Everything to Consider Before Buying a Lift

If you are seeking to buy a lift for a residential, commercial or industrial property, it is important that you engage in a significant amount of research before you do make the purchase.

This research could cover not only the myriad of lift options available but also the building where the lift will be installed. In this article, we can help you to look into both subjects, meaning that you will be able to confidently proceed with buying a lift based on the strength of exactly what you want or need it for.

Why Do You Need a Lift?

Perhaps you just want to replace an existing stairway with a lift for accessibility reasons. Or maybe you know that certain people in the building are less abled or even wheelchair users, and you want to remove the struggles that these people and others often face in travelling between floors of your property.

On the other hand, your only incentive for seeking a new lift could be the enhanced ease with which you would be able to transfer heavy stock and machinery from one floor to another. Then, there are the improvements in aesthetics and value that a new lift can bring to a building.

Chances are that you are looking to not only improve the flow of people or items in your property but also add to its visual appeal with your choice of lift.

Different Types of Lifts

There are various types of lifts to choose from, and which types you ought to choose will largely depend on what will regularly need transporting and where.

For example, in large, multi-storey office buildings, you could find that people need carrying from one floor to another far more often than physical items alone.

Conversely, in hospitality settings like restaurants, cafes and hotels, it can be more convenient for goods to be speedily sent between floors without any people joining the journey.

Below, we detail how several types of lifts differ in the uses to which they can be especially effectively applied.

Passenger Lifts 

The term ‘passenger lifts’ is rather self-explanatory, as it indeed refers to lifts that are primarily reserved just for transporting people rather than goods or machinery.

This helps to explain why a standard passenger loft can move at a rate of roughly 0.6m per second. This speed enables large numbers of people to be economically distributed throughout the building even when it is particularly bustling.

Whatever the size of the shaft where you want a passenger lift installing, and whatever capacity requirements you have for that lift, a passenger lift can likely be designed to suit.

Goods Lifts 

‘Goods lifts’ is another term that largely explains itself, as they are designed to facilitate the safe and time-efficient movement of goods from one part of a building or environment to another. 

However, it bears emphasising that ‘goods lifts’ can refer to lifts of many different types. They include what are known as ‘platform lifts’ — which, being self-contained structures that lack the need for a built-in lift pit, can be installed almost anywhere within an industrial setting.

Passenger lifts also have the exceptional strength to accommodate both equipment and personnel simultaneously. Similarly, goods passenger lifts can carry items — like valuable goods and medical equipment — that, in the process, must be accompanied by a passenger.

Service Lifts and Dumbwaiters

Places where you can expect to find service lifts include offices, retail shops, warehouses, restaurants and hotels. One reason why we know is that these are all examples of places where members of the Sheridan Lifts team have installed service lifts.

Service lifts range from the larger-scale types commonplace in factories and hospitals to the smaller likes of trolley lifts and dumbwaiters — or, as they are sometimes called, automatic service lifts.

The latter do not transport people, but are based on an old and simple design that has nonetheless been tweaked over time, delivering improvements in how dumbwaiters are able to transport goods ranging from plates, glasses and cutlery to medical equipment.

Lift Installation Considerations

Before you settle on a specific lift solution for your domestic, commercial or industrial property, it would be useful for you to know as much information as possible about the building. That way, you will be able to more easily find a lift offering that, both visually and technically, constitutes a seamless fit for its intended space.

Below, we touch on various factors you should think about as you endeavour to select the right lift for your needs. However, if you remain indecisive, you can contact the Sheridan Lifts team directly for tailored advice from lift experts.

Do You Have Space for a Lift?

This is one question to which you could particularly struggle to provide an accurate answer without a professional’s input. Though lifts naturally come in many different sizes, not one of them is so small that it can be treated as an afterthought.

The cab of a lift is its largest component and must be fitted in a way that allows the cab to move safely and securely. Another crucial point of consideration is whether you want the lift to come with a machine room, as this would add to the amount of free space required for your lift project.

Different Lift Mechanisms

What kind of mechanism a lift uses can depend on what type of lift it is. For example, dumbwaiters are pulled up on rails via a pulley system, while platform lifts are relatively quick and easy to install due to their self-contained structure. 

Lifts can also differ in how their elevator brakes function. Usually, modern lifts use electromagnets for braking purposes — and, as the Sheridan Lifts article ‘The Ultimate Guide to Lifts’ explains, “electromagnetic brakes work by holding the brakes in an open position when the car is moving, and then letting them naturally close when the car is stopped.”

How Big Does Your Lift Need to Be?

As we have already established, there might be a somewhat strict limit to the size of the lift you are able to have installed in the first place. However, as a general rule, the larger the building, the more leeway you will likely have concerning how large a lift you can choose.

Naturally, though, the amount of lift space your particular building is capable of accommodating can be very different to what it actually needs — and the latter can be influenced by how you intend the building to be used. For example, if you wish to buy a lift for disabled access, you are bound to need more lift space than what would be required in an apartment block lift.

What is Your Budget?

Alas, it is not often easy to ascertain in advance how much a lift installation job will cost. When buying a lift, the price you pay can depend on multiple factors, including: 

  • The number of floors the lift will need to travel 
  • The number of entrances the lift will have 
  • The type of shaft the lift will move along 
  • The kind of finish applied to the lift car 

Hence, when you approach us to buy a lift, we may need to know your exact requirements for a lift installation project before we can provide you with even a ballpark figure for its price.

Lift Design

Of course, it would be ideal for your new lift, once installed, to look as though it is firmly integrated with its surroundings or at least complementary to them.

Fortunately, when placing your order for a lift with Sheridan Lifts, you can specify what you would like for every single aspect of the lift’s design — including the: 

  • Lift’s shape and size 
  • Colour 
  • Types of materials used in the construction 
  • Lighting 
  • Mirrors
  • The appearance of the lift’s controls 

Though constraints in your space or budget could affect what aesthetic options you are personally able to utilise for your particular lift, we can help you to select a lift design.

Lift Safety

This matter is naturally vital — particularly if the lift will be mainly carrying people. Therefore, before the lift is even fitted, its destined area needs to be safe and secure — and a lift surveyor from our team can confirm that this is indeed the case before the installation work begins.

We always install and maintain lifts in adherence to the relevant safety regulations. Those include the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

How Sheridan Lifts Can Help You With Your New Lift Installation

From our offices in Manchester and Watford, we can send experienced lift installers from our team to properties all over the UK. At those properties, these professionals will be able to undertake lift installation jobs to an accomplished standard.

It’s easy to use our website to learn more about what the lift installation services from Sheridan Lifts involve. You can also enquire about any of these services by phoning our Manchester office on 0330 175 8743 or Watford office on 01923 609 617.