4 Things to Consider Before Installing a Stairlift at Your House
Retrofitting your home to make it more accessible may include installing a stairlift so that you can navigate 2 stories. There are a few different styles of stairlifts to choose from. You will need to consider these 4 things before deciding which stairlift is best for your home.
1. Speak With Your Doctor and Insurance Provider.
If a stairlift is a medical necessity, find out if insurance will cover all or any portion of it as essential, durable, medical equipment. You may be required to get a doctor’s prescription. If insurance will cover any of the cost, research reputable stairlift companies to find out which ones accept insurance. Or, will you will have to submit for reimbursement.
2. Assess the Condition and Design of Your Stairs.
First, check to see if your stair is a straight run from one floor to the next. If not, does it make a 90 degree turn at a platform? Is it curved? How steep is the stair? Make sure the stair is well built and sturdy enough to handle the extra weight and movement of the rail and chair. You will also want to make sure there is enough room at the base and top of the stair for you to maneuver in and out of the chair safely. A professional stairlift company can come out and do an assessment of the stair design and construction.
3. Check the Comfort and Ease of Operation.
Make sure the seat is comfortable and the controls are easy to use. It is best to visit a showroom to see exactly how the lift works and if you have enough room to sit comfortably without knocking your knees or toes on the opposite wall. Measure the width of your stair to determine if you have a minimum of 32” of width. Make sure the seat can fold up or down easily for when the lift isn’t being used. The controls may be a joystick or push buttons.
4. Do Your Homework with Different Companies.
Research a couple of different companies to get the best service and product for the money. Make sure there are a warranty and a service plan option. Check the credentials of the installers and the quality of the manufacturer’s product. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and check them out. Ask about leasing vs. buying and refurbished vs. new.
When considering installing a stairlift in your home, you need to be mindful of the things mentioned here. The most important things are your safety and comfort level. And, working with a reputable company is paramount.