For people with limited mobility, a single stair can become an obstacle that limits independence, but this does not have to be the case. If you are a wheelchair user exploring home elevator or lift options that empower you stay in your home, rest assured that there are solutions available to you.
Wheelchair Accessible Elevator Options
The installation of a residential elevator, wheelchair lift (also referred to as a vertical platform lift) or hybrid vertical platform lift (VPL) can provide the means to access every level in a multiple-story home. As a result, you will enjoy a greater level of independence while living under your own roof. For single-level homes, where entry requires a step up from the garage or entryway, a vertical platform lift may be your best bet. Home elevators, wheelchair lifts and VPL hybrids are all excellent conveyance choices for your home. Selecting which one best meets your needs may be easier than you think.
Benefits of a Home Elevator
A home elevator is easy to use and functions in a manner similar to that of a commercial elevator. While both home elevators and vertical platform lifts will safely transport passengers between floors, a home elevator typically provides a faster travel time, is available with a selection of drive systems and is highly customizable to match or complement the décor in any home. Elevator cars are typically constructed of hardwood—a variety of wood species, stained or unfinished, are offered—but they can also be made of steel, glass, or a combination of wood, glass and/or steel. Lighting, flooring, car operating panels and call stations, car gates and doors and car panels can also be customized to meet your requirements for function and beauty. Not only does an elevator provide ease of use, it can be integrated into your home as a custom-designed space that reflects your personal style.
Benefits of a Wheelchair Lift
A unique mobility product, the wheelchair lift or VPL, like a home elevator, provides a safe, convenient way to access your home. Unlike a home elevator which requires indoor installation, a VPL is appropriate for indoor or outdoor installation. To meet your specific needs and preferences, wheelchair lifts are also available enclosed or unenclosed and designed with skid-resistant flooring for safe access in all weather conditions. Pit depth requirements are minimal, so a unit can usually be installed more quickly than an elevator. Though most often installed outside, when installed indoors, a wheelchair lift is frequently placed in a garage or the entryway of a home.
In terms of appearance and functionality, platform lifts can be finished with virtually any color you wish and can include solid, powder-coated steel or plexiglass. Unlike a residential elevator, constant pressure on the call button is required when calling the lift to the appropriate landing and when a passenger sends the lift to the desired level. Optional VPL features may include an ADA hands free phone, emergency platform lights and standby power in case of a power outage. The vertical platform lift can be a cost-effective solution to your accessibility needs.
Benefits of a Hybrid Vertical Platform Lift
Blending the key features of a residential elevator and a vertical platform lift, some manufacturers offer a hybrid VPL. A hybrid appears and feels like an elevator but operates like a lift. Housed in a full-sized car just like an elevator, a hybrid allows for customization of wood types, finishes and styles to match your décor. Similar to an elevator, there are elevator-style control switches inside the car and call stations at each landing. Like with the standard VPL, operation of a hybrid VPL requires constant pressure when calling and sending the lift. A hydraulic drive is offered for a hybrid, so travel time between floors moves at a comfortable pace. Depending on your available space, wants and needs, a hybrid VPL may be a perfect fit for you.
Whether you are looking to enhance accessibility into the home or throughout it, there are a number of readily available options. Residential elevators, wheelchair lifts and hybrid VPLs all provide unique options and means for customization to find the perfect solution for your personal circumstances. When you are ready to transition to the planning phase, contact a local elevator company. There you will find qualified professionals who can help to assess your specific situation and offer support and direction.