Posts Tagged "lifts"

22Oct

LULA Elevators (Limited use limited application) for Commercial Applications

by UppercutAndrew

LULA elevators are a great solution when an accessibility lift isn’t enough, but a passenger elevator is more than you need. As the title indicates LULA stands for Limited Use / Limited Application. By the very nature of the name it is obvious that this product does have  its limitations. While LULA elevators function in a similar manner to passenger elevators (automatic operation and sliding elevator doors) the following restrictions apply:

Car SizeLULA elevators

A LULA elevator can have maximum car size of 18 square feet. This restriction makes it impossible to accommodate a stretcher,  and therefore if this is a code requirement, a LULA is not a suitable option.

Speed

Your LULA elevator will operate at 30 feet/minute

Travel

In Alberta a LULA’s can travel up to 7.6 meters if there  is stretcher access already in the building. If not we are limited to 7 meters of travel. This typically limits a LULA elevator to 3 floors in a low rise building. If the device travels more than 7 meters it will be required to have fire service, just like a passenger elevator

Capacity

LULA’s typically have a maximum  capacity of 1400lbs

Benefits of a LULA include:

  • Less construction cost for the hoist-way (smaller pit, less load on the supporting wall etc.)
  • Smaller footprint (even less space required if you choose a MRL unit)
  • Lower cost for the equipment compared to a passenger elevator
  • Lower cost for maintenance compared to passenger elevators
  • Automatic operation and sliding elevator doors (functions and looks like a passenger elevator)

We often refer to a LULA   as a  hybrid between a commercial accessibility lift and a passenger elevator; therefore it  is a perfect solution for wheelchair access in low rise public  buildings where the use is limited.

For more information on LULA elevators, contact us or download our LULA Brochure

Uppercut Elevators and Lifts is proud to offer Made in Alberta solutions

 

 

 

14Sep

Uppercut Elevators and Lifts – Made in Alberta Solutions

by UppercutAndrew

As a proud Albertan company, Uppercut Elevators and Lifts believe in supporting our local economy, so it makes sense to buy local whenever possible. For this reason, all  the  elevators and vertical platform lifts we purchase  are manufactured here in Alberta (Edmonton).

Uppercut Elevators and Lifts

We also believe in the importance of  local ownership. Owners that are present and active within the business, in my opinion, are able to better understand the unique needs of their clients. My own experience spans 17 years, many of which I have been a managing owner. In this time I have learned the value of getting to know my clients and gained the perspective to provide them with the best possible solution.

If you make the claim that you are local, you need to back it up with infrastructure and staff that actually live in the communities they work. We are not proponents of “parachuting” in staff which is reflected by the fact we have offices in both Calgary and Edmonton. These offices are fully staffed with skilled employees and are prepared to serve you in a timely fashion.

This commitment to being truly local is represented in our mission statement:

Our Mission

To provide a local solution using superior products and services for all your residential elevator and commercial accessibility lift needs. We adhere to the values of accountability, flexibility, and attention to detail to ensure the best possible consumer experience.  

You can find our elevators and lifts installed throughout the province including major centers such as Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.

For more information on a local solution to your residential elevator or commercial accessibility lifts needs please click here.

You can also reach us via the phone:

Calgary Office 403.519.3186

Edmonton Office 587.597.9959

What does a stair lift cost?

by UppercutAndrew

Well what does a stair lift cost? Before we can answer the question you need to be aware of what is included in the quote.

What does a stair lift cost?

Stair Lifts – for straight stairways

Along with a detailed quotation specifying the product offering it is important to know if the quoted price includes:

  • Shipping (especially if you buy on-line)
  • Installation
  • Warranty
  • A custom device build specifically for your stairs (for curved stair-lifts)

Once you have determined what is included the next step will be to evaluate the company who you are purchasing the lift from.

  • Do they have an office and a showroom where you can view the product?
  • Do they have factory trained technicians on staff?
  • Do they have staff specifically dedicated to lifting devices?
  • Can you reach them after hours?
  • Do you get directed to a 1-800 number or a call center, or do they have a customer service department?
  • Is the product they are offering you the only choice they have, or is it the best choice?

