Can Stairlifts be Fitted to Any Stairs?

ICON Rehab UP.Lift Stairlift Rail

With the clearance of some safety measures for stairlift feasibility, it is now possible to install stairlifts on any stairs, but the cost varies according to the type of stairway. The main factor that will affect whether or not a stair lift can be fitted is the shape of the staircase. Most staircases in UK homes are ‘straight,’ meaning they have a uniform shape and angle. Such staircases are the easiest to fit with straight stairlifts. As the name suggests, these stairlifts travel in a single straight line and are assembled easily with track pieces on floor brackets/legs. However, the number of track pieces & legs is determined by the length of the stairway.

Styles of staircase

But not all staircases are built the same way, and with so many types of staircases out there, it’s challenging to know what kind of stairlift you need. If you have curved stairs, you may still be able to get a stair lift. But it will likely be more expensive because the track must be custom-made to fit your staircase. The stairlift tracks for curved stairways are built in sections and then fit together to form the complete track. This is a more complex process; curved stairlifts take a bit longer to install.

The third kind, L-Shaped stairways, are not as common as the other two types, but they can still be outfitted with stairlifts. These stairways have a landing halfway up or at the bottom of the stairs. The L-Shaped stairlift track is installed in two pieces. The first piece goes from the bottom of the stairs to the landing. The second piece goes from the landing to the top of the stairs.

This type of stairlift is more expensive than a straight stairlift, but it is still less expensive than a curved stairlift. However, the shape of the stairway is not the only thing to consider. Some homes may have a narrow stairway or a door near the stairs at the top or bottom. Either way, with some adjustments, it can still work out.

UP.Lift Stairlift Space Saving Rail

What other factors determine the feasibility of a stairlift?

Many factors go into making a stairlift work for your home. Following are some of the critical things to keep in mind.

The width of the stairway

Every stairlift model requires a minimum width space for a pleasant experience. Generally, a straight stairway must have 28 inches of width and a curved stairway 30 inches without handrails or other blockages. In some cases, due to the limited width space, handrails are removed for a better stairlift installation.

The weight capacity of the stairlift

Most stairlifts have a weight capacity of around 300 pounds. However, some models are designed to accommodate more weight. If the user is above the limit, a model with a higher capacity should be installed.

A person sitting with an elderly in a wicker chair.

The type of power source

Stairlifts either have a battery or primary power source. Mains-powered stairlifts are cheaper to install but need a power outlet near the stairlift. If there is no power outlet, then the cost of installation increases as extra wiring needs to be installed. Battery-powered stair lifts are a bit more expensive but do not require a power outlet. This also means that the stairlift will continue to work in the case of a power outage. However, the batteries need to be changed every few years.

The length of the stairway

This is one of the most important factors to consider. Stairlifts are made in different lengths and can accommodate stairways of various sizes. For instance, a stairway measuring 12 steps or less requires a compact model, while a stairway measuring 13 steps or more needs a full-size model. So, it is crucial to know the exact measurements of your stairway before considering a stairlift.

Icon Rehab Up Lift Stairlift – Sand

Icon Rehab Up Lift Stairlift – Brown

Whether there is a door at the top or the bottom of the stairs

If there is a door at the top or bottom of the stairs, it needs to be considered while installing the stairlift. The door should not block the path of the stairlift. Some solutions can be provided to ensure the doorway is still accessible.

The angle and shape of the stairway

This is an essential factor to consider while installing a stairlift. The angle and shape of the stairway determine the type of stairlift that can be installed. For instance, a stairway with a 90-degree angle can have a straight or L-shaped stairlift, while a stairway with more than a 90-degree angle needs a curved stairlift. When the stairlift is installed on a curved stairway, it must be custom-made, which is more expensive.

The height of the user

The user’s height is essential in deciding the type of stairlift. If the user is taller than average, a custom stairlift may need to be installed. So, these are some key factors you must keep in mind while deciding whether a stairlift can fit your stairs.

Stairlift help & advice

As a professional stairlift company with over 15 years of experience installing & maintaining stairlifts, we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your staircase and the possibility of fitting a stairlift in your home. We will be able to guide you in the right direction.
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