This Is Why Houses Need Escalators

It’s been one of my most popular posts, “Why Don’t Houses Have Escalators?“, with close to 2,000 views.

In that post, I wrote “I find the idea of being stuck in an elevator at my house with nobody around kind of frightening”, and offered the following benefits of having an escalator in your home:

  • if the power goes out you can still use an escalator
  • an escalator is better for your health, it could even be part of your workout routine; you can use the escalator for an interval workout – walk up the escalator with the power off, then ride it back down to recover; repeat 10-15 times. You could use it like a Stairmaster – stand at the bottom of the escalator and turn the escalator on in the reverse direction, and just walk “up” the steps at a steady pace; perhaps you could even adjust the speed of the escalator.
  • an escalator would not take up additional space; you can just replace your stairway with an escalator
  • your pet could still move between the upper and lower levels of your house without your intervention; teaching them to use an elevator could prove difficult
  • it’s easier to make a grand entrance on an escalator, for when you want to do things like announce that you are running for President or to simply say aloha


So why am I bringing up this old post now?

Earlier this week, a woman in New York City is recovering in a hospital after she was rescued from the elevator where she was stuck for three days. The woman, whose identity wasn’t released, was freed Monday morning from an elevator stuck between the second and third floors of a private townhouse on East 65th Street in Manhattan, according to CBS New York. Fortunately, the woman was listed in good condition at the hospital.

Just like with alligator attacks, I never like reading about my worst fears being realized, even if I’m not directly involved.

It seems like now would be the perfect time for home builders to start offering escalators as an option. Just have copies of this elevator story lying around the sample home, and it should be an easy sell.

Fear is a big motivator.

I know I’d buy a house with an escalator, as long as there were no alligators within 50 miles of the house.

*image from Future Ideas

2 thoughts on “This Is Why Houses Need Escalators

  1. Hi Jim,

    My wife has 17 spine surgeries. We have a lift in our house, and trust me that the lift installers are aware of safety issues.

    Although we have a generator that will power the entire house in case of a grid outage, this is not necessary for our lift. It runs on batteries that last about five years, although I replace them more often.

    Batteries aren’t even needed to lower the lift.

    For added safety we did install a phone in the lift.

    Escalators are unsuitable for many tasks like taking a wheel chair or a wagon load of groceries up and down. The lift also helps us move heavy appliances or furniture up and down. I would not like to take a refrigerator up an escalator.




    1. Hi Bob, thanks for your thoughts. You make some good points, but there’s also the claustrophobic factor with elevators. And as for getting heavy appliances up and down different floors – maybe I’ve been spoiled but I’ve never been in a situation where I needed to do that. I guess one solution is to have both an elevator and an escalator. By the way, did you see there’s a profile of Jonathan Karpoff – a finance faculty member at University of Washington, in today’s Wall Street Journal. It’s about his exercise routine and his love of cross country skiing.


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