A vertical platform lift is a machine used to elevate a wheelchair from one level to another. A porch lift is primarily used outside to give a wheelchair user access to a deck or porch. They can travel a short distance vertically, and they may travel several feet horizontally. They are equipped with a mechanism to power the platform up and down — some are even battery operated. But porch lifts are not just used for access to porches — you might even think of them as your personal home elevator!

How a Porch Lift Works

Once the vertical platform lift is installed, the wheelchair user can easily roll onto the platform on the lift. The wheelchair enters the lift using a short metal ramp which folds up when the lift is being raised. This provides a safety barrier to prevent the chair from rolling off the platform. Once the chair is safely on the platform, the user pushes a button which will raise them to the right level. Then, they simply roll off the platform and onto the porch or deck. Taking it down is just as simple as rolling the chair onto the platform, then pushing the appropriate button to lower the platform to ground level again.

Can Anyone Use Platform Lifts?

On a vertical porch lift, there is a small control panel. It contains an emergency stop switch, up and down switches and a key switch. The key switch is used to turn on the power. The unit does not work unless it is turned on using the key. This provides a level of safety since it cannot be used without the key, so kids can’t play with it and others cannot use it without permission. It is important to note there must be a solid gate on the upper level to prevent a potential hazard for feet and hands while the user is traveling up or down. The locked gate cannot open until the chair reaches the upper landing.

Are Vertical Porch Lifts Just for Outdoor Use?

Most of these types of lifts are designed for outside use. The unit can be enclosed and it can have full-sized walls similar to a home elevator. Similarly to the stairlift, they can be installed inside or outside depending on where access is needed to an upper or lower level in the home. They can also be used in a commercial setting including businesses, churches or stores.  

At Next Day Access, our goal is to ensure you have comfort and accessibility in your own home. This is why we provide turnkey solutions and worry-free installation services for vertical porch lifts. Contact us today to learn how you can get a VPL installed at your home or office.