If you have mobility issues, chances are you may benefit from installing a stair lift or chair lift for stairs in your two-story home, as it will help you move up and down the stairs safely. For someone inexperienced in the installation or use of chair/stair lifts, there are a few things to learn. You may want to familiarize yourself with the installation process as well as the options available to you. Here are seven essentials you may not have known about installing and using a stair lift:
1. You Won't Need to Remodel Your Home to Install a Stir Lift
Perhaps you have never seen a stair lift up close. If so, you should realize that stair lifts are not installed on any wall. Instead, a technician will install the mechanical lift chair to the track of the stairs itself. This means there will be no need to knock out moldings, plaster or walls.
2. Stair Lifts Can Be Installed on Straight or Curved Stairs
If your home has a straight rail track, a straight rail stair lift will be suitable. Typically, this design is less elaborate and will cost less than one designed to fit curved stairwells. If you require a curved design, you can expect the installation process to take somewhat longer as well. This is because curved stairwells may require more brackets for installation.
3. A Stair Lift Can Operate on Battery Power or Electricity
You may be inclined to think of a stair lift operating solely on battery power, although this is not always the case. Many companies offer the option of an electric powered stair lift as well as the battery-powered model. Some electric-run models also have a battery back-up that will kick in if there is a power failure.
If your area tends to experience frequent power outages, it may be best to choose a battery-powered stair lift. This option may also be more energy efficient than electric, which could increase your monthly electric bills.
4. Some Stair Lifts Are Wheelchair Accessible
Did you know that you may install a wheelchair platform stair lift in your home, for either indoors or outdoors? The platform is wide enough to accommodate most wheelchairs, although you may have to have such a design custom ordered. This option allows you to ride your scooter or wheelchair up and down the stairs. As with other models, the platform stair lift will mount to the stair tracks, and many are equipped with safety sensors.
5. You May Own or Rent a Stair Lift
If you plan on staying in your present home indefinitely, you might want to purchase your stair lift. Did you know that you also have the option of renting this mechanical device? This may be your best choice if you are renting a townhouse with a short-term lease, provided your landlord permits it. As an additional option, you might consider a rent-to-own plan.
6. Most Stair Lifts Can Be Folded When Not In Use
Are are concerned about your stair lift being very bulky or in the way of others using the stairs? If so, consider installing a folding stair lift. Typically, a folding stair lift is slimline and will extend less than a foot from the wall, allowing others to access the stairs.
7. For Safety Reasons, It's a Good Idea to Have Your Stir Lift Inspected and Maintained Regularly
Have an authorized stair lift dealer inspect your device annually. A technician may check electrical connections as well as look for loose parts in the seat or platform. He or she may also check for loose bolts or screws on the brackets and track. The track may also need to be lubricated periodically.
For more information on your options when purchasing a stair lift, click here.