Wheelchair lifts for residential, commercial and portable needs.

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Preparing For Your Wheel Chair Lift Installation


Talk with your contractors and our specialists before you begin making preparations for your new wheel chair lift!If you're considering installing a wheel chair lift in or around your home or business to resolve accessibility problems, there's a few things you'll need to take into consideration prior to the installation. Some forethought and pre-planning on your part in conjunction with our product experts and your contractor will save you a lot of headaches down the road and ensure that your lift is safe to use and will last for years!

Wheel chair lifts require adequate room to be placed adjacent to a landing area, and the area needs to be accessible for a wheelchair user to drive on and off the lift to and from the raised surface. There also needs to be adequate space at the bottom of the lift for the platform base and hardware to be installed, and enough room at the top for a wheelchair to turn around to access the entryway. Porch installations are quite common, and the important thing to keep in mind with porch installations is that you will typically need to remove a section of side railing to provide wheelchair access to the porch.

To prevent accidental injury, we recommend installing a gated section of railing which can be opened and closed like a door. These gated railings are relatively easy to build and are a great way to save money on your installation costs if you're the handy sort, but if not, home improvement stores sometimes carry pre-fabricated gates that are easy to install, or you can get a contractor to design a gate which matches the aesthetic look of your existing railing. If your porch or deck is raised off the ground and the area below the flooring is exposed, you should also strongly consider constructing a wall to enclose the area directly in front of the lift. This prevents injuries caused by limbs being pinched during transit and also prevents someone from falling off the lift and underneath the porch.

Some people choose to cut a hole in the floor of the porch or deck so that the wheel chair lift can travel completely through and emerge in the middle of the deck. Such an installation will require more safeguards to ensure user safety. The shaft will need to be completely enclosed to prevent pinch points, and railing and a gate will need to be installed at the top of the lift to keep children, pets, and others from falling into the shaft.

We recommend a base made of concrete and steel rebar for outside wheel chair lift installations.Every vertical wheel chair lift installation requires a solid base to support the weight of the lift unit and the user. Wooden bases can be implemented in some circumstances, but for best results we recommend 4-inch-thick concrete bases reinforced with steel rebar, which can bear much higher weight loads than a wooden base. The size of your base will vary depending on which lift you choose to install, but typically you can expect to lay down a concrete pad measuring 5 feet by 9 feet.

The base also needs a drainage system to prevent water from collecting beneath the unit and potentially damaging electronic components or making the lift area treacherous for a wheelchair user attempting to board. Outdoor wheel chair lift installations are also often placed near roof overhangs, which can subject a unit to further moisture exposure. Such overhangs will require a gutter system which directs rainfall well away from the vertical wheel chair lift, and must be cleaned regularly to avoid overflow.

Finally, if you are installing a platform wheel chair lift for commercial use, be aware that your lift unit will be subjected to a much higher level of scrutiny than one put in place by a homeowner for private use. To ensure compliance with all relevant building codes and safety regulations in your locale, it's crucial that you work with a professional contractor who is experienced in installing commercial vertical lifts. We frequently coordinate with our customers' architects and contractors to ensure that your project will pass any necessary inspections; simply contact one of our vertical platform wheel chair lift specialists today at 1 (800) 346-9518 to begin planning for your wheel chair lift installation!


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