Straight Stair Lifts
What you need to know about straight stair lifts
Does it cost more for a full flight of stairs than for just a half flight?
Most straight stair lifts are sold including a standard length of rail that accommodates an average full flight of stairs (e.g., 14 feet). Extra rail can be ordered for longer flights of stairs, and some dealers may offer a small discount for very short runs of stairs, depending on the unit.
I have a flight of stairs with a landing, then another set of stairs. Can I install 2 straight lifts?
While some people do install two straight lifts for this situation, it means that you have to transfer from one seat to the next, which is cumbersome to use and increases the risk of falling. It may be slightly cheaper to buy two straight stair lifts, but a curved stair lift is usually the better choice for this type of staircase.
I live in an old house with narrow stairs—can I install a stair lift?
Some stair lifts are more compact than others. For example, the Savaria K2 stair lift measures less than 11 inches when folded. If your stairs are 30″ wide, you should be okay, but you need to allow room for your knees when seated so if you are tall, you will want to measure yourself in a normal dining chair, or better yet, try the product in a showroom to see how much room you need when seated.
I am in wheelchair—can I use a straight stair lift?
In many cases, a stair lift is not the right choice if you are a wheelchair user, and you may have to consider a wheelchair lift. But if you can transfer to and from the stair lift easily, you may be able to use it. If you use a wheelchair, your healthcare professional (such as an occupational therapist) can provide you with the best answer about your ability to use a stair lift.
What does “continuous charge” on a stair lift mean?
Today’s stair lifts are usually battery powered with a built-in charger. The charging system may be located at the top and the bottom of the rail (where you park your unit when not in use), or the charging system may run the full length of the rail through a buss line. The advantage of a continuous charge system is that no matter where you stop the chair, it will be charging. This is handy if you have not stopped the stair lift all the way at the bottom or top when you get off the chair.
What is “zero intrusion”?
If you have a doorway at the bottom of the stairs where the chair will land, the rail may intrude on the doorway. The solution to this is a rail that can slide up or flip up to be out of the way when the stair lift is not in use. It is sometimes called a “zero intrusion” system but is also be called “flip-up rail.”
Should I buy a stair lift online and install it myself?
This is not usually the right solution for most people. A stair lift is a fairly large and heavy product that ships in multiple boxes. Installing a stair lift is best suited to able-bodied, technically savvy people. The product must be properly secured to the stairs, the rail must be assembled and the electrical components must be properly connected. Most people find it easier to pay for the delivery and installation as part of the purchase to avoid the hassles of self-installation. In some regions, it is not legal to install the stair lift yourself.