Installing a home lift can provide a number of key benefits. It helps you to improve accessibility within your home and makes it easier for people with mobility impairments or disabilities to move between floors independently. It also reduces the fall risks on the stairs, making your home a safer place to live. Not to mention a practical way to get elderly pets, suitcases, and even vacuum cleaners up and down stairs. It can also improve the aesthetics of a home, creating a unique feature that can be both stylish and functional and allow you to live life in comfort giving you independence in your own home. A range of personal domestic passenger lifts that takes up a fraction of the space and costs way less than a commercial elevator!
If you are planning on installing a domestic home lift, there are several key tips to consider. First, you should make sure that with the help of your lift company, that you select a domestic lift that is suitable for your home and your needs.
Factors that you will need to consider are:
What size car you may need? Will it need to accommodate 1,2 or more people? Will a small footprint compact lift do, or will it need to fit a wheelchair user and perhaps a carer too? Will it fit the size of the wheelchair and also leave space to get on and off the lift and open the door?
Where will you place the lift and what available space and head height do you have
How many floors will you need to travel to?
It is also very important to ensure that the vertical lift is correctly installed by a qualified lift engineer. Ensure you have a proper maintenance and servicing agreement in place to ensure it is properly maintained so that it is safe and reliable to use. Safety standards recommend that domestic home lifts be serviced at least once, preferably twice a year.
What types of domestic lifts can be installed in a home?
When it comes to installing a domestic lift inside your home there are mainly two types of products that will help you to move up and down your stairs safely. These are:
A rail is fixed to your stairs, you sit on the chair to take you up and down the incline of the stairs
A domestic lift, also known as through floor lifts, Home lifts, or a vertical platform lift
this lift will accommodate one or more persons seated, standing, or in a wheelchair vertically traveling through the floors of your home.
Wheelchair users can therefore only travel in a vertical lift in their home which looks like a smaller version of a personal passenger lift or elevator. Popular brands of home lift include Stiltz home lifts, Terry Lifestyle home lift, Lifton home lifts, and Wessex Lifts.
How much do domestic lifts cost?
Domestic lift prices will depend on what model is suitable for installation which can vary.
The cost of a stairlift will be considerably less as it is a more simplistic installation and requires less engineering.
The domestic home lift cost will be significantly more as the product costs more than a stairlift and there is more building work involved in installing a residential lift. Home lift products also come in different sizes and the types of home lift applications can vary considerably. Therefore model prices will differ somewhat. For example, Compact Stiltz domestic lifts, like the Duo model will be cheaper than a homelift that will take a wheelchair user with a larger platform size.
Typically, a stairlift installation will take just around an average of 3 hours, whereas domestic lifts can take around 1-2 days for building works and 1-2 days for the actual lift installation.
We offer the full range of home lifts so whatever your requirements may be we will have the best domestic lift to suit your home and your life.
Can a wheelchair lift be fitted on my stairs like a stairlift?
We are sometimes asked if a wheelchair lift can be fitted onto a staircase to run in line with the stairs as a stairlift does. These lifts are called Incline Wheelchair platform lifts. As a general rule of thumb, because the platform size on these lifts is so large a staircase of over 1 metre wide is needed, which you do not normally find in UK domestic homes. These incline wheelchair platform lifts are therefore more suited to wider steps that may be outside your home, or public buildings. We offer these types of lifts in our product range too.
Are there any restrictions on where a home lift can be installed?
There are a number of positions a home lift can be installed in. The most popular area of the home to fit one is in a living space downstairs such as a lounge and travel up to a bedroom area upstairs. We have also “hidden” the lift away in other rooms or a cupboard style enclosure space. Alternatively why not have a stylish lift in full display in your stairwell. We have also fitted larger wheelchair platform lifts on the side of a property in it’s own enclosure and created access from the house through to the lift. It really all depends on how big you need the platform size on the lift to be and what space you have available to use.
