Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Difference Between Stair Lifts and Vertical Platform Lifts

Going up and down the stairs can be a hard task for many different people that suffer from arthritis, are older, suffer from a muscular disease, or are in a wheelchair. For these individuals it may not be safe or even possible to go up and down the stairs. This can be extremely frustrating because there is a whole section of your house that can not be used. There are several mobility related products on the market today that can help a mobility challenged person conquer the stairs. The most common solution is to install either a vertical platform lift or a stair lift.

A vertical platform lift is similar to a mini-elevator. It installs on the side of the stairs and travels vertically up and down. Vertical platform lifts consist of a platform that varies in size, depending on the model, with a set of handrails or walls attached to the platform. Vertical platform lifts are often referred to as wheelchair lifts. This is because they are made so that a wheelchair, power chair, or mobility scooter can be driven onto the platform. Vertical platform lifts are also used to access areas of different elevations such as a stage or bleachers. A vertical platform lift can only be installed on certain types of stairs. In order to function properly, the vertical platform lift must be able to vertically raise the platform the distance of the steps and access the top landing vertically. This is as opposed to accessing it across horizontal distance of the actual steps. A vertical platform lift is ideal for an outside porch, because most landings on porches have two exposed sides that a vertical platform can use.

A stair lift is also an aid to help people that cannot climb the stairs on their own, but it works differently than a vertical platform lift. Where a vertical platform lifts raises the individual vertically in the air, a stair lift is much more similar to an escalator. A stair lift raises a chair or small platform along a track that is bolted to the steps. Residential stair lifts are generally not designed to carry wheelchairs or other mobility vehicles up the stairs. They do, however, have available baskets to help carry belongings up the stairs and they also have a high weight capacity, similar to vertical platform lifts. Stair lifts can be installed inside or outside and no matter how your stair case is designed, there is probably a stair lift that will be able to attach to it. They also are generally less expensive than vertical platform lifts.

Deciding on whether to get a vertical platform lift or a stair lift will depend on several factors. If you need to be able to transport your wheelchair or other mobility vehicle while you are on it than probably a vertical platform lift will be best for you. If you do not need your mobility vehicle and depending on the type of stairs you have then a stair lift may be the best choice. Regardless it is no longer necessary to feel trapped in your own home simply because you can not use the stairs.

Tag : stair lifts,stair,vertical platform lifts,lifts

Sunday, 13 March 2011

All About Stair Lift Pricing

Stair lift is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of modern technology. These stair-lifts have given back the freedom of movement to people who could not move about freely either due to some injury or old age. These sorts of stairs can be installed in almost any kind of stair cases and provides the facility to move about stairs without making an effort.

These sorts of stairs generally work like monorails and are installed either inside or outside the railing of the stair case depending on the conditions. Pricing of these sorts of stairs mainly depends on their construction, type, and conditions in which they have to be installed. There is a wide variety of stair lifts available in the market, and each provides some advantages over the others.

The main reason for so many types of stair lifts in the market is that different houses have different types of stair cases with different construction design and space allowed in which the lift has to be installed. Similarly, different consumers need different types of aids to move about the stairs, and thus different stair lifts had to be designed to satisfy the needs of wide variety of customers.

Some of the common types of stair lifts include straight rail stair lift, curved rail stair lift, wheelchair platform stair lift, outdoor stair lift, and standing platform stair lift. Thus, the price of these types of stairs also differs due to various features. For example, some outdoor stair lifts are very expensive because they are made up of a non-corrosive material and are also properly shielded to defend against changing weather conditions.

Similarly, some indoor stair lifts don't include much gadgetry and need not have powerful electric motors to support a huge weight, and are thus less expensive compared to other types of stairs which need a powerful motor to support a huge weight. Thus, the price generally depends on the type of stair lift.

Some people are only temporarily disabled, and thus don't need permanent types of stairs in their house. For such people, there are different rental types of stairs also available in the markets. These types of stairs can be rented and installed for a temporary period, and after the required period is over the stair lift is returned to the company. This is a feasible solution for people who do not need the stair lift for a long period of time.

Another option available to customers is to buy used stair lifts. With the right amount of effort you can easily find the right stair lift in a very reasonable price in the used products market. However, one downside to purchasing used types of stairs is that there is no customer support along with it, and the buyer is totally independent in deciding which stair lift to buy.

