HOME LIFTS I JUNE 2018
Lift Type: Home Lift
Case Study: Enda Coleman
A few years back, my wife was involved in a road traffic accident which left her paralysed. Our home at that time was totally unsuitable for someone in a wheelchair, we had to start looking for somewhere appropriate. When eventually we found a possible house, it was still a two story, so we made the decision to install a lift. We felt that a lift was less intrusive than stair lift options. Less ‘in your face’ to have a big stair lift contraption taking up space and being the first thing you’d see coming in the door! A lift instead gives Susan independence and actually, it’s far more discreet.
The main challenge around putting a lift in was figuring out where to put it. The house is more of a dormer, with the ceilings of the top floor at more of an angle. So it wasn’t just a case of sticking it in a comer somewhere. So we struggled to figure out where to put it without taking up too much space, or using up a whole room. I even thought about taking out the stairs entirely. Actually it was Susan’s idea to build the shaft outside the gable end of the house, which was the perfect solution.
We didn’t have any experience with this kind of thing before, but we found Premier lifts after searching online. We were able to engage them to do the work at the same time as other renovations. We looked around and talked to their team and felt they were very personable and helpful, and so we went with them.
Having a lift in the house has changed the way we live for the better, most definitely. I’d highly recommend it for anyone in a similar situation, and I’d also suggest it instead of a stair lift if at all possible, in terms of both practicality and the psychological benefits. Having a stairlift is invasive, you’re always looking at it, while lifts are practical, normal things you’d see anywhere. Susan has her own independence, she can go anywhere she likes without assistance, and that’s important.
If I had any advice to those starting out, I’d say to them though that they’d need to consider things like power and maintenance. So for example we had a power cut the other day during a storm, and so the lift wouldn’t work. But we’re putting in a generator to ensure that even if there is a power outage in the future, that we’re covered. We also had an issue with the door, not long after it went in. We called Premier Lifts on a Saturday night and got through to someone straight away, and they came out first thing Sunday morning to fix the problem. Credit where credit is due, from the first chat with Edward here in the house, through to the guys doing the install, they’re personable and are great to deal with. And unlike some companies, I’m not afraid to ring them when I need to.
In terms of advice about interiors, It’s like buying a car. Everyone has different tastes. We thought it was great that you could pick and choose styles and interiors. The little things made a big difference. For example we had a wooden floor in the living room, and we continued that flooring into the lift to connect it. We added a mirror and what they call a ‘starry roof’ because we liked it and it made the lift part of our home. Overall, we’re delighted with it.