Though it’s never been made into a movie, there is a sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory called Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. We were reminded of the book when we saw this space-saving elevator, Terry Lifts’ Lifestyle Home Elevator. While the elevator can’t move sideways or slantways, it at least has the glass part down.
Putting in a home elevator is a major renovation and can cost upwards of $15,000, and that’s without the actual installation costs. The Lifestyle is a similar price, between between about $20,000 and $24,000, according to The Daily Mail, but the elevator doesn’t require as extensive a renovation, according to the company. You’ll still be creating a hole in the second floor, but you don’t need to install an actual shaft. It’s about 3.7 feet by 2.8 feet total and can hold two people, up to 551 pounds. It’s powered by hydraulics hidden in the guide leg.
With its glass door, transparent walls, and blueish lighting, the whole thing looks pretty futuristic. The top of the elevator can be outfitted to match the rest of the flooring and make it blend in a little better, but don’t worry about being suddenly lifted into the air as the contraption ascends: It won’t rise if something’s in its path. Likewise, if its underside touches an obstruction while descending, movement stops. The elevator stays put if the door is open, as well.
Terry Lifts isn’t the only company in the residential elevator space. There are pneumatic vacuum ones, electric ones, and ones that wouldn’t look out of place in an office building. As the U.S. population ages, elevators and other ways of helping elderly people up and down stairs could become increasingly common. Installing one may seem like a luxury, but as The New York Times points out, it’s less expensive than moving to a whole new house.