Stair Lifts 101

Stair lifts are a fantastic solution for people with limited mobility who want to be able to remain in their homes.  It allows them to once again access their upstairs rooms and in some cases it even allows them to access their homes.  For many people, having a stair lift installed can mean the difference between staying in the home and community they know and love and having to move into sheltered accommodation or a nursing home.

Stair Lifts 101 – What Types of Stair Lifts Are Available

There are three main types of stair lifts available.  These are:

  • Straight stair lifts that can be installed on straight stair cases without any bends or curves
  • Curved stair lifts which are custom made to fit stair cases with bends or corners
  • Outdoor stair lifts, usually straight stair lifts, that have been designed in such a way that they can withstand outdoor elements such as rain, snow, cold and heat

Stair Lifts 101 – What Sort of Seats Are Available for Stair Lifts?

There are several different seating arrangements available for stair lifts, regardless of the initial type that you choose.  These seating arrangements are:

  • Standing stair lifts, whereby the user faces the wall and remains in a standing position.  These are particularly relevant for those people whose mobility issue restricts their ability to bend their joints.
  • Seated stair lifts, whereby the user faces away from the wall and sits on a seat.
  • Perched stair lifts, whereby the user faces away from the wall and is in a perched position, giving them slightly more sense of balance than with a standing stair lift.
  • Wheel chair stair lifts or platform stair lifts which are able to carry a full wheel chair.
With the exception of wheel chair stair lifts, there is only room for a user and a walking stick on a stair lift.  If the user uses a walking frame, they will need to have one on each floor of their home, as there is no room to safely carry a walking frame on a stair lift.

Stair Lifts 101 – What are the Costs of Stair Lifts?

The costs of stair lifts vary mainly depending on the type of stair lift that is required.  The seating arrangement does influence the price slightly, but only marginally, with the exception of wheel chair stair lifts that are much more expensive and generally only used in public and commercial buildings.

Straight stair lifts are by far the cheapest option, at around £1,500 for a new stair lift, including installation.  Curved stair lifts, however, are far more expensive as they are custom made.  It can be possible to purchase a reconditioned curved stair lift, but as this would need to be adapted specifically to fit a stair case, the price difference is next to nothing.  A curved stair lift costs between £3,500 and £4,000.  Due to this incredible price difference, many people will opt to install two straight stair lifts rather than a single curved one if at all possible.  Outdoor stair lifts are generally straight stair lifts and usually cost only slightly more than a regular straight stair lift due to the more heavy duty materials used.

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