design statement. Our pneumatic elevators come in diverse frame colors and glass tints to complement your home’s aesthetic. Making a PVE prominent in a home’s architecture may work both in style and for accessing the elevator.

Installing a vacuum elevator in the middle of a room takes up much less living space and can be a design statement. Our pneumatic elevators come in diverse frame colors and glass tints to complement your home’s aesthetic. Making a PVE prominent in a home’s architecture may work both in style and for accessing the elevator.

Stick It In an Unused Corner

In many homes, even small ones, an underutilized corner is the ideal spot to install an elevator, especially if the downstairs corner aligns with an upstairs corner or unused area.

Traditional Elevators

If you have unused or easily surrendered spaces on all the floors that align, a corner installation can make a lot of sense as it may minimize the amount of usable space that is taken up by the shaft of your home elevator. As with all our traditional elevator shaft construction projects, matching materials and colors are used to ensure it looks like it was part of the home’s original design and construction.

Vacuum Elevators

PVE are installed using the through-the floor application. We cut a hole in each floor that the elevator must pass through and finish it out with trim and paint, so it matches your existing décor. Then we mount the base to the bottom floor and assemble the tube by stacking the modular units and then attach the top to the ceiling.

pve30 glass elevator installed in the corner of a living area of a houston area home

The through-the floor PVE installation requires a bit more construction and is not as quick as the balcony-mounted application, but it is still much faster than building a traditional elevator’s shaft and pit.

Outside Your Interior Footprint

For some homes, the best place for installing a home elevator is outside the interior footprint. A 2-story porch, already-enclosed area such as a sunroom, or the side of the house are all considered if there is no good interior installation option.

Traditional Elevators

Exterior coverings, such as siding or brick, are removed from the house in the area where the exterior shaft will be constructed. A footing is created, and structure framed for the shaft on the outside of the home. Holes are cut through existing exterior walls to provide access to the elevator from inside the home.

This option requires more costs than most of the other options because an enclosure must be constructed using materials that match your home’s exterior. Using brick rather than siding adds cost for materials and labor.

pve installation on a 2-story porch with glass enclosure

Vacuum Elevators

For a PVE to be install on the exterior, it must have an enclosure.

Because a big attraction of the vacuum elevator is the panoramic view, most people opt for glass enclosures which are often expensive.

vacuum elevator installed in an exterior location

Elevators for Exterior Decks

Here in Houston, we rarely have a need for this type of installation. But our sister company, Home Elevators of Austin, gets requests like these for installations in the Texas Hill Country where elevation changes immediately around the home can be severe. By constructing weatherproof structures, we can provide mobility from one exterior level to another in these outdoor locations.

Traditional Elevators

Much like installing the traditional elevator on the exterior of a home, a weather-proof structure is constructed to house the elevator shaft that provides access between exterior deck levels.

Vacuum Elevators

Pneumatic vacuum elevators can provide mobility and convenience between deck levels.

But, as with traditional elevators, the pre- and post-construction costs are greater due to the need to build a weather-resistant structure.

vacuum elevator installed on an exterior deck to provide access between levels

Home Elevator in a Castle!

Do you have a castle, you know, the homes with turrets? If so, you can install your elevator in there.

While most people do not, turns out that someone who needed a home elevator did, and we were thrilled to have the same PVE we offer featured in the series Escape to the Chateau.

We look forward to an invitation to your home to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote as well as answer all your questions about the best locations in your home to install an elevator to serve your mobility needs today and in the future. Call (713) 360 7353.

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