What Type of Lift Should You Choose?
Adding a lift to your building, whether you are still in the construction mode or just remodelling, can be a challenge. There are many different lifts and lift types that you can choose, so deciding on the right one for the job is difficult. This guide will give you a better idea of how to make that all-important decision.
What to Consider When Selecting a Lift
Your lift needs to suit your needs, so the first thing to look at is what you actually need. Is the lift to be used in a home or an office building? How many storeys will it need to cover? How many people will it hold?
Determine what you need the lift for before you go any further. This will help you with the type of lift you select.
Residential Lift Options
First, we will look at residential lift options. These are lifts to be used in a home, often to provide access to higher levels for those who have mobility issues. You can choose from regular lifts that are installed into the home, or specialty lifts just for someone to get from floor to floor.
Stair Lifts: These lifts are designed for those with limited mobility who do not use a wheelchair. They have a seat that you sit down on and a seat belt or harness. The chair then moves up or down the stairs as needed, making it safer and easier to reach the second floor of the home.
Wheelchair Lifts: Like stair lifts, these lifts make it simple to reach the upper level of the house, but they do not use a chair. Instead, they offer a platform that you can roll your wheelchair onto and then easily roll off once you’ve reached the other end of the stairs. These lifts may be summoned by remote to ensure they are where you need them.
Passenger Lifts: A regular elevator can also be installed in your home for ease of use. This can work with those in a wheelchair or any type of poor mobility. The elevator will likely be fairly small because of the space restrictions in a home, but it can be quite useful for moving between floors. This type of lift may be most useful in homes with more than two floors, as it can stop on each one.
Platform Lifts: If you prefer to skip the enclosed elevator option, you can choose a platform lift. This will allow you to simply step or roll onto a platform, close the gate and the platform will move straight up. It is a little like the wheelchair lift mentioned above, but it goes straight up instead of following the stairs. Due to this, it may be necessary to restructure some areas. This type of lift may be used beside the stairs, using the same floor openings, or it may require its own space, depending on how your home is laid out.
These are the most used options for residences. If you’re looking at adding a people mover to your home, then you should probably choose one of these four choices. However, your lift installer will give you more specialised advice based on your specific situation and the size of your home.
Commercial Lift Options
When you have a commercial building or an office building, you’ll need something a little different than you would at home. First, you have more people moving through the building, which makes it more important to offer an alternative to stairs and one that can move sufficient quantities of people.
In order to determine which lift option you need, look at how far you have to move people.
Step Lift: A simple step lift may be all you need if the building is one storey with a slight elevation. While a wheelchair ramp can provide mobility, it often requires quite a bit of space and can be awkward. A step lift will help people move the few steps to the next level and takes up minimal space, as it is designed for one wheelchair. This type of lift will not be used often, but it is something you can include to make your space more accessible.
Passenger Lift: If you have several floors, you can assume that most people will not walk it. This means you need to consider putting in a larger elevator or multiple lifts. Count the number of people who are in the building on a regular workday and then consider how many need to get on an elevator and how many that elevator can hold.
For example, if the elevator can hold 5 people and you have 100 people coming into the building in the morning, you’ll need 20 lift rides before everyone is in their place. This would take too long and could result in people being considered late. To avoid this, you would need multiple lifts or larger ones. Two lifts that can carry 10 people each would make just five trips to get everyone where they need to go.
Escalator: Another alternative to these people movers would be the escalator. While it is not wheelchair friendly, it does allow people to move without climbing all those stairs. They do take up quite a bit of room, though and usually, you’ll still need an elevator for those who cannot step onto an escalator. The moving steps may be difficult for those using a mobility aid, so you should consider using an escalator in combination with an elevator.
Platform Lifts: For short distances, a platform lift could be a good option, if you don’t have a lot of people needing it. These can also be used in store rooms to help staff move items around, particularly from tall shelves. If you need to lift something up to a higher level, or retrieve it, a lift can be an excellent way to move things around painlessly.
Ideally, you’ll install lifts at the beginning of the building process, ensuring that you have them built into the original plan. They should be properly installed by a professional team of engineers who will make certain everything is working correctly. They should also be the ones who do the upkeep and maintenance going forward.
Get a Lift Site Survey
Most lift installers will conduct a free site survey if you aren’t sure which option to use. This can be a huge blessing, because you’ll have their expertise at your fingertips. Often, it’s tough to describe exactly what you’re looking for when speaking on the telephone, but when the engineers are in your building, they will be able to see exactly what you mean.
A lift survey will take into account all the necessary measurements, as well as what your needs are and the expected use of the lift. This lets them determine which type of lift and which model would be ideal for this situation. It’s a good option if you’re not certain about what would be best.
Maintaining Your Lift
It is essential that you have a professional inspection and maintenance done on a regular basis. Your lift engineer can tell you exactly how long you can go between inspections, so you can schedule them properly. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and schedule as soon as the current inspection is finished. The engineer should also give you a list of potential issues so you can track when they started and when you had them fixed.
To do an inspection, the engineer will look at the motor, the buttons and control panel. Everything should be working well and if there is any wear or tear, the engineer will take care of any issues as they arise. Fixing the problem before it becomes a major issue is always best, so make a point of doing this. You’ll have fewer issues in the future and it will be easier to manage the upkeep for the tower.
Lifts are a wonderful invention and they can be useful to those who cannot walk, as well as those who move around with mobility aids. It’s also possible to use one just because you want a faster, simpler way to get to another floor. Either way, lifts are going to be around for a long time and you’ll do well to include them in your building plan.
Are you ready to install a lift in your home or place of work? Euro Lifts has the necessary experience and variety to provide you with high quality lifts and maintenance services. Call today to get your free survey.