My grandma has trouble walking these days and I was going to build her a ramp. After examining code requirements, etc, I realized that a full sized ramp would take up a lot of space and be very expensive. I had to figure something out that would help grandma and my wallet at the same time.
So, after mulling about a few configurations and set-ups for a feasible ramp, I had a brain storm. Why not build an elevator? Further exploration of that idea exposed a few safety issues that I simply could not resolve to any degree of comfort or assurance of grandma's safety.
But, the seed was planted. I could not get the idea of a powered lift for grandma out of my mind.
This is where those musings led.
Step 1: Making the plans
The first thing I had to do was determine where to put it and the needs of grandma to design it's function. First, it had to eliminate any steps between the house and the garage where the car is parked. Second it had to fit her small 35" motorized chair. And finally, it had to support her weight combined with the weight of her chair, or a cummulative rough 300 pounds.
Previously, there had been a short ramp in place for her to walk down. But, now the slope was too steep for her to walk down and her cart could not manage that degree of slope safely. But it's location was relative to the spot where a different ramp would work well.
Off her back porch I had built a 10' x 13' deck some 3 years ago.I decided to build the cable car adjacent and parallel to that deck so that she could simply roll out off the porch, across a few feet of deck and onto the car platform. I decided to build the platform to rise level with the deck at the top of it's rise and settle flush with ground level at the bottom.
So, I began by digging out the area next to the deck. Then I marked the locations for a few footers to build posts up to hold the rails.