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Here we’ve provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about stairlifts.
Q. How much does it cost to buy a stairlift?
A. The price depends on various factors such as which model and any extra features you choose, whether you need a straight or curved track and what work is necessary to complete the installation. To find out exactly what it will cost you should arrange to get a free no obligation quote from a reputable stairlift supplier who will visit your home and conduct a survey of your stairs. As a very rough guide, brand new straight stairlifts cost around £2,000 and curved ones anywhere up to £6,000.
Q. Can I get a grant to pay for my stairlift?
A. In certain circumstances you may be able to get financial assistance to help fund the cost, such as a Disabled Facilities Grant, or you may qualify for zero rated VAT or a reduced rate of VAT.
Q. How much does a stairlift cost to run and does it run on electricity or a battery?
A. Stairlifts are battery powered, but do need to be plugged in at the top or bottom of the stairs when not in use to keep the battery charged. The running costs of a stairlift are low, equivalent to a DVD player.
Q. What happens if there’s a power cut – will I be stranded?
A. There’s no need to worry that you’ll be stuck if there’s a power cut. Stairlifts are battery powered, which means they will carry on working in the event of a power cut. Although you won’t be able to recharge the battery, you stairlift should have enough power stored for you to make several more trips up and down the stairs.
Q. How long will it take to install my stairlift?
A. An engineer can usually install a straight stairlift in as little as 1-2 hours. A curved stairlift will take longer to fit, around half a day, as the track will need to be fitted around the bends on the staircase.
Q. How disruptive is it to have a stairlift fitted? Will my carpet need to be taken up and will my wall be damaged?
A. Stairlifts attach directly to the stair treads over the top of the carpet, so there is not need to remove the carpet or drill holes in the wall.
Q. Will I need to redecorate?
A. Usually you won’t need to redecorate as your stairlift will be fitted to your stairs not the wall, but if you have a handrail that needs to be removed you may have to do some minor decorating to patch up where it was.
Q. What happens if my stairlift breaks down?
A. New and reconditioned stairlifts from reputable companies come with a warranty, so you should contact your supplier in the unlikely event of a breakdown.
Q. Will a stairlift fit on my curved, narrow or steep stairs?
A. There are different stairlift models to fit most staircases. When you arrange a free no obligation quote, a stairlift surveyor will visit your home and will be able to advise which model would be best suited to your stairs.
Q. Will other people still be able to walk up and down the stairs – will the stairlift get in the way?
A. Stairlift seats, arms and foot rests can be folded up when not in use to leave space for others to use the stairs normally.
Q. Will a stairlift make lots of noise?
A. Stairlifts are fairly quiet when in operation, making about the same level of noise as a microwave.
Q. How fast do stairlifts go? I don’t want to fall off!
A. Stairlifts are designed to be safe to use and travel at a slow, smooth pace. They come with seatbelts, so you don’t need to worry about safety.