For people who have difficulty climbing the stairs in their home, stairlifts provide a great alternative to the whole ordeal. Today, many stairlift providers are equipped with products to fit any home and staircase style and configuration. This can be quite confusing, especially if you have no prior knowledge of the ins and outs of stairlifts. It can often be tough defining which product, from the many available, will best meet the needs of your relative now and in the future.
We’d like to provide a brief overview of stairlifts which should provide you with an insight into the areas you need to investigate, questions you need to ask and things you need to think about, to choose the right stairlift.
The stairlift market here in the US is actually pretty crowded crowded. There are over 10 major stairlift manufacturers all producing products aimed at a market that’s growing year by year. As the population of our country ages, the demand for stairlifts and other mobility products has increased significantly.
Our customers often tell us that the best way to purchase a stairlift is talk to your friends and relatives. Do they know anyone who’s had a lift installed? If so, speak to them. Ask them about their experiences, the benefits and the drawbacks, if any. This can often help you decide which direction to go, and where to start investigating further.
Once you get your bearings, you should then begin to get in touch with all the reputable companies that you can and start to compare their products and prices, keeping in mind that reliability and safety are the most vital elements. The internet is a great place to start looking, as it’s probably how you found us! All the major manufacturers will have websites for you to view product lists and specifications.
During the process of choosing a stairlift, don’t be afraid to ask the questions you want or need answered. It can be a hectic and confusing time, so you definitely want to make sure you cover all of your bases. After all, it’s our job to know everything about the products, be they curved, straight or outdoor. Talk about your relative’s staircase, about their particular mobility problems and about the budget you are working around. We are confident we can find a solution that will be satisfied well into the future.
Also, before purchasing any sort of stairlift, you want to make sure it comes with a warantee, and what the terms of the agreement are. Try to get hold of as much information as possible on the manufacturer and its products. How long have they been in business? Do they have full insurance? Try to read testimonials from genuine customers. This will help you come to a much more informed decision.
Ask your sales reps about after-sales. Once the lift is in place, how long is the warranty? Is it extendable and for how long? How much will this cost and what will they include? Ask them about the small print, some manufacturers will put a lifetime guarantee on their products. This sounds great, until you realise it’s just for certain components.
Then there’s service and support. If the lift breaks down, how quickly will the company get to you? Will it be their own stairlift engineers who visit or will the service be contracted out, so that you might have to wait a couple of days for the problem to be solved?
The Internet is a great tool to help you find out all you can about stairlift manufacturers. Look in the regular media for stories about them and check online forums, is anyone making negative comments? Stay clear of cold callers and take each lift for a test ride in the showrooms before you part with any money.
Buying the right stairlift means taking into account the needs of the user and deciding on the features that will be most important for them, not just today, but in a few years down the line.
If their needs are likely to change in the future, take this into account when deciding on the key features you are looking for.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)