Give Your Life A Lift : Home Lifts Explained

Cover image for the post with a house in the background, grass to the front, and the title overlaid.

Your home is your haven, but it can become a daily challenge with mobility issues. There are various changes and adaptations that can make life easier, more convenient and more comfortable. Thanks to enhanced design and technology, home lifts are more accessible than ever. Here’s a look at the basics of lifts, their benefits and some key considerations.

Why Choose A Home Lift?

A lift enables you to stay in the comfort of your own home when stairs become a problem. Rather than feeling you have to move and then restrict yourself to a one floor property, a lift can keep you and/or your family independent and safe. While often often associated with the elderly or those with wheelchairs, lifts can also be beneficial for anyone with a disability or chronic condition that makes stairs difficult, dangerous, exhausting or painful.

It’s important to think about your future needs and how your current condition may change further down the line, too. This is also something worth keeping in mind if you’re moving home and feel a domestic lift may at some point, if not now, be beneficial or even a necessity for a property with more than one floor.

Sadly, it’s been reported that only 7% the housing stock in England is visitable (so not even liveable) by someone with a disability. Making adaptations is therefore often a requirement after someone has moved in, be that with safety rails, lifts or ramps.

Lifts can accommodate people and any equipment you may have, whether that’s a walking frame or a wheelchair. It also means you can easily take other things upstairs with you, from suitcases and shopping bags, to the vacuum and laundry baskets.

Residential lifts are far easier to install these days, often requiring less in the way of any structural changes or remodelling. They can be conveniently placed or neatly tucked into a corner of the home. Designs are contemporary, compact and streamlined, installed either next to the staircase or ‘through floor’ in another part of the home. 

A side-on photo of a house, with a circular pavement around it and hills in the background.

Home lifts can be very smooth and quiet, gliding between floors with minimal disturbance. Far more sleek than many public ones I’ve been in! They can come with a key or electronic fob to switch off the lift when not required to prevent misuse and ensure the safety of others in the house. With certain lifts, it’s possible to have an internal communications system inside, so should there be any issues while you’re in it you can connect directly to the provider and seek assistance. This is also why it’s important to choose a provider that offers a suitable warranty and helpline for any queries or concerns about problems because while they shouldn’t happen it’s still something you want to know you have support for if they do. 

They’re easy to use and made to measure both to your needs and your property, with the ability to customise aspects like the size, functionality and style. Some lifts can be ordered as ‘ready made’ units with typical installation between 2 to 3 days. Where these are possible, they can minimise the disruption and building works required. 

The home domestic lifts on the market currently can be surprisingly space-efficient, being of minimal intrusion to your home. They’ll also typically have straightforward application to work from the household electricity, so they just need to be plugged in. 

Whether you want it small enough to fit inside a wardrobe or big enough for a few people and a wheelchair, there will be a design for all requirements. Lifts can operate between two floors, taking you up one flight of stairs, or up several levels in larger properties. 

Choosing A Lift

You may have decided a home lift could be for you, at which point you’re faced with narrowing down the options. There are various aspects to consider, such as:

  • The size of the lift and what space is required for it
  • The aesthetic style
  • A lift’s functionality and features
  • The lead time for quotation and installation
  • The rated load, ie. people capacity, weight and wheelchair allowance
  • The safety features
  • Any associated costs for installation such as building works
  • The lift company’s customer service and reputation
  • The maintenance and after sales support available
A photo of a hallway in a house with white walls, wooden cupboards and shelving units, a modern desk, and a white lift to the right.

I wish anyone requiring a lift could easily have one installed. That’s not always going to be the case, either due to property restrictions or finances. Do your research, see what financial support may be available and gather quotes to help you or your loved one decide. 

While lifts are suitable for many homes, there will be some restrictions. For example, lifts require an appropriate amount of space, with the footprint for the lift itself plus headroom at each floor to factor in.

Lift Maintenance

Much like a hot water boiler, lifts also need servicing. It’s often recommended they be serviced twice a year and the provider that installs your lift will be able to advise on what’s included in your quote (ie. first year maintenance and service is often as standard) and what additional service packages may be available. Many providers will have a maintenance package, for example a package to include two services annually to test, lubricate and perform safety checks. 

Steps To Give Your Life A Lift

  • Do your research – The internet is a great place to start, so look at general searches, lift company websites, reviews, product specifications. 
  • Speak to your occupational therapist (OT) if you have one to discuss your needs and see what thoughts or suggestions they may have.
  • Home visit – A lift company can do a home visit to assess your needs and your property. They’ll be able to offer advice on placement and features, explain the process and discuss your options. 
  • Quotation – After a home visit and specifying the details of the lift you want, you’ll receive a quotation, which should be a no-obligation cost breakdown.
  • Works and installation – Any building works, if necessary, will be undertaken and the lift installed. You should be given a demonstration and all paperwork. They’ll make sure you’re happy with the lift and inform you of the warranty and further support available. 

