The Summit Stair Lift: This is a low cost home stair lift. The company only makes straight stair lifts. The Summit chair lift is made to be a no-frills but reliable handicap stair lift. It uses technology that is now considered old-fashioned by most leading stair lift manufacturers; it uses a cable system rather than rack and pinion to drag the chair along the track, and the Summit stair lift is mains powered rather than battery powered. Other manufacturers switched to rack and pinion battery powered stair lifts because they give a smoother ride. You do get basic safety systems with the Summit stair lift such as a sensor on the footrest to detect obstacles, a seat belt and cable tensioning. Won’t you won’t get the more sophisticated safety features offered by other manufacturers. All in all, the Summit stair lift is for those on a small budget.
Other codes address "rail post support" safety. A rail post per code regulations is required to support a lateral load of 200 lbs. This is a poorly enforced area of the code and with many inspectors content with the bump test. If it doesn’t move too much when they bump it with their hip, the rail will pass inspection. Many rail posts are simply lagged or nailed to the rim joists and post which are mounted directly to the deck surface will simply not meet code. The tragedy is, there are systems available on the market that correctly address this problem. Simpson, USP and Deck-Loc have brackets which will meet code for rim joist attachment but there’s only one adjustable bracket system (discussed below) which will meet code for wood or composite stairs.
It is not always easy for people who are older and those that suffer from mobility related diseases to climb the stairs. Often the stairs are something that is avoided for these people, and for good reason. A fall down the stairs is the leading cause of hospitalization and accidental death among those who are over the age of sixty-five, so it is no wonder that many are wary around the stairs. To improve the ability to independently use the stairs and reduce the risk of injury, a stair lift is commonly installed to the stairs. A stair lift is a mobility lifting aid that quite literally carries a person up and down the stairs. A track is secured to the stairs, then a chair, or in some cases, a platform is sent up and down the track carrying a single rider.
Why are stairs considered to be so difficult? Stairs must be built according to specific building codes and they require a high degree of accuracy to work correctly. With traditional stair construction, every cut is final and you better know what you’re doing or you get to start over again. Multiple stringers are required with literally dozens of precise, free hand cuts required to form the stair. Each stringer must then be attached in perfect alignment for the rise and treads to be secured accurately. This is a very cumbersome process, requiring a great degree of skill and patience.
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