Wheelchair Lift Tips and Resources
Things to know about wheelchair lifts before you buy
Wheelchair lifts are not made to carry freight. If you are looking to use your lift to carry freight on a regular basis, choose a product made for this purpose.
Installing your own wheelchair lift is not recommended. There are many considerations in wheelchair lift construction and installation that are best left to a professionally trained lift installer.
Wheelchair lifts are customized to your needs. From the travel distance to the position of the entrance to which side a gate opens, a lift is generally ordered and built to the specifications of your site.
The price of a wheelchair lift varies within a very large range. A basic vertical platform lift including the installation starts at about $5,000. Adding more features, site construction or an enclosure will add costs. A commercial lift will cost substantially more money to meet special requirements that vary by region.
Commercial lifts should comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. Companies like Savaria make this easier with a lift configurator at ARCAT.
Wheelchair Lift Manufacturers
Because wheelchair lifts are custom configured, manufacturers are usually domestic. In North America, there are a number of large wheelchair lift manufacturers including Garaventa, Savaria, Bruno and Harmar, with Savaria and Garaventa being the leaders in commercial wheelchair lifts.
Wheelchair Lift FAQs
What is a wheelchair lift?
A wheelchair lift is a motorized platform to carry a person in a wheelchair over a barrier, usually stairs. It may operate as a vertical lift (up and down motion), or as an incline lift (following the angle of the stairs).
What is a deck lift or porch lift?
A deck lift, or porch lift, is a motorized wheelchair platform lift that carries a person in a wheelchair up and down to allow access from the ground level up to a deck or porch for easy access into the home.
Can a wheelchair lift be installed outside?
Many wheelchair lifts are built to be installed in outdoor settings, including harsh winters. Manufacturers will note whether or not the unit is suitable for outdoor use, and also if there are options that must be added to protect it in extreme weather.
What is a vertical platform lift?
A vertical platform lift is a motorized wheelchair lift that carries a person in wheelchair up and down to overcome the barrier of stairs. The unit is operated using constant pressure applied to a button either by the user or an attendant.
What is an enclosed vertical platform lift?
An enclosed vertical platform lift is a motorized wheelchair lift that moves up and down to carry a person in a wheelchair over the barrier of stairs. The enclosure is built by the manufacturer of the lift and provides added safety for higher travel distances as well as protection from inclement weather in an outdoor setting.
What is an incline platform lift?
An incline platform lift is a motorized lift that carries a person in a wheelchair over the barrier of stairs by traveling along a rail that is installed on the stairs and/or the wall adjacent to the stairs. The lift follows the angle of the stairs, known as the incline.
How much does a porch lift or deck lift cost?
A basic porch lift, also known as a deck lift, costs about $5,000 including installation. It will cost more if you add doors or gates or have more modifications needed at your home to accommodate the lift.