Call Us: (908) 325-3648

Last Updated on September 4, 2023

Perhaps you’ve finally decided that a stairlift installation can bring your home comfort, security, and safety—but you also realize you have a narrow staircase, a wide one, curved stairs, or other custom designs. For stair chair lift installation, there aren’t too many configurations that would prevent you from stair lift installation as stair lift installation requirements are fairly liberal, fitting curved staircases, split staircases, and even outdoor ones. Read on to learn more about chair lift dimensions, information on how to install a chair lift, and general space requirements.

What Is the Minimum Size for Stair Lift Requirements?

The minimum stair width for a chair lift is usually 30 inches for straight staircases and 34 inches for curved ones. It also depends on the height and weight of the person. So, it’s important to have us come to measure your stairs. When it comes to stair lift dimensions, there are more narrow, specialized stair lifts that can be custom built to fit your narrow stairs. 

How to Install a Chair Lift

It’s typically not recommended that laypeople install chair lifts, because stair chair installation requires technical and carpentry knowledge that should be handled by an expert. Generally, the steps of how to build a stair lift are as follows:

  • 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

It’s simple to see why installing a chair lift in the home should be performed by a technician; however, an experienced carpenter may have no trouble installing a chairlift on the stairs. Like a professional, a layperson should measure for stair lift requirements as well.

Stair Lift Requirements: Other Requirements Beyond Width

Chairlift installation has more stair lift requirements than the width of the stairs—installing a stair lift correctly has other requirements as well. One of the most important of these is a nearby power outlet. Your stair lift will need to be plugged into the wall so it can operate, and having a nearby outlet is a top requirement. During power outages, your stair lift has a battery so you’re never left stranded, but you will need a power outlet to plug in your unit and to charge the battery. 

Also, when installing a stairlift, you must ensure there is head clearance. In 20th century to modern-day houses, this isn’t always a concern, but in older houses, ensure any person riding the stairlift has enough head clearance. This can particularly be a stair lift installation requirement problem in old houses coming up from the basement level. 

Image of a tape measure for an article about Home Space Requirements for a Stair Lift.

Furniture and handrails can be moved (a handrail can be moved from one side to the other if needed), however, walkways and doors cannot. Sometimes houses are designed in such a way that there is a broom closet at the bottom of the stairs, or an opening at the top. Even with the best installation, this is a requirement that cannot be ignored because of the safety risk it poses.

Generally speaking, don’t worry as much about your staircase’s width as head clearance while traveling the stair lift and potential design roadblocks like doorways. Custom-built stairlifts are an option to meet most stair lift space requirements, but you cannot change the house’s structure (e.g., moving a doorway) without extensive work and building permits. 

To learn more about stair lift requirements, stairlift installation, and options, or to hear about other mobility products that can be life-changing, such as power recliners, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both our caregivers and their loved ones to live their best lives possible.