Stair lifts keep elderly people in their homes longer and make it safer for people with disabilities or injuries to navigate staircases. They also make the entire home accessible for people who can’t walk up or down stairs. A stair lift attaches directly to the stair treads, folds out of the way to keep the staircase safe, and can be installed on almost any staircase that is at least 36 inches wide. For a residential installation, the cost of adding a stair lift depends on the type of staircase and the model of lift, which ranges from basic to premium.
Powering the lift
Every lift runs on electricity and requires a standard 110-volt electrical outlet near either the top or bottom of the staircase. A licensed electrician, such as Millers Superior Electric in Owasso, Oklahoma, or Highland Orchard Construction in Middletown, Connecticut, can add an outlet for an average cost of $100-$200.
Straight versus curved lifts
The best provider for installing a stair lift is a general contractor who specializes in mobility projects, such as Solano Mobility & Accessibility in Yonkers, New York, Home Access Services in Chicago, Illinois, and Affordable Access Stairlifts in Perkasie, Pennsylvania.
A straight stair lift travels in a straight line up a flight of stairs that has no landings, bends or curves. A curved lift can go around corners or bends and across landings. Straight lifts, which are less complex, cost between $3,000 and $5,000 to have installed. Curved lifts range from $10,000 to $15,000 or more.
The more expensive lifts tend to be more attractive, with upholstery and wood trim designed to blend into a home’s decor. They often also include ease-of-use features such as power seat swivels and footrests, seats that are controlled by push-buttons, and automatically retracting rails. Additional safety features, including a five-point harness and ankle straps, can be added to make sure people with extremely limited mobility will be secure in the lift.
Stair lift rentals
For a short-term solution, such as when grandparents are visiting or the user lives in a leased home, some companies, including 101 Mobility in Orland Park, Illinois, offer rental stair lifts. Rental fees typically range from $100 to $380 a month; most companies also charge a deposit on the equipment as well as fees to install and uninstall the lift.