Straight stairlifts

Straight stairlifts

This page was last updated on 1 September 2021

Straight Stairlifts In 2021

Stairlifts are important to help people with reduced mobility carry out everyday tasks around the home. 

It can be infuriating to not be able to get up and down the stairs in your house, or up to your doorstep, and a stairlift can be a more cost effective solution than moving house or getting a lift fitted. You can choose from a range of staring stairlifts to find one that will suit your needs.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.

 

What are the main benefits of a stairlift?

Having a stairlift can keep you safe on the stairs, and prevent you tripping over. This might mean you can live in your home for longer and loved ones will not have to worry about you. They are reliable and the installation process is relatively straightforward.

How does a stairlift work?

They have rails and a carriage that moves up and down staircases. Generally they use a rack and pinion system, and are attached to the stairs, not the wall. 

The batteries are charged when the carriage is at recharging points, which are attached to your electricity mains. The stairlift will need maintenance and an annual service. 

What type of stairlift should I get?

There is a range of different types of stairlifts, and you should find one that is suited to your home and needs. There are two key varieties, straight stairlifts which travel up and down a straight staircase and curved staircases which can go around a bend. Straight staircases are most common. 

When do I need a curved stairlift not a straight stairlift?

Curved stairlifts can go round corners and deal with multiple landings. You can only get a straight stairlift when you have straight stairs because they can only move in straight lines. If you are not sure, most companies offer a free home survey which comes with no obligation to buy. 

What is the normal type of straight stairlift?

Most straight stairlifts have a seat which is fixed or drop down to support the user. This provides the user with maximum comfort.

What are the potential problems with getting a straight stairlift installed?

The two main potential problems are having a narrow staircase or having a door on the landing at the top or bottom of the stairs which could be an obstruction.

How wide of a staircase do I need to get a stairlift?

Many buyers are surprised to know that a stairlift can be tailored to fit narrow staircases. Most stairlifts only need around 29 inches, and when they are not in use, the user can fold up the seats, armrests, footrests and even rails to maximise the space on the landings. 

Should I get two separate straight stairlifts or one curved stairlift?

Generally, it will cost less to get two straight stairlifts rather than one curved stairlift if you have a corner on your staircase. 

The problem is that the user will have to transfer from one stairlift to another between staircases, so it might be less good from a safety perspective, and certainly will be more of an effort to go up and down the stairs.

What if there is a curve right at the top of my straight staircase?

If as a whole a straight stairlift is appropriate, you might be able to get a bridging platform to go at the top so that the stairlift can reach the landing. You can decide where the seat will park. 

Alternatively, you could get a curved stairlift to go round corners. A survey can help you consider the range of options. 

straight stairlift

What if I use a wheelchair?

It might be a challenge for wheelchair users to use a stairlift due to the space a wheelchair takes up. In this case, you might want to consider a vertical through floor lift, which go through a hole in the floor, for example between the living room and a bedroom. 

What additional features can improve the safety and convenience of a straight stairlift?

You can get features like a folding footrest, seatbelt, backup battery, diagnostic display and a remote control. These can improve the user experience and give you peace of mind. 

"Many buyers are surprised to know that a stairlift can be tailored to fit narrow staircases. Most stairlifts only need around 29 inches, and when they are not in use, the user can fold up the seats, armrests, footrests and even rails to maximise the space on the landings. "

What are the standard features of stairlifts?

You should expect features  of a staring stairlift such as swivel seats, backrests and padded seats.

These support the user’s body on the seat. 

What is a stairlift swivel seat?

This is where the seat turns at the top and bottom of the stairs so the user can get on and off. The benefits are that the person can more safely use the stairlift. You can also get a power swivel seat feature, which means that the seat will turn automatically at the landing.

STRAIGHT STAIRCASE

Which side of the straight staircase will the stairlift be installed on?

You can choose which side of the stairs you want the stairlift attached to, and the controls can also be on either side of the seat. 

What is a hinged rail?

This is where you can fold the rail to the side at the bottom of the stairs, which minimises any obstruction and therefore improves safety. 

A hinged rail is a good idea where you have a radiator or a doorway close to the top or bottom of your stairs. This is available with an acorn stairlift, and is especially useful for narrow spaces.

What are straight stairlifts attached to?

Most stairlifts are attached to the straight stairs, not the wall. This means installation is easier and can be done more neatly. 

What safety standards should my stairlift fit?

You should try and find out if the stairlift brand has membership of the British Healthcare Trades Association. Such companies have to sell ethically. Stairlifts have to be CE-marked and follow British Standard BS5776. You need to get a regular service to ensure the lift is working properly.

How do I find out which stairlift model is right for me?

There are many companies offering stairlifts, like acorn stairlifts, stannah stairlift and handicare. Beyond looking at the specification and getting a free quote, you can try out a stairlift at a disabled living foundation, a showroom or a local mobility centre. The disabled living foundation has a list of places you can try out a stairlift.

You can also talk to a friend or family member who already has a stairlift. 

Will I need to change the decor around my staircase?

