1. What is a stair lift?
A stair lift is a motorized lifting device that transports you between floors while sitting on a seat. Unlike home lifts or stair climbing aids, a stair lift transports you along the staircase on railings that are fitted to the floor of the staircase.
Stair lifts are typically separated into categories of either straight stair lifts or curved stair lifts, where the latter ones are usually custom made to fit your staircase (and therefore more expensive).
The lift moves between the floor at a pace of around 0,15 meters per second, which means the trip between your floors usually takes a few minutes.
2. Stair lift prices
As with most products that need to be adapted to your home environment, the price depends on the installation conditions.
Curved stair lifts are usually 100 - 200% more expensive compared to straight ones, since curved versions usually have to be custom made to fit your specific staircase.
Straight stair lifts - prices:
The typical price range for a straight stair lift is $2,995 - $4,500 including a 1 year manufacturer warranty
Curved stair lifts - prices:
The typical price range for a curved stair lift is $9,900 - $15,000 including a 1 year manufacturer warranty.
Keep in mind that these prices are excluding after-purchase costs, which can be quite significant since it's recommended that stair lifts are serviced every 6 to 12 months. Since the typical warranty period is very short, you therefore need a higher budget than what is shown above to account for after-purchase repair and service costs.
3. Warranty and Service
Most stair lifts come with a 1 year manufacturer warranty. Keep in mind that both dealers and manufacturers deliberately include very short warranty periods as standard, since they know that your stair lift is likely to require frequent servicing.
In many cases the real costs of owning a stair lift therefore start after the installation has been completed, and it requires servicing.
Before deciding on buying a specific product, you should therefore ask for pricing on the required servicing once the short warranty period is finished.
4. Pressure selling tactics
Research shows that about half of all stair lift customers experience pressure selling techniques by the sales agent.
Typical pressure selling techniques include:
- Pressure to choose a more expensive stair lift model
- Excessive number of sales calls
- High initial sales price where the customer needs to haggle the price down
In fact, some manufacturers are known to save your contact details and call you frequently several years after they received your contact details.
One stairlift owner told Which.co.uk:
"Originally I applied to an advertisement which invited one to receive a free "independent booklet". As a consequence I received numerous phone calls from the company over about two years".
5. Staying active
One of the best things you can do to promote good health and increase life expectancy is to maintain active throughout life. Scientific studies show that even short walks and climbing stairs in your home has a vital impact on your health. The study also shows that simple activities such as vacuuming, short walks, gardening is all it takes to promote good health.
A study including 36,000 people from Norway, Sweden, UK and USA shows that continuing climbing the stairs in your home by yourself, has a profound fall preventive impact, as people who continue to climb stairs, and thereby use their muscles, maintain their balance and core body strength for longer.
6. Alternative to stair lifts
The number one alternative to stair lifts is the stair climber AssiStep.
Unlike straight and curved stair lifts, the AssiStep enables its users to keep active and get the extra support needed to continue climbing stairs using their own muscles. The AssiStep is also a less expensive and less space-demanding solution, since it is installed as a normal handrail, extending less than 3,5 inches (9 cm) out from your wall.
5 key advantages of the AssiStep compared to stair lifts:
- Promotes good health by allowing you to maintain active
- Reliable and low service need, since it's a purely mechanical solution
- Can be installed in both straight and curved stairs
- Aesthetically appealing, with its Scandinavian design
- Less expensive to buy and operate