Now you are ready to make an”apples to apples” comparison. We would offer a straight run Stair-Lift for approximately  $3000.00 +- 10% depending on the installation. Our price would include an installation by a factory trained technician. It would also include the warranty and shipping. We invite our clients to call us and book an appointment in their home or to come and visit us in our showroom. Our knowledgeable sales team is supported by a group of skilled technicians who deal solely with lifting devices.

For  more information on Stair Lifts contact us or click here for a brochure.

 

 

 

28Aug

Custom Curved Stair Lifts

by UppercutAndrew

custom curved stair liftsMany people are unaware that a stair-lift can accommodate stairs which bend or turn. While straight run units are more common, as home designs change, custom curved stair lifts are raising in popularity. There are a variety of quality chair lifts on the market. The following post will outline some of the things to consider when choosing a stair-lift provider.

 

Custom built VS off the shelf

Our preference is to use a manufacturer that builds their stair lift exactly for your stairway. This ensures the tightest possible fit to minimize any obstruction on the stairs. This process requires a trained individual to measure your stairs using a special camera and a series of tiles. These pictures are uploaded into a program, and then site specific drawings are created. Once the drawing is approved the lift can go into production. This entire process usually take 4-8 weeks.

 

Alternatively some manufactures offer standard “off the shelf ” bends. It is our experience that when a track is not built specifically for your stairway you run the risk of wider turns or uneven spacing where the track winds around  landings. It’s like if you went to the shoe store and needed a size 9 shoe but all the clerk could offer you was a size 8 or a 10. While the size 10 may work, it’s not the best possible fit. An advantage of “off the shelf” units is that they can typically be provided in under 4 weeks.

Both Custom and off the shelf curved stairlifts sell for approximately the same price.

Experience

It is important to know how long the company you choose to deal with has been selling and installing stair lifts. I personally have close to 18 years of experience specifically dedicated to accessibility lifts. Our technical support team has installed a multitude of curved and straight run lifts over the years. With all this experience we can ensure your lift is quoted to meet your needs, is measured correctly, and installed in a professional manner.

Detailed Quotations

Make sure you examine your quotation closely. Does it detail the path of your lift? Did the sales person provide a drawing or a sketch? If you accept a quotation from a vendor that is not detailed , you run the risk of having the device not function as you may of thought. For instance was the stair-lift meant to bend 180 degrees at the bottom landing to clear a hallway? Would you benefit from having the device over-run at the top landing and possibly park 90 degrees around a corner? It’s very important to have all the bends detailed to ensure you are making an “apple to apples” comparison.

For more information on stair lifts contact us or click here

For information on straight run stair lifts click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23Jun

Advantages of (Machine Room-less) MRL Elevators

by UppercutAndrew

This article is not referring to passenger elevators and is intended to discuss the advantages of MRL Elevators in a residential or commercial accessibility lift setting. A machine room-less elevator or an MRL Elevator is a device that typically houses the drive mechanism at the top of the hoistway. By doing this the need for a machine room is eliminated, as the entire device is contained within the elevator footprint.MRL elevator

Units that require a machine room( like most hydraulic drives) will also require the electrical and hydraulic hoses to run through a wall from the machine room to the elevator hoistway. In cases where the machine room is not adjacent to the elevator, a remote machine room will be required.  This can be costly and create logistical problems with the running of hydraulic hose through the floor, ceiling or in the walls. It also poses several maintenance concerns; What if a hose ran through a ceiling for instance and it starts to leak? Will it be possible to do a scheduled hose replacement? What type of ongoing costs should you expect in this application? This is a definite advantage of an MRL, having the entire elevator in one contained space.

The second advantage is quite simple; with an MRL elevator, you do not have to allocate the additional space to house the drive mechanism. Depending on the drive system and whether the installation is residential or commercial (B-355),  a machine room could require anywhere from 12  to 20 square feet.  This is space that could be used for storage, a larger elevator car, or a revenue opportunity (like a couple of extra tables in a restaurant).

Finally look at all the costs associated with constructing that machine room. If you think about it,  its equivalent to the cost of half the elevator hoistway  (2 stop). On top of the basic room construction, you will need to provide lighting, possible drains, sump pumps or oil separators, additional sprinkler/smoke detectors, and an additional door (fire rated in a public application).  These costs can add up quickly, and should be considered when calculating the overall cost of the elevator.

