Installation of Vertical Platform Lifts
Many times, especially in older homes, the stairs leading up to the front door can be pretty steep and narrow. This can make it very hard for those suffering from arthritis and other muscular disabilities to enter their own home and near impossible for those with wheel chairs. Vertical Platform Lifts solve this problem by raising the individual to the top of the stairs.
Vertical Platform Lifts are installed parallel to the stairs and depending on the model often very little actual assembly is required. It is imperative, however, that a smooth, level, and unyielding base is used. The base should be able to support the maximum load capacity of the lift and the lift itself. So if the lift itself weighs 250 lbs and has a capacity of 500lbs then the base must be able to support at least 750 lbs. Always air on the side of caution, but usually a solid deck or concrete deck would be a suitable base. It is also important that the travel wall, the wall below the upper entry point of the elevator, is free of protrusions, fairly smooth, and gaps.
If you are getting the lift because you or someone you love is in a wheel chair than you should have an idea of whether you want the lift to provide adjacent access to your stairs or if it should provide straight through access to your stairs. Adjacent access means you would enter the lift on the ground, turn 45 degrees and exit the lift at the top of the stairs. With straight through access you drive your wheelchair strait onto the lift and once lifted drive straight onto the stairs landing. This is also an important consideration if you are planning to use the lift to help carry household supplies and groceries. It is important to mention this when ordering to ensure that you get a compatible model.
Once you have done a little planning and preparation, the actual install is seamless. Generally it can be done in a few hours, but make sure to fully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most manufacturers have certified installers that can come and set up their equipment. The Vertical Platform Lifts often come fully assembled or with minimal assembly required and plug into a regular 110 volt outlet. Generally the base of the lift is secured to the smooth and level foundation. Make sure to consult your manufacturer’s instructions for specific distances, but depending on the lifting height of the lift, it may be necessary to secure it to the building as well as the ground.
A vertical platform lift can provide many years of dependable service and open up whole new worlds to those in wheelchairs or those who are mobility challenged.