This week marks the start of a new way of accessing the upstairs area of our house. We now have a lift (elevator for my American friends) that makes it easier for Jill to get up and down stairs. It will enable us to live in this house for another fifteen years, or so.
The obvious place to put it was beside our stairway which brought it out in the storeroom of my upstairs study – my home office, from where I worked for just on thirty years. I didn’t really want it opening into the middle of a store room so I had the builder erect a dividing wall and open another wall into our upstairs lounge area. I now have a much smaller storeroom but cleaning it out was a good way of deciding that we didn’t need half of its contents anyway.
Our upstairs floor is an extension that we added to the house over twenty years ago and as such, the distance between the bottom floor ceiling and the top floor is a bit thicker than a normal home construction. The lift travels through a ’sleeve’ that fits between the two floors and we were lucky that it fitted by just a few millimetres. The builder took just on five days to do the carpentry and the lift installers had the lift assembled and operating over the next two days. It then took me three days to do the painting and to cut out and lay the vinyl planks on the floor.
The lift travels on two poles so it doesn’t take up much space. The hole in the floor is covered by a fibreglass lid that can be walked on and is picked up by the lift and carried upwards as it ascends and then lowered back into place as the lift descends. Very smart!
The lift was supplied by a local company called Compact Lifts and I’m happy to give them a ‘plug’ because they were so efficient and professional in getting us from an enquiry stage to eventual installation. This lift was originally designed in Tasmania but its development was sophisticated by British designers with its mechanics coming from Germany. Of course, like everything else, it was made in China. We were lucky enough to get our order in before Chinese New Year, when all the factories in China are closed and ahead of the restrictions implemented to isolate people from the Corona Virus.