Domestic Passenger lifts
Types of Domestic Passenger Lift
There are three main types of domestic passenger lift offered by lift companies and each serves a slightly different purpose and is suited to a particular need. It is important to understand the differences between them in order to make an informed decision on the right type for your home.
The through-floor lift, otherwise known as a vertical platform lift, is the type most commonly thought of when people talk about elevators. Basically a lift car housed in a shaft with machinery to push or pull it up and down the floors of a building, the car literally passes through the floor between storeys giving rise to it's name.
Vertical platform lifts can be of either hydraulic or traction type, with hydraulic being the newer and more sophisticated option. Hydraulic lifts use a rod and pressure system whereas traction elevators use the more traditional pulley and cable system. Both types of lift are now available in a machine room-less (MRL) design where the machinery is housed in the shaft along with the car and both should operate fairly quietly so as not to disturb others in the home.
The chair lift is a common and affordable option for the elderly and others with limited movement to climb or descend staircases on their own without need of a costly elevator install. Basically a chair attached to a rail on the staircase, a chair lift will carry one person at a time up or down a flight of stairs. Stannah is the most popular provider of this type of lift and many automatically think of Stannah Stair Lifts when considering chair lifts, but they are not the only manufacturer and a better or cheaper alternative may be found among their competition so it pays to shop around.
Falling somewhere in between chair lifts and vertical platform lifts, a stair riser is a domestic passenger lift that provides a means for moving wheelchairs and their passengers up and down stairs. Also operating on a rail following an existing staircase, a stair riser offers a fold-out platform rather than a seat so that wheelchairs have easy access. When not in use the stair riser folds away neatly and takes up hardly any space at all.
Which Type to Buy
You should weigh up all of these options carefully, preferably with the help of a lift or mobility consultant before you buy anything. Consider the ease with which each type can be fitted, how easy it will be for intended passengers to use, and also any maintenance costs that may arise in the future. This can be somewhat offset when considering the value a domestic passenger lift can add to a property; vertical platform lifts for example can often add significantly to a home sale price and may mean an easier sale as well, provided you have the room, the budget and the time to install one.
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