Chair lift systems make it possible for people with mobility and other issues climbing stairs to continue to enjoy a multi-level home with ease. Unlike personal elevators and many other home modifications, chair lift system installation is a relatively seamless process without the need for expensive carpentry, permitting, and other hassles.
Preparing the home for an install
A chair lift manufacturer or installation squad can provide the particular installation requirements for specific chair lift models, such as the exact clearance space required at the top and bottom of a staircase. However, there are certain basics anyone can consider immediately. For example, chair lifts need a clear space to stop and swivel at the top and bottom of a staircase for easy entrance and exit. If furniture or other portable items are blocking a path, they can be relocated prior to installation when possible. When limitations make it impossible, ask the installation company if the setup includes creating the space or if an extra charge is required.
Further thought should also be given to stairway width. Homes with standard-size staircases of at least three feet should be OK for lift installation, and many companies can even accommodate unique stair configurations when provided with the ability to measure in advance and craft a custom rail, Silver Cross reports.
Chair lifts require electricity to operate and many utilize battery power to ensure emergency functionality. Charging units may be located upstairs, downstairs, or in both locations to allow the chair to stay powered up at all times. This makes the proximity of electrical access important for installation. If an outlet is not available at a convenient location, the services of an electrician may be required pre-installation.
Stair carpeting and runners
An additional consideration is for existing carpeting or stair runners. Chair lift systems rely on a rail that is typically installed to the stairs themselves versus the wall. This removes the need for an interior overhaul but does mean the rail is attached to the stairs. Consider if any runners, carpets, or other decorative elements should be removed prior to installation in order to preserve them long-term. If retaining carpeting is preferred, installation companies can attach railings through most carpeting by drilling through to the wood.
Chair lift installation time
According to Stannah Stairlifts, installation of most chair lift units only takes about four hours, including a demonstration and question and answer session with new customers. This time estimate does not include any additional preparation needed, such as relocating furniture or measuring to build a custom rail.
For more info, contact a company like 4 U Mobility Solutions.