Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Stairlifts

Q:  How does a stairlift operate?

Stairlifts typically operate on an aluminum track fitted to the stairs.  A motor is used to move the chair up or down the track.

Q:  What is the cost for a typical stairlift?

The type of stairlift needed will depend on your staircase and the type of staircase you have will determine the cost of the stairlift.  New stairlifts can cost between $1,500.00  (c£1000) and $5,000.00.  (c£4000) A lift for a straight staircase will run toward the lower end of the scale while the cost for a curved or angled staircase will run along the upper end of the scale.  There will be more variance in price with a curved staircase because the track will have to be made to fit your staircase.  You may want to consider a used or reconditioned stairlift, especially if you have a straight staircase.

Q:  What is the wait time to receive a stairlift?

Again, the wait time will be affected by the staircase to which your stairlift will be fitted.  You will typically wait 1-2 weeks for your lift if the staircase is straight.  However, because of the customization issues, you will probably wait between 2-4 weeks for a lift to fit a curved or angled staircase.  Some companies can get your lift installed in less time and if your case is urgent, there is a possibility of gettting the chair installed more quickly.

Q:  What is the installation time for a stairlift?

Once the technician is in your home, you can expect 2 or more hours for installation of a curved or angled staircase and between 1 and 2 hours for a straight stairlift.

Q:  Is there a warranty for my stairlift?

When purchasing your stairlift, you should be sure to check that there is a warranty of at least 12 months for your stairlift.  Make sure that your supplier is an approved supplier and emergency calls are offered as part of their package.  Stairlifts manufactured by approved suppliers will have at least a 12 month warranty on all new and reconditioned lifts.

Q:  In case of a power outage, what happens to my stairlift?

Check with the company to make sure they their electric stairlift has back up battery coverage.  Most offer a battery that continuously recharges while in use, but some do not so it is best to specifically ask the question of your supplier.

Q:  Is the stairlift noisy?

Most new stairlifts are built to need only around 24-36 volts of electricity (supplied by battery or electricity).  This means they are not only quieter but also more energy efficient.

Q:  How wide does the staircase need to be to accommodate a stairlift?

The staircase must be at least 24 inches or 600mm wide to have room for the stairlift.

Q:  Will others be able to use the stairs when fitted with a stairlift?

When your lift is not in use, the chair for the stairlift will be parked either at the top or the bottom of the staircase.  This allows others to get to the staircase and use it. Stairlifts also fold up flat on the wall, also making the staircase assessable by others.

Q:  What is the weight limit on a stairlift?

Most basic models of stairlifts can accommodate up to 300 pounds.  However, the weight limit varies from model to model and company to company.  You can look at various manufacturers and models to get the best one for the weight it will need to carry.

Q:  Is fitting the stairlift to the staircase a complicated process?

Because the stairlift is made to fit your staircase, the actual installation process is very simple.  A technician will come and measure your staircase.  The lift is then configured to your needs and sent to your home.  The installation process is simple once the measurements have been made.

Q:  How does I get on and off the lift?

Because the seat on the stairlift is designed to swivel, getting on and off the lift is an easy process.  Because the seat swivels, you can get on or off the lift with having to twist and turn your body.

Q:  Are the stairs still usable with the stairlift mounted?

Because the lift is designed to be slim and all the parts of the chair are intended to fold up when not in use, the staircase can be used by everyone when the lift is not actually operating.

Q:  Is the lift easy to use?

Most stair lifts are designed for people with arthritis, visual problems and mobility problems.  A paddle mounted on the arm of the chair responds to the pressure of your hand and when pressed in the direction you wish to go, the lift takes off easily giving you a smooth ride.

Q:  Is the seat comfortable?

Both the seat and the back of the chair are usually padded for comfort.  The material is easy to clean and can be ordered in a variety of colors and styles to work with your décor.

Q:  How can I use the lift if it is upstairs while I am still downstairs?

Each stairlift is fitted with two remote controls.  If more than one member of your household needs the lift, each can have their own remote.  You place one remote upstairs and one downstairs so that by pressing it, the chair can move to your position either upstairs or downstairs.

Q:  How is the stairlift powered?

Most lifts are plugged into a power source in your home, and most come with rechargeable DC batteries.  These batteries charge and store power each time the lift is used so that in case of a power outage, you will still be able to use the lift.

Q:  What if something else gets on the staircase while the lift is operating?

There are sensors on the lift which will stop the stairlift immediately should anything happen to get in the way on the stairs.  With these 7 sensors, the lift will stop in plenty of time to have the object moved so that you can continue safely up or down the stairs.

Q:  Who will teach me to use the stairlift?

Usually, the technician will   install the lift and make sure that you are very familiar with the operation of the lift before they leave.  You will be shown the about the comfort and safety features of the lift and go through a checklist provided by the company before the technician leaves.

Q:  Is there a warranty with my stairlift?

Every new lift normally comes with at least a 12 month warranty.  This warranty applies to parts and labor.

Because each manufacturer is different, you will need to read about and ask questions about each stairlift you consider.  These questions and answers give you a basic guideline to know what to ask of your chosen supplier.