Chair lifts allow people with limited mobility to ascend and descend stairs easily. Initially, a chair lift may look bulky, and you might worry that there won't be enough room on the stairs for people who aren't using the chair. However, chair lift manufacturers take this into consideration, and the models they offer are meant to keep those stairs fully usable for everyone, without making too many changes.
Folding Models Leave More Room
Many power chair lift models now have folding seats, which means that when the chair is not in use, the amount of space it takes up at the entrance to the stairs is minimal. In fact, a lot of the tracks that these chairs run on have a section on at least one end that allows the chair to move off the stairs completely and rest at floor level, so the stairs aren't blocked at all when the chair lift is in that position.
You May Have to Remove a Hand Rail, but Not Always
One issue that pops up frequently is whether a handrail on the stairs can stay where it is. Some models of chair lifts place the chair several inches away from the wall, which allows the handrail to stay in place without interfering with the chair as it moves up the lift. Other models, however, place the chair much closer to the wall, and a wide handrail may need to be removed to accommodate the chair.
You Can Keep Your Carpet
If your stairs are carpeted, never fear; you can keep the carpet. The chair lift rail is installed on the risers, not the wall, but it's easy to cut through the carpet during installation. Changing the carpet isn't that difficult, either, as installers can still cut around the spots where the rail supports are installed in the risers.
You May Need an Electrical Outlet Installed at the Stairs
Much is made of the battery life of the chair lift and how to preserve it. However, the lift runs mainly on electricity from your home's regular wiring. If there's no electrical outlet near the stairs that you can plug the lift into, or if the circuit near the stairs doesn't offer enough power to operate the lift, you might have to have some rewiring done.
When you start looking at chair lift models, find out the power and physical clearance requirements in addition to things like the price or installation time. The more you know upfront about how you'll have to modify your home, the better able you'll be to choose the right chair lift.Share
18 September 2020
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