Your stairlift options for a staircase with a bend

By Chris Clayton

If you have a staircase which has a bend in it, you'll be pleased to hear that there should have no problem in having a stairlift (also called a chair lift) installed on it. Although there may be a small possibility that you have to make some alterations to your house to get a stairlift fitted, on most staircases with a bend in them you won't.

But you have to be aware with this type of staircase, you are normally going to have to spend more money (and sometimes substantially more) on fitting a stairlift than if you had a simple straight set of stairs.

a staircase with a bend

But you do have some options (some of which can reduce the amount you pay) to have one installed. And these options depends on where the bend is, the type of stairs you have and the person who is going to be using it.

What your options are

For staircases with a bend at some point in them, your options are what type of stairlift (and how many stairlifts) you want to be fitted to it:

A curved stairlift

This is a type of stairlift which runs on one rail/track that can curve. As a result, for a set of stairs which has a bend in it, this is a popular choice (because the rail/track can be curved around the edge of the bend).

The main problem with this type of stairlift is that they are a lot more expensive than buying a stairlift that runs on a straight rail/track (normally between 2 to 3 times as expensive).

Also, although this isn't a problem for most people, generally most curved stairlifts only have seated models. So if you are thinking of buying a stairlift where you move in an almost standing position (called a perch stairlift), you options will be limited.

To learn more about curved stairlifts, read my article on 'What a curved stairlift is'.

Two straight stairlifts

If you have a set of stairs which are basically straight up to the bend in them, another option you have is to fit two sets of stairlifts which have a straight rail/track (one to travel up/down the stairs from the bottom to the bend and the other to travel up/down the stairs from the bend to the top).

In my opinion, this is neither ideal or convenient as having just one stairlift to take you the whole way, but as straight stairlifts are cheaper to buy, you could end up paying significantly less with installing two straight stairlifts instead of one curved stairlift (stairlift companies will often offer you a large discount when buying two straight for one set of stairs).

This option is generally only advisable if the bend in the staircase happens to come in the middle of it and the landing on the bend is large enough to safely get on and get off each of the two stairlifts.

To learn more about straight stairlifts, read my article on 'What a straight stairlift is'.

There's another option

If the stairs are straight up and the bend happens a few steps from either the bottom or top of the staircase, then you also have the option of fitting just one straight rail/track stairlift instead or either two straight stairlifts or one curved rail stairlift. As long as both the stairs are wide enough and the landing on the bend is big enough, you will have no problem in doing this.

The advantage of doing this is that you'll save money (installing one straight stairlift is obviously a lot cheaper than either of the two previous options).

Although for most people it won't be a problem to manage a couple of stairs, if it is or if you think it could be in the future, I would advise you not to go for this option.

Contact stairlift companies

So now you know what options are. You won't know what you can have for certain until you get some stairlift companies to come out to your house and perform an assessment.

All these are free, but they will try their hardest to get you to buy from them when they are visiting your house. But don't, you can substantially reduce what you end up paying by waiting.

To learn how to reduce the price you pay for a stairlift, read my article on 'Lowering the price you pay for a stairlift'.