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What to consider when buying a wheelchair lift?

There are around 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK and – despite it being a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff, customers and residents – they are still faced with restricted access (usually as a result of steps and staircases).

The solution is simple.

Wheelchair lifts can help to make things that little bit easier for those with physical and mental impairments. They are designed to transfer people with mobility issues from one floor to the next – ensuring maximum comfort and safety. However, with so many styles to choose from, how do you know which to pick?

What are the different types of wheelchair lifts?

Before you start thinking about the technical specifications, you need to decide which type of wheelchair lift fits your needs best.

There are 3 types:

  • Platform lifts – typically used in shops, hospitals, schools and other public environments to transport the user vertically, allowing them to reach the next storey.
  • Step lifts – designed to travel a short distance (usually alongside a set of steps). They are an excellent alternative for when a wheelchair ramp isn’t suitable due to the steep gradient.
  • Inclined lifts – transfer seated passengers up and down the stairs and can be quickly folded away so others can use the stairs.

How much space do you have?

Another important factor to consider when investing in a lift is where will it go.

The great thing about wheelchair lifts is that they can be installed either inside or outside – depending on the layout of your property and your access requirements.

Vertical platform lifts are usually installed outside to provide access from the driveway to (or near) the front door. However, they can take up a lot of space so, make sure you carefully measure up before rushing into anything.

A wheelchair platform lift, or inclined lift, is designed to operate in tight corridors. It ticks all the right boxes if space is at a premium. Unlike traditional wheelchair lifts that travel vertically, up and down, inclined lifts move diagonally – following the contours of the stairs.

Other factors to consider

When choosing a wheelchair lift, be sure to look closely at the technical specifications – particularly the rated load. You want to be confident that the lift can support the weight of both the wheelchair and the user.

Something else we suggest you pay attention to is the floor type. Most of our wheelchair lifts feature a non-slip surface whilst others, like the Hidden Lift, can incorporate a material of your choice.

We find many people prefer lifts that are quiet and don’t make a sound when operating. If you’re the same, ask our team for advice.

And lastly, don’t forget to look at the warranty. All our wheelchair lifts, here at Level Access Lifts, come with 12-months parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.

If you have any further questions about wheelchair lifts or would like to discuss your requirements with a member of our team, feel free to contact us. You can either call 023 8081 4924 or email info@levellifts.co.uk.



Author: Nick Dade. Sales Director (Level Access Lifts Ltd).
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed within this Education Centre are solely those of the original author/s. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of any given lift manufacturer or lift industry association.
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