Porch Lift FAQ
What is a porch lift?
A porch lift, commonly referred to as a vertical platform lift (VPL) is a device that is used to lift a person from one level to another. They are most commonly installed outside and travel from grade level to a maximum height of 6 feet. There are solutions to go as high as 14 feet which we can provide.
How does a porch lift work?
A person in a wheelchair, or who can still ambulate, would enter the lift platform and push the control device that will raise or lower themselves from one level to the next. Our professional installer will set “limits” at its lowest required height to its highest point.
How are porch lifts installed?
Most often contractual work is required to install a porch lift. This can range from some masonry work, electrical and carpentry. The lift itself is fastened to a concrete or pressure treated lumber base.
Who is responsible for the contractual work?
Assist Health Supplies completes most of the contractual requirements in-house. For any work that we cannot do in-house, we have some community partners who can complete the more skilled trades such as masonry and electrical.
What happens if my deck or landing area has a turn in it?
The most common VPL is straight through, meaning you enter at the front and exit at the rear or vice versa. You can purchase a 90-degree platform meaning you enter on one end and you exit 90 degrees from there.
What is the weight capacity of a porch lift?
Most VPL’s have a weight capacity of 700 lbs.
What brand of porch lift should I invest in?
This can be dependent on where you live. Here in Alberta the winters are harsh, so a screw-drive unit is most common. These brands could be either Bruno or Serenity.
How long does it take to install my new porch lift?
The time to install a VPL is often dependent on the amount and type of contractual work required. If concrete work is required this could add 2 to 3 days. Once that component is complete the install time for the VPL is about 2 hours.
Why should I buy a porch lift over a ramp?
There are a myriad of answers to this question. First the code in Alberta for anything inclined is 12:1” Meaning for every 12 inches of run you must have 1 inch of rise. So, if you must go up 3 feet, you would need 36’ of ramp plus a rest area about halfway. The cost just in materials alone would be significant.
Another reason is that during the winter months you must keep all the ramp clean from snow and ice. This can be daunting for the person(s) who need to use the ramp. A VPL has a platform usually 3’ x 4’ in size. Much easier to maintain. Another reason is if you ever move, the VPL is transportable whereas a ramp would not be.
Do I require power to operate my porch lift?
Yes, you really need to have a dedicated outlet as in winter months the unit draws a fair bit of power. Assist Health Supplies does have an option of a DC powered unit with trickle charge which means you can run an extension cord from anywhere and minimal draw is required to keep the batteries charged. They do cost more, but in the event of a power outage, the unit will still operate normally.
Do I have a choice of colour for my porch lift?
Most VPL’s are beige in colour. The colour can vary a little so we encourage you to visit our showroom for more details.
Can I purchase an extended maintenance plan for my porch lift?
Assist Health Supplies offers its own in-house warranty and maintenance plan. We can discuss the options with you during our in-home visit depending on which brand of porch lift is preferred.
Installing a Porch Lift Gives You Independence
A porch lift can be installed either inside or outside of your home. They allow you to safely gain access to a porch without the need for a ramp which takes up much more room.
Our dedicated team member will come to your home and review the options we can provide specifically for your location. We will then provide you a quote and if approved, book a time to have your new porch lift(s) installed.
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