If you have more cars than space in your home's garage and don't want to park any of your vehicles on the street or in the driveway, it might be time for a car lift or car elevator. This type of equipment allows you to park cars on top of one another, with the lower level of the elevator sitting underground and out of the way when not in use. Car lifts or elevators may be more affordable to install than you realize, so you can have one installed in your home's garage, even if you're not rich and famous! Note a few questions you might have about car lifts or elevators, and then you can discuss your car storage options with a contractor as needed.
What keeps the cars from rolling or tipping?
Car elevators are not typically just flat metal pads, but will usually have a textured surface that provides traction and keeps a car from rolling. The lift may also have blocks along the front and back, acting as a type of speed bump that you drive over to park your car, and which then doesn't allow the car to roll, even if it should slip out of gear. Note, too, that car lifts usually move very smoothly and directly up and down; they are not tilted or slanted, so there is little risk of a car rolling off the lift, even when it's in operation.
What about drainage issues?
If your home's property is prone to poor drainage, keep in mind that a car elevator isn't just a bare pit! As with a built-in pool or water feature, the underground part of this structure is surrounded by concrete walls, so the ground is very solid and secure. A landscaping engineer might note if your property should be graded a particular way after the car elevator is installed so that water doesn't collect on one side of the garage; otherwise, drainage shouldn't be a hazard for your car or your property overall.
What about power outages?
A car lift will need a power source, just like a standard elevator, for its operation. However, many lifts can be outfitted with a solar panel that stores power in a battery, much like hot water heaters that are connected to solar panels, or they may work with hydraulics and not electricity. These options can ensure the lift is always operational, which is something to consider if you live in an area that is prone to power outages.