A stair lift is basically a very simple device. The majority of stairlifts currently available have two basic components. One is a chair with motorized wheels or gears at the base. This is what propels the chair up and down enabling it to move along the surface. The second is the track. Part of the surface is textured or toothed. Once you understand these basics, you are ready to choose from the wide variety of options available on the market.
There are two different kinds of stairlifts currently being sold. These are curved and straight. The way your staircase was designed will determine which type you will need. A straight stairlift moves up and down the flight of stairs in a straight line. For this to work properly, there must not be any curves, bends or landings interrupting the line of your staircase.
The more elaborate choice is the curved lifts. These are designed to change direction and go around bends and corners. Depending on how complex of an installation you will need, you will find this type of lift is a lot more expensive. There are also perch lifts or standing stairlifts for individuals having difficulty bending at the knees. Certain companies also offer weatherproof lifts ideal for outdoor steps.
You will need to understand every stairlift is mounted to the treads of the stairs as opposed to the wall. This not only makes them extremely sturdy but they can be installed in nearly every home. If the individual who will be using the lift is wider, heavy-duty lifts are available. The lifting capacity is greater and the seat is wider. You can find a heavy-duty model at most companies.
For very tall people, the height of the seat can be raised during the installation. The majority of stairlifts available also include a swivel seat to make it easier to get into and out of the chair and footplates and armrests designed to fold up so they will not get in anyone’s way. The safety features include a rocker-switch or push button to enable you to call for the stairlift or send it up or down the stairs.
You will also find standard features such as footrest sensors, braking systems, and seatbelts. Prior to choosing your lift, make certain it has all of the features you want. Some companies offer your choice of an (AC) electric or (DC) battery-powered lift. The battery units either recharge at the base station or somewhere on the track. This type of unit is smoother, better and quieter than an electric lift. This is important because the lift will still operate if you have a power failure.
If the staircase in your home is straight with between twelve and fourteen steps, your cost for purchasing a new stairlift should be between $2,000 and $5,000. The average price is generally somewhere in the middle between $3,000 and $4,000. This price includes both a service warranty for one year and your installation.
DIY Stair Lifts
DIY or do it yourself stairlifts are also available. Be extremely careful if you choose to perform the installation yourself. The cost of a new stairlift includes professional installation. This will make certain your stairlift is operating correctly. You will see a lot of companies offering bargain prices for this type of lift online. This is not quite the bargain you may be expecting once you try to install your stairlift.
A stairlift is an incredibly complicated piece of machinery. You must not expect this to be as easy to install as a new toilet seat or a new cover for one of your light fixtures. You may discover your unit is not functioning properly or will not correctly fit your staircase. In the worst possible scenario, your stairlift will completely stop working. Since many of the devices online do not come with a warranty, you are left with a dangerous and dysfunctional unit.
The majority of companies will not give their support to a DIY stairlift. The installers are professionals who have been through extensive training to ensure your installation is just right. The one-year warranty provides you with peace of mind while ensuring your stairlift will continue to function like new. If your stairlift requires routine maintenance or any questions come up months down the road, you will know you have the coverage you need to take care of everything.
Pre-Owned Stair Lifts
A pre-owned stair lift is less expensive than one of the new models. You will find a nice variety of discounted pricing. In most cases, the stairlift was rented out. These units are generally in excellent condition. The units available at any given time will fluctuate. If you tell the company you are interested in this type of unit, let them know what type of staircase you have and what you are looking for, they will try to find a stairlift to meet your needs.
Your cost is dependant on the specific make and model of the stair lift. In most cases, you will pay $500 to $1,00 less than the current price for a new unit. You will still receive the same professional installation to make certain your unit has been correctly installed to run reliably and safely.
Renting a Stair Lift
You can rent a stairlift if you need one for a short period of time. This is a good way to save money. You may need a stairlift to accommodate a relative who has come to stay with you during the holidays or while you are recovering from surgery. You will find a good variety of stairlifts available for rental. The terms can be for as few as ninety days. Your price will be dependent on your specific requirements and the rental inventory.
You can expect to pay around $250 to $5000 each month. This option is economical and will ensure you will not have to struggle for a short period of time.
Curved Stair Lifts
This type of lift is for stairways with landings, turns or curves. This type of stairlift must be customized to fit the unique qualities and turns of your staircase. If you have a more complicated staircase with landings or curves, you will be unable to use a straight stairlift because it will not fit properly. There are units that can be customized. This means no matter how unique your staircase, there will be an option to accommodate your needs. This is called a custom curved stairlift.
Since these models require customization, they are more expensive than the typical straight units. Your cost will start at approximately $10,000. Depending on how complicated your staircase is, your price may increase. This includes the number and length of any landings. You also have to consider any additional features you will need. Even though the cost is higher, a customized stairlift pays for itself within a few months when compared to the expense of moving to an assisted living facility.
Once you have used your stairlift for only five years, your average cost is less than $200 per month. This is a small price to pay to be able to continue living in the comfort of your own home.