Increases in downsizers prioritising access needs and smaller, more complicated blocks are driving forces behind a noticeable uptick in demand for home lifts in Perth, according to Brian Burke Homes Managing Director Michael Burke.
Mr Burke said his company’s Refined Edge brand had installed lifts in half the double-storey homes it had built since inception in 2015, and that people were starting to perceive lifts as a more accessible inclusion in their homes.
“People’s perceptions of lifts are changing,” he said. “They are becoming much less intimidating and, over time, we believe they will only become more common.”
Mr Burke said while some lifts were included in new builds out of a desire for luxury, there was often much more of a lifestyle consideration at play.
He pointed to a recent example of a home built by Refined Edge where the installation of a lift made all the difference to the client’s ability to comfortably occupy the space.
“We had one client with a $650,000 build include a lift because accessibility was a huge priority,” Mr Burke said.
“They had a small townhouse-sized block and really needed to build up to achieve a reasonable sized home, but being an older couple they did not want to have to rely on stairs.
“They didn’t want to have to move out of their dream home one day simply because they couldn’t get up the stairs, so they included a lift.”
Mr Burke said health issues, perceived re-sale value and an increase in upside-down layouts where the living areas are on the upper floor were all valid reasons to add a lift in a custom home.
While it may sound like a pricey inclusion, Mr Burke said the cost impact of installing a lift had remained steady over the years.
“The cost of installing a lift in a home hasn’t changed much over time,” he said.
“That means that as house prices have risen, the relative cost of the lift has diminished and it has become a more accessible inclusion.”