On average nationwide, a stair lift and installation costs between $2,000 and $7,500, but the average cost is $3,500. The price includes the stair lift price and the labor to install it.
Most stairlift manufacturers include installation in the cost of a stair lift, and they recommend against attempting to self-install, which could potentially be unsafe. Your total cost for the lift and professional installation will depend on the model you choose, whether have a curved or straight staircase, if it's indoors or outdoors, whether you additional weight capacity, and how many steps your staircase has.
A decrease or change in you or your loved one's mobility can make your warm and welcoming home feel like a maze full of obstacles. Fortunately, a new stair or chair lift can help people with reduced mobility better navigate their home. Before you get a professional to install a lift in your or a loved one's home, get an estimate on the full cost of a stair lift.
What's in this cost guide?
- Why install a stair lift?
- Stair lift cost factors
- How long it takes to install a stair lift
- Tips for hiring a professional
A stair lift helps people with limited mobility, such as the elderly or people who use a wheelchair, get up and down stairs safely. Using a rail that lines the side of your stairway, a stair lift will move a chair or platform from the bottom to the top of the stairs and back again.
The National Institute on Aging says 60% of falls happen at home, so a stair lift can eliminate the chances of falling down the stairs. Stair lifts are an essential mobility device for those who want to continue living at home, and can pay for itself by enabling you or your loved one to avoid moving into an assisted living facility.
A stair lift makes an entire home accessible for people who can't walk up and down stairs, and can allow them to live independently in their home.
The total cost of a new stair lift and installation will depend on how tall your staircase is, the type of stair lift you need, and whether you choose to rent, buy new, or buy used.
Standard stair lifts are made for a staircase with 14 steps. If you have more than that, you'll need a longer rail for the chair to run on, which increases the stair lift price.
Battery-powered stair lifts are a little cheaper than electric ones, with a national average cost of $2,000 to $3,000 for battery-powered stair lifts, compared to $3,000 to $5,000 for electric.
Battery-power stair lifts charge at a base station. If you go with an electric stair lift, you'll also need to hire an electrician to install a standard 110-volt outlet at the top or bottom of the staircase to power the lift.
A reconditioned stair lift is typically half the price of a new stair lift. If you buy a pre-owned or reconditioned stair lift from a medical supply outlet, you'll have to pay a professional to install it. Installation averages $1,000 to $1,500 on top of the price of the lift.
Some companies rent stair lifts by the month. This is a good solution if you only need the lift temporarily. The national average cost to rent a stair lift is $100 to $380 a month. Most companies require a deposit for the equipment and will charge you around $1,000 to install and un-install the lift.
Basic and mid-priced stair lifts are rated for a maximum weight of 200 to 300 pounds. If you need a heavy-duty lift with more weight capacity, you'll pay extra for one with a wider seat and more powerful lifting capacity. A heavy duty stair lift starts at $4,000.
There are five basic types of stair lifts. Each one is designed to work with a certain type of staircase or situation, but come at different prices.
|Stair lift type||Average national cost|
|Straight||$2,000 - $5,000|
|Curved||$7,500 - $10,000|
|Standing||$3,000 - $5,000|
|Platform||$2,000 - $5,000|
Straight stair lift: $2,000 - $5,000
A basic straight stair lift costs between $2,000 and $5,000 for the lift and labor to have it installed. A straight chair lift travels in a straight line up a flight of stairs with no landings, bends, or curves to complicate things. It's the simplest and most inexpensive type of stair lift because it's a one-size-fits-all deal, no customization necessary. If you have straight stairs, you'll want a straight stair lift.
Curved stair lift: $7,500 - $10,000
A curved stair lift is more expensive, costing $7,500 to $10,000. A lift for curved stairs is more elaborate and is custom made for your space, with a curved rail that matches the curves of your stairway. It can travel around corners, bends, and changes in the stairs' direction. If you have a curved staircase or one with landings, you'll need one of these.
It also takes longer to install, which means potentially higher costs for a professional installation (which your stair lift company may or may not have already included in the total price).
Outdoor stair lift: $5,000
Outdoor stair lifts are rugged enough to withstand the elements and cost an average of $5,000. These are made for outdoor stairs. It can be a straight or curved stair lift, depending on the configuration of your outdoor stairs and rail. They're used for transportation to and from a porch, deck, or driveway, in places where a wheelchair ramp won't work.
Standing stair lift: $3,000 - $5,000
This type of lift is for people who have difficulty getting into and out of a chair because of pain. They can be designed for straight or curved staircases. This type of lift has a platform you can step onto, or an elevated barstool type of seat that's easier to get in and out of. These cost between $3,000 and $5,000.
Platform stair lift: $2,000 - $5,000
A platform stair lift costs between $2,000 and $5,000. Platform stair lifts are designed for people in wheelchairs, and stair lift manufacturers make them for both curved and straight stairways.
With this type of lift, a person can roll their wheelchair onto the lift and go upstairs without assistance or getting out of their chair. There are open platform styles with guardrails or sides, and closed platform styles that resemble an elevator.
Regardless of if you opt for a curved or straight, indoor or outdoor stair lift, almost every one comes with the following standard features:
- Swivel seats
- Safety belts
- Battery backup (in case of a power outage)
- Flip-up / lift-up footrest
- Folding rails
A swivel seat and belt are essential safety features that help prevent the person using it from falling out while it's in use.
If you opt for yearly maintenance checks to keep your stair lift safe and in working order, you'll pay about $100 to $200 annually. Some stair lift companies sell a yearly maintenance program when you buy a stair lift. This warranty usually requires that you to pay an annual fee, which depends on the stair lift model and company.
Note that some stair lift manufacturers, like Handicare, offer a lifetime warranty on some of their models.
Installing a stair lift takes three to four hours. Curved lifts are more complicated and will take an entire day. If you're buying an electric lift, you'll also need to call an electrician to install an outlet by the stairs to power it. That will require an additional two hours to complete.
In addition to buying a pre-owned or reconditioned stair lift, you can cut down on costs if you:
- Check if your health insurance covers a stair lift. Some private and long-term health insurance plans help cover the costs of a stair lift. Before you pay out of pocket, call you health insurance provider to see if this is an option.
- Look into Medicare assistance. Medicare generally only covers the cost of a stair lift with an elevating seat, which is viewed as an essential safety feature. However, it's only available in high-end stair chair lifts and the financial assistance Medicare can provide is generally less than the additional cost for this high-end model.
- Ask about financing options. Major stair lift companies like AmeriGlide, Stannah, and Handicare, offer financing options to help individuals afford an in-home stair lift installation. While it won't necessarily drop the cost of a stair lift, it can help you pay it off over time with monthly installations, or secure a loan from an outside organization, like the Veteran's Administration.
Before you hire someone for professional installation of your stair lift, consider the following tips:
- Look for a qualified professional. Find a qualified stair lift company with experience in installing stair lifts. Your best bet is a contractor who specializes in mobility issues.
- Look at their past projects. Make sure the pro has experience installing stair lifts.
- Get a free quote.It's good to have an idea of what a stair lift installation costs, but you'll still want to make sure to get an estimate from our contractor before hiring them. Make sure the estimate outlines what's included in their services (installation, electrical work, price of a stair lift, etc.)
You don't have to install a full-on elevator to improve you or your loved one's mobility at home. A stair lift can make all the difference in getting around the house. If you or someone you know needs one, get started by finding a contractor who specializes in stair lift installation in your zip code.