Have I Got Space For a Lift?
‘Where can I fit a lift?’ is one of the most common questions asked when considering having a lift fitted into your property.
Space requirements for a vertical lift
The space or footprint of a vertical lift in the building is decided through your requirements. These requirements broadly fit into two categories; whether the lift is going to be used by ambulant people or whether it requires the additional space to be used by wheelchair users.
When considering wheelchair users, the usual floor space on the platform or cabin should be at least 1100mm x 1400mm (as required by part M of the Building Regulations). Smaller sizes can be utilized, especially in private dwellings if the size of the wheelchair is known. The lift manufacturer will then have a shaft size suitable for that floor size of the lift.
Platform size vs shaft size
The size of the shaft will also depend upon the type of drive system used to power the lift up and down.
If the lift is to be used as a home lift for ambulant individuals then the shaft can be made to very small dimensions. The type of drive system chosen again impacts on the footprint. A platform lift can easily fit within a stairwell, or other area, taking up no more space than an armchair.
Don’t forget headroom heights
So far we have looked at the footprint space required but we must also consider headroom heights. In particular the headroom height at the top landing will be a crucial measurement. Each lift manufacturer will have a minimum headroom requirement. This measurement is taken from the finished floor level at the top landing to the ceiling or first obstacle. The headroom requirement for a platform lift will usually be less than for a traditional style passenger lift.
What about the pit?
The other space requirement will be below the lift shaft, as most platform lifts will require a pit of between 55mm and 100mm.
Can I fit an inclined lift in my property?
If an inclined lift for a wheelchair was being considered to deal with a flight of stairs, then the two most critical dimensions would be the width of the stairs and the size of the landing zone (foot of the stairs). There are numerous sizes of platform available but again, the standard for wheelchair use is 1250mm long x 800mm deep for public access requirements. Sizes for private dwellings will vary but can be as small as 800mm x 800mm.
When considering any inclined lift the lift manufacturer will provide details of overall measurements depending on the way that the lift is installed including whether it is being wall mounted or stanchion mounted.