Residential Wheelchair Lift Planning Guide
Preparation for putting in a residential wheelchair lift is key. Having a trained professional is almost required to successfully install a safe elevator for your wheelchair or scooter. We will outline all of the key aspects for your preparation.
Height: There are two issues to be aware of when measuring for the height of your residential wheelchair lift. All wheelchair lifts have rails directly beneath the lift itself, which measure 1 3/4". This measurement should be subtracted from the total height needed to reach the desired level. A ramp is needed to roll on to this raised platform. If you would like to avoid using a ramp, you can lower the lift platform rails into the ground.
Location: The majority of vertical platform lifts are installed on the exterior of one's home. When this is the case, the vertical lift must be situated on top of a concrete padding. Without the use of a concrete pad, the lift can shift over time, creating gaps and unstability. If this were to happen, the safety of your handicap lift is significantly compromised, and therefore defeating the purpose of having an elevator lift in the first place. When measuring for the size of the concrete pad, be sure to account for the length of the wheelchair or scooter, as well as the ramp that is required to safely roll on to the lift. If your lift is being used on a raised deck, then you must take into consideration the use of a facing wall that will eliminate the risk of falling or pinching any body parts. Some people prefer to have their lift come up through the middle of the deck, instead of on the side. This requires building an entire shaft and makes the lift more like an elevator that you're used to inside of a bulding.
If you are planning on installing your residential lift in the interior of your home, there are two different styles of lifts you need to be aware of: the adjacent access model and straight through access model. Each model is beneficial in different circumstances and should be discussed with one of our wheelchair lift specialists, as well as the sub-contractor you plan on working with. Our specialists can provide you and your sub-contractor with free blueprints for your lift, free of charge. Building the wheelchair lift shaft enclosure is something you must take into consideration. Building the enclosure for an interior lift varies greatly from building the enclosure of an exterior lift, so speak with one of our specialists who will plan out what is best for your unique situation.
Emergency Safety Precautions: Most elevator handicap lifts come with an emergency battery bacukup in case of a power outage. Although, this is a very useful feature, it is never the only option when the power goes out. What if the battery had gone bad? There are always emergency manual cranks in residentail wheelchair lifts that are accessible from the interior and exterior of the enclosure. Installers need to make sure that there is access to these cranks from the interior of the shaft. Another safety feature that is required on all elevator lifts is the use of interlocks. An interlock is basically an automated deadbolt that does not allow doors at different levels to be open at the same time. This feature greatly enhances the safety of an elevator lift and we will not sell one of our lifts without them.
Keep in mind: If you're looking at our residential platform lifts and it seems as if they just won't fit into the location where you want to install them, don't give up. Just give us a call and we will be able to custom build a lift that will fit your exact specifications.
Delivery: Depending on the size of the wheelchair lift you have ordered, the way your lift is shipped will differ. For larger lifts, they are shipped parallel to the ground. For lifts shorter than 4 feet, the lift will be delivered upright. If you have purchased a larger lift, upon delivery, you should check the colored packet that is on the outside. It should clearly indicate whether the lift has been moved or shifted improperly. If it has been moved improperly, you should not accept,because the lift may be damaged beyond repair. Our lift specialists will inform you of this and will help you with the delivery process before ordering your lift.