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Stairlifts: key things to look for?

We list the things to think about when buying and installing a new stairlift.
Woman using a stairlift- Stairlifts, Stairlift repairs, stairlift rentals in Cirencester, Newbury, Malmesbury,

We list the things to think about when buying and installing a new stairlift. Obviously all of this will be covered with one of our free consultations.


Do you want a swivel seat? These let you turn to face the landing for easier access. The swivel function should lock in place so there’s no risk of movement when you are entering or exiting the stairlift.


You should be able to specify left or right handed controls. In some cases you can choose levers instead of buttons if you have little strength. Also check if the unit comes with a remote control, and how many controls. Remote controls are useful if more than one person will be using the stairlift in the household.

Safety belt

These should be fitted as standard. Check it fits well and is easily adjustable.


Check there is a lock to prevent children using.

Footrest raisers?

Check if the stairlift footrest and seat can be lifted after use to save space. Some even come with an automatic lifting of the footrest.

Types of stairlift?

Seated stairlifts

The most popular of stairlifts, where the seat swivels out.

Perch stairlifts

Designed for people who find sitting difficult, or uncomfortable.

Straight stairlifts

The more affordable option, for straight staircases. Fitted to the stair tread and not the wall there is not painting and decorating work needed after fitting.

Curved stairlifts

Curved stairlifts are able to go around bends and glide across landings. Curved stairlifts operate on a rail fitted close to the wall, and run on a rechargeable battery (straight starlifts tend to run from mains) and need to be positioned by a charging point after use. 

Stairlift costs?

Ask what the cost of the stairlift includes. How long is the guarantee? What service is included and for how long? Also see if you can negotiate? (Check around first to understand the price variations.)

How long to fit a stairlift?

Understand from the salesperson how long installation will take.

How will the installation affect your staircase?

Stairlifts are fitted to the staircase not the wall so there shouldn’t be any major building work or re-decorating afterwards. And the fitter should tidy up afterwards as part of the installation,

Ask what happens if you no longer need the stairlift

If you move house or for some reason no longer require the stairlift in the future, you need to understand the implications.

Ask how much the company would offer to buy it back, what determines that price, and what effect would be left on the staircase.

NB: If you are only planning to have the stairlift for a short while, you should consider renting.

Stairlift After Sales Service?

Check the guarantee period (most come with 12 months but some extend to 2 years). 

Get an understanding of call out charges if a stairlift repair is necessary. Stairlifts are generally pretty reliable but you need to cover all bases for such an important decision.

Stairlift servicing – understand how often it needs to be services and the costs. The normal approach is a fixed annual fee for an annual service and free repairs.