The stairs are one of the oldest means of accessing an area that is higher in elevation. While for many, the stairs provide a powerful tool to move between floors, if you are mobility challenged, then the stairs can present a very big obstacle. Those who use wheelchairs or scooters must find a way to bridge these gaps, so some people use vertical platform lifts.
A vertical platform lift is like an elevator, but it is for the most part self contained. There is no need to build a permanent shaft, like a residential elevator would require. Instead, vertical platform lifts, usually only need to be secured to a concrete or wooden base.
Often these mobility aids are referred to as wheelchair lifts, because mobility vehicles, such as an electric wheelchair, can be driven directly onto the device. The wheelchair lift will then raise the individual vertically to the top of the stairs.
How Much Weight Can a Wheelchair Lift Support?
These lifting aids can usually support more than five-hundred pounds and some are capable of supporting over seven-hundred pounds. This allows them to be used by two people at once, but due to space and safety considerations, usually only one of these people can be using a mobility vehicle.
What is the Lift Capacity of a Wheelchair Lift?
The height that a wheelchair lift can reach varies by model. Most will lift at least four feet and many much more, with some lifting over ten feet. Sometimes, the lift will need to be upgraded to achieve a higher lifting height and anything that lifts over four feet will probably need to be anchored to the wall as well as the ground.
Where are Wheelchair Lifts Installed?
Most often wheelchair lifts are installed next to a homes front porch. They are made to be resistant to the elements, such as rain or snow, and can also be used inside.
What are Portable Wheelchair Lifts?
One type of lift, the portable wheelchair lift, is designed so that it does not require permanent installation. It can be moved and set up quickly, so places like churches and schools frequently use portable wheelchair lifts.
What Type of Wheelchair Lift is Best for Homes?
While it is possible to use a portable lift at home, it is usually advised to go with a lift that requires semi-permanent installation. These lifts will be able to support more weight, provide increased stability, and lift higher than a portable lift would.
How Much Does a Wheelchair Lift Cost?
The cost of a wheelchair lift varies. Things like the amount of weight it can support and the height it can lift will affect the cost of the lift. Usually, they cost between $3,000 and $10,000.
The installation of the device can often be done by the homeowner, although the wheelchair lift itself can be very heavy.
How are Wheelchair Lifts Installed
Some wheelchair lifts come pre-assembled, but most will require some assembly. The main requirement is that wheelchair lift has a sturdy base. The base can be made out of wood or concrete, but it should provide good drainage to prevent standing water and be sufficient to support the weight of the wheelchair lift and its occupants.