HAVING an elevator at home, while still a lifestyle choice rather than one born out of necessity, is nevertheless a trend that is becoming increasingly popular with many upscale residential developments featuring this novelty in its houses.
“One usually finds lifts in the homes of the affluent and these people usually buy things based on what it will say about their lifestyle. An elevator at home is slowly becoming a must for them and can be seen as keeping up with the times,” said Jerry Lau, general manager of property developers AQRS.
The company has under its belt, two residential projects, both featuring elevators.
“Lifts are especially useful for the elderly who have difficulty climbing up several flights of stairs. It also comes in handy for carrying heavy stuff upstairs. Though not many people would like to think about it, sometimes healthy young people can get injuries that prevent them from using the stairs easily and an elevator would come in handy,” added Lau.
He explained that the value of an elevator in a home is one that benefits the developer and homeowner even in the long run.
Executive chairman of BHL Group of Companies, the developer of USJ One Park Twin Villas in USJ 1, Subang Jaya, Datuk Lim Boo Kian said that having a lift in a house gives it an exclusive feel and is a design that matches a modern lifestyle.
According to supplier Atlantic Elevator Sdn Bhd managing director M.C Lim, he landed his first job for a home elevator in 2001.
“However, the trend only kicked off in the last two to three years with whole landed property projects including one in its units. Before that, we only installed elevators in individual homes of those with a need or want for it,” he said.
As a person who started off wanting to work with diesel engines, Lim’s involvement in the lift department happened solely by chance due to an opening in that section and for the past 30 years, he has seen the evolution of elevators.
“Lifts used to be cumbersome things that required an extra room on the roof for the machinery. That was followed by the type requiring a bit more pit space. These days, however, new designs like the machine-roomless ones have come about to provide a more efficient ride without taking up too much space,” he said.
Installing a regular elevator for a three-storey home would cost about RM85,000 and this can go up to more than RM100,000 depending on the features, type and design.
“Currently, we find that there is a demand for elevators with glass doors and walls which helps reduce phobia as well as add an interesting focal point in the house,” added Lim.
He also said that the type of lifts that are in demand usually has to be disabled-friendly. They must have a permanent connection to either an emergency breakdown service or regular phone line to enable calls from inside the contraption.
Lau said that the type of lifts they used in their project in Taman Seri Gombak called Gombak Grove blends in seamlessly with the interior design of the home.
“The doors looks like any other in the house and does not stick out awkwardly. It features an open shaft concept and other safety points such as a sensor at its edges that will cause the lift to stop moving once pressure is applied,” he said.
Some lifts are even programmed to stop at the nearest floor and open its doors in the event of a power failure.
Many people would be surprised that the actual power consumption of an elevator is actually quite low.
“For the elevators we have installed, electricity consumption is only about half a sen for every floor it traverses,” revealed Lau.
Lim said that when in use, the elevator uses less than two kilowatts and is less than a boiling kettle’s energy consumption.
“As for maintenance, it is up to the customer how often they want to do it. Our general advice is to carry out regular maintenance checks every two months,” he said, adding depending on the elevator service provided, the cost usually starts from RM200.
He also said that installing elevators on existing properties was also possible. The considerations to be given are space requirement and budget.
“There are also a number of house owners who consult us before constructing their home to make space for possible future lift installation. It usually takes up to three months to manufacture an elevator and another month to install it,” he said, adding that currently China is the largest lift producing country.
Lim said that currently there are no laws that regulate the installation or maintenance of lifts in homes though there has been talk that the government plans on coming up with regulations particularly since the trend is picking up.
Lau sees the trend of having an elevator in a house continuing to rise.
“New developers are already including one in projects for super-link houses in the outskirts of the city. For us, there is a need to stay ahead of the game and be in touch with the market needs,” he added.
Source: The Star