While local codes need to be considered in building a home elevator, the first design aspect in incorporating a home elevator into your house is the design of the actual elevator and how it will operate. The types of home elevators include hydraulic elevators, winding drum elevators, machine traction drive elevators, and pneumatic, or vacuum, elevators. All of these home elevators are used for moving a car a certain distance in a four story house or small commercial building. A hydraulic elevator is moved by a hydraulic piston device, while both winding drum home elevators and machine traction drive home elevators involve a hoist mechanism. Pneumatic home elevators, on the other hand, operate like a vacuum, with a driving machine consisting of turbines removing air from the top of the elevator car. As all of these elevator types can be installed in your home, all home elevators, except for pneumatic elevators, also require a machine room, which needs to be installed and planned into your house, as well.
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Once the type of elevator has been decided, the next step is the architectural process in designing a home elevator. Elevator cabs for home elevators can be a round or box shape, with the cab coming in glass, metal, or wood combinations. In addition to the structure of the outside of the elevator cab, home elevators can have inside elevator panels, as well as a telephone cabinet, handrails, and lighting. All of these necessary aspects for an elevator can be made out of a variety of materials, including metal and wood. For your home elevator, some material options include oak, walnut, and mahogany woods and, for metals, bronze, stainless steel, brass, and copper. In addition, these materials can be incorporated into the design of a home elevator as flat panels, or they can be sculpted and designed by woodwork or metalwork to create an ornately-designed home elevator.