A stairlift can be considered a capital investment in your house. This is because it is going to serve you and your loved one(s) for many years to come.
Stairlifts come in different designs, forms, and budgets. Consequently, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration when buying one. Before we get into that, though, here is some background information that will help you decide what to purchase in the first place.
Stairlifts are installed in a home or commercial space to help residents move from one floor to another. There are three types of stairlifts: straight, curved, and outdoor.
Straight stairlifts are fitted onto straight staircases and are the most basic and least expensive. Curved stairlifts are a bit more complicated and cost much more as a result. Lastly, outdoor stairlifts can be either straight or curved and are built to withstand weather conditions.
All stairlifts have 3 major parts: the rail, which is fixed to the staircase, the track, which sits on and travels up and down the rail, and the seat, which carries the passenger. The seat comes with footrests and armrests. Lastly, stairlifts also come with a safety belt and remote control to direct it up and down the staircase.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Stairlift
With all that in mind, here are a couple of considerations that will help you decide what you need.
The Configuration of Your Stairlift
As mentioned above, staircases come in different configurations. While some are straight and narrow, others can be curved and wide. If your staircase is not “standard,” you might have to have one custom made.
If you need to have a stairlift fitted on a curved staircase you might not be able to get a quote upfront. The price will vary based on the length, shape, and extra features added. You will need a technician to come to your house to get the exact measurements for the stairlift.
For How Long Do You Need the Stairlift?
A stairlift might be a solution for a temporary situation. For example, you might be healing from a condition or injury that impedes your mobility for a short period of time.
If you know you won’t need a stairlift for a very long time, consider renting or leasing one. Alternatively, you can go for a model that is the easiest to dispose of once you are fully recovered.
Consider Whether You Will Need to Replace Your Carpet Before Installing
This is something that is usually overlooked but can save you hundreds of dollars in removing and reinstalling the stairlift.
Consider the Rail that Comes with the Stairlift
Rails come in different shapes and sizes, so ask to view the rail before paying for the stairlift. Some rails are larger than others and some rails will have one tube, while others will have twin tubes.
The materials can also vary; some rails are made of steel and others are made of aluminum. You should check out the color, length, and design and see how well they blend with your house’s decor.
Investigate Different Stairlift Companies
There are several companies that sell stairlifts in the US. Compare different brands, features, warranties, and prices. Some of the most important stairlift features you should consider include;
- Swivel seat
- Safety features, such as seat belts
- Motion sensors
- Perch seat
- Remote control
- Powered hinge track
Some of the most well-known stairlift brands you should consider are Mobility 101, Handicare, Bruno, Harmar, and Stannah.
Modifications That May Need to be Made in Your Home
It is not unusual for the installation company to request that modifications to your home be made for the stairlift to fit properly. The company may also ask for some major modifications, such as power supply adjustments, plumbing, and carpentry work. For example they may need to move a radiator from one part of the staircase to another to prevent having an obstruction in the lift’s path.
With all that being said, your personal preferences and budget will play a big role in the final decision that you make at the end of the day.