If you have finally decided to set up a stairlift at home, you may be wondering if it will fit in the staircase. This is a good question, especially because not many people think about stairlifts when they are installing their staircases in the first place. Typically, the decision to fit a stairlift comes significantly later when the homeowner is modifying the house to fit into their lifestyle.
Read on to find what how to go about resolving this problem.
Why a Stairlift?
As the years advance, our bodies change and this sometimes means that our homes have to change as well. Our joints don’t work as well as they used to and going up and down a staircase becomes a problem. There is also the issue of illness which may mean that we are not as flexible as before. Regardless of the cause, staircases tend to pose the biggest problem when it comes to home mobility. Stairlifts thus present a very cost-effective way of getting this problem resolved. They do not require extensive renovation work and better still, the homeowner continues to occupy their largely-unchanged house.
Width of the Staircase
One of the key determinants of the suitability of your staircase is how wide it is. While many stairlifts are designed as a standard fit to staircases of about 600mm wide, the reality is that a lot is possible within and without those parameters. Professional stairlift experts can design systems that can work on much more narrow staircases saving you the trouble of changing your staircase. The best way to go about this is to call an expert to give you an assessment of what is required.
Another factor to consider when designing a stairlift is the weight capacity. Stairlifts are often anchored to walls and the ability of the wall to hold the weight will vary from building to building. Certainly, some wall materials such as brick or stone do a much better job at bearing weight, than others. You should know that as standard, most stairlifts are able to hold between 250 and 350 pounds of weight. However, custom systems can be created to enable the systems to hold significantly more weight.
To understand weight-bearing capacity, the smart move is to get a stairlift expert to assess your staircase and give you an idea of what can be done. Stairlift experts are able to design reinforcement systems to help the wall bear more weight if that is needed.
It is very common to find other fixtures installed along staircases that may get in the way of a stairlift. For example, some homes have radiators installed at the top or bottom of the staircase. Having such a fixture on your staircase does not preclude installing a stairlift. Experts can either move the radiator to a different part of the house or they may replace it with a smaller one that will not get in the way of the stairlift.