Up until a few years ago it was only possible to get one type of lift for inside the home, a wheelchair lift designed for seated patients. In the last decade however, there has been a quiet revolution taking place in the home lift market with several different styles of through floor lift becoming available. You can now sit, stand or perch in a home lift while you travel from one floor to another. What’s more, today’s most contemporary home lifts simply plug into a standard electrical socket, which means they are exceptionally energy efficient.
All home lifts work on the same principle; an aperture is created in the ceiling / floor and the lift car passes through it. Once fitted, the lid of the lift should be strong enough to walk on upstairs when the lift is parked in the downstairs space. Today’s compact home lifts don’t take up much room in the house; the most space-saving types travel on slim rails which are positioned either side of the lift car and the whole assembly can neatly tuck into the corner of a room. Larger through floor lifts are available specifically for wheelchair users. Again, choosing the more compact wheelchair lifts on the market will allow individuals to negotiate their way through the home and easily access the lift without compromising room layout. There’s even one manufacturer who provide a home lift with a ‘ThruCar’ capability. This is a lift with a door on either side; it allows users to enter the lift on one side, and exit on the other. Customers who install a lift into the turning space of their stairs, or customers who rely on a wheelchair, find these ThruCar domestic lifts particularly useful.
All reputable home lift companies will work closely with you to plan the best location for your lift. They will send you a brochure and take care to understand your needs. One of their consultants will ask to visit you at home to measure the space available for a through floor lift, and this consultant will be also able to answer any questions you might have. The majority of home lift providers will manage the entire process for you, from technical survey, through building work to installation of the lift. Some of the more modular through floor lifts can be installed in as little as a day once the building work has been completed. You should always expect a thorough introduction to your new lift from the installers once the work has been completed.
Most contemporary domestic lift cars are enclosed with either a half height or full height door for added security. The more highly-specified home lifts come with clear car sides so they seamlessly blend into the home environment. All are fitted with the required safety features such as hold to run controls, light curtains which stop the lift if the light is breached, auto-stop sensors and in-car emergency telephone.
A home lift is not as expensive as you might think. Prices start at around £8,000 including creation of the aperture and installation, with most companies charging extra for any building work that might be needed. If the home lift is needed as the result of a medical condition the purchase can be VAT exempt, and there are also various means-tested grants available for people who have mobility issues and who need to access all floors in their home. The convenience and safety of a home lift means those with limited mobility don’t have to worry about transferring from wheelchair to stairlift and then back to an upstairs wheelchair. They can simply and easily enter the lift and travel upstairs.
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Installing a through the floor lift is often more cost-effective than building a downstairs extension or moving house to a bungalow or retirement flat. And many people prefer to remain living in the home they love with minimal disruption – and as a home lift can be installed very quickly, this is a perfect solution.