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What is the Difference Between Home Elevators and Lifts

If you are interested in installing either an elevator or lift into your home, it is important to spend some time weighing the pros and cons of each. Factors such as cost, capability and ease of install, need to be a part of your decision. Keep these aspects in mind and choose the machine that is right for you.

A lift, also known as a platform lift, is a powered device that is designed to raise an occupant, most often in a wheelchair or other assisted device, over a vertical barrier such as a high step or a flight of stairs. They are often installed in homes and businesses and are often found on public transportation vehicles, including public buses and trains as part of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In the home, platform lifts consist of a platform, the lift tower, and the controls needed to operate the device. Lifts can be restrictive in their capabilities as most are limited to around 12 feet of vertical travel. A residence will also need approximately six square feet of space to accommodate the lift. Lifts can be an incredible alternative to a ramp, which can take up much more space and have fewer capabilities

Elevators are an alternate option. Residential elevators have the ability to reach at least two floors in your home. The construction involves installing a shaftway, which encloses the cab, and the machinery needed to manipulate elevator.

Elevators are ideal in homes where more than one person will need to access a higher floor simultaneously as elevators are capable of handling much more weight than a lift. The good thing about elevators is that they can be constructed in a variety of designs so they are an excellent choice for multi-floor transport.

Additional differences
If you are thinking of installing an elevator, there are several factors that you will need to understand so that you pick the proper option for your situation. When it comes to cost, lifts generally cost much less than elevators. Elevators also require more construction and equipment than your regular one person lift. On the positive side, elevators can have a sleek appearance and transport multiple individuals at once.

There is a lot of thought that goes into deciding whether an elevator or a lift is the right option for your San Francisco, CA home. Regardless of your choice, know that either option is an excellent fit for almost every home.

If you’ve recently experienced an illness or injury and now have to use a wheelchair, you will probably have some difficulty adjusting to living in the same area you occupied before, especially if you reside in a two-story home or apartment. Although regular residences pose their own problems, two-story residences are particularly difficult because you have to deal with the issue of figuring out how to get your wheelchair up and down stairs and to different levels in the home.

Although the task may seem daunting, it is important to remember not to give up; plenty of products and services exist to help wheelchair users move about their homes with relative ease, including between floors. Take a look at the following examples of wheelchair lift options for your residence, and you can begin to consider which works best for you and your home.

  1. Vertical platform lifts

A vertical platform lift is a simple platform, large enough to fit your wheelchair, with a mechanism that moves it directly upwards to heights of up to 14 feet. Generally, vertical platform lifts are used to help wheelchair users ascend from a base level to a porch, raised deck, or other type of short level that otherwise would involve climbing stairs. They can be installed indoors or outdoors, and generally tend to be simpler and cheaper than home elevators or stair lifts.

  1. Home elevators

A home elevator is the next step up from the vertical platform lift; it works by moving your wheelchair vertically upwards, but is usually fully enclosed and is often used to move between different floors rather than to a raised deck or porch. These are especially helpful if your home is very large and a vertical platform lift may not be able to accommodate going up one or more floors; however, they are also often pricier and harder to install than the other types of lift options.

  1. Stair lifts

Stair lifts are used specifically to move wheelchair users along a flight of stairs, rather than in an exposed area such as a landing. They work by moving a platform containing a wheelchair diagonally up the stairs, and generally are easy to use and install because they do not take up any extra space other than what your stairs already occupy.

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