The removal of architectural barriers is an issue that no longer concerns only public buildings but also involves private homes.
Especially in buildings on several floors or in historic buildings characterized by cramped spaces and different slopes, the problem may arise of how to install an elevator tool that is able to provide useful support for those who need it.
For a person with a disability or in a wheelchair or an elderly person with mobility difficulties, a simple flight of stairs can sometimes turn into an insurmountable limit, to make one’s apartment a hostile environment.
To meet this need, among the most popular choices, especially in multi-story houses or family units, there are lift platforms. They are comfortable and functional systems, similar to lifts for portability, but with a simpler and less demanding installation on a structural level.
The purchase of these tools, however, is not a choice that can be made lightly. Not only can the costs be very high, but also, depending on the chosen support and the characteristics of your home, it will strongly affect the aesthetic and structural side.
For this reason, it is always better to turn to professionals, who will be able to advise you on the type of lifting platform that best suits your needs.
Let’s see together the characteristics of the lifting platforms and which solutions could be put into practice to adapt them to your home, without completely upsetting the design and furnishings.
The lifting platform: a domestic lift
When we go to a public building, to a hotel or to a condominium of many floors, we are used to the presence of the elevator, that is a vertical elevator able to carry a certain number of people inside it and to facilitate the loading operations and discharge of bulky and heavy objects.
And if we wanted to have our elevator for domestic use, without having to face enormous installation and maintenance costs? In this case, the best answer is the lifting platforms, ideal for guaranteeing domestic mobility for the elderly, the disabled and all those who suffer from severe motor disabilities.
Even if the function it performs is essentially the same, the lifting platform differs from the lift due to some features, well explained in the European Directive 2006/42 CE : the main ones are a reduced speed, which must not exceed 0.15 meters per second, and actuation by a manned maneuver, against the automatic operation of the lift.
The right model for the right space
If you are now thinking that your home is not suitable for a lift platform, you should know that there are many models on the market, able to adapt to all spaces and needs.
Although it is easier to insert them into prefabricated houses, which generally place a space suitable for housing a lifting platform in the stairwell, in truth, these small elevators can also be inserted into new homes or older buildings.
Unlike, in fact, elevators, lift platforms can also occupy limited space: the standard dimensions for the support of the space reach up to about 110 x 140 cm, but there are also mini models on the market, able to guarantee the minimum overall dimensions of 60 x 60 cm. To adapt them to the small space of your apartment, you can then choose mini models to be built into the stairwell or opt for cutting the steps.
Only a load-bearing wall is required for installation and it is not necessary to dig a very deep pit, at most 10-12 cm. This is because there is a support surface very close to that of the floor to facilitate access with wheelchairs.
For those who are attentive to the design and the aesthetic impact that the installation of a lifting platform could have on their home, the advice is to turn to professionals in the sector. They will be able to recommend the most effective and personalized solution, proposing models that can combine aesthetics, safety, and comfort, to guarantee maximum autonomy to those who will have to use the platforms.
On the market, there are models made of different materials, both for the external finishes and for the interiors, so that you can adapt to the style and furnishings of your apartment.
If you have furnished your home in a rustic style, you can think of preparing wood or granite finishes, able to give that extra touch of warmth, even to the most technological machines.
If instead, your home has a more modern and Nordic style, a self-supporting crystal lifting platform is always in effect, beautiful to look at and perfect also for outdoor installation, as long as you have the patience to clean it periodically.
And if you want to give a contemporary and urban touch to your furniture, the industrial style is very fashionable and certainly won’t go wrong with the inclusion of a chrome or metal model with a more commercial style.