A stairlift can be made to work on any stairway, but you must always consider the costs. Generally, stairlifts are great for added mobility because they offer significant functionality at relatively low cost. Straight stairways are the most common, and the easiest to install a stairlift to. Though slightly more complex, stairways with bends such as 90-degree turns or 180-degree turns are still simple, although more expensive due to the requirement for custom rail features. At the end of the day, curved or winding staircases are the toughest and the most expensive.
The most common stairlifts are made for straight stairways. The track that the stairlift rides upon is manufactured in sections which are then installed together along the side of the staircase. At the top of the stairs, the rail is cut to perfectly fit along the staircase, and not stick out too much. If there are doors at the immediate top or bottom of the stairway, the track is raised slightly to allow the door to close. Since you’re only installing a straight rail with no bends or other surprises, straight stairlifts will always be the cheapest option.
If you have a curved staircase, chances are that you’ll be looking at a custom stairlift installation. As you can imagine, the stairlift track must be bent to the appropriate angle and joined seamlessly to achieve the perfect angle of your staircase. This alone makes it not ideal for a homeowner to measure their own stairs and attempt their own installation. Due to the custom nature of curved stairlift installations, they generally cost more than their straight-rail counterparts.
Outdoor stairlifts are also a great option for homeowners with an outdoor staircase. Outdoor stairlifts are specifically designed for exterior use, providing you with the same quality, comfort and convenience available in the indoor variety. All in all, they are about the same as the indoor models, aside from the fact that they come with more rugged and durable features designed to withstand the elements.
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)