Homes with more than one level can be challenging to get around in if you are mobility impaired. While it may be possible to figure out how to move from room to room on the main floor, stairs pose an extra problem.
One method of making sure you can use all levels of the home is to invest in a stairlift. These are essentially chairs that move up the side of the staircase on a rail. They’re a safe, secure method of getting up and down with the danger of stumbling or falling and they ensure you arrive without getting too tired, as well.
How Much is a Stair Lift?
Stairlift prices depend greatly on the size and shape, but in general, you can expect to pay around £3,300 for a stairlift. This will include installation and all the parts that you need.
There are quite a few factors that do need to be considered, however, when looking at the cost of a stairlift.
The company that you purchase from may have different prices than the average. This depends on many things, including their location, the brands they offer, and whether or not they have workers onsite who can custom make your lift.
Staircases come in a range of sizes and shapes. Obviously, a shorter, straight staircase will be cheaper when it comes to adding a stairlift. However, if you need to add more turns or curves, this will require customization that costs more.
A simple, straight stairlift averages around £2,000, but if you have very long stairs or a curved or bent staircase, you’ll end up paying more like £7,000. You can expect each curve or corner in the staircase to double the original quote. This means it may actually be cheaper to install dual lifts rather than a single curved lift, depending on the shape of the stairs.
The brand you choose will also mean paying more or less. Some brands are known to be cheaper, due to the comfort level or materials used. Others have a more established brand name and will charge more for their product.
Add-ons and Features
Finally, the accessories and finishes will affect the final price of the product. As with most products, the nicer the stairlift, the more expensive it will be. A very basic lift can be much more affordable than one with extra cushioning and plenty of comfort add-ons.
Can you buy a used stairlift? This is possible, but it’s far more likely to be possible with a straight stairlift. The curved ones are usually built to order and it’s not likely your home will be an exact fit. However, if you’re lucky enough to find a stairlift that is just like your staircase, then you can save some money.
This is why curved stairlifts almost always require a deposit since the company has to make them to the measurements of your home. Straight stairlifts can easily be resold elsewhere, so they don’t always require a deposit.
Curved stairlifts can be resold, but they will need to be reworked to fit your home in particular and this customisation will boost the price again. You’ll need to decide if it’s worth it to do this or to simply purchase new? A little research can go a long way.
Stairlift Rental Cost
Not everyone needs a permanent stairlift, so it may be an option to simply hire one for some time. This is ideal for anyone who is dealing with a temporary injury, such as a broken leg, or if you have someone coming to stay for a period of time who is limited in their mobility.
There is an initial installation fee to set the stairlift up. This will vary, depending on whether you have a straight or curved staircase, again. The fee may be anywhere from £300-£1000, which is still considerably cheaper than buying a new one. You may be limited, however, as straight stairs are the most common choice and they can be installed in most homes. The curved stairlift is more difficult to find.
Once the lift is installed, you just need to pay a weekly or monthly fee, depending on your needs. Regular straight lifts cost around £10 each week.
It is usually worth the cost to rent if you will be using the lift for just a few months. However, if it’s going to be longer, you can purchase a stairlift and later sell it back to the company when you no longer need it. This is common practice and most companies are willing to buy back their lifts. You may even be able to sell it privately.
Stairlift hire is a good alternative to purchasing if you know you won’t need the lift for very long. This may be due to many reasons, but it’s good to have an alternative. If you do need to purchase the lift, be sure to discuss the buy back program with the company.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Stairlift Company
Is it worth it to put in a stairlift, or should you consider moving to a more accessible home? That depends on the person since not everyone has the necessary mobility for a stairlift. You may not be a good candidate for a stairlift if you have difficulty sitting and standing, which is required for the lift.
You’ll also need enough finger strength to move the seat belt and to buckle in, as well as manage the control button. You may find some accessories to help with this, but if you are unsteady when you get off the lift at the top of the stairs, it can be dangerous and it’s best to look for another solution.
Stairlifts must fit in the stairwell, which may be an issue in some older homes. The technician for the company will need to examine your home and measure the space to determine a few things. They need to know if you will have room to sit on the stairlift and still have sufficient clearance for your knees as you move up the stairs.
Many stairlifts can be folded up when not in use, which gets them out of the way. However, some will stick out and this can be annoying for others in the house. This is something to consider when looking at the various models available. Keep in mind that there are other options in stairlifts, as well, such as standing stairlifts. While not as common, they do exist and may be a good choice for those with issues sitting down.
Stairlifts do need ongoing maintenance, so you will need to discuss this with the installer. They should provide maintenance services, but these may come at a fee. There will often be emergency services for breakdowns, as well. Check to see what the cost of these services will be.
In some cases, you may find that the stairlift is not going to fit without some structural changes to the home. If this is the case, you’ll need to look carefully at the options before you make a choice. Is it worth it to make those changes or should you consider another option for reaching the upper levels of the home?
How Long Does It Take for Stairlift Installation?
The amount of time depends on the company and brand. Many companies schedule the preliminary visit within a day or two, so the technician can look at your home and get the measurements for your stairlift.
Once the initial measurements are taken, it may be up to two weeks before your stairlift is installed. The installation will take much longer if the stairlift is curved, as they need to custom make the rails. These will be attached to the treads of the stairs, not the wall, but they still need to follow the curve of the staircase.
As you’ve seen, stairlift prices vary drastically. The best way to find out whether this is a viable choice for you is to talk to DMA Stairlifts and learn more about your options. We’ll provide you with plenty of information to help determine if you should use a stairlift or not and we can also offer a quote based on the size and shape of the stairs. Contact us today to learn more.