Contributor Chris Occhiuzzi talks to Alvin Allen about Cottage Lifts’ elevation solutions and how to move people up and down a steep shoreline
Faced with a steep slope from cottage to dock, a lift is an exceptional way to move people up and down the hill. But what do you do if there’s no direct path for the lift to travel?
One of Muskoka Ontario-based Cottage Lifts’ recent clients faced that exact problem. The cottage sat 160 feet above the dock, and the slope in between was full of mature trees and rocky outcrops.
There were stone steps in place, but they had become worn and wobbly. And even the most youthful limbs will tire quickly when faced with such a trek – even without carrying any necessary items like water, snacks, and towels.
“Before we built the lift, it was a really tough walk to and from the dock,” says Alvin Allen, owner of Cottage Lifts.
Cottage Lifts’ Elevation Solutions Include Careful Planning
A lift would fix all that, but finding the most direct route to the lake wasn’t easy: they needed to avoid large jutting rocks and the septic tank. To achieve the best results, Alvin and the Cottage Lifts team built the upper landing of the lift 20 feet away from the main deck.
“Then we added a walkway extension to the main deck for convenience and safety,” says Alvin. “It solved a practical problem, and it also gives the lift its own space on the property from top to bottom.”
Surrounded by the natural landscape and featuring stunning views throughout the trip, this lift is largely hidden from neighbouring cottages.
Cottage Lifts’ Muskoka-based Solutions Good for Gentle Slopes
Although this Muskoka waterfront property had a steep incline, lifts can be a boon to those with gentle slopes as well. Aging family members or those with physical limitations will benefit from an easier way to travel to and from the waterfront.
“It’s not only properties on steep hills which benefit from installing a lift,” says Alvin. “We have a number of clients who have shorter runs with smaller inclines. In each case, the lift allows for full cottage enjoyment.”
There are also financial benefits to a lift – it adds resale value to the property if it comes time to sell.
Whether electric or gas-powered, Cottage Lifts’ products can carry between 500 and 1,000 pounds per trip. Alvin’s team has installed lifts throughout Muskoka, Simcoe, Georgian Bay, Haliburton, and beyond.
Do-it-yourself Packages Available
Cottage Lifts’ elevation solutions come with a 10-year warranty on all weldments and installation, as well as providing emergency service as required.
They also have a do-it-yourself lift package that has seen a growing demand over the years. The mechanical and electrical arrive ready to go, but the client is responsible for assembling the tracks.
“They’re practical and they’re fun,” says Alvin. “And for all of my clients, their lift has become an essential part of their cottage experience.”
To learn more about Cottage Lifts’ elevation solutions, visit their website at https://cottagelifts.com.
Contributor Occhiuzzi is a staff writer at Dockside Publishing and founder of Muskoka Unlimited.