Have you lost confidence walking up and down your stairs? Do you feel like you’ve lost your independence navigating your own home? Are you considering moving house to somewhere without stairs? Well, a stairlift way me the answer to your problems. Many people put off getting a stairlift and soldier on putting themselves at risk of a nasty fall, if you’re one of those people and are on the fence about stairlift installation, this post may be able to help you make your decision.
What is a stairlift?
A stairlift is a mechanical device installed to your staircase which will lift you up or down your stairs. There are stairlifts for straight staircases and stairlifts for curved stairs and ones which can also navigate stairs with landings.
Who can a stairlift help?
Although stairlifts are often associated with older people who now struggle to use their stairs at home, they are in fact used by many people for many different reasons. The one thing that every stairlift user has in common is that a stairlift makes their experience of climbing the stairs easier and more comfortable and can often enable them to remain in their home rather than moving to a stair-free alternative.
How much space do you need?
Thanks to their foldaway footrests, seats and armrests a stairlift can usually be installed in even the most narrow of spaces without obstructing other people’s use of the stairwell.
How do stairlifts work?
A stairlift is made up of two main parts, the carriage where you sit and the rail which is attached to the wall and is the part that the carriage runs on. The carriage part of the stairlift contains a small motor which is powered by electricity and is responsible for moving the carriage along the rail. By using an electric motor stairlifts can remain quiet and unobtrusive. Most stairlifts nowadays operate using rechargeable batteries to ensure that they work even during a power outage. With regular use, most stairlift batteries can last between 3-5 years before needing to be serviced and replaces.
Do stairlifts have a weight limit?
The short answer to this question is yes, but their weight limit will be influenced by several different factors including whether the rail the stairlift is using is straight or curved, how steep the angles and bends of the rail are and the type of chair the stairlift uses. As a general rule though the upper weight limit for a straight stairlift is around 25 stone (160kg) and the upper limit for a curved stairlift is slightly less at 21 stone (136kg). The maximum load that your stairlift will be able to take can be more accurately calculated following a site visit.
How much do stairlifts cost?
The cost of your stairlift can depend on many factors as not all stairlifts and stairlift companies are made the same. Prices will vary depending on the quality fo the stairlift you choose, the style of your staircase (i.e is it straight or curved) and whether the installers may need to make some adaptations to your stairwell such as removing a windowsill during installation. To give you an average figure Which? When looking at the best stairlift brands of 2018 calculated that the average cost of a stairlift was £3,126, however, this is an average and so straight rail staircases can cost significantly less and curved rails considerably more. The best way to get a better idea of the cost of a stairwell is to have a free no-obligation visit from a stairwell company to assess your space and requirements.
What aftercare do stairlifts need?
Stairlifts require very littler aftercare and most replacement parts are only needed as a result of normal wear and tear. To put your mind at ease most providers will offer service contracts to cover any maintenance checks and repairs, enabling you to sit back and relax knowing that your stairlift will always be in good working order. From your end, all you will need to do is give your stairlift a gentle clean every now and ensure that the maintenance team have access for their scheduled maintenance visits.
So what next?
If having read this post you now think that a stairlift could be the right fit for your home then the next thing to do is research some reputable stairlift companies. Once you have found one you like then they will often come to your home to perform a free, no-obligation assessment to help you understand which stairlift will be best for your space. If you choose to place an order then the stairlift-company will hand all the hard work and the installation process for you and you’ll have effortless access to your stairs in no time