There are many reasons landings are added to stairs. They allow stairs to change directions and also provide a space for people to rest, if needed. Stair landings are also needed when a door at the top of the steps swings inwards towards the stairway.
Building codes require landings or a change in direction for safety. For instance, some codes require you to change stair directions every 12 to 14 risers. That means if you have over 30 steps, you may need to change directions with the use of a landing two times.
Codes and regulations vary between states and counties so knowing this information is important, especially when choosing a chair lift. The landing itself counts as a step. If you must lift your leg to get onto it, it is considered a step. Another factor to consider when installing chair lifts for stairs with landings.
However, before you start looking at chair lifts, you may want to know the types of stairs with landings.
Stairs With Landings
A landing is a platform at the top or bottom of stairs. A stairway is the set of steps between each floor or level. There are many types of stairways that have landings.
Straight stairs are the most common and least costly way to provide access to higher levels within a home or building. Landings are at the top of the stairs. Straight stairs take up more home space, but they are also easy to maneuver in a chair lift. Straight stairs can have a central landing if more than 12 feet.
L-shaped stairs with landings are stairs that make one turn. These can be moved to areas of your home where less space is used. U-shaped stairs are two sets of stairs that go in the opposite direction of one another, with a landing at the point where the stairs switch directions and at the top or bottom. Winder stairs do just that, they wind. The landing is only at the top or bottom, however. This is also true for spiral, curved, and circular stairs.
Other types of stairs, like ladder and floating, can have landings, but these types of stairs are not the best for chair lifts. Some choose split staircases in which you climb a short set of stairs, then switch to either a left or right set of stairs to reach the next level. A big landing is at the top of the first stairway and can also be at the top of the second.
Nonetheless, the type of stairs you have can help in choosing the chair lift best for your needs.
Types of Chair Lifts for Stairs With Landings
There are basically two types of chair lifts for stairs with landings, unless you have one custom built. Even then, one of the two main lifts will likely be included. The two common types include straight and curved chair lifts:
- Straight chair lifts are the most economical and easy to install. They are used with stairways that do not have any curves, bends or twists.
- Curved chair lifts are best suited for stairways with a change in direction, even a small one. Curved tracks allow you to have a smooth ride around edges of stairs and are made to help you extend further onto the landing at the top or bottom of a staircase.
Those with multiple staircases and multiple landings have options, too!
Chair Lifts for Multiple Stairs With Landings
There are times when stairways split and go in different directions but continue to move upward. Multiple stair levels are used to give those climbing the steps a chance for a temporary rest. Multiple levels of stairs are desirable because they prevent wasted space in the home. They can also provide a more appealing aesthetic.
The best chair lift options for multiple level stairs and landings include two straight lifts, a curved chair lift, or a combination of a straight lift and a curved lift. If you are looking to save money, choose two straight lifts – one will be attached to the steps of each stairway. Your ride will include taking the chair lift from the bottom floor to the second floor.
On the second floor, you will be required to exit the first chair lift and walk onto the landing an over to the next chair lift. You will then sit in the second chair lift that will take you to the top level. The same will be true if you choose a combination of curved and straight chair lifts.
Needless to say, for one smooth ride from bottom floor to top, choose the curved chair lift. Curved chair lifts for stairs with landings allow you to go around edges and bends without having to move from lift to another to get to the top.
You can, however, stop on the second floor and exit if you want. The chair will stay on that level with you unless you choose to send it to another level.
Outdoor Stair Chair Lift Options
Stairs are not only found on the interior of a home. Many homes have outside stairways that lead from the house to a garage, a porch, the yard or basement. These are all places that have landings and can benefit from a chair lift. The only difference is that outdoor equipment should be built with weatherproof materials.
Choosing and Purchasing Your Chair Lift
After researching various chair lifts for stairs with landings, call the pros to help get you started. There are many tasks involved between deciding on a lift and taking your first ride. Taking measurements, choosing service plans, choosing features for safety and luxury, installing the tracks on the steps and learning to run the chair lift are a few of these tasks.
Choose the professionals who are trained by the manufacturer of the chair you choose. They will be able to provide installation, maintenance and repairs, if ever needed. Building a relationship with your local dealer will ensure all your chair lift needs are met.