An Inclined platform lift is a type of lift that is designed to carry a wheelchair on a platform over stairs. Inclined platform lifts are available in models that can be installed on straight and curved stairs. The lifts are one of the most affordable and space-saving ways to provide wheelchair access between two floors. While this style of lift is designed for wheelchairs, it can also carry a walker or a single rider with a fold-down seat. The compact design, affordability, and quick installation make it a great alternative to a full elevator installation.
The Ultimate in Space-Saving Accessibility
The folding platform and wall-mounted brackets make the lift the ultimate in space-saving wheelchair accessibility. The innovative design is made possible by a cantilever platform that attaches to the rails and folds/unfolds electrically with a wall-mounted switch. While the typical installation may need additional bracing installed in the wall to support the weight of the lift, it’s much less construction than an elevator installation. With the platform folded up and out of the way, anyone else who needs the stairs can easily pass by.
The minimum dimensions required for installation vary depending on the manufacturer and model of lift. For straight stair installations, the average minimum stair width is usually around 33.50 inches. Curved stairs will require additional space to allow room for the platform to turn and usually need a minimum of 40 inches.
Inclined platform lifts are also completely self-contained and don’t require any additional space other than the required clear opening on the stairs. Most models are battery-operated and plug into a standard wall outlet for charging. The lifts can even be operated during a power outage. The drive and control systems are located behind the platform wall on the lift. This is also what makes this type of lift easier to service and maintain.
Inclined platform lifts can be installed outdoors too. Often, there will be times when it’s more feasible to install the lift on an outdoor stairway. This can include the route of the person using a wheelchair and the location of access needed to enter their home. Installing the lift on outdoor stairs can also be a benefit when there isn’t enough stair space on interior stairs.
Manufactured by several companies with different styles and requirements for installation, there are lifts to fit almost any home stairway.
Top Models and Manufacturers Include:
- Ascendor GmbH – Models PLG7 straight and PLK8 for curves and landings.
- AmeriGlide – Titan model for straight stairs.
- Garaventa Lift – Models include the Artira for turns and Xpress II for straight stairs.
- Savaria – Delta IPL straight model and Omega IPL for turns.
Most models will include a power-folding platform and power-folding safety arms, wall-mounted remote controls, safety sensors on all sides of the platform to detect an obstruction, 24 VDC battery operation, an integrated folding seat, and a rated weight capacity of 550-600 lbs. Platform sizes range by manufacturer from 30″ wide by 40″ long to 30.5″ wide by 49″ long.
Price of an Inclined Platform Lift
The price for an inclined lift will be based on the type and model you choose. For example, a straight-run stair will start at around $15,000, and a curved model that can turn over landings will start in the $22,000 range. The key benefits include the basic installation requirements without the need for major changes to your home. This single factor can often outweigh the thought of having to create a space for an elevator shaft in a two or three-story home.
The installation of an inclined lift can be a great option for anyone who needs to provide wheelchair access to different levels in their home. They are a smart and practical solution that offers many benefits utilizing open, existing space. When transforming your home into areas that can be navigated effortlessly by a wheelchair, an incline lift is an ideal consideration.