As lifts have improved in aesthetics and functionality, so has their accessibility. They’re not as exclusive or as restricted in installation, meaning more people with mobility issues may be able to benefit from one without extensive hassles or the need for significant property remodelling. A lift can help individuals and their families to live independently and safely as they glide in style.

Caz  ♥

Is a home lift something you would have ever considered before? Could you or someone you know benefit from a lift? 

[ This is a collaborative post written by myself ]

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20 Comments

  1. March 30, 2020 / 3:29 pm

    Great post as usual Caz, I hope your feeling a bit better today and received my emails 😊

  2. March 30, 2020 / 3:45 pm

    A lift in wardrobe, intriguing! I expect most people don’t even realise you can get home lifts, let alone the variety available.

  3. March 30, 2020 / 3:46 pm

    thank you so very much for all of this wonderful information Caz! 🙂

  4. Ashely
    March 30, 2020 / 4:26 pm

    What a helpful option to have available.

  5. March 30, 2020 / 6:36 pm

    Informative post, again Caz. I don’t need one — yet. But I wouldn’t rule it out if I needed one. They’re much more modern looking these days too 🙂

  6. March 30, 2020 / 7:02 pm

    Such important information Caz, I had a 2 level house and although I was able to go up and down without difficulty, I did start to feel it when I had to go up when I was tired, or at night if I had to go to the kitchen, so when I decided to move my first most important requirement when I bought this house was that it be all one level, and boy am I glad for that.
    Great post dear Caz, hope you’re well xoxo

  7. March 30, 2020 / 7:10 pm

    these look so much better than the stair lift we had installed for my mum. They take up less space and must be safer – Mum fell off hers one morning when it stopped before reaching the bottom step. She was on the floor until my sister went in with her dinner. That was back at the start of the century, when stair lifts were the only option.
    I think I’ll opt for a bungalow.

  8. March 30, 2020 / 7:16 pm

    Our house would be suited for one of those sit-down stairlifts for a spital staircase. My dad at 89 years of age might benefit from one of those.

  9. March 30, 2020 / 9:27 pm

    We have stairs and we’re getting there up there in years. It’s something we may have to do too. Great post.

    Have a fabulous day and week, Caz. Stay well. ♥

  10. March 30, 2020 / 11:14 pm

    Were I to be living in a two storey home, Caz, I would definitely think of this option, especially now that my man’s knee injury proves a little difficult maneuvering stairs. Yes, a lift in a home, for many and varied reasons would be a boon for so many.
    Much Love to You
    xoxoxo

  11. March 31, 2020 / 5:07 pm

    This is good information, Caz. We’re doing a gutting of our house/total remodel, and this is something we’ve discussed but haven’t fully looked into yet. Thank you for posting this.

  12. April 1, 2020 / 7:15 am

    Great informative post, Caz. There are so many people living in one part of their house because they can’t manage the stairs and a stairlift isn’t always ideal for everyone. I’ve seen adverts for lifts in the home and the one I saw was small and compact. It looked so good.

  13. April 1, 2020 / 8:35 am

    Very helpful post. We have far too many stairs at our house for the long term (its a split level with stairs at the front and side entrances). It is nice to know there may be options for us to stay here when they become a problem!

  14. April 1, 2020 / 12:49 pm

    A lift is a great idea! I have an upstairs/downstairs and the stairs can sometimes be a challenge for me.

  15. Martha
    April 1, 2020 / 2:56 pm

    I wouldn’t have thought about a lift before actually. It would be very helpful for taking other things with you as you say with shopping or the vacuum, that can be very difficult for me with rheumatoid arthritis that’s just getting worse. I had to look closely at that photo to see there was a lift there, it’s very modern looking and not clunky like I thought they would be. You have done a really good job with this post dear, I like your writing style.

  16. April 1, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    great post as always, Caz. I’ve always found firemen poles to be intriguing… lolll

  17. April 5, 2020 / 4:35 pm

    Lulu: “Hmm, I wonder if one of these could get me up to those spots in the house where the cats go when I want to play with them.”
    Chaplin: “Don’t even think about it.”

  18. April 26, 2020 / 5:53 pm

    Our house is our fortress, comfort and love! Very nice post!

  19. luisa
    April 27, 2020 / 3:19 pm

    Interesting!

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