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Budget-Priced Home Elevator
n-home elevators have always been too pricey for most people, and they required a lot of space, too. But a new type of elevator developed in Argentina might change that.
    The "Residential Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator" is a completely self-supporting unit that installs in a couple of days, at a price many people might be able to justify. It's being sold by a Florida company, Daytona Elevator.
    This lightweight unit is made of aluminium and polycarbonate. It has a footprint of just one square yard and requires no excavating pit or physical hoistway. It can be fitted to almost any 2 or 3-story home at a fraction of the cost of a normal elevator.
    "It uses air power instead of cables so it looks like something out of Star Trek, operating on some advanced levitation principle," says Dawn O'Connor of Daytona Elevator. "More than 300 lifts have already been installed and are working perfectly. Although there's not much room inside, the lift is rated to a capacity of 450 pounds. There's enough room for two people."
    Though it might look precarious, it is absolutely safe especially in the case of a power failure. Thanks to some "clever" locking mechanisms, the descending car automatically stops and locks exactly at floor level on the next floor.
    Since air pressure, rather than mechanical apparatus moves the elevator car, the starting and stopping is very smooth, according to the company.
    More photos and a video of the lifts can be seen at Daytona Elevator's website.    The cost of installing the elevator depends on the location, number of levels served, height of the tube, and shipping charges. Openings need to be cut between floors (or it can lean up against a loft), and the home must be wired for 220-volt power. According to Daytona Elevator, the retrofitting costs are generally less than traditional elevators because extensive modifications to the home are not needed.
    Besides a variety of elevator models, the company also sells stair lifts and dumbwaiters.
    According to O'Connor, the ballpark price for a three-stop unit is around $30,000 and for a two-stop it's around $23,000.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daytona Elevator, 440 Spring Forest Dr., New Smyrna Beach, Fla. 32168 (ph 386 423-7226; fax 386 427-4763; info@daytonaelevator.com; www.daytonaelevator.com).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #1