Specifying a Residential Patient Lift

Specifying a Residential Patient Lift

Requirements for lifts due to medical reasons are increasing, and so are the types of lift available. With so many options, working out the right residential lift for your clients can be a minefield, with many making their mind up based on recommendation and request rather than providing detailed advice.

Gartec have put together a guide to help Occupational Therapists, Medical Professionals and those working with disabled users choose an appropriate lift based on budget, style, requirement and needs.

Remember, if you need any support or advice, we are always on hand to help out, and you can catch us at events for our free CPD seminar on specification and demo lift tests.



Once you have determined that your patient requires a residential lift (rather than ground floor living adaptations), the first step is to analyse your patient.

Consider the following points:

  • Do they use a wheelchair, or will they need to in the near future?
  • What type of wheelchair do they use?
  • How heavy is your patient, and are they likely to get heavier? (for example, children will need a lift they can continue to use as they grow)
  • How large is your patient? Take into account any equipment, such as wheelchairs, that will need to be transported
  • Is your patient able to press, hold or move a control system for a lift?
  • Will your patient lose mobility and muscle control in the future?
  • Does your patient have to travel with a carer?



Once you have analysed your patient, it is time to look at the residence to see what will and won’t work, and what is required. This is a good time to see what your patients’ preferences are too – perhaps they have a particular place they want their lift which will dictate what is available – and help you manage their expectations.

Have a look around the house and use this checklist to get all the information you need to specify the ideal residential lift:

  • How many floors is the house – and how many need to be accessed via the lift?
  • How much space is available for the lift?
  • What kind of budget are you working to? Are your patients willing to add to the budget, or pay more for certain features?
  • Are there other dwellers in the property?
  • Is there a straight stairway, or is it curved?
  • Can power/electrics be provided and moved?

Remember, you will need to ensure there is a 900mm turning circle in front of the lift for wheelchair users to exit and turn on the landing.



There are lots of options and suppliers available for residential lifts. We’ve summarised the main options below, with some of the requirements above detailed to help you easily remove any unsuitable lift types from your list.


A seated transport option. Allows for seated transport between 2 floors along curved or straight stairway. Budget friendly but non-aesthetic. Approx. £5,000 – £7,000.

Through-Floor Lift

A vertical transport method that uses permanent, open guide rails along a wall. A large open-top box is moved between floors with a ‘knock out panel’ – ceiling square – that makes floor space useable when on another floor. Generally 2 floors only, non-aesthetic, inflexible. Approx. £10,000 – £15,000.

Platform Step Lift

Platform steplifts (like the Gartec 3000) are usually short travel (3m) lifts that offer 2 stops, with an open top car that runs up and down guide rails. Often used for external steps outside buildings and homes, a step lift could be a simple and low cost solution for entryways and short flights of stairs.



Platform Home Lift

A vertical transport method within enclosed shaft (for example, the Gartec 6000 home lift) which you cannot get underneath. The electric drive system is hidden behind the lift and the tiny footprint and safety features make platform lifts ideal around children and pets. Highly flexible for patient design – 500kg for bariatric wheelchairs, 6 floor travel. Approx. £14,000 – £20,000.


Hydraulic / Traction Home Lift

Sometimes a full lift is a good choice for the home, with higher power, speed and travel options – though you may need extra space for the oil and machinery. A hydraulic home lift is not a common choice as they require a large pit, whilst a traction home lift, will use a belt drive system and may be smaller. If you have a very large house, or have lots of floors of travel (6+) then a hydraulic or traction lift may be a better choice.



Continued learning is the key to successful patient lift specification. Knowledge of the range of options available and the new technologies and methods of providing home access will give you the tools you need to help patients find the best solution at home.

Catch Gartec at the OT Show providing a free CPD learning module seminar all about specifying residential patient lifts in November to start your patient lift learning with a bang:

The OT Show

  • 21st & 22nd November, NEC Birmingham
  • Showcase Theatre, 11am: our seminar on lifts (both days)
  • “Specifying Residential Lifts for your Patients” CPD

Click here to register for free tickets to the show!



Gartec are proud to work with occupational therapists and medical industry professionals to install patient lifts in private homes – making life easier and more comfortable for people across the UK. Read a little about the features that made the difference for these less able users.

Kyla, Brighton Home Owner

Kyla wanted to make a 5 storey Brighton town house fully accessible for her and her wheelchair, as well as sustainable. She chose a Gartec 6000 Home Lift because:

  • doors on different sides
  • travel over 5 floors possible
  • low energy consumption lift
  • High 410kg capacity for wheelchair use

Isla, Windlesham 

Isla and her parents were looking for a home lift for their extension to make life easier for Isla, who has FOP. The family needed a lift that Isla could grow into, and be able to travel with someone. They chose the Gartec 6000 home lift because:

  • Matching aesthetics – not a functional product that looks disability
  • 410kg capacity for potential electric chair in future
  • Can travel with a parent, friend or carer
  • Remote control option for Isla’s independence
  • Doors on different sides to fit extension


How can Gartec help?

Gartec have been installing lifts for over 20 years, and have worked on all sorts of projects in both commercial and residential environments. Providing key services, including quotes, site visits, showroom appointments and general advice for free, we take pride in our fantastic customer service and knowledge.

We are always on hand to provide advice, support and information about lifts, and are happy to visit sites to give recommendations and help with everything from the position of your lift to organising building works.

Get in touch with our experienced and friendly team today to see if we can help with your next patient lift project.