Last Updated on September 4, 2023
If you put the term “stair lift installation” into a web search, you’ll no doubt find a wealth of information on companies selling and installing chair lifts in the home. However, if you search for “Can I install chair lift by myself?,” you will find the same installation companies with a clear warning not to perform chairlift installation yourself.
However, a person may recognize the need for a stair lift in their home to improve their quality of life while also being worried about the overall cost. Generally speaking, installation is an extra cost on top of a chair lift purchase, and many homeowners wonder if they can perform the job themselves. Below, learn about stair lift installation, the general mechanics of how to install a stair lift, and if it’s a safe project to undertake.
The Safety of DIY Stair Lift Installation
It’s important to note that if the stair lift is not installed properly, this could be a very dangerous outcome, and accidents and injuries could occur. That said, many people would understand how to fit a stair lift. It’s much more preferable if the person installing the stair lift does have some prior experience in carpentry or mechanics because stair lift installation must be precise. There will also be exposed metals and sharp pieces during the stair lift installation that any installer should watch out for. While the unit could be installed improperly, hurting the user, installers can also be hurt during the stair lift installation process, particularly when mating the gear and rail systems on a rack-and-pinion or worm gear drive.
How to Install a Chair Lift
If you believe you have enough experience to install the chair lift, the answer to can you install a stair lift yourself? is yes—but proceed with caution. Each stair lift installation and stair lift will be slightly different, so you’ll want to adhere to the stair lift installation manual that’s included with your new purchase. Basically, the installation is broken down into several parts:
- Measuring to cut the rail
- Cutting the rail
- Installing brackets
- Positioning the lift on the stairs
- Leveling the footrest and seat
- Mounting the stairlift to the steps
You may find that you will have to purchase some tools, such as a hand saw, to complete the project.
What Are the Pros and Cons of DIY Stairlift Installation?
It is true that there are many pros to having a professional install your stair lift. You can have peace of mind knowing it was done correctly by a trained technician. The pro to DIY installation is cost—however, this may not ring true in all cases.
Be very careful to read the fine print on your purchase if you plan to DIY install, as that may void your warranty. While this saves you costs at the outset, if your machine has a mechanical problem, you will have to pay out of pocket. Also, many service companies will not service a unit that has been self-installed, and stair lifts do need semi-regular maintenance, upkeep, and repair.
In general, it may not be the best idea to perform a DIY install, but if you’re confident in your abilities and it doesn’t void your warranty, it can end up saving you money.
- Can stairlifts go around corners?
Yes, there are stairlifts specially designed for curved staircases. However, it is best to let a professional install custom stair lifts.
- Can you put a stairlift on any stairs?
Generally speaking, yes. There are many types of stair lifts, including ones meant for outdoor stairs.
- How wide do stairs need to be for a stairlift?
For a straight staircase, they typically need to be 28 inches in width or more, while curved staircases require 30 inches or more.
- How long does a stair lift take to install?
When a stair lift is installed by a professional, it is completed in two to three hours.
- Do you need planning permission for a stairlift?
Typically, permission is only required if the stair lift installation would affect the structural integrity of the home.
To learn more about stair lift installation or information about custom stair lifts or other mobility products, contact Wiliams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their loved ones to live their best lives possible.