Platform Lift vs Elevator vs Stairlift: What’s the Difference?
When stairs become a challenge but relocating to a single storey isn’t possible, what can you do?
There are myriad mobility options to help you enjoy your entire home, but the terminology can get confusing. A Platform lift? A stairlift? A chairlift?
All the same? Totally different? It can be hard to know.
And once you do know the vocabulary, how can you make a decision in the lift vs elevator battle?
Let’s take a look at these terms, what they mean, and how you can make the right choice for your mobility needs.
If you’ve seen the Disney movie “Up”, you have a basic idea of what a stairlift is.
A stairlift is the simplest of the three options. It is a chair which moves up and down a motorized track.
Stair lifts are easy to install if they go only few steps and in a straight direction, relatively inexpensive with slow speeds and require more maintenance. They are a good option if you are not wheelchair bound but still face difficulties navigating stairs. But when you have curved stairs, the cost becomes expensive and the speed is slower.
Most low cost stair lifts are not battery powered, so you need to worry about losing power or becoming stranded if the power goes out.
A chair lift elevator is a wide platform designed specifically to move a wheelchair from one level to another.
These are typically open platforms to allow for easy access and are limited to the height it can travel upto than a platform elevator. Typically chair lift elevators can only do 3 meters in travel height.
However, this type of lift does come with its own problems.
Because it is open, without railing or enclosure, it isn’t practical for going between multi-floors. Chair lifts are most common for raised porches and other low elevation changes.
This means that if you live in a multi-storey house, a chair lift will be able to get you onto your porch and into your home, but won’t be much help in assisting you from floor to floor.
This is just like what you would see in any multistorey office building, except smarter & more fancy looking. Your personal private elevator.
Platform elevator lifts are the most expensive option on this list, but they also carry some key benefits.
First, they are an option that works for everyone, not just those with mobility problems. And because they come in a wide variety of load limits, they can also be used to transport items up and down stairs that might otherwise be difficult to move.
Platform Elevators don’t require a separate engine room, No Pit (no digging required in your home) and can be installed anywhere in a fairly small space. Indoor or Outdoor. Platform lifts do not require civil works and changes to the design of your space, they simple just fit & blend within your space.
The most important benefit, They increase the value of your Home, while a chair lift and stair lift do not.
Chair Lift vs Elevator vs Stair Lift: Making the Choice
Let’s do some comparisons of Pro and Cons on these choices.
In cost, a stair lift will be less expensive purely in dollar amount, but a platform elevator will give you a higher return on your investment, as it raises your property value significantly.
In terms of space, again, a chair lift or stair lift will be your smallest options, but keep in mind that a platform elevator need not be a large affair. They come in small & big sizes. Home elevators are often smaller than high rise building types.
When it comes down to a stair lift vs chair lift vs Platform elevator, the choice comes down to your needs, available space & budget.
For help making the best mobility decision for your home, contact us today!