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Installing A Homelift?

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As more and more people are investing in installing home lifts, Alex Austin, Business Development Manager at Access BDD, one of the leading suppliers of home lifts, platform lifts and stairlifts, explains what people should take into consideration.
By installing a home lift, you are not only making the entire property accessible but you are also future proofing it and we are finding that an increasing number of new builds are including one in the initial design. The people building the property may not require a home lift themselves but it will certainly increase the value of the property and make it more saleable should they decide to move.
Many people are under the impression that installing a home lift will take up a large amount of space but this is not the case and depending on the type of property it is also possible to have the lift installed on the outside of the building. People assume it will be like having a large bulky elevator in their home, but this is not the case as a home lift takes up much less space. For example, our Altura Gold takes up just 930x950mm or just below 1m2.

Cost effective

Whether it is a new build or an existing property there is a wide range of home lift options available all of which are considerably more cost effective than an elevator and, in some instances, cost little more than a curved stair lift. The first thing I would say is contact a home lift supplier that is local to you (Access BDD has dealers covering all of the UK).
Not only does this mean you have someone based locally for servicing but more importantly if you ever have an issue, you have the peace of mind that an engineer will be able to attend quickly. I would also suggest that before making a purchase, you ask to see at least one of their previous installations – if they have happy customers this should not be an issue.
Many builders and architects will specify an elevator which requires considerably more construction than a home lift. One of the major advantages of a home lift is that it requires a much shallower pit of only 50mm this is especially relevant when installing a lift into an existing property as it is relatively easy to excavate. This compares to a pit of up to 1.2m – 1.8m for an elevator. Installation of a home lift is also quicker, with the average installation time being approximately three to seven days where as an elevator lift can take up to six weeks.
It is vital to ensure there is sufficient support whether in metal or masonry shaft. Within a masonry shaft it needs to be a load bearing wall specifically where the guides will attach to the side of the lift to be able to support the weight of the lifting operation when in use. For a metal shaft, on our smaller models you have to have a load bearing wall for the lift to attach to.

Internal and external options

If necessary, we also offer a free-standing, self-supporting options. Internal home lifts are more popular but depending on the style and construction of the property an external shaft can be the only option.
While people may be concerned about how a home lift will look on the ground floor, they also need to consider landing space/headroom on the top floor as you need to ensure there is enough room for the full lift especially on the top floor where there might be a sloped ceiling for example. If this is an issue, we can reduce the door height.
To comply with European regulations, a home lift can have no more than six stops and travels at a maximum seed of 0.15 meters per second so to get from ground level to the fourth floor would take approximately one minute.
We recently launched a home lift product configurator for our dealers and their clients so they can sit down and specify their lift, put in dimensions, then choose colours, finish, door style etc. It is like choosing a new car! This enables them to see how their home lift will look when installed and is already proving very popular.
The Altura range of home lifts from Access BDD consists of three models; The Gold, Diamond, and Platinum. All three models offer varying levels of comfort and have been designed to be easily installed in most indoor and outdoor environments.
For more information on the full range of home lifts, stair lifts and platform lifts or to find your nearest Access BDD dealer call 01642 853 650, visit or email

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