Posts Tagged "residential lifts calgary"

9Dec

Greener Elevators and Lifts can save you money

by UppercutAndrew
Commercial Accessibility Home Accessibility Home Elevators News and Such

When I think of making an environmentally sound decision, especially if it pertains to green elevators or a lift purchase, I can point out 3 contributing factors .

 

                          alberta               #1 Where is the device  manufactured?

This seems pretty obvious but if you can purchase a locally manufactured elevator or lift, the transportation impact can be minimized. Buying local not only reduces emissions it saves you money on shipping costs associated with replacement parts.

 

 

#2 What impact could the drive mechanism have on the environment?

Devices that utilize large hydraulic pumps and reservoirs may need to have precautionary measures were taken, such as oil separators in the event of a hydraulic oil leak. This is to ensure that the oil cannot seep into the ground or water table. Some jurisdictions in the past have asked that food grade oil is used in order to alleviate this concern. Elevators and lifts that utilize a Traction Home elevatorCounter Weight or Screw Drive don’t actually pose this risk, as no hydraulic fluid is used. These greener solutions only require a 2″-3″  pit (or no pit at all) so there is less concern with disturbing ground water. You may even be able to save some money on your site preparation as hydraulic elevators can require anywhere from a 6″ to 60″ pit.

#3 What are the ongoing energy costs?

This cost is two fold; the energy consumed as it relates to the environment and the monetary cost directly to you. Do your research on how much energy your elevator or lift will require operating. Devices with a mechanical advantage such as a traction counterweight drive will be up to 50% more energy efficient that a comparative hydraulic unit. Hydraulic elevators have to pump fluid into a cylinder which is often located in a separate machine room.

It doesn’t matter if  your goal is to consciously protect the environment or simply save some money (energy costs, site preparation , and maintenance), it’s apparent that the two can go hand in hand.

 

For more information Elevators and Lifts please click here or contact us for a free consultation.

 

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

11Sep

Free Tickets to the Calgary Home + Design Show

by UppercutAndrew

The Calgary Home and Design Show is just around the corner, and we would love to see you there!

The show runs from September 17th – 20th at the BMO Center. Show hours are:

Thursday – 4pm-9pm20150227_141223

Friday – noon – 9pm

Saturday – 10am – 9pm

Sunday 10am – 6pm

We have 4 sets of tickets to give away to the first 4 people to email Andrew – Simple as that!

Send Andrew an e-mail and the tickets are yours.

We are located in booth #324 so stop by and say hello.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19Jun

Comparing Porch Lift Features

by UppercutAndrew

When choosing a porch lift supplier it is important to do a detailed  comparison to ensure that the specifications of each product and company match.

Areas where discrepancies can occur include:

  • Standard platform size – You should note that not all manufactures make a standard platform the will accommodate a larger wheelchair or scooter. This is sometimes a costly upgrade so it needs to be discussed up front.

 

  •  Finish – Some lifts are painted while others come with a durable powder coated finish. Remember to ask about the costs associated with powder coating your lift.

 

  • Capacity – 750lbs seems to be the industry standard but there are still some 550lb capacity lifts on the market

 

  • Cold weather operation – Some porch lifts require the addition of an outdoor package. If your lift is exposed to the elements make sure it has this provision or a feature like a “Zero load start”  to ensure your lift operates in cold temperatures

 

  • Safety features – Ask about the safety record of the lift. Does it have a fall arrest system, platform kick plate, and easy to access manual lowering device?

 

  • Where you buy – This is hard to quantify at the time of purchase, but it must be considered when making your decision. An indication of the type of company you are dealing with may be given by the sales person. Did they return your call promptly? Did they offer to come out and meet with you, or did they just send a quote? Were they prepared with brochures, and was the quote they provided comprehensive? How many people do they employ, and do they have the resources to service your porch lift if needed?

