The Best Guide to Buying Stairlifts
Find the right stairlift company
A reputable stairlift company will be your best asset when finding a suitable stairlift for your home. With all the information you can find online, you will still need someone who understands stairlifts who can point out any areas you might be overlooking.
You can schedule visits with representatives from the stairlift company. When they come to your home, they will:
- Talk about the stairlift and how you’ll use it
- Check the stairs and assess any obstructions they need to work around
- Share their full range of stairlifts with you and possibly leave you with a quote or they can send you one after
All reputable stairlift companies will provide the consultation services free of charge and without obligation. This will help to provide you with a contact person you can reach out to if you have any questions.
Consider your Stairlift options and requirements
Before you set off on your journey to find the perfect stairlift, you have to identify your needs and unique requirements, the stairlift company rep can help you with this.
Determining why and how you will use the stairlift will help you narrow down your options and make it easier to find the right fit for you.
To get the right information, there are few factors you need to consider;
Your height and weight – you will need to determine your height and weight. These are key factors when designing and making the stairlift. You will need to have your legs measured when sitting to determine the height of the footrest.
- Length of the staircase – the length of the stairs will not only affect the type of stairlift you choose but also the cost. Longer staircases require longer rails which means the price might be higher.
With these measurements, you are better equipped to look at the different range of stairlifts and narrow down on the various options.
Type of Stairlift
As you research, you will find that there are different types of stairlifts. Each of them has different features and requirements.
Straight stairlifts are simple and straightforward. They only travel up and down the staircase. Because of the simplicity of the technology and installation, they are a more affordable option that can be completed in a few hours.
To save you the cost of having to repaint the work or décor, the rail of the stairlift is installed on the stair tread and not on the wall. Most options under this category are powered from the mains and some come with a backup battery for convenience.
These type of stairlifts are more diverse. They can go around bends, glide across landing or half landings.
The railings used in curved stairlifts are made to order for each individual staircase. The railing is attached close to the wall even on tight bends which allow you to save space on the staircase.
Curved stairlifts come with rechargeable batteries, multiple motors and sensors that keep the seat upright and balanced.
Because of the intricate technology and extra installation work required with this type of stairlift, the cost of the stairlift is higher. However, they are perfect for homes with unique stairs.
After choosing the stairlift you want, your next challenge is to pick the extra features that will make the stairlift bespoke to you.
These additional features make it easier and more comfortable for you to use the stairlift. However, with each additional feature, the price goes up. So, you need to start with the most vital features.
Some of the additional features you can request with your stairlift include;
- Swivel seats – Swivel seats make it easier for you to get on and off the stairlift. For safety's sake, the swivel locks in place so the seat doesn't move when you press down on the armrest when standing up.
- Controls – most stairlifts come with controls. The controls can be on the stairlift, on the wall, or you can also get a remote control with the stairlift. You can use these to send or call the lift. Such controls are handy when you have to share the stairlift. If you go for the remote control option, be sure to ask how many the company will supply.
- Safety belt – safety belts come as a standard with every stairlift. If you prefer to have a more elaborate harness, you can discuss this with the supplier and have a look at the different options available.
- Lock – a lock is useful when you have children around, or if they're visiting. Typically they would want to play on the stairlift. This is not only risky but can cause the stairlift to breakdown. A lock prevents children from operating the stairlift.
- Comfortable seats – stairlifts come with padded seats. Before you make the purchase, you can try out the seat to see if it’s comfortable enough for you. Adjustments like the depth of the seat can be made to suit your weight and height.
- Footrest raisers – lifts come with a platform where you can rest your feet. To keep the lift from taking up too much space when not in use, the seat and platform can be designed to flip up. You can also find models that raise the footrest automatically when you get to your stop.
How much will the stair lift cost?
After choosing the right stairlift with the right features, it’s time to factor in the cost. Ideally, the cost of the stairlift will depend on the choices you made earlier.
If you’re going to consider different stairlift companies, it’s essential that you consider quality and value above the cost. Even though a good quality stairlift from a reputable company might cost you a little more, it will serve you longer and provide a better general experience.
Some of the factors that will affect the cost of your new stairlift include;
- Type of stairlift – typically, a through floor stairlift will cost you more than a wheelchair stairlift . Through floor stairlifts require more parts to function and the installation work is more substantial hence the higher cost.
- New or reconditioned – expectedly, a new stairlift is going to cost you more than a reconditioned one. If you’re juggling a tight budget, a reconditioned stairlift is just as good. However, if you decide to go for a reconditioned stairlift, make you sure buy it from the manufacturer. If you purchase it from a private owner, the stairlift could be compromised.
- Buying Vs. Renting - choosing to buy or to rent will significantly affect your budget. Buying the stairlift outright is going to be more expensive. But, if you intend to use it for a lifetime, it’s more practical. Renting out stairlift is more affordable but only makes sense when you need the stairlift for a short amount of time like when you’re recovering from an illness.
- Customisation – If you would like the stairlift to have customised upholstery or the railing needs to be made to order, you have to be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets. In some cases, customisation is necessary to make the stairlift more convenient for you to use.
There’s more to getting the right stairlift and having it installed. You have to choose the right company that will provide service and maintenance to the stairlift.
Without timely service and repairs, the stairlift will have a short life and it can be quite the headache for you.
Before choosing your preferred company, do some digging. See what other customers are saying about their services. During the purchase process, make sure they give you a contact person who you can always get in touch with should your stairlift run into any problems.
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a stairlift. It's vital that you go through each of them. A stairlift is a tool that you will be using daily. Selecting the best in the market for you should be your top priority.
It’s of utmost importance that you practice responsible and safe use of the stairlift from the moment it’s installed. While the lift comes with numerous safety features, they will only work if you use them.
Take extra precaution, especially when getting on and off the stairlift and make sure you’re buckled up all the time. With these few tips, you should have everything you need to get your new or reconditioned stairlift and make the best use of it.