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Straight stairlifts run on straight tracks that only go in straight lines. Unlike curved stairlifts, they cannot go round bends or negotiate corners. If you’ve got a straight staircase then this is the type of stairlift you need.
Because they don’t require tracks to be purpose built to fit a curved stair layout, straight stairlifts are much cheaper in price than curved ones. For this reason, a basic straight stairlift can be delivered and installed much more quickly too. Reconditioned stairlifts are straight ones, as the tracks can be fitted on any straight stairs. It isn’t possible to fit a secondhand curved strairlift, as the track will have been custom made to fit a particular layout.
You will need to have a survey done when you get a quote from a stairlift company to assess which type of stairlift would be best suited to your needs. The surveyor will be able to tell you the best option, taking into account your mobility needs and the layout of your stairs.
Occasionally it is feasible to make alterations to a curved staircase so that a straight stairlift can be installed. Another option might be to install two separate stairlifts to negotiate a corner, but the practicalities of transferring between the two must be considered before choosing this option. In some circumstances it may be possible to install a straight stairlift track on a curved staircase. For instance, if the main flight of steps is straight and there are only one or two steps on a bend at the top or bottom that the user can manage. Again, you should consider your future needs and whether you are likely to maintain the mobility to manage these steps.
Unless you have straight stairs where a straight track can be fitted, a curved stairlift will most likely be the best solution for travelling on a staircase with bends or turns.