To recap MRL Elevator units will:

  • Save you money when it comes to maintenance
  • Require less space
  • Reduce the initial cost of construction

For more information on Commercial MRL Elevators click here For more information on Residential MRL Elevators click here

5Jun

New Government Funding for Home Accessibility

by UppercutAndrew
Home AccessibilityThe government is proposing a new, non-refundable home accessibility tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities that will provide tax relief of 15 per cent, up to $10,000 of eligible expenditures per calendar year, per individual, to a maximum of $10,000 per dwelling. The credit could be used on costs incurred to renovate or alter a home in order to provide better access to or inside the dwelling. Items could include vertical platform lifts ,wheelchair ramps, stairlifts (or stair chair lifts) as well as exterior porch lifts. The program would also cover home elevators if they are installed due to an accessibility need.
                                                             
residential lifts
The information is listed on page 245 of the budget

 

19Mar

Stair Lifts – an affordable solution for residential accessibility

by UppercutAndrew
Stair Lifts - for straight stairways

Stair Lifts – for straight stairways

 

 

Stair lifts or chair lifts have been around for some time now. Over the years they have become more reliable, compact and quieter.  They can be a great accessibility solution for individuals who have trouble with the stairs, due to balance, mobility or fatigue.    The following is a list of questions we are commonly asked.

What is the weight capacity ?

Capacities vary, but most products can accommodate a 300lb individual. Bruno makes a stair lift that is capable of transporting a 400lb user.

Can my stair lift go around bends and accommodate a curved stair way ?

Yes it can. It’s important to have a professional come out and measure your stairs. Most lift providers will do this for no cost or obligation. Getting a quote on-line, or over the phone can often end up causing you grief in the long run. You should also be aware that not all manufactures utilize rails that are built specifically for your stairs not all curved stair lifts are custom-built!

 

What powers my stair lift ?gallery-SRE-3000-07_small

Most units are battery operated and utilize a rack and pinion drive.  This ensures a smooth ride even if there is a power failure. All we require is a standard outlet where we can plug in our power supply. This  supplies power to an on-board charger that automatically re-charges your batteries when the device is not in use. Manufacturers such as Bruno incorporate a charging strip into the track. This ensures that you are never out of a charge position, even when travelling on the device.  Stair lifts typically draw about 3 amps through a “trickle charge” so the power usage is minimal.

What is the warranty ?

Like all products warranties vary – you will find everything from 1 – 5 years. If a manufacture offers a lifetime warranty on a component you can assume it’s for a part that will never break. For instance I used to deal with a manufacturer the would give a life time warranty on the track. In 17 years, I have never seen a track that required a warranty replacement.

What is the cost of a stair lift ?

Around Calgary a straight run stair lift sells for approximately $3000.00 – $4000.00. Factors that determine price are:

  • length of rail
  • location
  • capacity needed
  • required options

Curved units sell for more money as the are custom-built to fit your stairs exactly. I am always leery of “one size fits all” solutions and suggest you ask for an engineered drawing before your lift goes into production.

Who services my lift after it is installed ?

My personal belief is that I would never buy anything from someone if I couldn’t go back o that individual with questions or concerns. Being re-directed to a web site or  1-800 number for service in my opinion is unacceptable.  Sales people should be held accountable to clients after the sale has takes place. I prefer to deal with companies that  service  what they sell. Ideally they do this locally with factory trained professionals.

gallery-SRE-3000-05_smallHow much space will the lift take up on my stairs ?

Again this varies depending on the make and model of the unit. Our most common selling unit for a straight run stairway is the Bruno Elan.  The Elan  rail installs within 5 inches of the wall, or nearest obstruction. When it is in a folded position it takes up approximately 12 inches.

How is the stair lift secured, and do I need extra blocking ?

It should be noted that stair lifts mount directly to the stair tread not the wall. No additional blocking will be required.

How long does the installation and do you have units in stock ?

Straight run units take about 2 – 3 hours to install and are always in stock (we order them in 10 at a time) Our commitment is to have a standard unit installed within 3 days maximum of a client confirming an order. Custom curved units can take about 4-6 weeks to manufacture and we usually allow for a 6 hour installation time.

