Accommodating numerous vehicles in a custom home can create a design nightmare. This is where the Phantom Lift from American Custom Lifts comes into play. As its name suggests, it is a car lift that disappears out of sight — along with the car.
“It’s a two-deck platform system that transports vehicles above or below grade,” says Brad Davies, president of the Escondido, Calif.-based company.
In a home application, users drive onto the platform if it’s in the “up” position and lower it into the basement. Then, the top platform acts as the floor and ceiling in the basement. “The Phantom Lift is often found in high-end homes where land is valuable but there isn’t enough space for a garage,” Davies says. “A basement is built below grade to accommodate the lift.”
Numerous safety features and add-ons are intended to enhance the product. If a home-owner attempts to lower a car to a place where another car is located, an infrared light is triggered and notifies the user. “Every lift gets a camera and monitor so [users] can see what is below the lift. It includes sensors around it so no one walks under it when in operation,” Davies says.
ACL works closely with architects and builders to determine the right product with the right specifications. “[The architect] provides us with drawings of the home which we give to our engineering department. Then they determine which model fits, and which safety features are required for that model. They will provide a quote and conceptual drawings. When the product is ordered, we provide detailed drawings on how to dig the pit, handle the plumbing — all the details they will need on-site,” Davies says. “Some contractors install the product themselves and this doesn’t affect the warranty.”
It takes an average of 90 days for ACL to build the product after it receives confirmation from the architect or builder. The Phantom Lift is for serious car owners/homeowners at a cost of $50,000. This includes delivery and installation, but excludes taxes, permits and excavation.