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Stairlift Measuring Guide and Space Requirements

Side of the Stairs

First, you need to determine whether you want the stairlift to go on the left or the right. In most cases, stair lifts are installed on the side of the wall. For open plan stairlifts, you can pick the side that would be the most practical to access the stairlift from the bottom of the stairs.

Measure the size of the floor area

To assess the length of the rail needed for the stairlift, we need to know how long the staircase is. To measure the length of the staircase, you have to measure from the top stair treat to the bottom of the staircase.

To get a more accurate measurement, ensure the tape measure is lightly touching each of the stair treads. The tip of the tape measure should be extended down to the bottom of the floor area past the first stair tread or where you would like the rail for the stairlift to stop.

Depending on the design of the stair lift, the length can be stretched to keep the staircase accessible when the stairlift is not in use.

Measure the Width of the Staircase

There are various types of stair lifts made for different staircases. When designing the stairlift, the width is a significant factor, so it has to be measured carefully. You don't want a stairlift that takes up the whole width of the stairway making it unusable by other occupants in the house.

Measure the width of the staircase from end to end. It’s important that you measure from the skirting board and not the wall.

Measure the Clearing Distance at the Bottom

If the stairlift is going to be close to an obstacle like a door, you need to know how far the obstacle is so it can be considered when designing and installing the stairlift.

Measuring the clearing distance gives you an idea of the space available at the bottom of the stairs. The minimum amount of space is about 18" to 20". This allows enough room for the stairlift to be parked safely with enough room for the user to get off safely.

If the space available is not enough, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you can‘t get a stairlift. It only means you may require a hinge track system to work around the limited space and give you the space you need to operate the stairlift safely.

These measurements are essential in identifying the amount of space and the size and type of stairlift that will work best for your home. The measurements have to be accurate and in some cases, there are other measurements that might be required depending on the type of stairlift and the design of the staircase.