This can become problematic as the buyer might not be able to fully understand which type of stair lift would fit in his situation, and thus might end up buying something useless. However, some engineers can also be hired or the company can also be requested to make suggestions as to which stair lift should be installed, and then a similar used stair lift can be purchased.

Tag : stair lifts,stair lift pricing,stair,pricing

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Stair Lifts - Benefits and Features

This article offers a brief overview of the benefits that stair lifts can confer on their users. Stair lifts, in various forms have been around for many years; King Henry the Eighth was thought to be a user and there is some evidence for human and animal powered hoists being employed in a similar capacity from the 3rd century BC.

Independence & Choice

The obvious benefit of stair lifts is to get a passenger up and down stairs. Beyond this purely physical benefit is their ability to offer their users freedom and choice, the freedom to move around their existing home and make a move away unnecessary, and the choice to stay in their home or one of their choosing.

People who develop mobility issues have often had to move away from their existing home as the stairs have become too difficult to climb or had their choice of new home severely limited to one stories buildings. A well tailored stair lift solution can give this choice back. You are no longer faced with a move away from familiarity, friends and family or a reduced list of housing options.

Stair lifts also offer a benefit to the relatives of the user - peace of mind. They are great health and safety devices, safely transporting a passenger up and down the stair without incident.

Many users of lifts can move around their home with relative ease but, worryingly for relatives, find the stairs just that bit more difficult. In older houses stairs can be narrower and steeper offing additional challenges to people with mobility problems and again, additional worries for concerned relatives. A well installed, well maintained lift can offer the assurance that a relative can take the stairs safely, every time.


But how do stair lifts work and what features can you expect to find on one? Features obviously vary between models and manufacturers, but here is a basic run-down of some of the most useful ones you can be looking for.

Firstly, a stair or chair lifts are very versatile and can be fitted onto any staircase, whether it's straight, curved, spiral or even outdoors. A stairlift, in the most basic terms, is simply a chair that runs on a track, precisely following the line of the stairs.

Stairlifts are powered by electricity. Many models these days come fitted with a battery back-up that is on continuous charge. This means that the stair lift can be used even in a power cut. Although power-cuts are not common occurrences, for stair lift users the ability to get up the stairs is not something you can do without. Bathrooms and bedrooms are often located upstairs and any interruption in the power can lead to an uncomfortable wait for the user.

A hand control, integral joystick or buttons are used to move the lift up and down the stairs. If for some reason you are not on the same level as the lift - it can be called using controls at either the top or bottom of the staircase - a great feature to ensure you can never be stranded.

A further safety feature available on some stair lift models is the swivel chair. While the stair lift is moving up and down the stairs, it faces directly away from the wall. When the user is getting on or off the chair, it turns 90 degrees and locks, so that the person can safely dismount, facing away from the stairs.

Seat belts are also included, which are vital for safety, and often a sensor that detects objects in the path of the stair lift. Many lifts have up to six sensors to pick up objects that block the way and prevent damage to the carriage. Sensors are also available that limit the speed of the stairlift and ensure a smooth ride. The ride will differ from model to model, so try a few out to find which suits you best.

Another important feature to look for is a lockout switch that stops it being operated by anyone who is not supposed to. A stair lift can be a tantalizing prospect for a young child and this mechanism ensures they cannot operate it and potentially hurt themselves.

Look also for lifts working on 24 volts DC, meaning that there's no worry over electric shocks.

Which Stairlift?

Now you know a little about the features available you can begin looking at different models. The internet is a great place to start. You will find comprehensive information on model features on most manufacturer websites.

So, which model of stair lift should you choose? To provide a quick overview - stair lift models generally fall into two broad categories, straight and curved. Straight models are made for stairs with no bends or half-landings. They are usually much easier to install and cost less than curved variants.

If your staircase has bends, corners or half-landings, you'll need a curved stairlift. Your stairlift rails will need to be custom-built to ensure a good fit to your stairs. This level of customization means that curved models are more expensive to purchase.

Reconditioned models can be a cheaper alternative to new stair lifts but might not contain all the features of the new versions. Re-conditioned models are fully refurbished used lifts and as a result may not be as feature-packed as totally new models. Just ask the manufacturer for a full feature list.

Tag : stair lifts,stairbenefits