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Stairlifts Options Explained

Key Stairlift Options

Stairlift options are an advantage normally associated when you purchase a new stairlift. However, some stairlift suppliers who sell reconditioned stair lifts can offer the basic options. Listed below are some key stairlift options that should be considered when you are buying a stairlift.

Stairlift Track Options

Stairlift trackWhen you buy a straight stairlift, it is normally supplied with an aluminium coloured stairlift track as standard, (a dull grey.) Most companies offer a choice of coloured stairlift tracks for a small fee. These colours consist mainly of White, Bronze, Cream and Gold. However, the standard colour for curved stairlift tends to be cream or white. Again, most stairlift companies offer alternative colours for a small fee. (Check with your stairlift supplier to see what is available.)

Hinged Tracks on Stairlifts

Types of stairlift trackIf there is a doorway at the bottom of the stairs or the stairs are in the middle of the house, once the stairlift track is fitted in the normal manner, it would obstruct the thoroughfare and prove to be a tripping hazard. This is remedied very simply with the addition of a hinged stairlift track, which is self-explanatory. A hinged track comes in two forms, a manual and a powered hinge. When you arrive at the bottom of the stairs and exit the stairlift, you send the stairlift back up the staircase. With the manual hinge you have to physically bend down and manually fold the hinge back. If you have a powered hinge, a push button located on the remote control will activate the hinge and it will fold back under mechanical movement. The former option would be suitable if there is an able-bodied person within the home, whilst the powered option gives the user more independence. Manual hinges are priced around £200-£450 and powered hinges are priced around £450-£900. Hinges for curved stairlifts are priced at the higher bracket.

Stairlift Seat Options

Stairlift seatsAs well as the seated position for travel, perch or sit/stand stairlift options can be offered depending on the height of the bulkhead and the height of the user. The perch stairlift option is normally utilised if the user has difficulty in bending his or her knee/s when sitting on a normal seated stairlift. Once the stairlift has arrived at the top of the stairs, the user would manually swivel the chair 45° or 90° and exit. In extreme cases were the user has very poor mobility, a powered swivel option can be used. The joystick that protrudes from the end of the arm and operates this once the stairlift has automatically stopped at the top. Most stairlift companies offer a wide range of coloured stairlift seat options to suit your homes décor.

Stairlift Footplate Options

Stairlift footplateYou can have an enlarged or a reduced stairlift footplate depending on the size of your staircase. Ninety-five percent of stairlifts installed have a standard footplate. Some stairlift companies offer combined seat/footplate folding via either an internal linkage that requires the user to fold back the seat and simultaneously, the footplate will fold back as well. Or a powered option is available, this operation is done be simply pushing a button usually located on the seat back of the stairlift.

Platforms & Stairlifts

Stairlift platformPlatforms can be used with a straight stairlift as an alternative method to a curved stairlift. But the user and the stairlift surveyor should carefully assess the use of a platform. A platform installation can only be used when the curve is at the top of the staircase. A platform is like a drawbridge of a castle moat, it bridges the gap between the footplate and the top step. Although the platform installation is a cheap alternative to a curved stairlift it does have its limitations and drawbacks. Because the footplate has to finish level with the top step, the whole stairlift has to be elevated to this height, restricting the number of steps that can be covered after the turn. The more steps to cover after the turn, the higher the stairlift has to be lifted, 2 steps appear to be the common maximum. If the user relies on a walking frame, a wheelchair or has poor mobility generally they would be openly exposed. There is a potential danger that the user may fall between the stairlift and the top step. Normally, a swivel seat would protect the user, but because the swivel seat action has not been used, the danger issues that are effectively counter-acted once again become real.

Find the best stair lift supplier in your local area from the approved Which Stairlift supplier list and discuss stairlift options with them. All stairlift suppliers provide a 12 months warranty.

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