The Rising Trend of Lifts for Houses

We all love a little luxury in our house and the latest comforts and electronic gadgets to help us in our busy lives; so it’s no surprise that the trend for building high specification luxury homes sees developers and owners alike including the convenience of a lift. 

It’s the ultimate statement, a lifestyle choice and useful addition to high-end housing. Plus with people increasingly looking for their 'forever home' it ensures the house is future-proofed to cover every stage of life.

Increasingly people are now tempted by grand interior designs when it comes to buying a new house with some 257,000 homes in the UK are now described as having a "high spec interior", according to research by Aviva. For developers looking to differentiate and add value a home with a lift really does stand out from the crowd, propelling a property into a highly desirable ‘must have’ category.

But it's not just people-moving lifts that have a role in domestic living - as the trend for new townhouses with several floors continues, service lifts, also known as dumbwaiters, are having a resurgence in popularity due to their small size and ease of installation.

For new and refurbished properties, Developers and Architects for private housing developments are ensuring the home is future-proofed and the added value of the lift helps to assist in the sale of the property and it is certainly a market we have seen strong growth in. 

Here at Stannah, we are increasingly seeing luxury home developers add a lift as part of their high-end specification and equal growth in domestic enquiries, from high-end homeowners looking for a luxury statement.

The different types of home lifts

Properties come in all shapes and sizes - and so do domestic lifts. In a new dwelling, a lift can be part of an architect’s plans and can fit seamlessly as part of the whole project. In an existing home, there is a need to place the lift around the current house layout. 

There are various types of lifts that can be separated into these categories. 

Types Description Typical application Moves Speed

Passenger lifts 

part m passenger lift-SMALL

A typical passenger lift with sliding automatic doors with headroom and pit requirements.  Large existing /refurbished homes over two or more floors and new custom-built homes  6 or more people Over 0.15m/s

Platform lifts


These lifts enable up to five people to travel between several floors with a choice of door options Existing/refurbished large to medium-sized properties or new build developments up to 5 people Up to 0.15m/s

Through-floor lifts


These lifts allow up to two people to travel between the ground and first floor,  Existing smaller houses where space is limited and travel between the ground and first is only required up to 2 people  

Service lifts


A dumbwaiter that enables food, groceries and other goods to be transported between floors.  New and existing houses with or 3 more floors, often where the kitchen, garage and/or dining area on different levels Goods only 0.35m/s

What to consider when choosing a lift

Properties come in all shapes and sizes - and so do domestic lifts. In a new dwelling, a lift can be part of the architect’s plans and can fit seamlessly as part of the whole project. In an existing home, the lift needs to be placed around the current layout.

When deciding between the categories you need to decide whether the lift will take people or goods and how many floors the lift will travel, what space you have the fit a lift in, as this all helps you to narrow down your search.

There are a few things to consider before a lift is installed:

  • For new developments, as often there are multiple plots speak to the lift company to decide the type of products you're likely to want within your development.
  • For an existing home, get a survey, or discuss with your chosen lift supplier, to establish which product is most suitable.
  • Choosing the style of the lift, what finishes are required? From glass shafts, custom walls, an array of door options to bespoke flooring, a lift is a sleek and stylish addition – not to mention a life-long practical choice.
  • Once the type of lift and the finishes are decided,  the lift installations will require involvement from a builder, but this varies depending on the type of lift.  

Whatever the chosen lift, within just a few days the lift is installed and ready for use. The possibilities of home lifts are endless, whether a service lift from garage to kitchen to the dining room or lift to take homeowners, family and guests around a home. It simply comes down to the space available and what you need to move.

Learn about our range of lifts for the home

Home lifts in more detail

If you're interested in putting a home lift in your project then why not read on and see which type of lift best suits your needs...

Lifts for two or more floors .... domestic lifts

Stannah-lift-Woods House-HALO

For houses with two or more floors and generously proportioned internal space, a domestic platform lift may be the right product and for larger projects a passenger lift. We can supply and install these platform lifts directly to architects, builders and developers through our commercial lift division.

The Midilift or Piccolo lifts can accommodate five people or a wheelchair user, serving the occupants of a large house well into the future. With a wealth of designs; doors by others to match the house interior; automatic single opening doors, different entrance configurations to give flexibility on each landing, and lift finishes to match the home interior - the choice of product and options are endless with these lifts for homes. 

Or why not take a look at our Imperial Green case study, where Stannah supplied and installed (and will maintain) 38 lift products in Imperial Green, a high-specification development of 75, two-, three- and four-bedroom townhouses and apartments in Hythe, a peaceful, coastal market town on the fringe of Romney Marsh.

Lifts for up to two floors .... through-floor lifts


Where only two stops are required, or in properties with slightly more limited space, a simpler through-floor lift can provide a perfect solution. Installed very simply, with no shaft required, these types of lifts have a small footprint for just two standing passengers, or a slightly larger size to fit a wheelchair user. When the lift moves up the ceiling void is neatly filled and conversely when the lift descends the floor of the upstairs room is completed again. Therefore, the space the lift occupies is minimal and when it’s not in use you really wouldn’t know it was there.  Discreet and occupying minimum space these products provide quick access over two floors. 

Lifts for groceries, laundry and anything else...


A fashionable townhouse with multiple floors and unconventional layouts may mean bringing the groceries home (or having them delivered) could involve many flights of stairs. That’s why high-end property developers and city conversions are building in a small Microlift to take the strain

A Stannah Microlift was 'a necessary innovation' for 11 Spitalfields, a Huguenot House which appeared as a finalist in the 2008 Grand Designs 'Best Restoration Category'. That was how Kevin McCloud, Channels 4's Grand Designs presenter, described the Stannah Microlift installed into the historic townhouse, in the Spitalfields district of London.  If you read the Telegraph you may be even more familiar with this beautifully refurbished London home, as it won the 'Best Restoration' in their 2007 Building Awards.

Looking to incorporate a lift into your project?

To enable easy specification and see if a lift can fit in your project why not visit our technical area, where there's a wealth of product information, specifications, CAD blocks and more.

Learn about our range of lifts for the home

Article last updated 30/09/2020

With nearly 50,000 installations across the UK and over 92,000 units in our service portfolio, we offer a wide range of lift solutions and services to move people and goods. Take a look at our product range or simply get in touch.

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