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What is the difference between a vertical lift and an elevator?

One of the manufacturers that Power Stair Lifts of the Lehigh Valley works with is Savaria. Savaria makes vertical platform lifts that carry one person and a wheelchair typically from one point to a second point (called a 2-stop). That can be from the ground or driveway to an elevated deck or porch outside the home (called a “porch lift” or “deck lift”). A vertical lift can also be installed inside the home, most often inside a hoistway that is built by a contractor. Although similar to an elevator, the vertical lift uses constant press operation – so the user must press the button continuously to make the lift move. Releasing the button stops the lift. 

home elevator carries multiple people with a higher capacity (up to 1000 lb / 454 kg) and features automatic operation (one touch of a button and the elevator operates). A home elevator is always installed in a hoistway and cannot be installed outdoors.

When is an elevator the best solution?
If you have the space and want a fully automatic solution that can handle a higher capacity, an elevator is a wise choice. Home elevators can be configured to be fully automatic, including automatic doors, and are available in a variety of finishes to complement your home’s decor.

vertical platform lift
vertical platform lift

A home elevator is a wise choice if you require greater than 23 ft of travel (the maximum for a wheelchair lift) or more than 4 stops. A home elevator will also be seen as an added value to your property while a wheelchair lift likely will not.

How does a through-the-floor lift work?
The Savaria Telecab is an accessibility lift that operates without the requirement of a enclosed hoistway. Instead, a floor cut-out is created in the ceiling to allow the lift to travel to the second level. When the lift lowers, the cut out is safely covered with a floor cover. The Telecab is a good solution for people who need to travel 2 stops (one level to the next) yet a traditional home elevator cannot be installed due to space or construction constraints. A person with mobility device can be carried up to a 845 lb capacity with a Savaria Telecab17.

Can I move my stairlift or wheelchair lift from one home to another?
Most mobility products are customized to some extent to fit the space that they are installed in. For this reason, most of the time relocation of a lift is not possible. Straight stairlifts and inclined platform lifts may be able to be moved, but curved lifts are custom-made to the specific angle of the stairs and therefore cannot be re-installed in a different location. Vertical platform lifts are customized to the specific height of travel needed, so often cannot be moved. Before buying a used lift, check to see if it can be installed in a new location.

Can we install a stairlift in our place of worship, business, etc.?
Any place that is not a private home is considered a commercial application in most jurisdictions. Commercial installations include applications such as a bed and breakfast, a retirement home, a church, or group home. Adding a stairlift can be a great addition to a commercial building, when allowed, but it will not make the building accessible. Both accessibility code ADA and A117.1 require lifts to have a certain platform size depending on their configuration. Your local Savaria commercial dealer will know how to comply with local code requirements including whether the lift requires a permit or inspection process.

Call our local office at 484-895-1188 to schedule a site visit to assess the location and take measurements. Then, Power Stair Lifts can provide you an accurate quote for equipment and the installation. This cost varies greatly depending upon the type of equipment needed, the work to be done in your home to accommodate the lift and any custom options you may wish to add. 

If you are still unsure if you need a straight or curved stair lift or if you would like an expert to come assess your home stairs, then call our office at 484-895-1188.

Power Stair Lifts is based in the Lehigh Valley and locally owned. We believe in price transparency. Not only do we provide our installation price and free one-year service warranty and three-year parts warranty, but we will also disclose the cost of replacement batteries, preventative maintenance, annual service visit, repair fees, and a multiyear warranty. We pride ourselves not only being the local company that Lehigh Valley residents trust but also the company that earns your business with quality service and fair prices.

If you live in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Macungie, Schnecksville, Whitehall, Coopersburg, Quakertown, Kutztown, Northampton, Emmaus, Catasauqua, Nazareth, or other Lehigh Valley locations, call Power Stair Lifts for a free in-home estimate. We are independently owned and operated, not a franchise, and our mission is to serve our neighbors and community. Click through our site and web pages at powerstairlifts.com or call 484-895-1188 to schedule your free home assessment and estimate.