Types of residential lifts. Which are the differences between them?

If you’re considering installing an elevator in your home, you may have doubts about which one is the most suitable for you among all the types of residential lifts available on the market. At SHE-Elevator, we provide advice and help you find the one that best suits your needs.

Firstly, it’s important to consider some information, such as what types of home-lifts are available on the market, how they work, which is most suitable for you, etc. In this article, we’ll answer these questions and guide you in choosing the one that best suits your needs.

Difference between conventional and residential lifts.

There are many differences between a home-lift and a conventional lift. However, the main difference between them is that conventional elevators are those that move at a speed greater than 0.15 m/sec, and are installed in the majority of apartment buildings, hotels, hospitals, etc., while the speed of single-family elevators cannot exceed 0.15 m/sec. These elevators are also known as slow-speed elevators, single-family elevators, home elevators, or lifts for people.

What types of home-lifts are available on the market?

Depending on their drive mechanism, these types of elevators are classified as: hydraulic elevators, screw elevators, and electric elevators.

Comparison between the different types of slow-speed elevators.

Next, we’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of residential elevators:

Hydraulic Elevators

This type of elevator has so far been one of the most installed due to its price/quality ratio, but above all because it was the first to appear on the market and derives from traditional freight elevators. Now, thanks to technological advances in the industry, it is no longer one of the most economical options, so it has ceased to be the most popular. Here are its most characteristic advantages and disadvantages:


Its selling price has always been attractive. In addition, it is possible to install the hydraulic unit (necessary in this type of elevator) in another space, away from the shaft, so it does not require an adjacent space to the elevator shaft.

Like the rest of the home lifts, it requires a very small pit for installation, and the necessary measurements will depend on the manufacturer.


In terms of electricity consumption, it is the one that consumes the most compared to these three models, producing a higher CO2 emission and pollutants, as it has a risk of leaks and produces polluting waste, such as hydraulic oil, among others.

Its installation is not easy either. As it is an oil-powered system, and located in a house, it should be seriously considered. Oil is a chemical product, with odor and with risks of leaks in case of wear of seals or poor connection of hydraulic hoses.

Maintenance and repairs on this elevator are also among the most expensive. The complex system of this type of drive, composed of valves and oil injectors, among many other elements, makes it more prone to breakdowns. In addition, the repairs that usually occur are also among the most expensive, both in terms of the amount of time that needs to be devoted to them, as well as the cost of spare parts and the age of the system.

Regarding the comfort of hydraulic home elevators, their abrupt start is another disadvantage we find in this type of drive. The cabin makes a jump when starting by reinserting the oil in the piston to recover its level.

The safety protocol of hydraulic home elevators in case of interruption in the power supply only goes down to the floor, and does not perform automatic door opening.

Screw-Driven Elevators

This type of elevator is not widely known, even though it has existed for a long time. The elevator cabin is moved along a steel screw, from top to bottom, by the rotation of a nut driven by an electric motor. Its traction system is simplistic, which allows for reduced and sustainable energy consumption, with a low risk of breakdowns.

However, due to mechanical wear and tear over time, certain friction and looseness in parts may occur, requiring replacement. The installation space required and the time needed for installation are similar to those of electric elevators.

However, most worm screw elevators on the market are platform elevators without lateral walls, which may cause some users to feel less secure. Additionally, a three-phase electrical installation may be required to install these elevators, which would require changing the electrical contract.

Electric Traction Elevators

These elevators are powered by an electric motor and are suitable for homes with a single or multiple floors. They are quieter than hydraulic elevators and require less maintenance.

SHE – Elevator is an example of a new generation electric elevator for homes. Its operation is simple: it uses a belt composed of a set of steel cables. One of the main advantages of this type of drive is that it does not require a counterweight to balance the elevator load, unlike other electric elevators on the market, which maximizes cabin space while facilitating transportation and installation. SHE-Elevator models do not require a machine room and only need a small pit of nearly 7.48 inches or can be installed directly on the floor with a small ramp.

The mechanical and electrical parts are pre-assembled, which makes installation quick and easy, and it is designed for low maintenance and high safety, equipped with a self-rescue system. Its customizable cabin allows it to be installed in homes, public buildings, and businesses. These elevators have a low energy consumption of only 1.5 kW, making them one of the most sustainable types of elevators on the market.

If you are considering installing an elevator in your home, contact us. We will put you in touch with one of the collaborating lift installers from SHE-Elevator in your area.

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