When Peter and Patricia Drane first moved to their ground floor apartment in a gated development in Southport, access wasn’t an issue. Steps down to the courtyard and a sloping drive leading to the basement garage were more of a bugbear than a hinderance. A decade on however, and the couple decided that the property needed future-proofing, with the addition of a home lift.
“It’s not just about making life easier for Peter and me, it’s the little things like not getting wet when you bring the shopping in,” says homeowner, Patricia. “And of course, we must be very careful on the steps and slope when it’s wet or icy, particularly Peter, who still suffers with the effects of a stroke some years ago. Installing a lift is the smart thing to do.”
Research and Home Visits
The couple had been researching home lifts for some time, having been inspired by the popular Channel 4 series, Escape to the Chateau which saw Dick and Angel Strawbridge install a lift in a chateau turret!
“We saw the difference that the lift made to Dick and Angel and thought that’s exactly what we need. We began researching before the pandemic hit and had quotes and home visits from three different lift suppliers, including Terry Lifts.
“We were very pleased with what Terry Lifts offered and their approach; we felt very comfortable with the company. Reece was extremely helpful during our initial enquiries. Then later, Steve Hill who visited us at home, took the time to explain and advise on the best lift for our needs, and answering any questions. We are also particularly pleased that they manufacture the lifts here in the UK.”
Selecting the Lift
Several factors had to be considered when selecting the lift, principally the physical requirements of Mr and Mrs Drane and the location of the lift. The couple required a lift which would accommodate either two people standing, or one person with luggage e.g., grocery shopping. The lift would need to travel from the garage to the kitchen above.
With guidance from Steve, the couple selected the Harmony FE Compact, a fully enclosed home lift with space-saving proportions.
“While the kitchen is spacious, we didn’t want the lift to dominate the room, so the Compact model is ideal,” continues, Patricia.
Choosing Optional Extras
The Harmony FE Compact is available with a selection of optional extras and can be customised to suit the style and requirements of the user. Peter and Patricia chose to add an upholstered fold-up seat, mirror and cabin side LED lighting. The couple have also connected the telephone,
“…which is incredibly handy if it rings, and I am on my way out.
“We considered alternative colours, to complement the kitchen decor and new flooring but when we received a sample of the standard colour from Terry Lifts, we were more than happy with it. The neutral tone works perfectly against the kitchen units, helping the lift to blend in.”
The lift is operated using one touch controls, ideal for when Peter and Patricia are laden with shopping bags!
Installed in Two Days
The kitchen required some remodelling to accommodate the Harmony FE Compact. The couple employed two local builders, Kevin Mawdesley and Craig Johnson to make ready the space. Several cupboards were removed along with the integrated fridge freezer and oven.
The most challenging element was breaking through the concrete floor to the garage beneath. Two rolled steel joists had to be fitted for support. Terry Lifts met with the builders prior to work commencing to discuss the lift installation.
The building work was complete in three weeks with the lift installed in just two days.
As a finishing touch, the exterior of the lift ceiling panel has been fitted with luxury vinyl flooring to match that of the newly laid kitchen floor, providing a cohesive finish when the lift is in the lower position.
Managing Fire Risk
Fire safety is a critical consideration when installing a home lift. The Harmony FE maintains 30-minute fire and smoke protection between floors, whether it is parked upstairs or downstairs. Due to the siting of this lift however, Building Control requires an hour’s fire protection between the apartment and the garage.
While the Harmony FE offers 30-minute protection, this seal is broken when the lift is operational. Therefore, to meet Building Regulations, a 60-minute fireproof enclosure was erected in the corner of the garage to encapsulate the lift.
A sensor lighting system provides light inside the enclosure and is complemented by the LED sidelights of the lift, during operation.
A Home Lift – The Smart Choice
Since the lift was installed Peter and Patricia have been busy sharing the advantages of the lift with their neighbours and YouTube followers, with Peter creating a short film about their experience.
“We have not hesitated to recommend the product and service provided by Terry Lifts. There are six detached houses in our gated community, each housing two apartments, so there are several of us in the same situation.
“The lift has already had such a positive impact; it makes life so much easier. We don’t get wet, the shopping arrives in the kitchen without having to walk up the driveway and through the house, and Peter need no longer worry about the steps and slope.
“Installing a home lift is one of the smartest decisions we have ever made. We have future-proofed our home and improved our quality of life,” concludes, Patricia.
Find out more about Terry Lifts on their member profile page here