If you require more information on home accessibility lifts please click here

You may qualify for the Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) . Click here to download the application

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16Mar

Commercial Accessibility Lifts – Understanding the Code and Approval Procedure

by UppercutAndrew
Lift

Enclosed Lift in a glass hoist-way

 

 

Commercial accessibility lifts are governed by the B-355 code. If a lift is being installed in a public application make sure that your lift provider specifies that the product is B-355 code compliant. All public lifts are required to be registered with the Alberta Elevating Devices Amusement Rides Safety Association (AEDARSA). After a lift is registered, and the engineered stamped drawings are reviewed, AEDARSA then issues a Certificate of Construction. Now your lift provider may proceed with the installation of your elevating device. After the installation is complete AEDARSA will need to be booked  for the initial inspection.

 

 

 

 

To recap the procedure is:

Trus-T-Lift™ with platform gate

Unenclosed Lift with platform gate

  1. Generate engineered drawings (lift provider)
  2. Registration of the lift with AEDARSA (lift provider)
  3. Review of the drawings  (AEDARSA)
  4. Issue certificate of construction (AEDARSA)
  5. Installation (lift provider)
  6. Inspection (AEDARSA)

Now that we understand the procedure it is important to know some of the code restrictions as they pertain to vertical platform lifts.

Travel

Enclosed B355 devices  are limited to a total travel of 7000mm or about 23 feet, while unenclosed lifts may  travel up to 2500mm or 98.25 inches. It`s important to note that unenclosed platforms may not penetrate a floor. Travel is defined as the floor to floor measurement. This typically limits accessibility lifts to 3 story buildings.

Platform size

The platform or lift car is limited to 21 square feet. If the platform is configured in a straight through application a 34x 54 inch (12.75 square foot) car size is often acceptable. If the site dictates adjacent access or a 90 degree turn, we recommend a larger platform to make the turn easier for the wheelchair user.

Constant Pressure

This is one of the major restrictions of the code. Public accessibility lifts are required to operate using constant pressure. This means you must hold the button in order for the lift to operate.

Commercial accessibility lifts

Enclosed lift with full height car

Capacity

Depending on the manufacturer, your vertical platform lift may have a 550, 750, 800, or 1000lb capacity. Some manufacturers make lifts than can accommodate up to  1400lb, but it should be questioned as to why you want this higher capacity, as there are limitations on platform size.  They may be  designed to accommodate an individual user in a wheelchair, or allow for an attendant as well. Your lift provider should make sure the platform size and capacity meet your specific needs while still satisfying code.

Hoist-way Construction

This work would typically be completed by a third party (not the lift supplier). Each lift will have specific criteria regarding the contractual requirements but it can be broken down into Enclosed and Unenclosed applications. The following documents explain the contractual requirements for each elevating device.

VPL Enclosed requirements for public applications

VPL Unenclosed requirements for public applications

For more information on commercial accessibility lifts click here

 

 

 

 

 

11Mar

Residential Lifts – What is a Porch Lift?

by UppercutAndrew

Residential Lifts – What is a Porch Lift?

My career into the world of elevators and lifts started out as a technician, primarily installing and repairing residential lifts such as porch lifts. In my 17 years I have I have sold, repaired and maintained a multitude of different devices. I have leaned what products stand the test of time, and which ones fall short. The following is a list of things you should consider before you purchase a porch lift.

                                                                      Drive Mechanism

reslifts_5

 

There are really only two choices in Alberta , ACME  Screw drive or hydraulic. Both mechanisms are safe and incorporate the required safety redundancies, but there is a big difference when it comes to how they function in the cold weather. When hydraulic fluid gets cold it thickens, which can cause the porch lift to operate slower, or not function at all . For this reason (along with an increased costs) I would typically never offer a hydraulic unit in an outdoor application.

Features like a Zero Load Start will lessen the strain on your porch lift during the  initial start up. This offering allows the motor to cycle prior to picking up the load and lessens the chance of blowing  the house breaker. Having a device with a direct drive (no gearbox) will also aid in your lifts functionality during the cold weather.

