Many home mechanics, DIYers or those doing auto repairs as a sideline can benefit from installing a professional-quality vehicle lift in their own garage.
While this may seem to be beyond the means of most individuals simply due to cost, it’s important to understand what the true cost of putting a lift in your garage may be.
Can You Put a Lift in Your Garage?
Your first considerations must be whether the garage can accommodate the lift you need.
Is the garage wide enough?
A car lift does not necessarily take much more space than one half of a typical 2-car garage. One special consideration will be whether you want a 2-post or 4-post lift. If you have a 2-post lift, this could present an issue for opening vehicle doors easily, whether it’s a car parked under the lift, or one parked next to it.
Keep in mind that some lifts are built with the motor inside the posts, but others have the motor outside the posts, extending the width needed for planning your installation.
Is there adequate ceiling clearance?
With a lift installed, it may be necessary to raise the way the garage door opens, to clear the lift posts and any vehicle on the lift. Garage door services can address this, but it will add cost to the overall installation.
Will the floor support the additional weight?
Most lifts do not add significantly to the weight on the garage floor, making them acceptable for installation in standard residential construction garage floors.
Do you have the necessary power or accessories to run the lift?
Some lifts run on standard household current, but other models may require higher voltages, requiring electrical work. Additionally, some lifts will require connection to a compressor for their use.
Now, About the Lift Cost
Your lift cost will of course depend on the make, model, and construction of the lift you’ve decided will meet your purposes. If you’re just going to work on your car occasionally, a lower-capacity 2-post lift may serve your purposes perfectly.
If you plan to use the lift to store a vehicle in a raised position on a regular basis, or just need more stability or easy access to vehicle doors, a 4-post construction may be more suitable. So your cost for the lift itself will vary, depending on your requirements.
One example: a quality 4-post lift with 9K lb. capacity can be purchased at an estimated price of $2800, including free shipping.
Even DIYers may want to invest in professional services to perform the installation process. Not all activities will be required for every installation, but estimated costs include:
- Installation of the lift itself - $800
- Adding high-lift kit/equipment to the garage door - $700
- Anchoring to garage floor - $250 (possibly less if done at time of initial installation)
Electrical work and compressor may not be required, depending on make and model of lift purchased, but if necessary, you will need to add those expenses.
Purchasing Your Lift
When you’ve decided to proceed with the purchase and installation of a vehicle lift in your garage, make sure you’ve double-checked measurements for ceiling clearance including the top of the lift posts, plus the height of a vehicle once it is raised to the maximum height that you’re going to elevate it.
Consider the largest, heaviest, tallest vehicle you expect to raise with the lift, then allow a little extra buffer for any measurement mistakes.
Add the need for any additional electrical service or compressor purchases, and you will be ready to move forward with your purchase and installation.