Stairlift Q&A – All Your Questions Answered
If you’re thinking of buying a stairlift for either yourself or a loved one, you will want to know the answers to some important questions.
In this informative Q&A guide we have put together detailed answers to some of the most frequently asked questions which we hope will be of help to you to make that decision quickly and easily.
How do Stairlifts work?
A Stairlift is simply a chair attached to a rail (track) that can take you up and down stairs effortlessly and, more importantly, safely. All modern stairlifts are powered by long lasting batteries which get continually re-charged by a mains trickle feed power supply when the seat is at the top or the bottom of the rail. This means that you can still use your Stairlift in the event of a power cut.
These days, many people like yourself are struggling to use their stairs due to medical conditions or simply old age and a Stairlift transforms their lives, giving them back their independence and ability to stay in the home they love, rather than having to consider moving into a bungalow or flat.
Are Stairlifts safe and easy to use?
In simple terms, yes, very! All our Stairlifts are manufactured by very reputable and long-established companies, each one is made from quality materials and is thoroughly tested to ensure it complies with all the latest minimum safety standards. These include weight limits, the speed of travel and the angle of your staircase.
Your Stairlift will come with a simple to use switch that you press in the direction you wish to travel and your journey will be both quiet and smooth. For your added safety, additional features such as a seat belt, arm and footrests and an automatic cut off switch if it is obstructed or you need to stop, come as standard. Added features such as a ‘powered swivel seat’ can be incorporated to enable getting on and off the seat, even easier.
Before you get to use your Stairlift, it will have been thoroughly checked and then fitted by our friendly team of experts, who will stay with you as long as you need to make sure that you can operate it safely and are completely confident with your Stairlift purchase and installation.
Do Stairlifts have a weight limit?
Yes, all stairlifts have a weight limit that varies across the range of models available, that is typically between 19–29 stone but we will be very happy to give you free advice on which model is best for your needs.
What’s the difference between a Straight and a Curved Stairlift?
Basically, this depends on the type of staircase you have. A straight Stairlift runs up and down a straight track fitted to the staircase. A Curved Stairlift on the other hand, keeps going at the top of your staircase taking you seamlessly up to your bedroom on the next floor.
Most homes have a straight staircase of 13 steps which would suit a Straight Stairlift perfectly. However, other properties have a straight staircase leading to a half landing and then another 3 or 4 steps to the next floor and in this case, a Curved Stairlift offers the best solution.
Can Stairlifts be fitted to any staircase?
Again yes. We fit Stairlifts to both internal and external staircases, whether they’re wide or narrow and made of wood or stone.
I have a narrow staircase – can I get one to fit?
In short, yes you can. However, to use your Stairlift safely and with comfort the staircase needs to be a minimum width of 750mm or 29 inches.
Most leading manufacturers of Stairlifts now offer ‘slimline’ or ‘compact’ models with folding arm-rests, seats, footplate and a slim rail to enable them to be folded away when not in use, so that other people in the house can get up and down the stairs easily and quickly.
A good test to see whether a stairlift is practical for your home, is place a chair on the floor of your hall floor at the bottom of your staircase with its back touching the wall. Then if you sit on it, as far back is comfortable with your knees as close to the edge of the seat as you can. You should then be able to see how much space you would have for your feet and knees if you had a stairlift fitted.
One of our friendly and experienced surveyors will take detailed measurements and photographs to make sure your lift will fit. It’s not often that we can’t find a solution for even the most challenging of staircases.
I have difficulty in bending my knees or hips – can I still use a Stairlift?
Yes, there are special ‘Perch’ or Standing Stairlifts for those who have difficulty with bending either their hips or knees, on which you stand instead of sitting as it takes you up or down the stairs. This can also help with narrow staircases as there is no seat to take up space. However, to operate a Perch Stairlift safely, you must have good balance, be able to stand for the journey and not suffer from dizzy spells.
I have arthritis in my hands, will I still be able to use my Stairlift?
Most models of Stairlifts can be adapted for those suffering from ailments such as arthritis. Your Stairlift will come with 2 remote controls which require just one click to go up and down, so this should make it easier for you still.
What powers my Stairlift? Are they Battery Operated?
All modern stairlifts are powered by long lasting batteries which get continually re-charged by a mains trickle feed power supply when the seat is at the top or the bottom of the rail. This means that you can still use your Stairlift in the event of a power cut.
If there’s a power cut will I be stuck?
No, not at all – all modern Stairlifts have a powerful battery that is regularly trickle charged each time the Stairlift is at its charging point the top or the bottom of the stairs and this will ensure it will keep operating for between 4 and 8 hours.
What happens if my Stairlift stops and won’t re-start?
Please just give our technical support team a call and we should have it working again and if we can’t, one of our friendly engineers will be on his way to you, normally the same day.
My Partner doesn’t want to use the Stairlift – will he / she be able to use the stairs as normal?
Yes of course, the seat and arms of most Stairlifts these days can fold up so that others can still use the stairs safely. The Footrest can also be powered so that it raises or drops at the touch of a button automatically.
Most Stairlifts can come with the additional clever safety feature of a ‘folding or hinged track’ which allows the bottom section of the rail to be raised out of the way when your Stairlift is not being used. This can be powered also if you find it difficult to lift it manually. This will result in your access not being blocked and removes a potential ‘trip’ hazard.
How much do Stairlifts cost?
As every staircase is different, the cost of Stairlifts vary depending on whether they are for a straight or curved staircase and whether you go for new or reconditioned.
Typically, a reconditioned straight Stairlift can cost from as little at £950 and a reconditioned curved Stairlift from £2,500. New models cost around £1,395 and £3,500 respectively.
However, with Leodis, we don’t take any deposit and you only pay when you are completely satisfied with your installation.
What warranty will my Stairlift have?
Again, this will differ slightly depending on whether it is new or reconditioned, but most often this will be either 2 or 3 years. After this period, you can take out an extended warranty to cover you for all parts and labour charges – ask us for details
Once I’ve ordered my Stairlift, how long will it take to arrive?
Depending on whether you’ve ordered a new or reconditioned model, this should only take a few days to a week at most. At Leodis, we specialise in offering a ‘Next Day Installation’ for those needing one quickly, due to a hospital discharge, a relative staying with you or sudden injury.
How long will it take to install my Stairlift?
A straight Stairlift will take a maximum of a couple of hours to install, and a curved Stairlift around 4 hours. We then test and demonstrate it to make sure you are completely comfortable and can use it safely.
Remember, as it fits to your stairs there will be no damage to the walls or disruption to your home.
Can I rent a Stairlift?
Yes, you can and this is something that we at Leodis, specialise in. A straight Stairlift costs £650 to install (and remove when no longer required) including the first 2 month’s rental and £50 per month thereafter. A curved Stairlift costs £1,500 to install (and remove when no longer required) including the first 2 month’s rental and £ 50 per month thereafter.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how long you need the stairlift for – at Leodis we’re very flexible so you can keep it for as long as you need it.
Can Stairlifts be removed?
Yes, most definitely and this is a FREE service we offer to all our customers who have bought their Stairlift from Leodis. Depending on its age and condition we may even be able to pay you a small amount of money for it.
If you didn’t buy your Stairlift from us, we can remove it but there is a small charge to do this professionally and to dispose of it legally and environmentally