When it comes to enhancing your garage’s functionality, few items rival the allure of a car lift. These impressive machines are a DIY enthusiast’s dream, allowing them to delve into the inner workings of their vehicles. However, the quest for the ideal, high-quality lift for your garage can be quite challenging.
The initial consideration for home mechanics often revolves around the cost. While some may have the financial flexibility to select any lift they desire, for many, these pieces of equipment fall outside their budgetary constraints.
Will a Vehicle Lift fit in my Garage?
Prior to considering the expense, it’s essential to assess whether your garage can accommodate a lift. Rest assured, we will provide you with cost details shortly.
Garage Length Considerations
Before delving into the comparison between two-post lifts and four-post lifts, it’s crucial to assess whether your garage can accommodate either option. Typically, a two-post lift stands at an average height of approximately 9 feet. This means it can be installed in nearly any standard professional or home garage with a ceiling height as low as 9 feet 6 inches.
However, it’s important to be mindful of potential challenges related to vehicle doors when using two-post lifts. This can be an issue for vehicles parked beneath the lift or adjacent to it. Additionally, the location of the lift’s motor, whether inside or outside the posts, can affect its overall width. It’s essential to factor this into your installation planning.
Garage Ceiling Clearance for Vehicle Lift Installation
This is where the financial aspect comes into play, even before purchasing the lift itself.
Once the lift is installed, you might need to modify the way your garage door operates to accommodate the lift posts and any vehicle positioned on the lift. Your garage door installation company can handle this adjustment, but it will incur additional installation costs.
Is My Garage Floor Strong Enough for a Vehicle Lift?
The good news is that this typically isn’t a concern because most lifts do not increase the load on the garage floor.
Power Requirements and Accessories for Operating the Lift
It’s important to note that certain lifts operate on standard household electrical current, while other models necessitate higher voltage setups and electrical modifications. Some may even require a connection to a compressor for proper functionality.
Now, Let’s Talk About Lift Costs
Vehicle lifts come in a range of prices, sizes, and build qualities. For a comprehensive overview of the different types available, please refer to our vehicle lift guide.
If your intention is to work on one or two cars, mainly for recreational purposes, a lower-capacity two-post lift would be the ideal choice.
However, if your plan involves using the lift for vehicle storage in an elevated position, or if you require more stability and easy access to vehicle doors, a four-post lift would be a more suitable option.
It’s evident that the cost varies depending on your specific needs. For example, a high-quality four-post lift with a 9,000 lb. capacity typically costs around $4,500. Be sure to inquire about models that include free shipping.
On the other hand, a two-post lift with similar characteristics, including a 9,000 lb. capacity, usually comes in at approximately $2,700.
We’re not privy to your proficiency in handling these installations, but for safety considerations, we strongly recommend investing in professional services. Here are some estimated costs to consider (please note that not all of these may be required):
Installation of the lift itself – $1000
Adding high-lift kit/equipment to the garage door – $900
Anchoring to garage floor – $350 (less if done at the time of initial installation)
Electrical work and compressor might not be necessary. This will depend on the make and model of the lift purchased, but if necessary, you will need to add those expenses.
Acquiring Your Lift
Once you’ve made the decision to proceed with your purchase, it’s crucial to meticulously verify the measurements. These measurements should encompass the ceiling clearance, including the top of the lift posts, as well as the height of the vehicle when it’s raised.
While you might initially want to gauge the height using a standard-sized vehicle, we strongly recommend considering the largest and heaviest vehicle you anticipate lifting. Furthermore, it’s prudent to provide a small margin for potential measurement errors.
Additionally, ensure that you factor in the costs associated with a compressor and electrical service when establishing your budget. Once these considerations are in place, you’ll be well-prepared to advance with the installation process.
What’s Behind the Rise in Costs?
Even if you’re not immersed in the industry, you’ve likely noticed a significant increase in prices for automotive equipment.
Four-post lifts that were priced at $3,000 back in 2015 and 2016 are now surpassing the $4,000 mark. Similar price adjustments have been observed for two-post lifts and various other products.
Since the events of 2020, the expenses associated with steel, shipping, and even installations have seen a notable uptick. We sincerely hope that this trend doesn’t result in further price hikes, as our commitment remains to provide high-quality automotive equipment at affordable rates.
While the future of pricing remains uncertain, please rest assured that we are available around the clock to assist you in launching your garage endeavors.