For an additional price, you can change the appearance of the seat so it will suit your house. Otherwise, the stairlift is installed onto the stairs not the wall so you should not have to redecorate.

The company doing the installation should also make sure they leave the house in a suitable condition. 

How long should it take to install a straight staircase?

Generally, you can get all the materials and have a stairlift installed within a day. 

How much will it cost me to get a straight stairlift installed?

Straight staircases are cheaper than curved staircases, and prices start at £1,650. 

However, the price will depend on the style, specification and quality of the stairlift. The only way to find out the cost for your staircase is to get a home survey and free quote.

What features will mean that stairlifts cost more? 

Some lift models will have additional features such as:

  • A digital display so from sitting on the lift, the user can see the status of the lift
  • Remote controls, so you can retrieve the seat when the remote control is in range of the lift
  • Safety sensors which will detect when there is an obstruction on the rails, and stop the stairlift. THis can prevent you getting stuck half way up the stairs
  • Extra wide seats or lifts that carry a higher weight capacity
  • Perch lifts, where the user struggles to sit down

What will happen at a free home visit?

A surveyor will come to your home and survey your staircase and your specific needs. This means you can find a brand that will match what you need. You can ask any questions you have about how to install a stairlift and the quality you need. 

A home survey should come with no obligation to actually purchase a particular lift. 

Where can I buy reliable stairlifts from? 

It is often a good idea to buy straight from the manufacturer like acorn stairlifts, as they will be experienced in installation and can give the lift a service in the future. There normally will be a warranty. 

You should not buy stairlifts from cold callers, who will put an obligation on you to buy immediately, and will not give as much consideration to what will suit your needs. 

Who are the main stairlift companies?

Multiple stairlift companies offer stairlifts and installation. The key players are Handicare, Acorn Stairlift, and Stannah. Acorn Stairlifts in general have higher safety standards, however different factors will make a difference as to which brand is suitable to you. 

Can I rent a stairlift?

You can rent stairlifts for use indoors, and this might be especially useful if you only want it for a particular event or a mobility issue that is likely to subside. You can also buy a reconditioned stairlift, but you should check it is up to the reliability standard and will fit your home.

Have A Free & Impartial Chat With Acorn Stairlifts

 

Would you like some help to understand your stairlift options?

You can contact us in one of 3 ways:

  • Option 1 – Call us directly on – 0333 567 1612
  • Option 2 – Book an appointment directly in the calendar below, and one of the team will call you back at the chosen time
  • Option 3 – Leave us your contact details and we will get in touch

 

Option 1 – Call Acorn Stairlifts Directly

Monday to Thursday – 8am – 7pm

Friday – 8am – 5:30pm

Saturday & Sunday – 9am – 5pm

Option 2 – Book an appointment, in the calendar below, for a Stairlift specialist to call you back when its convenient

Option 3 – Leave your details and Acorn will get in touch

Leave your contact details below and one of the Acorn team will give you a call to discuss your needs.

Please note that all calls are undertaken by Acorn Stairlifts.

More useful information on stairlifts

A Guide To Stairlifts

This article explains all you need to know about buying or renting a stairlift in the UK alongside information on where to find one.

Curved Stairlifts

Not all stairs are straight, so you may need a curved stairlift to go around a landing,  This article explains how you get a curved stairlift.

Stairlift Rental

Renting a stairlift is a popular alternative to purchasing a new stair lift.  This article explains how the rental process works.

Second Hand Stairlifts

Buying a second hand stairlift is much cheaper than buying a new one, especially if you nay not need it for long.  

Reconditioned Stairlifts

A reconditioned stairlift allows you to get an almost new stairlift for a much lower price than a new one.  This article explains how.

Stairlifts For Narrow Stairs

Thos will narrow stairs will need a specialist chair.  However, there are lifts that could work.  Our article explains what you need to know.

Article author

Katy Davies

I am a keen reader and writer and have been helping to write and produce the legal content for the site since the launch.   I studied for a law degree at Manchester University and I use that theoretical experience, as well as my practical experience as a solicitor, to help produce legal content which I hope you find helpful.

Outside of work, I love the snow and am a keen snowboarder.  Most winters you will see me trying to get away for long weekends to the slopes in Switzerland or France.

Email – katy@helpandadvice.co.uk

LinkedIn – Connect with me

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main benefits of a stairlift?

Having a stairlift can keep you safe on the stairs, and prevent you tripping over. This might mean you can live in your home for longer and loved ones will not have to worry about you. They are reliable and the installation process is relatively straightforward.

What are the potential problems with getting a straight stairlift installed?

The two main potential problems are having a narrow staircase or having a door on the landing at the top or bottom of the stairs which could be an obstruction.

What is a stairlift swivel seat?

This is where the seat turns at the top and bottom of the stairs so the user can get on and off. The benefits are that the person can more safely use the stairlift. You can also get a power swivel seat feature, which means that the seat will turn automatically at the landing.

What are straight stairlifts attached to?

Most stairlifts are attached to the straight stairs, not the wall. This means installation is easier and can be done more neatly. 

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