A Guide To Wheelchair Lifts & Vertical Platform Lifts

In-home mobility is difficult for wheelchair-bound individuals or those who have to rely on a power-scooter to move around. However, thanks to technology and engineering, wheelchair lifts have been designed to resolve these challenges. With a wheelchair lift, you can stay in the comfort of your home and have full access to your house. Purchasing and having a wheelchair lift installed is a significant investment. You should be prepared and have all the appropriate information before moving forward with your project. This is guide is a helpful overview of the questions you should ask as your project gets underway. That way, you will have full confidence in your project and you’ll be able to live a full, mobile, and independent life with your new wheelchair lift.

What is a Wheelchair Lift or Vertical Platform Lift?

Wheelchair lifts, also known as a vertical platform lift, are stationary machines that use a motorized platform to transport a wheelchair-bound individual between different height levels in a building. Lifting heights can vary from a couple of feet to an entire story of a building. Additionally, wheelchair lifts can be used for both personal home use, commercial settings, and community buildings such as a library, school, or church.

Choosing a Location for a Vertical Platform Lift / Wheelchair Lift

Ask yourself: where do you need a wheelchair lift? These lifts are sturdy and can be used in many different applications and settings. You must evaluate the site where the lift is needed to determine the amount of space it will occupy, the distance it will travel, and whether or not you will need special features for outdoor placement or commercial use. Wheelchair lifts should be installed in central locations that can reach all areas of the building that you need access to. You also need to keep in mind that additional space may be needed for the lift’s power source and for access to the mechanical components in the event of a breakdown. Additionally, some wheelchair lifts have retractable ramps and gates that require extra space to function properly.

What Capacity Vertical Platform Lift / Wheelchair Lift Do You Need?

The standard wheelchair lift can move a maximum load of 750 lbs. If you know you will need extra lifting capacity, be sure to specify that when you are planning your project so that your needs can be met. Often, a standard wheelchair lift will satisfy lifting capacity needs in a home or residential environment. However, if you are installing a wheelchair lift in a public building, such as a healthcare facility or hospital, you should determine whether or not you should have a lift installed with an increased lifting capacity, so that all community members can have access to your public space.

What is the Lifting Height of A Vertical Platform Lift / Wheelchair Lift?

You may not be the only person using the stairs in your home. If there is additional foot traffic on your stairs, make sure your stair lift includes a folding seat feature. Otherwise, nobody will be able to walk upstairs.


The price of wheelchair lifts can vary greatly depending on what configuration you need, special features, lift height, and capacity. Don’t just plan for the price of purchasing your lift. Factor in costs of materials for any renovations you need, labor costs for professional installation, and permit fees. Accessibility Solutions provides free estimates at competitive rates to deliver the highest quality installation.

Building Permits and Licensing:

Depending on your location, there may be local ordinances that require you to get a permit for the installation of your lift. Always check with your local government office about permits and licenses required for work sites. Additionally, if your wheelchair lift is being used in a commercial setting, you’ll need to have it inspected, routinely maintained, and licensed for operation. Always be informed about local ordinances and applicable government regulations when it comes to your lift.

The process of purchasing and installing a wheelchair lift may seem complicated, but Accessibility Solutions is here to walk you through your entire project. We provide a free site survey to evaluate and estimate your project, we obtain all necessary permits and then install and test your new vertical platform lift for proper operability. We are always here when you need us after the sale and installation, so please feel free to reach out to us anytime!