A stair lift offers you the opportunity to continue utilizing your entire home, including upper stair levels. As you age, climbing stairs can become difficult, especially if you suffer from a disease or injury that causes pain.
Because cost is a factor for most stair lift buyers, it’s important you learn all you can about stair lifts before you go to purchase one. Being educated and prepared gives you more confidence to reject up-selling from the dealer and stay within your budget.
Prices will vary, as you may know, depending on where you live. Demographics can especially play a role in the price for installation. Below is an analysis of stair lift costs, and what factors cause the price to rise.
How Much Does a Stair Lift Cost?
The type of stair lift is based on the type of stairs in your home. If you have a set of straight stairs with no bends or curves, you will purchase a straight stair lift. The base cost for straight lifts can start around $2000.
If the stairs in your home are curved or require a lift that bends and twists with your steps, the cost will be more. A curved stair lift will have about a $7500 base price, depending on how many curves the chair will need to maneuver.
If you prefer to stand while you travel between home levels, you may want to purchase a standing stair lift. These range in price from $2000 to $4000.
If your stair lift is going to be installed outdoors, you will have the same options, straight or curved. The straight outdoor stair lift can cost between $3500 and $6000. The curved outdoor stair lift is much higher, around $12,000.
How Do Stair Lifts Operate?
There are two main operating styles for stair lifts, battery and electric. Both are great options. The one you buy is based on what you prefer.
- Battery powered stair lifts operate on batteries that you purchase separately. You must charge the battery when it gets low. Some report that as the battery weakens, so does the speed of the chair. You will eventually need to replace the batteries. A major advantage of battery-operated stair lifts is that when the power goes out, you can still use your lift. These stair lifts range in price between $2000 and $3000 for the base price.
- Electric powered stair lifts plug into your electrical outlets or can be wired into your home’s electrical system. These lifts are low maintenance and maintain their strength at all times, except when the power goes out. Electric powered stair lifts start at a price of between $3000 and $5000.
Convenience features on a stair lift are accessories that aren’t necessarily needed, but sure are nice. They make your trip up and down the steps a little bit better, sometimes a lot better.
Convenience features include arm and footrests that lift up and down. Or, that can be tucked away when not in use. You can also get rails that fold away out of sight when you are not using your lift. You can choose to make speed control more adjustable, as well as seats that tilt or swivel.
If you are working with a quality local dealer, they can work with you to determine how much additional cost these features can be. They may have access to manufacturer discounts or specials to help reduce the price. The more you customize your stair lift, the higher the price. But with a higher price comes more comfortably, safety and performance.
If you struggle with obesity, you may need a stair lift that is sturdier or more heavy duty. Because they require more parts and labor, the cost is more. However, the safety it provides is worth it. Base model heavy duty lifts can start around $4000.
If you chose beautiful, yet complex or lengthy, staircases for your home, creating a stair lift to fit them will cost more money. The good news is that your staircase will look just as beautiful with the lift attached. Outdoor stair lifts must be made using weatherproof materials, making the cost of the chair rise. Outdoor lifts may also require a cover or storage space also.
The more personal you make your lift, the more it can cost. If it’s within your budget, go for it. But if customization will place a burden on your finances, stick with the basic models of stair lifts for now. You do not want to create more hardship for yourself.
Because installing a stair lift is not something you can do by yourself on a weekend, you will need to contract with an installer. Most local dealers can provide or recommend someone to install your lift for a fee. They will likely have a lower price than if you were to hire a local contractor for the job.
Dealers who sell and install lifts can offer package deals, including discounts and sale prices when provided by the manufacturer. They can also provide maintenance and repair on your system if needed. A local contractor is going to charge you a cost per hour for labor. They are not typically as familiar with stair lifts and it could take them a little longer for installation.
Some Things Are Priceless
As you age, you realize some things you just can put a price on. Beyond installation, you want to develop a long-term relationship with your local stair lift provider. Being able to call for and receive stair lift repair, getting questions answered the same day, and being on the inside of receiving the latest updates about lifts are valuable, even though not monetary.
Most importantly, be realistic when budgeting for a stair lift. Allow your local dealer to put together a package using your budget, and based on your needs and when possible, your desires for a lift. You can have a great, beautiful stair lift that will help you age independently in place.