For more information on porch lifts, including funding and site preparation requirements please click here

TrustT Porch Lift Features

26May

Choosing a drive mechanism for your elevator

by UppercutAndrew

While many of our clients seem to spend a lot of time selecting elevator car finishes and aesthetic options , very little time appears to be allocated to discussing the drive mechanism. I can’t really blame them; after all talking about what moves that fancy box you just designed can seem  quite boring.  We however, feel it is important for our clients to get as much information as possible, especially when it concerns such an important aspect like the drive of your elevator.

In this blog I will be discussing the strengths and weakness of the following drive mechanisms.

  • Hydraulic
  • Traction Counter Weight

Hydraulic

This system utilizes a pump motor and oil reservoir, to force hydraulic fluid through a hose to a cylinder. The pump motor and reservoir are usually located in a separate machine room. If you areHydraulic Drive unable to provide a  borehole at the bottom of the pit you can use a roped hydraulic system.

Strengths

  1. Price point for the equipment will be in the mid-range when comparing other drives
  2. Machine room is easily accessible for servicing
  3. Manual lowering is inside the machine room
  4. Smooth ride and landing function providing the valve settings are adjusted correctly
  5. Usually, incorporates battery lowering in  the standard product offering
  6. Many manufacturers to choose from

 

Weaknesses

  1. A machine room will be required which equates to extra construction costs
  2. Hydraulic fluid temperature can affect performance
  3. Typically a pit of 8″ – 14″ is required
  4. Some jurisdictions may require a pit drain and an oil separator to ensure leaking fluid can’t enter the water table
  5. Power consumption will be 2-3 times higher than a traction counterweight system – Therefore more ongoing costs
  6. Maintenance costs on hydraulic units will be 2- 4 times  higher (over a 10 year period) due to the potential of leaks and issues with valves , gaskets, and the pump.
  7. Variable usage patterns can accelerate fluid degeneration
  8. If hydraulic fluid leaks there is the potential for the smell to permeate throughout the building
  9. Levelling and re-adjusting (anti-creep) issues

Traction Counter Weight

A traction counterweight drive operates the elevator by having  the mass of a series of  weights counter the elevator car and its occupants. If the user selects a command the elevator motor powers a cable (through a sheave) past the balance point and the device travels at a regulate rate in that direction.

   Strengths  

  1. Lower power consumption than hydraulic or winding drum systemsHome elevator
  2. Minimal  maintenance due to simple design with lower repair costs
  3. No machine room required
  4. Minimal 3″ pit required (or no pit at all with a small threshold ramp)
  5. No worry of hydraulic leaks or smells over the life of the elevator
  6. Variable speed drive for soft stop and start
  7. Low standby power
  8. Minimal issues with levelling even with variable capacities

Weaknesses

  1. Typically the equipment cost will be 10% – 15% higher than Hydraulic units (overall cost may be less when you consider construction and maintenance)
  2. Access to the motor is at the top of the hoistway (for the service technician)
  3. Manual lowering crank is accessed from the top landing
  4. Auto car lowering (similar to battery back-up) can be added for an additional cost
  5. Not a lot of manufacturers to choose from in the Alberta marketplace

A PDF summary of this document can be found here ——> Hydraulic vs Traction

15Apr

What’s the difference between a residential elevator and a residential vertical platform lift

by UppercutAndrew

The short answer is vertical platform lifts are typically installed due to an immediate accessibility requirement, while elevators are usually incorporated for luxury or ageing in place purposes. Of course, there are always exceptions, so it is important to understand the limitations  and features of each device.

Trus-T-Lift™ enclosed – Vertical platform lift

Trus-T-Lift™ enclosed – Vertical platform lift

Code

While residential elevators and lifts are not inspected in Alberta, there are governing codes that exist. Elevators fall under the B-44 code while accessibility lifts are built to meet the B-613 code. Ultimately it is these codes that provide the distinction between the products.

Constant pressure or automatic operation

Elevators utilize automatic operation, while a lift will require that you hold the button for the device to function. Holding the button or constant pressure operation limits your risk for pinching or shearing hazards. I go into more detail below.

