The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) are intended to get readers comfortable with stairlifts and their nuances.
How Much Do Stairlifts Cost?
Costs for our 2020 straight-run indoor stairlift installation averaged slightly north of $3,000. Prices will vary due to options chosen by homeowners or nuances in their stairways. For an over-the-phone ballpark estimate call now.
What Drives the Cost of Stairlifts?
Several factors can drive the cost of a stairlift:
- Type of Stairs - straight-run lifts cost less than stairs with bends, curves and landings, since these require special measurements & custom bent rails.
- Brand’s business model - nationally advertised stairlifts and those sold through salesrooms generally cost more. See Why Ameriglide Stairlifts Cost Less.
- Lift Capacity - loads greater than 300 lbs require more robust drives, motors and components, all costing more.
- Length of rail required - our Rave’s rail allowance is 15.5 ft.
- Mounting surface - mounting onto concrete, steel & tile steps costs more.
- Usage - units operating in the elements require special weatherproofing.
- Options - standard lift amenities vs. optional add-ons such as colored upholstery, power swivel, key locks, etc.
Will Medicare Help Pay for a Stairlift?
No, but if you itemize your taxes, check with your tax preparer. If you qualify, be sure to obtain a written recommendation from your doctor. Some veterans who served during certain conflicts, not necessarily in, may qualify for some assistance. This benefit generally extends to their spouses. Also some communities such as Lakewood, Shaker Heights & Geauga County offer some financial assistance to qualified seniors for home improvements that address accessibility in their homes. Check with your local government before signing any purchase to buy agreements.
What Is the Warranty on Stairlifts?
Our Rave 2 stairlift carries a 5 year warranty on the carriage, 3 yrs. on components and a year on the battery.
Longer or extended warranties that some dealers may offer can be somewhat of a ploy, as years of carefree operation are possible by observing the Rave's 350 lb. weight capacity and keeping the track/rail clean.
And for your own protection, we strongly suggest that you consider purchasing a surge protector. This inexpensive electronic device will help to avoid “frying” the lift's electronics from “Acts of God” (lightning strikes) or utility line work mishaps, neither of which are covered under company warranties.
Are Your Stairlifts Made in America?
Our RAVE 2 is made by Harmar in Sarasota, Florida and is comparable to the Harmar SL-600 model.
What About Used or Refurbished Stairlifts?
While you can purchase used and refurbished units for less money, these lifts usually carry either a limited or no warranty and sometimes come with highly worn parts. Oftentimes we can make you an attractive offer on a new unit with a full warranty.
What Are the Electrical Requirements?
Our lifts operate from a standard household 110 Volt, 3-prong (grounded) outlet. The outlet can be located either at the bottom or the top of the stairs. If there is no outlet within 8 ft. of either end of the track, we have certified electricians available.
Will the Door at the Top Of My Stairs Close?
Yes, in most cases there is no problem as long as the door does not swing into the stairwell. Moreover, the stairlift should be placed on the same side of the stairway that the door is hinged on.
How Do You Get Off the Stairlift at the Top?
Our RAVE 2 is equipped with seat swivel levers that allow you to twist and turn the seat 90 degrees into a locked position when at landing top. This ensures that your feet are securely on the landing and that the seat will not move. For clients with restricted twisting mobility, there is a power swivel option on our RAVE 2 unit.
Will the Stairlift Block My First Floor Hallway?
All straight rail units extend out from the bottom step. (Our stairlift rails extend out 14"). In homes where there is a door or a hallway at the bottom of the stairs, a folding rail here can help avoid the inconvenience. Think of the folding rail as a drawbridge that raises up automatically whenever the unit is parked and not in service. When in service to the downstairs, the rail opens and extends down onto the bottom floor (or hallway). While some companies may advise the homeowner that they can avoid this situation (and cost) by starting the lift from the first step (rather than from the floor), we would never engage in anything that could endanger our clients’ safety.
How Safe and Reliable Are Stairlifts?
All new units sold within the U.S. must meet certain federal safety regulations. These include seat belts, over-speed governors (for stopping if the downward speed exceeds the 20 ft / minute limits) and built-in sensors for stopping the unit should the lift make contact with an item on the track area. Our Rave 2 unit is powered by safe DC current, so chances of electrocution and/or a fire is remote.
As for reliability, when properly installed, operated within load capacities and maintained (i.e., keeping the track rails clean from dirt & pet hair), a stair lift should operate for years without servicing. And while some stairlift tracks require periodic lubrication, our Rave 2’s are maintenance free!
