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Thread: Short Wheelchair lift -in house

  1. #1

    Question Short Wheelchair lift -in house

    We have stair with one step leading to the garage - that is garage, step, house floor. We would like to buy a small platform lift to make this an accessible path.
    Surveys of the ads reveal many lifts for 50" but that is gross overkill for this step which may be in the 12 -15" range.
    What do people use? where did you get it and what did it cost. In an ideal world it would be nice if we could install it ourselves or at least use a contractor and not an elevator mechanic

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    We have stair with one step leading to the garage - that is garage, step, house floor. We would like to buy a small platform lift to make this an accessible path.
    Surveys of the ads reveal many lifts for 50" but that is gross overkill for this step which may be in the 12 -15" range.
    What do people use? where did you get it and what did it cost. In an ideal world it would be nice if we could install it ourselves or at least use a contractor and not an elevator mechanic

    IMO for that small of a step I would just ramp it. Are you in a power or manual chair? What is the level of injury?

  3. #3
    I agree...ramp it!
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  4. #4
    The electric lift we installed in our garage (which was for 4-5 steps) cost $4,000 delivered. I had volunteers install it. It holds up to 350 lbs. I would have prefered a ramp but it would have taken up too much room, pretty much the entire width of the garage. If you're interested I will send pics.

  5. #5
    I had a hydraulic lift put in 20 years ago. The commercial ones were 50" up and slow. Costs were over 6G back then. I made mine up for under a grand. Went to a boat yard for the fabrication. It's fast up the 22" it needs to go and after all these years, no problems. Knock on wood.

    I agree, one step, ramp it. The ramp would be shorter than a store bought lift.

  6. #6
    Senior Member goat's Avatar
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    I had a similar situation a few years ago; was amazed & distressed at how expen$ive porch lifts were (about $10k). I didn't need to ascend a full flight - just a few steps in the carport. A eureka moment occurred when I realized the distance needed to raise was similar to that of a full-size van lift!

    I bought a used van lift (for $550); a carpenter removed the steps, built a stout platform & frame within which the van lift was mounted; a car mechanic friend hooked up a 12volt battery/charger/wires/switch. It works GREAT!!

    I hope these pics help. Previously had 3 steps to door. They were removed. New construction is 3/4 plywood on 4x4 posts (each anchored to concrete floor). Tall 4x4 has attached 2x4 railing lag screwed to house. Note 2 angled steel braces from plywood to floor. Battery barely visible. Trickle charger out of sight.
    "Let your food be your medicine" - Hippocrates

  7. #7
    I am a t12 para but worry about rmp which would be 16' for a 16" fall and would extend into the house - I like the idea of a van lift adaptation but would love to see pictures of other solutions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goat View Post
    I had a similar situation a few years ago; was amazed & distressed at how expen$ive porch lifts were (about $10k). I didn't need to ascend a full flight - just a few steps in the carport. A eureka moment occurred when I realized the distance needed to raise was similar to that of a full-size van lift!

    I bought a used van lift (for $550); a carpenter removed the steps, built a stout platform & frame within which the van lift was mounted; a car mechanic friend hooked up a 12volt battery/charger/wires/switch. It works GREAT!!

    I hope these pics help. Previously had 3 steps to door. They were removed. New construction is 3/4 plywood on 4x4 posts (each anchored to concrete floor). Tall 4x4 has attached 2x4 railing lag screwed to house. Note 2 angled steel braces from plywood to floor. Battery barely visible. Trickle charger out of sight.

    I had the same idea and bought a lift but have not intalled it yet anyway you can send me more detailed pictures of the framing on the lift platform so my brother and myself can build one. you can send it to mnmpierson@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance
    What ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger

  9. #9
    I don't know how much space you have but the ramp doesn't have to be straight or 16' long. 1" per foot is just code for ada ramps. This is in your garage and you can do anything you want. I'm C5 and have a 1.5" up for every foot at my parents house in Seattle. I don't think you'd have a problem at all with the slope as a T12. Be creative with the design and I bet you could fit one. Ramps never lose power, break, or get stuck. And you can have one built cheap. Forgive the very crude MS Paint sketch that I did but here is a plan for a 1.5" slope that goes up 16" for a tight area. Just to give you some ideas.
    Last edited by BJH; 09-18-2010 at 02:20 PM.

  10. #10
    As BJH said you don`t have to follow ADA codes in your home. If you are a para you should have no problem pushing up a little steeper ramp. I attached two quick options to give you some ideas. Depending on your door location you should be able to work something out.

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