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10 Things to Know Before Choosing a Stairlift

1. Where do you need a stair lift?

Do you need a stairlift to go up and down stair inside your home?

Or do you need a stairlift to help you get in and out of your house?

Some stairlifts are made for indoor use, other are designed to withstand the outdoors.


2. What type of stairs do you have?

A stair lift is chosen based on the type of stairs you have in your home or business: 

straight-stairs.jpgStraight Stairs - are just that, stairs that are in a straight line with no curves or landings. This configuration is the most straightforward and least expensive stair lift to install.
See Straight Stairlifts Here>

stairs-with-landing.jpgStairs with Landings - When you have stairs with landings the stair lift will have to accommodate the change of direction caused by the landing. There are basically two approaches to stairs with landings:

  1. A curved stair lift that turns at the landing and continues up the second flight of stairs.
    See Curved Stairlifts Here>

  2. Two straight stair lifts, the first takes the rider to the landing, where the rider leaves the first stair lift and walks on the landing from the first stair lift to the second stair lift to finish the ride to the top of the second set of stairs.
    See Straight Stairlifts Here>

curved-stairs.jpgCurved stairs - curved stairs often require custom fabrication of stair lift rails to accommodate the curved stairs. This type of stair lift is more costly based on its custom nature and complexity of installation.
See Curved Stairlifts Here>

 3. Do you need a standard or heavy duty lift?

A standard stair lift normally will lift up to 300 pounds, a heavy-duty stair lift is capable of lifting 500 - 600 pounds and is available with a wider seat. The heavy duty stair lift may require a minimum 36-inch wide staircase to fit the larger stair lift.


4. Consider Foot Traffic on Your Stairs 

Often there are other people in the house who will be using the stairs on foot, consideration should be made for foot traffic to make sure there is enough room to get by the stair lift. Some stair lift models are able to fold up to provide more room in the stairwell for people to use the stairs on foot.


5. Safety Features of Stair Lifts

Swivel Seats make getting on and off of the stair lift easier and more safe than a stationary seat. The swivel seat turns to allow the rider to enter and exit the stair lift on flat surfaces at the top and bottom of the bottom of the stairs, avoiding the need to enter or exit the stair lift from the top or bottom stair.

Chair Height is determined by the size of the rider.

Seat Belts are a key safety feature and are standard equipment on all modern stair lifts. Proper use of the seat belt is an important part of safely operating the stair lift.

Safety Switch This determines that the seat is in the proper position in order for the stair lift to operate, the stair lift will not move if the seat is not in the correct position.

Safety Sensors - These sensors stop the unit if the stair lift comes into contact with an object, pet or person on the staircase.

Battery Operated / Backup - Most stair lifts today are either battery operated or have a battery back-up in case of power failure. The battery is constantly charged by the stair lift rail so there is no need to remember to charge or change batteries. Scheduled maintenance is recommended to ensure proper battery life.


6. Controls

Armrest Controls - These are controls built into the armrest of the stair lift to allow the user to operate the stair lift.

Wall mounted call/send controls - these are stationary controls mounted on the wall at the top and bottom of your stairs to call or send the stair lift up or down the stairs.

Contact Pressure Controls - This is a button or joystick control normally located on the armrest that requires the operator to maintain pressure on the button or joystick in order for the stair lift to move. If the user releases the button or the joystick the stair lift will stop moving.


7. Options

  • Upholstery - choose from a variety of upholstery options, depending on stair lift selected 

  • Power Swivel Seat - automatically turns to allow for confident, effortless exit 

  • Power Folding Footrest - automatically flips up when the seat is raised, and down when seat is lowered 

  • Larger Footrest 

  • Oversized Seat 

  • Folding rails 

  • Painted Rails to match decor


8. Rent or Purchase

Depending on your situation and needs you may choose to rent or buy a chairlift.

Renting may make sense if you need a stair lift for a limited time or you want fixed low monthly payments and no installation charges when you no longer need the stair lift it will be removed

Purchasing makes sense if you wish to own the stair lift.


9. Installation & Service

Expert installation is recommended to ensure the proper and safe installation that fits into your home with little or no modification to your house.

Scheduled maintenance and experienced technicians are also recommended to ensure safe and trouble-free service of your stair lift for years to come.


10. Warranty

The stair lift should come with a warranty. If it is a new stair lift it will normally come with a warranty from the manufacturer, up to 5 years depending on the manufacturer.