24 March 2017
6 Questions Answered When 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 even 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. Whatever type of staircase you have, there is often a solution that can be found.
How is the stairlift installed?
Stairlifts are usually fitted to the stairs, not the wall. Most of the time the rail is secured to the first and last stair with additional supports along the rail. The supports won’t be needed on every step and their positioning will depend on the staircase. If you have a complex multi-level flight of stairs then you may require more supports than a standard straight flight of stairs.
Handicare dealers 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 affixed.
In some circumstances, a bracing bar may be fitted to provide additional support, but your stairlift installer should be able to make you aware of this in advance.
Will I need any building work to accommodate a stairlift?
Sometimes minor modifications are required to the property to ensure that the stairlift will fit and travel safely – while rare, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
Handicare stairlifts are offered with a variety of installation options to enable their fit in most homes, such as allowing their installation on narrow staircases or near obstructions such as doorways at the bottom of the stairs. Should any adaptation be needed in your home, your stairlift installer will provide you with guidance and advice. This may, for example, include removal of a handrail, making a windowsill flush or perhaps moving a radiator to make room for your stairlift.
Can I change my carpet once my stairlift has been fitted?
Yes you can. Many Handicare dealers 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 of our certified dealers, as well as our Handicare locations throughout North America, have showrooms where you are able to try out a stairlift before you commit to a purchase.
Handicare dealers also use our proprietary Vision App and/or PhotoSurvey3D tool to generate an image of how a Handicare stairlift will look in your home 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 it is worth considering 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 one day need the extra assistance that powered features offer, be sure to consider this at your time of purchase.
All Handicare dealers offer a free, no-obligation visit in your home where they can answer any questions you may have. During this visit, they can assess the needs of the user and the staircase before recommending a solution. If you would like us to arrange for someone to call or visit your home to discuss the options Handicare stairlifts can offer, please click here.