For anyone who lives in a two- or -multi-story house and has mobility issues, a stair lift can make a major difference in their ability to enjoy their residence. There are likely to be a lot of questions, though, regarding just how home stair lifts work and how one will fit into your own place. Before you invest in a stair lift, it's wise to get to know about the available options and common concerns.
The Shape of the Stairs Matters a Lot
Those who want the cheapest solution will find that having a stairway that's a straight shot opens up a lot of possibilities. The more turns and landings that have to be incorporated into the design of a stair lift, the more it will cost. You'll also find that the tighter a setup is to a wall or rail the higher the price will be.
The average price of a system goes about $4,200. Additional features, such as compatibility with a multistory structure, will run more. Hiding hydraulic components behind a wall to minimize aesthetic problems can push prices as high as $75,000.
Regardless of the kind of setup you choose, the job will have to be custom. Every house has its quirks, and a contractor will need to conduct a consultation and perform measurements before you can be given a final price for a project.
First, the stairway itself needs to be solid enough to support the whole system. Thanks to improvements in lightweight materials, this is less of an issue than it once was, but you may need to bring in a carpenter to reinforce the structure.
Second, you need to be sure you can safely supply an appropriate amount of electricity to the system. Get the specifications for your preferred lift from the installer and pass them along to an electrician for an inspection. You may also want to have a battery backup installed to ensure your stair lift still works during power outages.
Total Cost of Ownership
House stair lifts need to be inspected on an annual basis. This should include checking the overall function of the chair, how well the battery is holding a charge and whether components are beginning to wear out. You can expect an annual inspection to cost between $150 and $300. If the backup battery needs to be replaced, that's likely to go between $50 and $100.
For more information about stair lifts, reach out to a medical equipment supplier.
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