Installing or Repairing a Disability Elevator or Chair Lift
There has never been a better time to buy a disability elevator or chair lift. With baby boomers aging and people living longer, often with decreased mobility, there is a higher demand for elevating devices - which is good for you, the consumer.
Elevator or chair lift? Installing a chair lift will cost roughly $3000-$6000. The chair lift, however, may require passenger to maneuver onto the chair or platform, which is not always possible. An elevator will usually run between $12,000 and $20,000 and requires more remodeling. But compared to the cost of moving to accommodations on a single floor - both the financial cost and the inconvenience of it all - installing an elevating device makes a lot of sense. It is more affordable and much less stressful.
Since most homes have no provisions for an elevator, they can most easily be placed in closets, room corners and stairways. But keep in mind that it is also possible to build an external elevator shaft and finish it to match the exterior so that it looks like original construction or a chimney. This would save a lot of construction, as well as preserve interior space.
Your contractor can help you choose
With the great variety of options for disability elevators and chair lifts, you need to find a contractor you can trust to help you find the type of lift you need, perform the installation and provide ongoing maintenance. It is best to deal with a reputable, licensed contractor who will do an on-site consultation to recommend a solution that uses space efficiently and ensure that the installation will be structurally sound.
Compared to the cost of moving to accommodations on a single floor, installing an elevating device makes a lot of sense.
In 2003, the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) introduced a formal education and certification program specifically designed for the accessibility industry. The Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician program (known as CAT), is the only certification and education for accessibility and residential lift technicians in the United States, and includes accountability, testing, and field verification.
New certification for disability lift contractors
Contractors with CAT certification are likely to be sound choices for your disability elevator or chairlift installation. However, the CAT is currently not required to obtain licensing in most states and local jurisdictions, and this certification is so new that many qualified disability elevator and chairlift contractors may not yet be certified.
Whether CAT certified or not, always check references and have a look at the contractor's previous work. You can start by reviewing testimonials on this site from homeowners who have used their services.
Get a maintenance contract
One final note: because of the mechanical and electrical nature of disability elevators and chairlifts, it is a good idea to choose a contractor who offers regular maintenance to ensure safe, dependable operation. You should arrange for a preventative maintenance contract to provide periodic safety inspections and lubrication to reduce premature wear on parts, and prevent costly repairs and downtime.