Elevator car or lift platform

An elevator will always have an enclosed car usually complete with a ceiling. Your entrances will have either a light curtain, accordion gate or a sliding elevator door. This is due to the above mentioned automatic operation. A lift, on the other hand, will have an “open platform” so the hoistway around you is exposed, thus the requirement for constant pressure operation.

 

 

Speed 

Lifts will have an operating speed of 8ft/min – 18ft/min. An elevator usually functions between 20ft/min – 40ft/min.

Capacity

Crystal – Residential Elevator

Crystal – Residential Elevator

Capacity usually isn’t a factor as platform sizes are limited, but lifts will start at 550lbs (most are 750lbs) and elevators will range from 800lbs – 1400lbs.

Flexibility and features

While I have installed  some pretty fancy lifts in my time, most of the  upgrades people look for are usually only offered with an elevator purchase. These can include, automatic homing, hands-free phone systems, and custom interior finishes. We can usually make an elevator fit into the desired space while a lift is more of a “cookie cutter” design.

Cost

For the purpose of comparison let’s use a 2 stop with 10′ of travel, and entrances on the same side. A lift will cost you approximately $13,000.00 and an elevator will land around the $17,000.00 mark.

This obviously is general information and is based on specific product offerings, but should give you the tools to differentiate between an elevator and a lift.

Drawings and the corresponding site preparation for these devices can be found here

More information on residential elevators can be found here

More information on residential lifts can be found here

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9Mar

Planning for a Residential Elevator

by UppercutAndrew
Home Elevators

Planning for a Residential Elevator

People install a residential elevator in new home construction for many reasons. Some folks implement an elevator into their design for luxury, others out of necessity, but the vast majority of people I see do it so they may age in place. It is very important to do your research and understand your options.  As the saying goes “if you fail to plan you plan to fail”. This statement certainly applies to your aging in place elevator. There are several factors you must consider to ensure that your home elevator will meet both your needs today, and in the future.

Elevator in home

Elevator in home

 

The first thing to consider is car or platform size. I have heard numerous times ” we don’t need the elevator to fit a wheelchair” , my answer is always “we hope for the best but plan for the worst” If you are going to the expense of adding an elevator to your home, we need to consider wheelchair accessibility. My experience working with home medical companies tells me that we need a minimum platform size of 34″ x 54″. Many standard platforms are 48″ long, please try to resist going with the smallest platform available.

Home elevator with a gate

Home elevator with a gate

Next we must decide on the aforementioned gates, elevator doors or light screens. As you travel in your home elevator we need to ensure that you cannot come into contact with the hoistway that houses the device. While all mechanisms will accomplish this, they vary in ease of use, aesthetics, and cost. An automatic elevator door is probably the most aesthetically pleasing and is very easy to use (it automatically opens and closes) but it is by far the most costly option. Next in the cost category would be an accordion gate. You won’t break the bank by adding gates to your residential elevator car, but they don’t have a great reputation when it comes to looks or ease of use – especially for wheelchair users. The final and most cost effective option would be a light curtain. This “virtual gate” ensures that if any object comes into contact with the residential elevator hoistway the elevator instantly stops. They operate using a series of light beams that shoot across the entrance way, if the beam is “broken” the elevator ceases to operate until the obstruction is removed and a floor is selected. From a wheelchair users perspective or anyone with limited mobility not having to reach back and close a gate eases the use of your home elevator.

Home elevator with a light curtain

Home elevator with a light curtain

residential lifts

The best way to ensure all these points are considered is to consult a professional. Many elevator companies will offer no cost or obligation consultations. They should be able to address your needs and answer your questions prior to you paying a deposit or making a commitment. Don’t base your elevator design from the back of a brochure, or from a generic drawing. Remember, site specific drawings will ensure that your elevator will meet both your needs today and allow you to age in place.

For more information on a residential elevator call us today.