Ten Things to Know Before Choosing a Stairlift

So you’ve decided that you or someone you care for needs assistance going up and down the stairs. A stair lift may be the best option for you. However, there are a lot of different stairlifts and you should be sure to choose the best one before you make a serious investment. This guide will help you make that best decision.

1- Location; Where Do You Need to Go?

Examine the site and environment where you need your stairlift. Do you need help getting in and out of your home or do you need help using the stairs inside your home? There are stairlifts designed for indoor use, as well as outdoor stair lifts built to withstand the weather. Be sure to choose the appropriate one.

2- Stairway: What Kind of Stairs Do You Have?

Stairs come in a variety of configurations. Some are simple and straight with no obstructions. Other stairways may curve or have landings. Examine your stairs and read below to determine which stairlift is best for you.

  • Straight Stairs: If you have an unobstructed, straight stairway inside your home, a straight stairlift is right for you. These lifts are the least complicated and least expensive to install.
  • Curved Stairs/Landings: Continuous stairways that curve or have a landing will require a stairlift specifically for this application. Since each stairway is different, these lifts require custom fabrication of the rails to accommodate the stairs. Due to their customized nature, these lifts are often more expensive.

3 – Durability:

Stair lifts come in different sizes and lifting capacity. A standard duty stair lift can carry up to 300 lbs while a heavy duty lift can carry up to 750 lbs and has a wider seat. A heavy duty lift also requires a minimum stairway width of 36 inches. Be sure to evaluate the needs your stair lift project is addressing and have an appropriately sized unit installed.

4- Foot Traffic

You may not be the only person using the stairs in your home. If there is additional foot traffic on your stairs, make sure your stair lift includes a folding seat feature. Otherwise, nobody will be able to walk upstairs.

5 – Safety Features:

Familiarize yourself with the safety features that come with your stair lift. Understanding how to use them properly is important for the rider’s safety.

  • Seat Belts: 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.

6 – Controls:

The controls make operation of the stair lift possible. Stair lifts are easy to use, but you should fully understand all of the controls so you can operate your lift without any difficulty.

  • 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:

You can customize your lift with many different options available. This way, your lift is customized to meet your specific needs. Here are the options available for stair lifts:

  • Upholstery
  • Power Swivel Seat
  • Power Folding Footrest
  • Larger Footrest
  • Oversized Seat
  • Folding Rails
  • Painted Rails to match your Decor.

8 – Rent or Purchase:

You have an option to rent or purchase a stair lift. Renting is ideal for short-term use and projects with limited budgets. Purchasing a stair lift is for long-term use.

9 – Installation and Service:

You absolutely should have one of our experts install your stair lift. This ensures that the stair lift is installed properly and with minimum disruption to your home. We also offer scheduled maintenance plans and service for your stair lift to make sure it keeps running properly for many years.

10 – Warranty:

Your stair lift should come with a warranty. The standard warranty for a new life is 5 years. However, we encourage you to check with the manufacturer about their offered warranty.

These 10 things to know before buying a stair lift should help in your decision while you determine the best configuration for your specific needs and requirements. If you have any questions or need help in configuring a stairlift for your home or business, please call one of our lift specialists at 855-601-2173 to discuss available solutions.