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  1. #1

    Help me get into my basement!

    I'm a C-5 quad and built my house 3.5 yrs ago. At the time I didn't think I would want access to the basement so I left it unfinished....well I want to finish my basement now and I want to get down there. There's 7 stairs, then a landing, then a 90 degree turn and 6 more stairs. I'm mainly in a power chair most of the time.....any thoughts? How do other quads get in their basements?

  2. #2
    I once considered buying a house owned by a fellow chair user. He had converted a bedroom closet into an elevator shaft and used an engine hoist to power the elevator. All homemade - obviously you could never have a building inspector see this. I used it to see his basement and it was framed in all the way down and worked nicely.

  3. #3
    In my first house I had a similar setup to what you're describing. I installed 2 stair chairs (one per landing / staircase) because unless you have huge (very wide) staircases it's pretty difficult to install a curve mounted stairchair. Stairchairs tend to be setup in straight lines against the wall / baseboard hence the reason for 2 chairs. Transfers are a pain and you generally need two wc's, one at the top of the staircase(s) and one at the bottom (basement). Powerchairs aren't light. This option is pretty expensive.

    2nd idea / suggestion is to figure out whether you can wheel around the backyard or rear of your house by building a sloping walkway and enter through a rear door already built or you can make (customize) a rear door / entry. It's a little tougher in the winter but by far the least expensive option. Carpenter to widen / build a door and a mason to build you a walkway / path.

    3rd option is to do what I did to my second home. In my office which was originally designed to be a den / bedroom there was a big walk-in closet. I blew out the floor, built an elevator shaft to the basement and installed a platform lift (www.concord.com) that works exactly like an elevator. Access to the basement is done either via stairs for those ab'd or on my elevator. Although this option is probably the most expensive and labor intensive it adds value to the home and requires no transfers or outside element (weather) interference.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Chris, option #3 sounds fantastic & worth the price! I'm renting a single story without a basement, but when I can finally buy my own place - I want a 2 story with a basement & will keep all this in mind...

  5. #5
    Chris option #3 might work...we have a laundry room on the main floor that's just big enough for a washer and dryer. If we moved laundry room to the basement would that room be big enough? How much cash did you spend on yours?

  6. #6
    http://www.garaventa.ca/wheelchair-lifts/

    The inclined platform lift may be a cheaper option than an elevator. Depends on the width of the middle landing weather or not it can negotiate that turn.

    Call a few reps in your area for no obligation quotes and ideas ... and good luck on the man cave!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetjim13 View Post
    I'm a C-5 quad and built my house 3.5 yrs ago. At the time I didn't think I would want access to the basement so I left it unfinished....well I want to finish my basement now and I want to get down there. There's 7 stairs, then a landing, then a 90 degree turn and 6 more stairs. I'm mainly in a power chair most of the time.....any thoughts? How do other quads get in their basements?
    Hi Jim, i lived in my house for 12 years before getting an elevator for the basement. I had it added to the outside wall off of the kitchen. they just dug down and cut a doorway through the wall. photo's of outside, elevator door in kitchen and basement.

    http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data...der/357914.JPG
    http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data...der/986408.jpg
    http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data...der/429992.JPG
    http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data...der/889823.jpg


    whatever works...
    yoda

  8. #8
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    Jim option 3 is basically what I did for my husband. I called a mobility contractor here locally. they wanted 30K to install a 8 ft. platform lift. I found one on ebay for $6K. We tore out the steps to the basement and framed up a closet so to speak. Ended up costing me about $6500 for the lift, lumber, food and beer (for my brother in law, dad and cousin) Contractor wouldn't do it that way because he said technically we needed two entrances and exits from the basement in case of fire, he wanted to add it to the outside of the house like Yoda mentioned. I have another friend with a backhoe who is going to dig me out an exit for the basement that will be a concrete walkout basement. My theory was in case of storms, David could get to the basement from the inside of the house but if he is outside then he could come into the basement or into the main level. I probably just confused you more, I'm tired.

  9. #9
    Check craigslist and other disability sites for people selling elevators/platform lifts. Sometimes they give them away. There's a thread on here of a guys homemade elevator. It's an open platform with a countrweight that he pulled by hand. Very cool.

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