We have installed a couple lifts in residences over the past few years. They seem to have installed without a hitch. Recently, we specified a Limited Use Limited Accessibility (LULA) lift at an existing school we renovated, and the complexity increased. Thus, a couple lessons learned from this experience:
A lift is suitable for renovations. In discussing LULAs with the Maine State Fire Marshal, it turns out an existing building with no increase in area or volume can use a lift as a feature of accessibility. An addition project cannot use a lift; it must incorporate an elevator.
Harmar makes all lifts. You can buy a lift from several companies, but they all sell Harmar lifts, and Harmar is the company that provides technical support.
Lift rated doors come from Harmar. Harmar also makes special rate doors for use in rated shafts. It doesn’t make sense to get rated doors anywhere else. The reason is simple. Harmar’s doors are flush to the inside, even though they are outswing. Having the door panel flush to the inside is a code requirement, so that people don’t get their toes sheared off.
You don’t need smoke detectors outside the shaft. Typically with an elevator, smoke detectors are required right outside the shaft doors. These smoke detectors, when activated, send a recall signal to an elevator. Lifts do not have a recall function, so the smoke detectors are not necessary.
Don’t enclose the shaft until the lift tower is in place. Those towers are big, and they will not fit through a door’s rough opening. Count on having to move a big, rectangular sheet metal box into place as part of the lift installation.