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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Stair Lift

Stair Lift Cost


How Much Does a Stair Lift Cost?

 
low costLow: DIY $1,000-$2,500average costMedium: Standard Installation $2,000-$5,000high costHigh: Custom Installation $5,000-$15,000
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Also called a stairway lift, stairway elevator, stair glide, chair lift or stair chair, a stair lift is a motorized chair you sit it to glide up or down a staircase on a rail system for anyone who has difficulty or in unable to navigate stairs. A stair lift can also be used to transport groceries, laundry or other items up and down stairs.

Typical costs:

  • For a straight staircase with no landings or turns, Internet prices start around $1,000-$2,500. Generally these models are designed for fairly complex do-it-yourself installation.
  • From dealers, stair lifts for standard straight staircases average $2,000-$5,000, which usually includes installation. Most stair lifts are used indoors; outdoor models tend to be at the higher end of the price range. Options include adjustable seat and footrest heights, folding seats and rests to save space, greater weight capacity (usually 300 pounds but can be 375-500 pounds) and a security lock to limit who can use the chair lift. Installing custom-engineered stair lifts for a curved stairway, one with turns and landings, or other special features can run $5,000-$15,000. A number of factors will influence the total cost, such as the size and shape of the stairway, the needs of the user (height, weight, ability to get on and off the stair lift), the amount of "parking" space available at the top and bottom of the stairway, and prevailing local labor rates.
Related articles: Staircase

What should be included:
  • The staircase must be of sound construction and in good condition; installation does not generally involve any sort of structural changes to the house. Installation usually takes about 2 to 4 hours and involves lifting a fair amount of weight -- and a do-it-yourself installation might take longer. Many people report successful self-installation, but the Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association argues against self-installation, saying it's important that stair lifts be installed correctly, and that some areas require a permit or have specific safety codes governing stair lifts.
  • Most chair lifts are powered by batteries, which mean they continue working during a power outage, although AC models operate on standard house electricity (and don't work when the power goes out). TheMedSupplyGuide.com provides an overview[1] of stair lifts and StairliftsUSA.com lists common terms.
  • Many dealers have showrooms where you can try out different types of stair lifts.
  • Most stair lifts come with a 5-10 years warranty on parts, but may have a "lifetime" warranty on the gearbox/motor assembly or drive train.
Additional costs:
  • A replacement battery for most battery-operated stair lifts runs about $50-$100, and typically will need replacing after 2-3 years.
  • Although some models advertise zero maintenance, most stair lifts require an annual maintenance check for oiling, etc.
Discounts:
  • Medicare does not cover stair lifts, but assistance in paying part or all of the costs may be available from an insurance company, community organization, government agency or local service club. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging[2] or the Eldercare Locator can help find resources for adults in a community.
  • The cost of installing a stair lift might be deductible in some circumstances; ask your tax preparer or read IRS Publication 502[3] .
Shopping for a stair lift:
  • Key factors in choosing a stair lift are the weight and height of the user, that person's ability to transfer onto and off of the seat of the stair lift, the width of the stairway, whether there's an existing handrail, and the configuration of the staircase. WheelchairNet.org provides a detailed overview of stair lifts, and tips[4] .
  • SilverCross.com provides a comparision chart[5] for common models of stair lifts. If ordering on the Internet, be sure you know exactly what you'll be getting and how it needs to be installed.
  • There are about 15-20 brands of stair lifts to choose from. A few of the manufacturers include Acorn[6] , Ameriglide[7] , Bruno[8] , Summit[9] and ThyssenKrupp Access. The Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association provides a directory of its dealer and manufacturer members.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.themedsupplyguide.com/stair-lifts/
  2.  www.n4a.org/answers-on-aging/
  3.  www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
  4.  www.wheelchairnet.org/WCN_ProdServ/Docs/TeamRehab/RR_94/9404art2.PDF
  5.  www.silvercross.com/stairlifts.html
  6.  www.acornstairlifts.com/us/
  7.  www.ameriglide.com/AmeriGlide-Stairlifts.htm
  8.  www.bruno.com/stairlifts-home.html
  9.  www.summitlifts.com/Stairlifts.htm
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