The advantages and disadvantages of getting a stairlift

By Chris Clayton

If you are considering getting a stairlift installed in your home, the first thing that you need to know (apart from what a stairlift is and does) is what the advantages and disadvantages of having and getting one are.

Knowing these will help you decide if a stairlift is right for you. And below I have listed what I believe are the advantages and disadvantages of them are:

The Disadvantages

They are not cheap

The main disadvantage of a stairlift is cost. To buy one and get one installed, you are looking at spending at least a few thousand dollars/pounds. And this is just for a straight staircase. If you have a staircase with a bend or curve in it, it will be much more.

There are things that you can do when dealing with the stairlift companies to lower the price, but a stairlift is never going to be cheap.

In addition to buying it, you will also have to pay to have it regularly serviced (which is recommended to do) and possibly repaired in the future. Stairlift companies offer their customers a service and repair package, but it will not be cheap.

It will lose a lot of value when you resell it

Having spent thousands to get one installed, you'll get a few hundred dollars/pounds back when you no longer need it and want to sell it and get it removed.

Having to deal with stairlift companies

Another disadvantage is having to deal with stairlift companies when you are in the process of choosing a stairlift. Many will try to get you (sometimes aggressively) to buy from them when they come to assess your stairs for stairlift suitability and pester you with phone calls afterwards if you don't buy from them on the day they come to visit your property.

However, if you are prepared for this and know what to say, you can make this a lot experience a lot less painful.

To learn what to expect and do when you get a stairlift company to assess your staircase for suitability, read my article 'What to expect when your stairs are measured for a stairlift'.

May require some alterations to your property

For the majority of people, this isn't really going to be an issue. But sometimes alterations need to be made to or around the staircase in order for one to be safely fitted. However, where these are necessary, they are normally minor and can be quickly and cheaply done.

To learn what the common alterations to a property are for fitting a stairlift, read my article 'The possible alterations to your home to install a stairlift'.

The Advantages

Aside from the obvious (makes it easy to move up and down the stairs), there are other advantages of getting a stairlift installed.

They are safe

As long as you get a reputable company to fit a stairlift, they are very safe to use. In addition, when you have one installed on your staircase, people will have no problem to safely walk up and down it. There are very few stairlift related accidents.

Minor damage to the property to have one installed

To fit the vast majority of stairlifts, the only alteration that needs to be made is a series of holes to some of the steps on the staircase to connect the stairlift's track/rail to.

They are reliable

As long as they are serviced regularly and bought from a reputable company, they are very reliable. Breakdowns do happen, but there are manual ways to move a stairlift up or down a staircase if it breakdown in the middle of the stairs and most stairlift companies offer a 24 hour call out service.

They work when there is a power cut

The vast majority of stairlifts run off batteries that are continuously recharged from the mains (don't ever buy a stairlift which isn't). That means that they still can be used even when there is no mains electricity.

Not many good alternatives to them

Although there are alternatives to getting a stairlift installed if a person is struggling on the stairs, they are either not ideal or cheap. For many people, it is either having a stairlift installed or moving house.

To learn what the alternatives are to getting a stairlifts, read my article 'The alternatives to buying a stairlift'.

In conclusion

Overall, I would have to say that for people struggling on the stairs, a stairlift is a very good option. For most people, there aren't really any disadvantages to actually both having and using a stairlift in the house. The main problem about them is the cost of both getting one and having it regularly serviced or repaired.

Although neither of these is ever going to be cheap, there are things that you can do to substantially reduce what you end up paying.

To learn what you should do to lower the price you pay for a stairlift, read my article 'Lowering the price you pay for a stairlift'.