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Advice on Purchasing a Stairlift
Contributed by Simon Phillips
Buying a stairlift is a big decision that can greatly improve your quality of life and give you back the freedom to use your stairs whenever you like. As having a stairlift installed in your home is a major purchase, it’s advisable to do some research and compare quotes from at least two different companies before you proceed.
You will probably have several questions about what’s involved in fitting a stairlift in your home. This article aims to address some of the most common concerns about the process of buying a stairlift.
Many people delay buying a stairlift because they think it will be expensive. However, it is always worth getting as many quotes as you can from different stairlift companies so you know exactly how much it will actually cost. The price will depend on various things, such as the layout of your stairs and which particular stairlift model you choose. For this reason, all reputable stairlift suppliers will provide a free, no obligation survey, where they will send someone to visit you at home to measure your stairs and discuss your requirements.
Remember, by getting a free quote you are under no obligation to buy at all. By comparing prices from different companies you can decide which stairlift would be best for you.
After the initial outlay to get your stairlift installed, the running costs are minimal. Modern stairlifts use the latest technology to ensure they are as energy-efficient as possible. They run on rechargeable batteries powered by a 13 amp socket, so the amount of electricity they use each day is similar to boiling a kettle.
There’s no need to worry that having a stairlift installed will involve a lot of building work. It doesn’t matter if your staircase runs along a non-supporting or plasterboard wall as stairlifts are designed to be fitted to the steps themselves.
There’s also no need to worry that a stairlift will take up too much room and get in the way of other people walking up and down the stairs. There are special safety standards that prohibit any stairlift from obstructing a stairway and modern models are slimline, with seats, arms and footrests that fold up when not in use.
The installation itself should be straightforward and quick, usually taking around 2 hours. Your stairlift will have been built in the factory before it arrives so it’s just a question of fitting the rail and then attaching the motor and seat. Before you place your order, ask how long you can expect to wait before your stairlift will be fitted.
Using a Stairlift
Don’t be nervous that you’ll find it difficult to operate your stairlift.
Stairlifts are very simple to use, with a large up and down switch designed to be easy for anyone to operate, including those with arthritis and visual impairments. They also come with remote controls, which you can keep mounted on the wall at each end of your stairs. You can use these to call the stairlift to you if someone else in your home uses it too. You can also use them to send things like washing or magazines to someone else at the top or bottom of your stairs.
There’s no need to worry about being left stranded upstairs or downstairs if there’s a powercut. Stairlifts run on batteries that are automatically charged when the stairlift is parked at either end of the stairs. This means you should be able to carry on using it for 6-8 more trips in the event of a powercut.
Modern stairlifts have very quiet motors so you won’t disturb anyone else no matter what time of day or night you use it. They are easy to get on and off, with swivel seats, and glide smoothly at a slow speed of 0.16-0.34 mph. They also have built in sensors that will detect if there’s anything in the way, such as a pet or a dropped object, and will bring the stairlift safely to a halt.
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