Guide to Landed Home Lifts in Singapore

Lift Works


December 1, 2021

Home Lift Singapore – Your Guide to Landed Home Lifts 

You are considering a landed home lift in your residential construction project plan. Whether it is a new build construction or additions and alterations (A&A) works, here are some frequently asked questions that home owners like you, may have. 

Most are already well-aware of the benefits of having an elevator in a home. With advancing technologies, home lifts are beyond being effective movement solutions. It delivers convenience, comfort and luxury to a home and has evolved into an essential component of modern home design. We will share what are the different lift systems and consideration factors, and there are definitely options for virtually all homeowners today. 

Lift Works is a Singapore Lift Company, building quality lifts for over 40 years. Experienced in Residential, Commercial & industrial projects, and with reliable manpower support for efficient delivery. Check out our past projects, or contact us to visit our Home Lift Experience Centre at Bukit Batok, Singapore. 


What types of home lift systems are available in Singapore?  

Landed home lifts in Singapore are regulated by Building & Construction Authority (BCA) Singapore and all installs and usages have to be registered. 

According to BCA, all elevators in Singapore must have an approved system code. Those two options right now are SS-550 or EN 81-41. And home owners typically compare these enclosed vertical transportation options: 

Traction System vs. Hydraulic System vs. Screw-driven System

1. Traction Lift uses a pulley system to move the cabin with counter-weights. It delivers a fantastic combination of speed, smoothness, and quietness with impressive durability.

Traction Lift Singapore

2. Hydraulic Lift is electrically powered to pressurize hydraulic oil fluid to jack lift the piston to move the car up and down. Cheaper to install and is an excellent choice for small spaces as it requires 10% less area then traction. It effectively carries heavier loads as hydraulics provides greater lifting force than traction ropes.

3. Screw-driven Platform Lift utilizes a screw shaft and drive nut to move the platform. Its minimal technical requirements make it the most convenient option to retrofit into your home. Its mechanism is simple and also incredibly safe to use. 

4. Platform Lift is not a system type, rather it is a feature of the lift. Definition of a platform lift is that the lift interior is an open cabin without cabin walls. 

platform lift singapore

Platform lift is one of the most flexible options available as a basic mobility elevator. It requires a small footprint and virtually no headroom. Platform lifts (can be applied to traction, hydraulic and screw-driven systems) are considered when the site has no/insufficient pit depth and overhead room. This issue is often present in A&A and retro-fit construction projects, where we are working on an existing building. 

The flexibility in the ease of install, does come with less favorable features, that includes manual swing door, press-and-hold COP button and the speed is 0.15m/s. 

  • Pneumatic Vacuum Lift: Not approved for use in Singapore (updated 2021)  

* This list excludes: Stairs Chair Lifts, Platform Stair Lifts, Dumbwaiters 

How much does it cost to install a private lift in a house in Singapore? 

You may ask, how much does it cost to install an elevator in a 3-storey building? 

To facilitate the budgeting for your construction, the cost of a small home lift starts from S$45,000. 

  • This is the supply and install cost of a small traction lift 
  • This excludes external shaft structure works (provided by main contractor), licence and permits 

Instead of standard specifications, our lift products are fully customized to your requirements and hence, the final cost depends on the variables: 

  • The elevator system type and made-in country 
  • The lift cabin size (load chart) and no. of floors 
  • The location of lift within your landed residential property (Indoor or outdoor) 
  • The aesthetics finishing (browse our past projects for styles

The best way to know the cost is to consult our lift specialist and request a quote

Landed home lifts installation adds value to your property and it is hard to retro-fit a lift at a later time when the lifestyle calls for it. A new elevator can add ~10% to its property valuation price, but the personal value it delivers is priceless. 

How to choose a residential elevator best for your home? 

If you ask our lift specialist, the elevator system of choice will be the Traction Lift System. This is the system you are likely most familiar with, as it is what is being used in shopping malls, condominiums etc. 

From the user experience point-of-view, it delivers a fantastic combination of speed, automation, smoothness, and quietness with impressive durability. Traction lifts are also most energy efficient as they use counterweights to balance the car load, a pulley system, requiring less energy to power the lift.  

You may only enjoy the luxury of choosing a traction lift, if yours is a new build where lift requirements are factored in the architectural design from the start. If you are considering adding a lift to your existing building, pointers below will guide you towards selecting the best lift suited for your project. 

Where in the house to install a lift? Is my home suitable for lift installations? 

Let’s consider your options, when limited by the technical requirements of the different types of landed home lift systems. This will provide a rough idea of what elevators can be suitable for your home. 

1. Availability of pit depth: 

An elevator pit is located at the bottom of the lift shaft structure that sits below the 1st floor landing. It is required by a traction lift system (1200mm) and hydraulic system (50mm) to house the equipment. 

The construction of the pit is best done during the construction of the building. Creating a pit for an existing building will most definitely require an architect’s advice and the approval of the plans by authorities. This is to ensure the integrity of the building is not compromised. 

2. Availability of overhead room: 

An elevator overhead refers to the distance measurement from the top-floor landing to the top of the lift structure hoist-way. From floor to top, a clearance of 3500mm is required for traction lift. Of these 3500mm, the door opening and jamb takes up 2200mm and the rest houses the motor room.

home lift singapore

3. Minimum requirement of floor space: 

Next, you have to determine how much space you have for an elevator and can it fit at least the smallest lift size model. 

The required internal shaft floor area is 1600 x 1600mm for the smallest traction lift. With a cabin size 900 x 1200mm, that fits 4 persons, or a person plus a small wheelchair. 