Will Installing a Lift Ruin My Walls?
Our lifts are installed onto the steps with support brackets which are secured to your steps with screws.
What’s the Best Stairlift?
Ask 10 different stairlift owners, and most likely you’ll get 10 different answers. From our research, we concluded that functionally, all stairlifts are about the same. We say this because:
1) all lifts must meet the same government safety regulations and,
2) offering features beyond these standard requirements would not be cost competitive.
We also determined that the difference between happy and unhappy stairlift owners was generally not because of the brand they chose. Rather, satisfaction came from their overall experience with sales, installation and support personnel they had throughout the process. etc. This is the reason why we assume responsibility for the entire process and do not subcontract out the work. (For more information see: How Our Stairlift Service Evolved).
Finally, aside from drive systems: cable, rack & pinion or worm drives and power supplies: electrical or battery powered, stairlifts are all basically the same. (Mobility Basics, 2017)
How Long Does the Installation Take?
A professional straight-run stairlift installation may take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
How Can I Tell How the Lift Will Fit On My Stairs?
While you can visit some showrooms and even ride up three or four steps, we bring prototypes to your home for pre-evaluation. You’ll see where the rail will be placed and the actual space the lift will take up on your stairs.
I Am Wheelchair Bound. How Would a Stairlift Help Me Get Up My Steps?
For those who cannot transfer easily from a wheelchair to a standard room chair, a platform or an incline lift may be in order. Since this is a different discussion, please call us. For an introduction, see https://harmar.com/children-of-aging-parents/stair-lifts-vs-platform-lifts/
Is a Stairlift a DIY Project?
For some people and some models, yes; but expect to spend 6-8 hours on instructional reading/viewing, tool gathering and actual installation. Also be forewarned that: 1) videos and documentation are not necessarily synchronized or up to date with the latest engineering changes; 2) the company’s world-wide call-in support “team” at most is no greater than two or three individuals and 3) this team is not available evenings nor weekends. 4) Moreover, call-in priority is first given to their subcontracted installers, which puts DIY’ers in the back of their que. 5) Finally, damages incurred to the drive carriage or components during your installation are your responsibilities.
Do You Service/Repair Other Stairlift Brands?
While Ameriglide, Harmar & Handicare dominate our sales, we can generally provide stairlift repair service for most Acorn, Arrow, Handicare, Harmar, Legacy, Pinnacle, Savaria, Silver Cross, Stannah, Summit as well as many incline and platform lifts throughout the greater Cleveland & NE Ohio area.
Why Do Ameriglide Stairlifts Cost Less?
The US stairlift industry is very competitive and regulated by certain mandated federal safety laws. As a result, stairlifts are rather homogeneous. To complete, stairlift companies have developed various business models:
Some companies use traditional brick & mortar dealer showrooms. These lift dealers not only have sales and service payrolls, but also rent / lease, inventory, franchise, utility and insurance expenses as well.
In an attempt to achieve brand name recognition, e.g. Acorn and Easy Climber, use extensive TV and/or printed advertising campaigns. Their sales reps are commissioned, not employed by the brand. Installations as well are then handed over to a commissioned third-party subcontractor.
In both cases, brand-name advertising or dealer showrooms, each strategy ultimately results in higher prices for the customer.
In 2001, Ameriglide adopted a factory-direct business model: i.e., buying in volume from manufactures and then selling stairlifts directly to certified dealers and DIY’ers. This eliminated overhead costs such as engineering, manufacturing, marketing, franchise fees, inventory and distribution. In doing so, they can offer lower prices and achieve greater market share; plus, there’s no sales tax.
Are Your Stairlift Services Located Near Me?
We normally serve a 40-mile radius emanating from the eastside of Cleveland’s that, includes the counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, plus the cities of Stow, Hudson and other nearby northern Summit county communities.
Do You Purchase Used Stairlifts?
Since the resale value for most used stairlifts is minuscule, we don’t buy used lifts. We will, however, remove and dispose stairlifts for homeowners. And for those hoping to resell a lift that is in good shape, our advice is to leave the lift in place until a buyer sees it in operation. Why? Most people would be dubious towards purchasing pile of stairlift parts from a perfect stranger who says that all the parts are there and in working order. Moreover, I’d want to take it apart myself to know “what goes where”.
Courtesy of www.OhioWalkinShowers.com
Call Jim: 440-667-8827