Moving your base of living operations to the first floor, when you need to, may not always be possible. You may enjoy your current home design as it is, or have a floorplan that simply does not accommodate creating a suite that is handicap accessible on the first floor. In these instances, your best option is installing chair lifts, which are also called stair lifts. Stairs are very dangerous for the mobility impaired, but you cannot always remove them. Here are four good options for installing chair lifts that may work in your Pennsylvania home:
- Straight chair lifts: If your staircase is basic, this option is effective and the least expensive. As indicated in the name, this is a lift designed for straight staircases. It can be installed on either side and includes a retractable rail and seat, arm rests and foot rests. Some of them include a power swivel so it can secure at the top of the stairs and help you step out of it safely. Since they fold up when not in use, they are also convenient in homes shared with residents who are not disabled.
- Platform stair lift: These are designed for people using walkers or wheelchairs. Rather than having a seat, they contain a platform that accommodates your chosen mobility device. Depending on your needs, we can equip them with a closed or open platform. One option allows for more security, while the other makes it easier to get on and off the lift. These work well if you cannot install a home elevator, but still need to use the stairs.
- Curved stair lift: Some people live in historic homes and wish to make them accessible without destroying their character. This often means installing chair lifts in Pennsylvania that accommodate period design. Unlike a straight chair lift, which cannot be adapted to other staircase design, this is customized to staircases that curve, and can even work for spiral staircases. They are also useful for homes with multiple floors and landings between them, so you can travel from the first to the third floor without stopping. While these are more expensive, clients often find it worth the expense to enjoy the elements that make their home unique.
- Outdoor staircase: If you believe your disability makes it impossible to enjoy a multiple-level porch or access to a private boat landing, think again—chair lifts work outdoors, too! These are designed to resist the elements and make porches, decks, driveways and shops accessible. Use a model with a lock-and-key mechanism to keep it secure at night and cover the chair so it stays clean and avoids direct exposure to the hot sun or pouring rain.
WSL Incorporated is an adapted housing contractor with more than a decade of experience installing chair lifts and handling a wide range of other projects in Cumberland County, PA. If you need assistance making your home more accessible, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to assisting you in making sure your home continues to work for you!