Stair lift cost is one of the single most common questions most people have. Most people don’t know there are different brands and styles with very distinct features. Acorn Stairlifts has done a great job at creating a big name for itself through its marketing powerhouse, tv commercials, AARP magazine ads, and other media outlets. Being the most popular brand does not always mean it is the best solution or the most affordable one.
Let’s get started with understanding your stair lift cost and why there can be so much difference in pricing from one model to the other. In this article, we will do our best, given the years in experience within the industry. I’ve worked for different stair lift manufacturers and local stair lift companies. I’ve also personally sold, installed, and serviced all the major stairlift brands.
Stair Lift Cost Factors
We try to be very careful with our answers when a customer calls us to ask for “ball park”pricing on a stairlift without home survey. There are several factors that can have a significant impact on stair lift cost. Most people have never shopped for a stair lift so they are not aware of the difference in price these can make. Although not a complete list, I’ll try to break down the most common factors that affect pricing and why.
- Stair Case Type
- Stair Case Length
- Stair Case Width
- User Height and Weight
- Installation Location (Indoor/Outdoor-Residential/Commercial)
- User Limitations
- Stair Lift Brand/Model
Stair Case Type
This may be the single most significant factor in pricing your lift. Stair lifts are broken down into 2 major categories. The first thing you need to determines is whether you need a Straight stairlift or a curved stairlift. These have sub-categories within themselves like indoor/outdoor and commercial/residential. Staircases also fit into two major categories, straight and curved. There are instances where these may be confusing. The illustrated pictures can help clarify some of the confusion. We’ll talk about indoor stair lifts and outdoor stairlifts later.
Straight Stair lifts are installed in 70% of time and those installations occur in homes. The average stair case in the world is less than 16 feet in length. This brings us to understand a couple of things. If straight stair lifts, installed in staircases that measure 16ft or less in length make up for 70% of the installations that would make it the most produced “style” of stairlift. It would only make sense that it is the most affordable of all the options.
A straight stairlift SHOULD only be installed on a straight set of stairs. The image your see on the right, shows a common stair type that is often confused as a straight set of stairs because it has no turns. In actuality, it is a “straight” set of stairs but a curved stairlift would be necessary of this type of installation.
The designation of straight vs curved stair lift is decided upon the necessary rail type of the stair lift, not the turns or lack of turns of a stair case. In the picture you see, it would be impossible to run a rail along the nose of the steps from the bottom all the way to the top. The landing, or break in the stairs, would prevent that from happening. Therefore, the rail would have to “curve” in order to run along of the step noses. This “bend or curve” would happen where the landing is located.
This would make this staircase a candidate for a curved stairlift, not a straight.