Vertical vs Inclined

Vertical Platform Lifts (VPL) and Inclined Platform Lifts (IPL) help people who have a difficult time getting up and down the stairs. A VPL and IPL can carry a person in a wheelchair or other mobility devices, allowing them to travel between floor levels with ease. Both applications can be added indoor and out and can be used in both residential and commercial settings. The difference between the two is the way they travel between levels. A vertical platform lift has a lift tower with either a hydraulic or ball screw drive mechanism. The platform has two solid sides and is attached to the tower. When in use, the platform moves vertically up and down along the tower.

In contrast, an inclined platform must be wall mounted or supported by a post system that secures into the treads of the stairs, thus requiring more space than a VPL would. The platform of an IPL can provide access from two or three sides and will include small ramps that fold up when traveling and down to roll-off at the bottom of the stairs. The platform can be folded up when not in use to provide space for people using the stairs on foot. An IPL is sometimes even described as a “flying carpet” because of the way it carries someone over a staircase.
Because of the difference in the way the applications travel, there are certain occasions where a VPL would be the best option and other occasions when an IPL would be the best option.

When a VPL would be the best option:

  • A VPL is always the best option if there is enough space when compared to a wheelchair ramp or IPL
  • To access a porch or deck in order to access your home

When an IPL would be the best option

  • When traveling over an existing staircase
  • When there is no room for a VPL
  • When an elevator or VPL cannot be easily accommodated


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Last week I received a wheelchair lift and I just wanted to thank EHLS for providing me with the lift. I think you guys have a wonderful program, and you make people’s lives much easier. This wheelchair lift has giving me my independence back and I’m very grateful for that. It’s such a great feeling being able to get in and out of my house and not having to rely on family members and friends for their help. I would also like to thank the guys who installed the lift. Thank you again for this wheelchair lift, it has truly changed and brought so much happiness into my life.

The Veteran’s Administration chose your company to install an outdoor lift for my 84 year old stepfather. You sent a young gentleman named Alex to do the installation. It was completed yesterday, and I must say, it was a pleasure having Alex at our home. He arrived early each day, worked non-stop (didn’t even stop for lunch) and left the place neat and clean. This is one hard working man and his pleasant demeanor makes him very easy to be around. Thanks for everything!

I was most satisfied with the salesperson, he was very knowledge. The installers were great as well, they were very professional and clean. We are satisfied with both products installed they are awesome.

Due to EHLS’ expertise in accessibility, the HomeMod Program is well on its way to making Chicago the most accessible city in the world.

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