 

 

Platform Size

Most manufacturers make several platform sizes so it is important that your quote specifies the

Trus-T-Lift™ unenclosed – Porch Lift

Trus-T-Lift™ unenclosed – Porch Lift

size that will meet your needs. While a 48″ long platform may meet a portion of the populations requirements, I recommend a platform the is 54″ long. This longer platform will be able to accommodate most wheelchair users and an attendant if necessary. Widths are pretty much standardized in the industry with a typical size being between 34″-36″. If your porch lift needs to be configured to have adjacent access or a 90 degree turn, it is important to have a platform size of 40″ wide x 54″ long. This will ensure that the individual using the device can make the turn with ease.

Solid or Steel Mesh Platforms

If you choose a porch lift with a solid (non-see though) platform you will be required to purchase a device with an under-pan sensor. This sensor is necessary to ensure that you will not crush objects that you can not see under the platform when moving in a downward direction. The good news about under-pan sensors is that they work. The bad news is they can be temperamental  and cause the lift not to run. I remember one of my first service calls; I was dispatched to a lift that had gone up but would not come back down. Upon examination I had discovered that the under-pan had dropped down as it is intended to do, but the plunger switches that monitor the pan were frozen in the engaged position. The lift “thought” there was an obstruction, and therefore would not operate in the downward direction. For this reason I prefer lifts that have steel mesh platforms where the user can see any obstructions below the lift. I find it to be a simpler solution to this safety concern. The mesh also allows the rain and snow to fall through the platform, lessening the chance for ice build up and platform warping.

                                                                                                   Controls

Upper landing gate

Upper landing gate

Due to code restrictions, residential lifts such as porch lifts or vertical platform lifts are required to operate under constant pressure. This means you have to hold the button for the lift to run. For this reason it is recommended that the buttons on the device are both large enough and easy to access. You want a control that does not protrude into the platform area like a joystick, as these are easily bent or broken if a  wheelchair user drives into it. You also need  a controller that is weather resistant will not become stuck. I prefer a “paddle style”  control with soft touch operation.

Site Preparation

This is the work required so that  your residential lifts provider can install your device safely. All porch lifts need some form of foundation for the device to be mounted to. This can be accomplished with a variety of methods but the most common would be concrete sidewalk blocks or a poured concrete pad. Next we need to ensure that there is no risk of a pinching hazard, so we ask that a sheer plate is added the deck side of the lift. Finally we need to minimize the risk of someone falling off the deck area if the lift is in the down position. An upper landing gate will need to  be constructed to meet this safety requirement. Another option would be to have your lift provider include a porch lift gate for an additional cost. For applications where the lift is directly in from of a door (like in a garage) we need to monitor the door with an interlock to ensure that the door will not open if the lift is not at that level.

More information on porch lifts and residential lifts can be found here

A complete list of contractual requirements can be found here —–> Porch Lift Contractor Requirements

A summery of this document can be found here ——>Porch lift features

You may qualify for the Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) . Click here to download the application

 

5Mar

Elevator and Residential Lifts Education Day

by UppercutAndrew

Residential Lifts Education Day

Curved stair lift

Curved stair lift

We will be co-hosting an elevator and Residential Lifts education day with Medichair on March 25th. This will be an informative session where we will discuss the features and benefits of Residential Lifts and Residential Elevators. It will be informal and the floor will be open to ask questions.

Uppercut will be speaking about the benefits of Residential Lifts and will be available to discuss all products and services. Uppercut and Medichair offer the largest selection of Lifts and Elevators in Calgary and Edmonton. Be sure to visit our education day session to learn more about the benefits and to check out our great prices.

Our team offers the highest level of customer service in Calgary and Edmonton. We are a call away for any of your questions relating to our products and services. We offer onsite service and demos of our products and our team has decades of experience. Our education day will assist you select the best product for your home.

 

 

Trus-T-Lift™ Unenclosed - Porch Lift

Trus-T-Lift™ Unenclosed – Porch Lift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential Lift Topics covered will include:

Lunch will be provided from 12:00 – 12:30

The address and a map can be found here.

Everyone is welcome but space is limited so please register with Bonnie as soon as possible.

Bonnie Flick – bonnief@medi-options.com or 403.252.5366

This event will be hosted by Andrew Smith and Melanie Rorstad and a package dealing with product offerings on Residential Lifts and “ball park” pricing will be provided. Come visit us and learn more about our products and services. Our team is always here to help. Please be sure to call ahead to schedule time to visit as space will limited.

We hope to see you there!