Having stairlifts installed in the home of someone who has limited mobility can be an absolute life saver.  Often, people have lived in their homes and communities for many years; they have friends there, raised their family in their home and have important memories.  Once they are unable to go up and down stairs, this may mean that they have to move home, potentially even into a nursing or care home or sheltered accommodation.  The other option, of course, is to opt for stairlifts, giving people back their well deserved freedom and independence.

What Types of Stairlifts are Available?

Generally, there are three types of stairlifts available:

  • Straight stairlifts which are installed on staircases that do not go around any bends or corners
  • Curved stairlifts which can be fitted to staircases with bends, corners or curves and spiral staircases
  • Outdoor stairlifts which are generally straight stairlifts and made in such a way that they are resistant to all kinds of weather conditions.
Once the type of stairlift has been decided upon, it will be time to choose the type of seat.  There are generally four main types of seating arrangements available, which are:

  • Seated stairlifts - where the user sits on a seat that travels up and down the rail.
  • Standing stairlifts - where the user faces the wall and stands up whilst holding to railings.  These are the ideal type of stairlift for people who are unable to bend their knees.
  • Perched stairlifts - designed for those who do not have very good balance but are also unable to bend at the knee.  The user faces away from the wall and is in a perched position, in-between standing and sitting.
  • Wheelchair stairlifts – which are specifically designed to fit a wheelchair.

What are the Costs of Stairlifts?

The cost of stairlifts depends mainly on the type of stairlift rail you require: straight or curved.  Straight stairlifts are the cheaper option, particularly since they can be purchased second hand and can be installed without the assistance of qualified installers if necessary.  A new, straight stairlift, including installation, generally costs around £1,500.

Curved stairlifts, however, are much more expensive.  This is because they have to be custom made to fit each individual staircase.  It is possible to purchase second hand curved stairlifts, but as these will need to be adapted to the staircase they will be fitted on, the price difference is usually next to nothing.  Generally, a second hand curved stair lift will cost around £3,500 including installation and a new one will cost around £4,000 including installation.  Curved stairlifts are also much harder to install and cannot be done by someone who only has basic DIY knowledge.

Due to this tremendous price difference, many people opt to install several straight stairlifts with transfer platforms, rather than a single curved stairlift.

As you can see, if you are looking at purchasing stairlifts, there are a lot of options available to you and it may be wise to contact a few companies to receive a free consultation first.

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