We will also need to ensure we have enough travel height between the floors to accommodate the lift, for example avoiding low roof lines or apexes.
The weight of the lift is taken by the guide rails that the lift runs on and the hole in the floor which is supported by double trimming the joists to create the hole. Building notices are required for the installation. Additionally, external shafts for outdoor installations may be subject to planning permission. It's important to consult a qualified lift expert to ensure that all regulations and guidelines are followed.
How much space is required for a home lift?
When it comes to installing a home lift, the amount of space required depends on the type and model of lift that is needed. A compact home lift suitable for one person seated or two people standing could require as little space as a small footprint of 1047 mm wide x 810 mm depth, plus space to open the door (based on the Duo Stiltz home lift model). Whereas a wheelchair lift model can take up 1047 mm width x 1280 mm depth, plus space to open the door (based on the Trio Stiltz home lift model). Other models will require more space so see the data on our product pages.
If you are looking for a lift to accommodate a wheelchair then we need to take dimensions of the wheelchair to determine what size car it would comfortably fit in.
Are home lifts suitable for wheelchair users?
Yes, home lifts are suitable for wheelchair users. They provide a reliable and safe means of moving between floors. Some domestic lifts can accommodate a wheelchair user and a passenger normally their carer if the wheelchair user cannot operate the lift independently, for instance when a child/adult will use the lift with their parent/carer.
Home lifts come in many different designs and sizes to accommodate different types of wheelchairs and their sizes, and they can be customised to accommodate specific needs. They come with easy touch in-car controls as well as wall controls on every level. They can even come with a thru-car option where a wheelchair user can “roll on and off” the platform entering the platform from one side and exiting from the opposite side of the platform on the other floor.
The platforms have ramped access for ease of use and manual or optional automatic door openers are available for independent use. By having a full site survey done by a qualified lift professional, we can help you to ensure you get the best model from our range that will accommodate your needs and your home. Simply contact us for a friendly chat for more information, or to arrange a no-obligation personal quote.
What materials are home lifts typically made from?
Home lifts are typically made from a combination of metal and plastic materials. Steel, aluminium, and stainless steel are the most commonly used metals for the frame. Plastic materials are generally used for the base and the door of the lift. In some cases, glass or perspex may be used to provide a more aesthetically pleasing look. The inner workings of the lift may also be made from metal, plastic, or a combination of both and will have wiring and circuitry that controls the operation of the lift.
Models are either friction driven in the case of the Stiltz home lift for example or work on hydraulics like the Wessex .
What safety features do home lifts have?
Home lifts come with a variety of features designed for your ultimate comfort and to keep passengers safe when in travel. These include an emergency stop switch, which can be used in the event of an emergency. Sensors that will stop the lift if it meets any obstruction or potential trapping hazard before it happens. An emergency in-car phone is also fitted on some models too in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Most lifts have an emergency battery lowering system which will lower the lift to the ground floor if the lift is in travel and the power fails. An emergency backup feature can also be provided to keep power to the lift in the event of a power failure.
What domestic lifts are available for outdoor stairs outside my home?
If you want to access your garden or move between levels in your home then it is possible to install a vertical lift or an incline wheelchair platform lift outside your home. If you are a wheelchair user then this is the best option for you because these lifts will allow you to access the platform safely and travel between levels on a Steplift or low-rise vertical lift. Often building works might be needed to form a concrete pad, so we can fit the lift to and perhaps dig out a small section of the garden, but don't worry because we take care of all that for you and project manage everything with our reputable building contractors.
If you are not a wheelchair user but just can't manage a set of outdoor stairs then you can also check out our range of outdoor stairlifts for straight and curved stairs on our sister site 1st Choice Stairlifts.
Please note that this article has been written about home lifts UK. If you live outside this area, please consult your local residential lifts supplier as models in different parts of the world can vary considerably.
1st Choice Homelifts is a sub-brand of 1st Choice Stairlifts. We are authorised dealers for domestic lift products from Stiltz (also known as Lifton) and Wessex.
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