Porch Lift Options
Porch Lift Configurations
The most common and easiest configuration to use is straight through access where the user enters the lift platform at one end and exits the platform at the opposite end.
In situations where space at the bottom of the lift is limited some manufacturers offer a side entrance to the porch lift platform. While entering the platform from the side sounds fairly simple, it's actually a bit of job to get on the platform straight for many users. The series of movements needed to use a side entrance porch lift is similar to parallel parking a car whether using a manual or power wheelchair or a scooter.
A bridge ramp is used to bridge a gap at the upper level of the lift. Ideally, the lift is positioned during installation so the gap between the platform and the porch is between 1/2" and 3/4". When it isn't possible to position the lift close enough to the porch or deck a bridge ramp is used to bridge the gap. Bridge ramps are quite often used with portable porch lifts however they can also be used with permanent installations.
Most porch lifts are painted off-white, taupe, brown or some other fairly neutral colour. Some manufacturers offer a limited number of colour options, or even custom colours, however the upcharges for any colour other than standard are substantial. Choosing non-standard colours can cost upwards of $1,000.00 with some manufacturers.
Not very common but available from some manufacturers are enclosures for porch lifts. Enclosures are popular in areas where the weather is often very cold or wet because of the protection they offer the user from this type of weather. They are very expensive and most of my past clients opt to build their own enclosures after the installation of their porch lift has been completed.
Some models of porch lifts can be ordered with larger than standard platforms for users with large wheelchairs or scooter.