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Five Common Misconceptions About Stairlifts

Published 07/06/2019

Our Stair Lift Experts have broken down some of the questions we frequently get asked and dispelled the rumours! At EMS Lifts we provide only honest and reliable information so that customers can buy the stair lift they need without worrying about misguided thoughts or misconceptions.

Are Stairlifts Expensive?

You may only recently be thinking about a stairlift, but chances are the signs that you needed one have been there for a long time.

It is not uncommon to assume that stairlifts carry a heavy price tag. It is fairly common to assume that stairlift prices have gone up year on year, besides look at your fuel bills! Strangely though, the cost of a stairlift was higher 5-10 years ago, and unlike your fuel bill, they have been steadily decreasing in price.

It wouldn’t have been out of place to pay in excess of £3,000 for a standard stairlift and over £6,000 for a standard curved lift! Thankfully there are plenty more options on the market, which has allowed the price to fall. In addition to this, the stairlifts can now be offered with a lot more options to customise and ensure you have the perfect mobility aid in your home.

The most precise way to get an actual cost for your stairlift is to obtain a few quotations. The more information you can provide about your needs the better, why not get in contact with our experts and we’ll do the hard work for you. We’ll look through all the products on the market and offer a range of stairlifts that would be perfect for your home and your needs.

How Much Do Stairlifts Cost To Run?

Stairlifts have come a long way in the last decade, and now they are considered to be equal status to other household appliances. All modern stairlift should (ours definitely do) comply with European Directive and be built to EN 81-40 standards This ensures they are safe, and power efficient. As a general rule of thumb, stairlifts cost a few pennies a day for electricity to trickle charge the rechargeable battery.

Depending on how often you use your stairlift it might actually be the cheapest appliance to run in your home! We reckon that the average person would complete about 7 return trips on a stairlift each day, which uses very little battery power!

My Stairs Are Too Small For A Stairlift

Most people’s perception is that the size of their staircase may not be wide enough for a stairlift to travel up, down or around bends. Strange as it may seem, although the width of the staircase is one major factor, this is not the most important issue. The most important issue is the overall measurement taken from the user’s spine to their knees or spine to their toes while sitting on the stairlift seat. Usually it’s the user’s knees that protrude furthest as the majority of users can tuck their feet back while resting on the footrest. It is also recognised that some users find bending their knees and feet difficult. Therefore it may be their feet sticks out further than their knee, while resting on the footrest. Whichever protrudes the most (knees or toes) is the measurement taken to the user’s spine. The thickness of the seat back is then added which governs the overall distance from the back of the seat to a user’s knees or toes as to whether a stairlift will travel safely on the staircase.

The aim is to avoid the user’s knees or feet from clashing with the opposite side of the staircase and most suppliers would still like of provide a further 25mm (or 1 inch) clearance to be safe. If there is a clash, there are still solutions available to our suppliers. In some cases minor alterations may be available where they can widen the staircase width to allow the user a safe travel.

Quality stairlift providers should always note where staircase alterations are possible and at what cost. For the larger user there may be additional options available and again a Stair Lift Expert will discuss these during the site survey.

We appreciate size and weight can sometimes cause user issues both in mobility and body mass which is why Stair Lift Experts recommend stairlifts that are capable of taking weight limits up to 31.5 stone or 200 kilograms.

Another important issue to note is that stairlifts can be folded when not in use. This safely increases the available walking space for other householders needing to use the staircase.

Walls Not Strong Enough For A Stairlift?

A very common misconception is that stairlifts are fixed to the wall. In almost every case stairlifts are fixed to the treads on the staircase.

Support feet that hold the rail/s which the stairlift travels along is fixed to specific treads of the staircase. Your surveyor can inform you which treads are used, all you need do is simply ask if you wish to know. The weight of the stairlift and the user are supported across the full length of the staircase.

Those buyers thinking maybe their lath and plaster or plasterboard walls may not be strong enough, need not worry.

Walls Not Strong Enough For A Stairlift?

Many years ago, most stairlift manufacturers made stairlifts that were only powered by mains electricity. This meant that when power cuts happened, the stairlift stopped functioning. Thankfully now, the stairlift is powered by a rechargeable battery which is trickle charged from the mains. This means that in the event of a power cut, the stairlift will continue to work for 3-4 days when used up to 14 days a day.


If you want more information about visiting our showroom, or to speak to someone with experience, please give us a call on 01462 499700.