Don't let stairs be a barrier!
Vertical platform lifts (also known as VPLs, porch lifts, wheelchair lifts, residential lifts, home lifts, etc.) allow riders using a wheelchair, power chair or walker to easily change levels -- from porch to ground, garage floor to house level, etc.
Platform lifts are the perfect solution to get you or your loved one or client in and out of your house (or a public place)! These lifts can be used indoors and outdoors to vertically transport a wheelchair user or anyone with difficulty up and over a low-rise barrier created by stairs, thus creating access to or within the building. A Vertical Platform Lift is an economical and practical answer to stair barriers.
At Image Management, LLC, we sell and service new and used stair lifts. We are based in Raleigh, NC and sell/service/rent/purchase lifts all over North Carolina and in some areas of Virginia and South Carolina.
We also rent platform lifts for situations when the lift will most likely be needed for only a short time or when a lower initial payment followed by a monthly payment is desired. For more information about rentals, visit our Rentals page.
Keep reading for more about platform lifts and/or contact us to discuss.
Platform lift basics
A platform lift:
- Can be used indoors or outdoors. (Inside a garage is also a popular location.)
- Can be used in residential or commercial settings. (Please inform us if your setting is commercial so we can help you ensure you get the correct lift/features/accessories.)
- Has either solid or open sides, depending on manufacturer and features added.
- Has a ramp on the floor entry side that raises while riding up to the upper landing and lowers when close/at the floor landing for a smooth entry/exit.
- Comes in a range of heights and can be set very specifically to your needed height.
- Has a tower on one side that contains the mechanical elements of the lift.
- Can have accessories (purchased separately) such as upper gates, call/send buttons, battery backup, etc.
- Note, an upper barrier can be created also and we can provide this service, if needed.
- Might require some site preparation for safe install and operation.
- See more about possible site preparation below.
Possible Site Preparation for your platform lift
The installation of a platform lift might require some site preparation. If you need any of these site preparation tasks done, we will include a quote for performing these services ourselves as part of a turnkey install or specify them completely and assist your choice of contractor/handyman. (We are a NC licensed general contractor - see our Construction for Access page here for more info and a link to our license.)
- Concrete pad at lower landing.
- The platform lift must be anchored into concrete.
- If you don't have a concrete pad, we can provide exact specs and help you arrange the installation of a pad.
- Site requirements for the upper porch/landing/platform and stair access:
- Upper landing must be at least a 60" x 60" (5 ft x 5 ft) so that a rider in a wheelchair can fully turn around if needed.
- If your landing is not large enough, we can construct a platform over the existing landing large enough for the safety/access of your lift rider.
- Upper landing should be at same level as entry to home/organization.
- If your landing/platform/porch is lower than your home/organization entry, the lift rider will not be able to easily progress into the house.
- We can construct a platform over the existing landing so that your lift rider exits the lift at the proper level to go right into the house/organization. Or, if the threshold difference is very small, a threshold ramp may be able to be used.
- Stairs should still be available and/or can be moved/reconstructed.
- If your needed location for the platform lift or new upper landing platform obstructs the existing stairs, we can either move the existing steps (if removable) or construct new steps.
- There should be a solid wall on porch/landing where lift is to be installed - to ensure there is no possibility of toe pinch.
- See pictures above for examples:
The first picture above shows a simple, added, solid plywood wall and the second picture shows the lift installed next to a solid surface.
- If your needed location is not up against a solid wall, we can add a simple wall to ensure that there is no way for the lift rider to have their toes pinched.
- Power source
- Platform lifts use a standard home 120 V wall outlet.
- If you don't have power near the planned stairlift location, we can use an extension cord temporarily but you will want a new outlet installed closer to the stair lift. You will need to contact a licensed electrician to add a new outlet.
Why install a platform lift? Why not a ramp? Why not a stairlift?
There are many situations where a vertical platform lift is recommended. Look around your home or facility for level changes such as:
- Porch to ground or driveway
- Garage floor to house level, etc.
When you require a modest level change, you have three general choices:
- Platform lift
Ramps? Platform lifts take a lot less space than ramps. Industry recommendations for ramps suggest one linear foot per vertical inch of rise and turnaround platforms every 15-20 feet. Using these guidelines, you would need a ramp of over 36 feet plus one or two turnaround platform(s) to safely rise three feet (36 inch). A platform lift will occupy a much smaller footprint and, in most cases, is LESS expensive than a properly built ramp. Should your need for a platform lift end, platform lifts are easy to remove and the location is more easily returned to its original condition.
Stairlifts? Stairlifts are great solutions when the rider is safely and easily able to sit in and/or transfer to the stairlift chair. You will want to think about the capabilities of the rider now and in the future. Transferring to the stairlift chair from a wheelchair, power chair or walker is great but, if the rider uses a special chair or walker, either a duplicate chair/walker must be on both floors or the chair/walker must also be transported for the rider to use.
Contact us to discuss a platform lift.