If you have difficulty getting up and down stairs, you might have thought about a stairlift – but is a homelift a better alternative? The experts from Stiltz explain
Why is a home lift a better alternative to a stairlift?
Imagine having a busy house with family coming and going all day. The clutter of daily life all around. Now add to this a stairlift, its chair and large rail taking up a good part of the stairs, hallway and landing. What about if the person who uses the stairlift has a walking frame, or even a wheelchair? They will need one each upstairs and down, near to the stairlift. Even more clutter and risk of tripping over. And this is before we talk about trying to get onto – and off – a stairlift with compromised mobility, balance or motor skills.
Now, imagine a homelift tucked into the corner of a room. The same walker or wheelchair can be used both upstairs and down and taken directly into the room where it is needed instead of left next to the stairlift. Open the door, step in or wheel in, press a button and you can move between floors. No awkward transfers, no belts to fasten, no risk of falls.
What about taking things upstairs? Maybe you have washing or ironing to put away, or cleaning products to carry upstairs. Maybe a bulky vacuum cleaner too? None of these can be taken up in a stairlift. With a homelift life is just so much easier all around.
Are all homes suitable for a homelift? Do I need planning permission?
There might be the occasional instance where a homelift cannot be installed but to be honest, a Stiltz Homelift is the most flexible, modular and easy to fit lift and if a Stiltz won’t fit, it’s likely no other lift will either. A Stiltz Homelift has been fitted into a tiny space in an equally tiny, listed alms-house. Vaulted ceiling? No problem. Between them Stiltz builders and engineers can find a solution. All this is discussed at initial survey and technical survey stages. No planning permission is needed specifically for the lift, but if an installation is taking place as part of a larger remodelling project relevant permissions will need to be sought. As for properties with listed status, again no specific consent is required unless significant changes to the fabric of the building are being undertaken. Homelift consultants can advise in each individual case.
What are the different types and sizes of home lift?
Stiltz Homelifts come as a two-person standing or perching lift or a three-person lift which is also suitable for wheelchair users. Both models benefit from the same advanced technology with safety sensors inside and out, both run quickly and quietly using the same dual rail technology and being Stiltz, both have the same elegant and understated styling.
Can a homelift accommodate a wheelchair?
Wheelchair users are some of the people who benefit most from installing a homelift. The attractive homelifts from Stiltz come in a range of sizes and designs, from standing and perching lifts to models designed specifically to accommodate occasional or fulltime wheelchair users.
People who are considering installing a homelift, particularly those who might have been diagnosed with a progressive condition, often factor in eventual wheelchair use and opt for a model with a fully-accessible lift car from the outset.
How many floors can a home lift work with?
Most installations Stiltz undertakes are across two floors; for instance ground floor sitting room to first floor bedroom. But the beauty of a Stiltz is its flexibility of installation. The lift car runs on two slim freestanding rails, fixing only at the base and top and where they pass through the ceiling aperture. Because of this, the lift can genuinely install ‘almost anywhere’.
Uniquely, these vertical rails enable the Stiltz Homelift to be placed in a staircase void. If you’re lucky enough to have a large, turning staircase with ‘dead space’ within the turn, what better place for a lift to go?
For those with tall ceilings, barn conversions or 3-floor homes, Stiltz Homelifts can travel up to six metres, with the option of two or three stops.
Are they expensive to run?
All Stiltz Homelifts are powered using a standard domestic socket and are surprisingly cost-effective, a standard single journey in a Stiltz costs less than boiling a kettle. Bringing an average 1.5 pint kettle to the boil costs 2.5p, whereas a single upward journey in a Stiltz Homelift is just a quarter of one penny.
Because the lifts are designed – pardon the pun – from the ground up specifically for the home instead of being a modified commercial lift, the product is well-thought out with many features planned in from the outset rather than retro-fitted.
What happens if I have a power cut?
Like other electrical appliances a Stiltz Homelift will not run during a power cut. There is no risk of getting trapped in the lift though, as should power failure occur, the Stiltz is designed to gently return to the ground floor enabling the user to exit the lift until power is restored.
If power outages are frequent in your area, it’s suggested a UPS – an Uninterrupted Power Supply – is added when the lift is installed as this will allow some continued usage during times when mains power might not be available.
How long does it take to install a homelift?
Remarkably, a Stiltz Homelift can install in as little as a day. All Stiltz lifts are modular and can be assembled in the home. The installation time doesn’t include preparatory work, this is always dependent on each individual location and customer requirement and can be quoted once a survey is completed. Each customer is provided with a clear plan of what happens once they place their order and is assigned their own project administrator who will be their point of contact throughout the process.
How much does it cost? Can I get help from a grant?
A Stiltz Homelift costs from just under £17,000 ex VAT fully installed, including standard building work. If the homelift is being installed to enable to access all areas within a property due to ill health or disability, the lift will be VAT exempt.
An adult means-tested Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) can be applied for through a Local Authority. Parents, guardians, or carers of disabled children can apply for non-means-tested grants. In all instances, a Local Authority or Occupational Therapist should be the first point of contact for additional information and guidance.
Where can I find out more about Stiltz?
Visit https://www.stiltz.co.uk/prop-and-home-23/ to request more information on the range of homelifts available.