DIY can be a lot of fun. Not only can it save you money, you can also learn new skills and create a home which reflects your personality and taste. However, there are some tasks that really don’t lend themselves to DIY; and building your own lift is one of them. Let’s take a look at why.
Lifts offer a much safer way to get from A to B than taking the stairs,* that is; when they are properly designed, assembled and installed. There are plenty of stats which prove that the number of deaths and injuries caused by professionally built and installed lifts is extremely low. But the stats just aren’t available for DIY home lifts. However, it’s worth asking yourself; would you prefer to trust the life of your loved ones to a lift designed, built and installed by professionals or, to a lift created by Jack the investment banker next door?
While there’s always a safety risk to others from inadequately built/installed or maintained DIY lifts, the number one reason we don’t recommend you build and install your own lift is for you – the builder’s – own safety. Did you know that the most common victims of elevator-related injuries are maintenance or construction crews? It’s during the assembly, installation and inevitable maintenance and servicing of your lift that you are quite possibly most at risk.
It’s important to note that you likely will need to take on maintenance and servicing responsibilities if you built the lift yourself, as most lift mechanics will be loathe to touch a home-made lift.
Another factor to consider is whether you have the skill set you’ll need to build your lift and install it. You’d likely be aware that it’s illegal to do your own electrical work, so unless you’re a licensed electrician yourself you will still need to get a professional in at some stage of the build.
However, assuming you want to complete as much of the project as you can yourself, you’ll need to possess very good mechanical skills and experience as well as an understanding of plans. You’ll also need to have your head around Australian design regulations to make sure your lift is compliant. If you’re going completely DIY rather than using a kit, you’ll want to have a very good grasp of the load limits of different materials and the strength of different designs as well.
Insurance and Warranties
It’s hard not to notice that insurance companies tend to be rather risk averse. This tendency certainly applies to home-made lifts. Odds are your insurance company will refuse to insure you for any accidents or mishaps involving the lift. What’s more, if you assemble and install the lift yourself, it likely means you’ve voided the factory warranty that would otherwise apply. Most people who undertake DIY work are at least in part motivated by the savings they could make. However, when you factor in the above, your home-made lift may start to look a bit more expensive.
Having a home-made lift can also put potential buyers off, if you are looking to sell, thus negatively impacting your home’s value. Conversely professionally built and installed lifts, like the Aritco models we use at Adelaide Lifts, are an investment in your property and an attractive feature to many prospective buyers.
Contact Adelaide Lifts today to find the best home lift for you.