If anyone at home is physically limited to navigate the stairs, it is wise to invest on a stair lift for him. This is not only for his convenience but most importantly, for his safety.
Most common stair lifts come in a form of a chair that is attached to the stairs using a rail to move up and down. It dates back to 1920 when it was first invented. Today, you’ll hear stair lift being referred to as stairway lift, stairway elevator, chair lift, stair chair, and chair lift.
The Cost Of A Stair Lift
The typical cost of a stair lift is $1,500 to $5,000.
This price includes one unit of a stair lift with either a DIY or standard installation. Five to 10 years warranty on parts and a lifetime warranty on motor assembly are included.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of A Stair Lift
Type. There are different types of stair lifts in the market these days and all of them vary in prices. Take a look at the different options of stair lifts today:
- Sitting stair lift. This is the most common type of stair lift used in most homes these days. This resembles a chair attached to the stairs for more convenience in the part of the user. The user needs to sit down and ride the chair when going up and down the stairs.
- Standing stair lift. This is the least expensive of all options. This involves the use of a platform where the user has to stand up when going up or down the stairs.
- Battery-operated lift. Obviously, this kind of stair lift is operated using batteries. This means that the stair lift will function even when there is power interruption. With this, stair lifts of this kind are on the expensive side.
- Electric-operated lift. There are two types of this kind of stair lift. One is purely powered by electricity so when there is power interruption, the stair lift will be of no use. This lift is cheaper as compared to the other kind, which is electrically operated but is backed up with battery for events such as power failure.
Features. The more features you are expecting out of a stair lift, the higher the cost of a unit goes. For instance, indoor units are a lot cheaper than outdoor stair lift units. Other features that may increase the cost of a stair lift include adjustable seat and footrest, folding seats, security lock, and greater weight capacity. For the latter, you’ll find out that a stair lift with a weight capacity of 375 to 500 pounds is more expensive as compared to a stair lift with the usual 300-pound capacity.
User. The needs of the person who will be using the stair lift can greatly affect prices. For instance, a heavy person will require a stair lift with a greater weight capacity. This only means that you have to go for the more expensive ones. Moreover, a user that can get on and off a stair lift on his own can go for more affordable models requiring no specific needs from the user.
Staircase. The size and shape of your stairwell can also affect costs here. Tight, round, and curved stairwells require stair lifts that are custom designed to make sure that the stair lift will function as normal. Custom-designed stair lifts are very much expensive with prices starting from $5,000 to as much as $15,000 per unit.
Stair lift maintenance will be something you have to prepare for through the years of having the unit at home. Maintenance needs may include oiling, cleaning, and the like.
If you have a battery-operated stair lift, replacing the battery every two or three years is a must. Battery replacement will cost you around $50 to $100 extra for every replacement.
Stair lifts will mean added energy usage at home for battery recharging and operating purposes. However, most stair lifts today are designed to be energy efficient so there is not much addition to energy bills in the long run.
At times, shipping is not included in the cost of a stair lift. Hence, prepare for this kind of extra expense as well.
Tips Before You Buy A Stair Lift
Contact different stair lift companies and ask for price quotations. Most of the reputable suppliers will visit you at home and evaluate the needs of the user and the construction of the stairs to provide you with an accurate pricing of the stair lift and its installation.
Some of the most popular and reliable stair lift brands include Sterling, Stannah, ThyssenKrupp, Summit, Acorn, Ameriglide, and Bruno.
When shopping for a stair lift, evaluate each of the units in front of you. A good stair lift is something that is stable and durable. It must also support the needs of the user including his height and weight. Plus, it must be appropriate for the configuration of your staircase.
Make sure that the stair lift is installed properly. Most stair lifts you can purchase from the Internet must be installed in a DIY manner. If you have stair lifts like this, make sure you follow the instructions closely. A good installation is essential for the safety of the user all the time.
Do not attempt to cut costs when choosing a stair lift. Take note that the right stair lift must be used to ensure safety all the time. For sure, you don’t want to save money on a stair lift that can cause injuries in the future.
As much as possible, get a stair lift from a supplier that will install the stair lift for you. Knowing that a professional installer will be setting up the lift for you can give you peace of mind when speaking of the safety and success of the installation. Even if you pay more for a professionally-installed stair lift, every penny you spend for it will be worth it in the end.
Before paying for a stair lift, get a written document from the supplier so you can evaluate the purchase. Make sure that it includes everything necessary such as the unit, installation, shipping, and warranty.
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of stair lifts. However, you can get assistance from several organizations to pay for the cost of the lift and its installation.
Talk to your tax preparer regarding circumstances when the cost of installing a stair lift can be deductible to your dues.
Consider refurbished stair lifts to save money. A lot of refurbished stair lifts are in the market for a great discount.
Key Points When Getting A Stair Lift
- If the user has difficulty accessing the chair, the seat height is a key issue.
- If client is short, seat height at the bottom of the staircase is another issue.
- If the user is tall, seat depth is important.
- If the user has lower back pain requiring soft starts and stops when using the lift, an electric-powered system is more appropriate.
- Make sure that the stairwell has adequate lighting both at the top and bottom.