Stair lifts are motorized chairs that travel along a rail mounted to the treads of stairs. The rider should be able to get on and off the chair independently, or with assistance in the form of a walker or cane only. Typically, a stair lift is not a good solution for someone in a wheelchair.
Some things to think about when choosing a stair lift are:
Know your Stairs – For a single flight of straight stairs, use a straight stair lift. Most other types of staircases may require a custom-made curved rail stair lift system. The custom-made units are significantly more expensive since they designed exclusively for your staircase.
Consider Important Features – A seat swivel feature at the top of the stairs can be handy to have on a straight stair lift because getting on and off the stairs is done facing away from the stairs. Other features might also be on your list, such as an error code display to see any service issues. Power swivel seat and power folding footrest are also available convenience features on some models.
Find the Right Fit – Measure your stairs to choose the correct lift and determine the appropriate weight capacity. Sit in a normal chair and measure the width that you will need to comfortably sit in the chair. Seat height capability is often very important. A taller seat height makes the process of standing up from the chair easier. Or try out a chair in our showroom in Lenexa, KS.
Choose a Reputable Brand – National brands will provide you with a manufacturer’s warranty to cover any part defects. Ask the seller if they provide any labor warranty.
Consider your Surroundings – If your stair width is less than 30 inches, it may be very difficult to install a stair lift. If you have a door at the top or bottom landing, you may want to consider a flip-up or zero clearance rail option that keeps the stair lift from intruding on the door area. You may want to choose a curved stair lift if you want to “park” the unit around a corner at the top or the bottom of the stairs to give you free access to the stairs when the chair is not in use.
The installation will take only a few hours, and a curved stair lift can be installed in a day. Usually, a standard stairway needs to be at least 30 inches wide and there must be at least 24 inches of landing space at the base of the stairs.
We do not recommend trying to install a stair lift yourself. Our technicians install and service lifts every day so they are trained, knowledgeable and experienced in ensuring your lift is installed to the manufacturer’s specifications. In addition, it will be fully tested for safety and all features of the lift are demonstrated to you.
When we install your lift, we provide a labor warranty and you can rely on us to service and maintain that lift for as long as you own it.
Not ideal for people in wheelchairs. Consider a vertical or inclined platform lift instead.
Do not overload a stair lift
Do it yourself installation is possible but follow safety instructions carefully
Be sure to have the area well lit, especially the areas to get on and off of the lift
Extra features are available such as power folding footrest or a power seat swivel. They cost more but may be necessary.