The required internal shaft floor area is 1500 x 1500mm for the smallest hydraulic lift. With cabin size 1100 x 1200mm. 

If space is not constrained, you can see here for what are the standard lift sizes in Singapore?

4. Availability of an air-well or a stair-well for the vertical lift shaft

Mention that construction of the external shaft by contractors.

5. Within URA’s set-back requirements, for outdoor lifts 

outdoor lifts singapore

If you have decided and are interested in installing an elevator at your landed residence but do not know if you have met the requirements above, the professionals you will need to consult are: Professional Engineers, Architects, Main Contractor Builders to advise if property is suitable for lift installation. 

What is the maintenance cost for an elevator?  

The maintenance requirements for escalators and lifts fall under the BMSM Regulations of 2016. As required by BCA: 

You are required to engage a registered lift service contractor to maintain your lifts in accordance to BCA maintenance requirements (BMSM Regulations 2016). Maintenance works must be carried out at the frequency not less than the following, for home lift: based on manufacturer’s recommend frequency of once every 3 months. 

The closely regulated industry ensures that installs and operations are of high safety standards and accountability of the lift contractors. Regular maintenance also monitors the lift’s energy efficiencies and extends the longevity of your investment. 

The general guide to the cost components of maintaining a private residential landed home lift: 

  • Warranty 

Complimentary for the 1st year after the handover of the completed home lift. During the warranty period, servicing, maintenance, repairs and replacements will be covered. This excludes vandalism and wear and tear of parts that lift users have access to, such as buttons and lift interiors. 

  • Annual Maintenance Contract 

This operation shall be carried out by your appointed lift company, and performed by qualified trained personnel. Basic and regular servicing provides standard checks and replacement of consumables such as lubrication oil. 

Having an appointed lift company also ensures that you have a 24 hours response in case of emergencies. Emergencies involving man-trap, injury or life-threatening situations warrants response to arrive within an hour. 

  • Annual Testing 

Annually, your servicing lift company will engage a professional engineer to conduct a visual check on the lift to ensure that it is in proper working order and safe to use. Every 5 years, an additional load test will be conducted. Both services are chargeable. These components may be included in your servicing contract, hence please check with your lift maintenance contractor. 

  • Annual BCA Licence Renewal 

The BCA requires Homeowners to renew their home lifts, annually. This application process costs $20, has to be carried out by the Lift Owner, and can be done online. Once completed, BCA will issue the Permit-to-operate (PTO) certificate, and you have to display this document prominently within the lift cabin. 

  • Repairs & Parts Replacement
    Replacement of worn out and defective parts will incur additional cost to be borne by the lift owner. 

Permissions needed to install home lifts in Singapore

When installing a landed home lift within an existing building, it is considered a Building Addition and Alteration Works. That means prior approval for elevators are necessary before the work can begin. The professional to consult for this matter is the architect. 

For residential lifts, the only option that can operate without BCA approval is a stairlift or vertical platform lift that meets the following conditions

  • It must have a vertical displacement of less than 1,000mm during operation.
  • The maximum force exerted must be less than 150 N while operating.
  • It can only serve a single residential unit. 

If your landed home lift installation in Singapore doesn’t meet those three conditions, you must follow a four-step process to have this project completed. 

1. You must first submit a proposal to BCA for permission to install the home lift. If this project is an addition to an existing residence, a letter can be written to satisfy this step. The building plan must be approved before work can begin.

2. Singapore homes can install a passenger, platform, or stairlift. The BCA may not allow certain types for some homes.

3. After the installation work is complete, homeowners must obtain a permit to operate the lift. This document gets reviewed annually, and a BCA-registered lift contractor or authorized examiner must inspect it. 

4. If faults are found during the inspection, they must be corrected before permission is given to use the lift. 

Which company lift is the best?

Well, which Installer should I select for my landed home lifts?

You have several professional elevator suppliers and installers in Singapore to consider. Your options most definitely include elevator brands like Schindler, OTIS, Fujitec that you are familiar with. Singapore’s elevator companies are closely regulated by Building & Construction Authority and there is an assurance given to homeowners that you can engage with confidence with reasonable certainty to the standard of the product. 

Lift Works Singapore 

At Lift Works, we have been building quality lifts for over 40 years with experience in Residential, Commercial and Industrial Lift construction projects. 

Lift Works Corporate Clients

We strive to be the top home lift company for landed residential homes by offering bespoke elevator design ideas, and your cost-effective lifts options that outperforms the expensive name-brand equivalents. 

  • Professional and responsive team with reliable manpower support for efficient delivery on your project. Biz-safe Level 3 and ISO-certified 
  • Simplifying decisions for home-owners. Experience our home lift systems and walk-through finishing options at our showroom in Bukit Batok 
  • Ride with confidence. Be assured that we hold safety with the highest regards, and all installations are completed in compliance with SS550:2020, a standard set by BCA Singapore 
  • Maintenance and warranty after handover for a worry-free experience. We ensure that your home lift is operating optimally with maximum safety, security, and performance. 
  • Moving with times and striving for sleeker, smarter and modern designs for our clients. If you are looking for touch-free buttons, air purifiers or smart tech, we have them. 
  • Go bold with design by engaging our material specialist team to bring your vision to lift. Personalize your lift with art or unique finishes. 

Contact us today to start the conversation about how a landed home lift can change your life in many positive ways. 


    Whether you’re looking for lift installation, home modernization, or an ongoing maintenance need, Lift Works is the lift company that delivers an impeccable result to allow your home to remain accessible on your terms.

    by Lift Works


    December 1, 2021

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