Does your patient or customer’s home feature a step that isn’t wheelchair accessible?

Not being able to move from the ground to a higher levelled area can be frustrating and downright inconvenient for many people with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, and a ramp isn’t always the best solution.

Ever heard of a step lift? Here’s everything you need to know. 

What Is A Step Lift?

Unlike stairlifts, which move users from one floor to another, step lifts transport their users shorter distances, such as between split-level rooms and up external steps to the front door of their home. 

Step lifts are a type of platform lift and may also be referred to as wheelchair lifts, as they enable the user to remain in their wheelchair for the journey. They can be installed in both commercial and domestic setups.


Who Do Step Lifts Help?

Step lifts provide a practical solution for homes that feature a change in level or a set of steps that prevent wheelchair access to the building or within it.

It’s also common to find wheelchair ramps in operation, but sometimes a ramp isn’t a feasible option due to the placement and angle of the steps and the gradient of the rise. Some types of step lifts are actually cheaper to purchase and install than wheelchair ramps.

Step lifts come in all sizes to meet the needs of a wide range of potential users. Large-capacity step lifts can manage around 385kg with a platform width of over 1000mm, enabling all wheelchair users to easily enter their homes and promote independence. 

How Do They Work?

Step lifts rely on a motor and a drive to get going, which can either be hydraulic, traction and chain based, or rely on a screw and nut mechanism.

To use the lift, an individual wheels themselves (or is wheeled) onto the platform via a shallow approach ramp. Once situated safely, the user can control the lift with either a remote control or a mounted control pad. The approach ramp raises to complete a low-level barrier around the edges of the lift, the front of which will lower once the lift reaches the top of the rise, transforming into a shallow exit ramp.

Some step lifts feature fold-down seats, making them a great choice for households with family members with varying mobility levels.

Step lifts can be installed both internally and externally, so they tend to be made to last, with durable materials that have been tested against adverse weather conditions and temperatures. Step lifts are also easy to re-site in the case of extending, moving house or relocating the lift within a property.

Cost And Installation

Installing a home lift very much depends on the space available, the needs of the user and the necessary preparation, meaning it’s difficult to put a true price on step lifts. It’s a good idea to contact your preferred provider to arrange an appointment so that they can discuss your needs and measure up.

However, a rough guide to purchasing and installing a step lift in a domestic home is a price range of between £9,000 and £15,000, depending on the rise and the drive system, the finish of the lift itself and any optional extras chosen to be included. It can surprise some people to know that step lifts often work out more cost-effective than wheelchair ramps!

Installing your step lift shouldn’t take more than a couple of days, inclusive of the time taken to prepare the installation area. Reputable home lift providers will have a team of professional fitters on board, meaning your step lift is installed in the fastest and least obtrusive way possible, getting you up and running before you know it.

Step Lifts Make Navigating Multi-Level Homes Simple

Installing a step lift is usually cheaper than a wheelchair ramp and promotes complete independence for your patient and customer, enabling them to get into, out of or around their home with ease.Is a step lift the right choice for you? Read about other types of home lifts in our recent blog.