10 March 2017

Six answers to popular questions about buying a stairlift

The decision to go ahead and buy a stairlift is a big decision for people and often they will have spent a long time thinking about it before finally deciding that they will benefit from having one installed.

Once that decision has been made, deciding which lift to buy is a major consideration; in many cases people are unfamiliar with stairlifts and what to look out for so the whole process can seem rather daunting. We have answered six of the most common questions that people have when buying a stairlift so if you or someone you know is considering a stairlift we hope this will help with making an informed decision.

Are my stairs suitable for a stairlift?

There is a variety of stairlift systems available so you can generally find something that will work on curved, helical, or straight stairs. There are some staircases that have a mixture of both straight flight stairs and fan-like steps or intermittent landings: custom made rails are available to handle most of these configurations too. Whatever type of staircase you have, there is often a solution that can be found.

How is the stairlift fixed?

Stairlifts are usually fitted to the stairs, not the wall. Most of the time the rail is secured to the first and last stair, there will be further supports along the rail. They won’t be needed on every step and their positioning will depend on the staircase. If you have a complex curved staircase then you may require more fixings than a standard straight staircase.

Handicare’s partners are able to conduct onsite surveys that will design the optimum rail for you when they visit which means they will be able to give you a good idea before you order of where your rail will be fixed.

In some circumstances a bracing bar may be fitted to provide additional support, your stairlift supplier should be able to make you aware of this in advance.

Will I need any building work to accommodate a stairlift?

Sometimes additional minor modifications are required to the property to ensure that the stairlift will fit and travel safely - this is a very common scenario and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

Your stairlift supplier will be able to give you guidance and advice on any adaptations that are needed. This may, for example, include removal of a handrail, making a window sill flush or perhaps moving a radiator along little to make room for your stairlift.

Can I change my carpet once my stairlift has been fitted?

Yes you can. Many Handicare partners offer a ‘lift and lower’ service. This means they will come in and remove your stairlift and return to refit it after your new carpet has been fitted.

This is a chargeable service so if you are also considering a new carpet it may be more cost effective for you to have that fitted before your stairlift.

Can I try before I buy?

Many mobility companies have showrooms where you are able to go along and try out a stairlift before you commit to a purchase.

Handicare Partners can also use our Vision App to generate an image of how a Handicare stairlift will look in your hallway so you know what to expect before it is installed.

Are all stairlift seats the same?

Stairlift seats come in different shapes and sizes, and depending on each individual circumstance, there will be options available to suit users’ medical or physical conditions. You may not need powered options now but is worth considering if you should invest now to ensure ease of use for the future. Not all systems are able to add these at a later date so, if you think you may need the extra assistance powered features offer one day, make sure you know if there is an option to add these in the future or if you need to include them when you place your order.

All Handicare partners offer a free, no obligation visit where they can answer any questions you may have and assess the needs of the user and the staircase before recommending a solution. If you would like us to arrange for a partner to call or visit to discuss the options Handicare stairlifts can offer please click here.