Tips for Installing a Residential Wheelchair Lift

Installing a wheelchair lift sounds like a big project, if you’ve never done it before. If you’re handy and can read the instructions we think you can do it with a little patience, skill and some extra hands.

We’ve put together a list of helpful tips to make it easier, so you can impress your family and friends. Providing access in and out of the house for a family member or friend who uses a wheelchair, will feel really good when you are finished.

Pre-planning Tips

  1. Take a deep breath. Quite often the need for a wheelchair lift comes up suddenly, due to a medical issue or accident. A lift is often needed so someone can come home from the hospital or care facility. This is a stressful time, so remember to take a deep breathand take things one step at a time. Remember to ask family and friends for help, even if it’s just to do some research on what you need.
  2. Plan ahead. Wheelchair liftscan take 3 to 5 weeks to arrive, so try to plan ahead as much as possible.
  3. Decide where the lift will be installed. Choose a location that is easy to access from lower landing and close to the entrance of the house, if possible. If you already have a concrete pad, like in a garage or poured concrete patio, consider that location for your lift tosave on preparation costs and time. Remember that the upper landing should be big enough to allow the person in a wheelchair to easily move off the lift and towards the door. Remove outward swing screen doors to make it easier for someone in a wheelchair to approach.
  4. Remember that the wheelchair lift needs to be plugged in, and your lift requires a 110 VAC 15Aelectrical receptacle. Most lifts come with 6 feet of cord, but if a dedicated GFI outdoor outlet isn’t that close, you can usually order a longer cord with the lift (maximum 20 feet). Consider installing an outlet on a dedicated circuit for the lift, if possible.
  5. You must have a solid, smooth and perfectly level mounting surface. A concrete pad must be at least 4” thick. Plan for a minimum 60” x 60” concrete pad, plus additional space at the lower landing for the toe plate and approach.
  6. The mounting surface must be solid enough to support the lift and the maximum rated load. Altogether that is at least 1500 lbs.
  7. Make sure the upper landing is solid, level and structurally sound.
  8. Be sure you have a solid, smooth travel wall(the wall below the upper landing) free from of any gaps or protrusions for the entire travel distance of the lift. As the lift travels up, you don’t want to catch on anything, so do not use lattice, or other uneven finishes.
  9. Review the installation guideand installation video before the lift arrives so you are prepared.
  10. Check with local building authorities or permit offices. Some regions have code requirements, even for residential lifts. Your area may have certain spec requirements about the lift, or be particular about who completes the installation. Some areas require that your lift be inspected. Make sure you have checked what they are before ordering anything. Have inspectors review the specification drawings to pre approve a lift, if necessary

Choosing the Right Lift

  1. Measure your travel height from the ground floor to the upper landing floor. Choose a lift that has a maximum travel heighthigher than your required travel height.
  2. Choose a configuration. Straight through access means the rider will enter the lift at the bottom and once they get to the top will continue straight forward to get off the lift. An Adjacent Access lift, means they will turn to the left or right to get off the lift at the top. Review with a Customer service representative to make sure you are ordering the best configuration for your space.
  3. Choose the handing based on the location of the control tower as you approach the lift from the lower landing. Again, review with a CSR to make sure your order is correct.
  4. Decide if you need additional options. Do you have a lot of power outages in your area?Will more than one person be using the lift regularly? Does the user have concerns about the open design, or the mesh platform? Are you adding an upper landing gate? The residential lifts have options but they need to be ordered with the lift. It’s difficult, if not impossible to add them after the lift has shipped.
  5. To be sure you are ordering the correct configuration and options, double check the submittal form before signing it to make sure the unit you are ordering is what you need.

Tips for an Easier Installation

  1. Make sure the site is prepared before the lift arrives. Read the complete installation guide ahead of time to make sure you are prepared.
  2. Check the lift when it arrives for damage, or twisting. The screw drive must stay perfectly aligned for the lift to work. There is a video hereto help you prepare for receiving your lift.
  3. Remember that the lift is very heavy, especially the control tower. Use safe lifting practices, along with a dolly to move the tower into place. Installation requires at least two peopleto maneuver the unit properly. Someone must owe you a favor and can come and help you.
  4. The Freedom Lift Systemcomes with 4 concrete wedge anchors. Click here for a helpful wedge anchor installation video.
  5. The first step will involve positioning the Tower on the mounting deck close to the final install position. Choose a location where you can assemble the carriage components easily. You will move the unit into final position after you have assembled the tower, base legs and carriage.
  6. Do not attach the base frame to the ground too early. This step happens after the base legs, platform and handrail are assembled to the tower, and the alignment is adjusted.
  7. You will have the option of setting the upper limit switch, so the lift will stop at the exact height that you need it to.
  8. Follow all of the instructions carefully. If you have questions before or during installation call Accessibility Professionals at 1-877-947-7769.
  9. Review the monthly and yearly maintenance guideat the end of the instructions. If you live near the coast you may need to increase the frequency of the maintenance checks. Salt in the air or sand may wear the drive nuts faster than usual.

Thanks again for reading! Have you installed one of our Residential Wheelchair Lifts? Can you add any tips we may have missed? Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.


Jinan Sinicmech Machinery (MORN GROUP LIMITED)

Address: 13F, Building 5, Qisheng Mansion, High-Tech Zone, Jinan, 250101 China.

Tel: +86-531-88692337 88631336 88631337 [email protected]


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