Straight stairlifts run on readymade 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.
Can a straight stairlift be fitted to my stairs?
If your staircase isn’t very wide a standard model may not fit. However, a few companies do offer stairlifts for narrow stairs. Depending on the dimensions of your stairs, either a compact slimline model or one with a perching or standing seat may be the best option.
If you’ve got a flight of steps outside your home, then an outdoor straight stairlift could be fitted, so long as there are no bends. Having an external stairlift can enable a disabled person to continue to access their garden.
Because they don’t require tracks or rails to be purpose built to fit a curved stair layout, straight models are much cheaper in price than curved ones. For this reason, a basic straight stairlift can be delivered and installed much more quickly too.
Is it possible to install a straight stairlift on stairs with bends?
Because it’s more expensive to have a curved stairlift track custom made, people understandably ask whether it’s possible to fit a straight stairlift rail to stairs with turns or corners.
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. You should consider your future needs and whether you are likely to maintain the mobility to manage these steps.
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 straight stairlifts to negotiate a corner, but the practicalities of transferring between the two must be considered before choosing this option.
Unless you have straight stairs where a ready built straight track can be fitted, a curved stairlift will most likely be the best solution for travelling on a staircase with bends or turns.
How much will a straight stairlift cost?
Straight models are relatively cheap in comparison with curved ones because there is less work involved in the manufacture and installation. The exact price you’ll pay will depend on a variety of factors, such as which features will best suit your needs.
We recommend you arrange a free, no obligation quote from a reputable company who can assess your needs and offer advice on which model would be best for you.
There are a number of brands in the UK that offer straight models:
- Oak Tree
Some of these models are available in an outdoor version, which can be used on external steps outside the home. However, there is a wider range of indoor models.
As a very rough guide, prices for new straight stairlifts start from around £2000-£2500. The price will be affected by your choice of features, such as a powered swivel seat or a perch seat.
Can I get a reconditioned or second hand model?
Reconditioned straight stairlifts are cheaper to buy than reconditioned curved ones, as the tracks are a standard construction that can be fitted on any straight stairs. You may be able to save money by purchasing a reconditioned model rather than a brand new one. However, it is important that you do your research, read reviews, and compare prices. A reputable company will offer a guarantee, aftersales care and professional installation.
Second-hand models can be found for sale on Ebay and similar websites. We don’t recommend purchasing a used stairlift from a private seller, even if the price is very cheap. You won’t have any comeback if it breaks down and leaves you stranded. In comparison, by purchasing from a trusted supplier you will have the peace of mind of knowing it has been safety checked and properly installed. If something goes wrong there’s a 24 hour helpline.
If you are considering a reconditioned stairlift we suggest you also get quotes for new models. You should compare prices and consider the level of cover in the event of a break down.
What about renting rather than buying?
Some companies offer a stairlift rental service, which can be an attractive option as it avoids a big upfront payment and spreads the cost. Hiring a stairlift can be cost effective if you are likely to only need it for a short period of time. Generally it will work out cheaper in the long term to buy a stairlift than rent one.
It really depends on your individual circumstances as to whether renting is the best solution for you. Prices and contract terms vary, but could be around £1000 or more for the set up costs and then £40 or more per month.
How do I find out more?
You will need to have a survey done when you get a free, no obligation 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.