How about an elevator?

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I love design challenges, but often I end up being a marriage counselor, sitting around people’s breakfast tables, watching them argue over whether this makes sense. I see reasons to stay and reasons to move, moderating the usually high-charged emotional discussion by helping weigh these kinds of pros and cons. Half the time the couple elects to stay, and the other half eventually move instead. Many remain local, even though housing for young couples, trying to save for the American dream of home ownership, and older couples winding down, looking for a way to live with less maintenance, fewer expenses and the accessibility of larger buildings, have dwindling choices. We don’t have enough multi-family-zoned buildings for the population, and the ones we have are so expensive that many older people can’t afford them.

Consider the time frame to lift the home and the cost, adding in the elevator. Also consider how you’ll get out of the house if the power goes out and what your emergency escape will be. I like elevators for people who will get many years of use for the investment or who can afford one and want to stay in their home. Otherwise, it may be time to consider moving. Hope you can stay local. We lose a lot of great citizens over this issue. Thanks for your question, and good luck!

©2014 Monte Leeper. Readers are encouraged to send questions to, with “Herald question” in the subject line, or to Herald Homes, 2 Endo Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530, Attn: Monte Leeper, architect.

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