Residential Elevator Lifting Systems

Residential elevator lifting technology has improved dramatically over the years. While the basic mechanicals has stayed the same – the control systems and safety features have improved. EHLS/To The Top Home Elevators is an experienced elevator installer and has installed hundreds of residential elevators in the Chicago area. Our full product line includes all four elevator lifting systems.


Hydraulic Lift System
  • Hydraulic oil is pumped into a cylinder which builds up pressure and allows the elevator to travel up.
  • In order for the elevator to travel down (lower), hydraulic oil is simply removed from the cylinder.
  • The speed of this drive is generally maxed out at 40 fpm.
  • The machinery must be located in a separate machine room.


  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Flexibility with remote machine room capability


  • Equipment placement
  • Hydraulic fluid concerns

Winding Drum

Winding Drum Lift System
  • The winding drum is the original form of elevator drive technology.
  • A large drum powered by a motor spools aircraft cable which is connected to the elevator sling assembly.
  • The cable is either wound or unwound to raise or lower the elevator.
  • Machinery can be located in a separate space or above the rail with enough overhead space.
  • Size of the drum depends on how much travel is required.
  • Its speed varies from 30 to 40 feet per minute.


  • Least Cost
  • Low Maintenance


  • Equipment Placement

Geared Counterweight

Geared Counterweight Lift System
  • A motor located at the top of the hoist-way pulls elevator up and down.
  • The elevator cab weight is offset by a stack of weights; between the rails is a counter-weight, which reduces work for the motor.
  • This system is more energy efficient.


  • Equipment located in the hoist-way
  • Green elevator


  • Requires greater overhead space and access hatch

Gearless Counterweight

Gearless Counterweight Lift System
  • Similar design to the geared traction design; however, it uses a gearless motor that provides a reduction in noise, more energy efficiency, and a faster speed.
  • This drive technology is the newest to hit home elevators.
  • A similar roller technology used in full blown passenger elevators guides the car up and down the rails instead of guide shoes to provide an even quieter ride.
  • This type of elevator drive consumes less energy than any other drive system. The elevator consumes about 6 amps of power in the up direction.


  • Superb ride quality
  • Quiet


  • Expensive – 1.5X
  • Requires greater overhead and access hatch
Lifting Systems - Elevators - To The Top Home Elevators

Home Elevators


Our new elevator is up and running! It was helpful to ride the showroom elevator first so that we understood what a home elevator was. You were great to work with and we are thrilled.

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Serving Chicagoland for Over 25 Years!


To The Top Home Elevators was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of residential elevators. It was our first time integrating an elevator into an existing home. They coordinated with our architect and supported our general contractor throughout the building process. Our clients were so thrilled with their elevator that we plan to incorporate elevators into more of our home designs.

From our first phone call to the office, To The Top was with us on every step! They worked with our architect and contractor throughout the planning phase and gave us design options to make the elevator blended in with our home’s décor.

We highly recommend EHLS’ consulting and contracting services to make your home or place of work accessible. EHLS is qualified, professional and creative. Without exaggeration, EHLS is one of the best companies we have had the opportunity to work with.

My whole experience with your company was trusting and a pleasure.

EHLS saved my business. There are no words for how amazing Steve, Becky, and Alex were during the ordering, installation, and inspection phase of the installation of our vertical platform lift. Very well planned and executed. I’m really grateful everything they did. We were completely scr?w*d over by another elevator company, and EHLS saved the day on time, on budget, with a smile. Thank you from everyone at Smiling Patient Dental Care!!!

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