When it comes to getting a stair lift, there’s a bunch to think through before you make that big decision. Things like how long your stairs are, how much weight the lift needs to handle, and even how much power it uses each month—all that jazz affects which lift is the right fit. Since every home and person is different, each stairlift setup is special. Make sure to chat with a pro installer before you pick a specific lift model for your place. They’ll help you figure out what suits you and your home best.
Is a Renovation Really Needed?
Most stairlift companies are made to fit staircases that are about 30-32 inches wide, based on the user’s size and needs. When you’re thinking about a stair lift, your home is the key starting point. The space you’ve got can really affect your options—some staircases are narrow and can’t handle a regular-sized lift. If your space is tight, a smaller model might be the way to go. Sometimes, you might need to expand the space for the lift by making adjustments to the staircase.
Even if there’s enough space, your house might need a bit of tweaking before a new lift can be installed. For instance, your home’s electrical system might use AC power, but some lifts work on DC power. It doesn’t mean they won’t work together, but you might need to set up a converter to connect the lift to your house’s power system.
What Are the Dimensions of Your Staircase?
Most stair lift models come with a maximum length, outlined in the brochure, which usually matches the rail they run on. For a straight-track stair lift, it should handle a standard flight of stairs up to 16 feet, but if your staircase is around 20 feet, it might need some extra installation work.
The width and height of your stairwell play a part, too. You’ll need about 30-32 inches of open space for the stair lift. If you can stand on one side of your stairs and reach across with your arm fully extended to the opposite wall, you likely have enough room for a standard lift. Also, check with the installer about the headroom along the track’s length, especially if your staircase has a low overhang. This helps ensure there’s enough space for riders’ heads.
Different staircases have different shapes, and that matters. Straight staircases are usually straightforward to install and often take just a few hours. Curved staircases are a bit more complex. Each curved staircase is unique, requiring an evaluation and measurements by an experienced installer before installation. After this assessment, you’ll receive a clear quote for the cost and installation time, along with options for the lift tracks that fit your space.
What Is Your Budget?
Understanding the costs involved is key when considering a stairlift for your home. Typically, basic stair lifts for a 12 to 14-step staircase range from $2,500 to $5,000, covering installation labor costs. Simpler models tend to be closer to the lower end, while compact or heavy-duty options can be closer to the higher end.
Curved stair lifts usually cost more than straight ones. Customized installations for curved staircases can start around $10,000. The final price depends on factors like the size and complexity of your stairwell, the number of landings, rail length, and any additional adjustments needed for installation.
Affording a new stair lift can be tough, especially if a sudden disability limits mobility unexpectedly. But considering that assisted living costs about $4,051 monthly on average, investing in independence at home tends to make financial sense in the long run.