Monday, 15 September 2008

Measuring Your Stairs For A Stair Lift

Many Americans have trouble walking or moving due to arthritis, muscular diseases, or age. This can make going up and down the stairs painful and un-safe. For many this means relying on someone to help them travel up or down the stairs or perhaps just means not using the stairs and subsequently not using a big part of their home. A personal elevator, while very useful, can easily cost well over $20,000. There is a practical and affordable solution though that will allow you to use the stairs safely and independently. That solution is a stair lift.

Stair lifts, or stair chairs as they are sometimes called, carry a seated or in some cases standing individual up and down the stairs. Stair lifts generally are easily installed by bolting a track to the side of the stairs. A chair or small platform then travels up and down the track. You can get a stair lift for a small fraction of what it would cost to install a personal elevator and do not have to sell your home just because you can't use the stairs. It is possible to save even more money by buying a used stair lift, but you should ensure that you are purchasing it from a reputable dealer. This guarantees that you will get a completely refurbished stair lifts so that they are in the same condition as if they were brand new. They also provide a warranty on the stair lift, which chances are you will never use, but it is still nice to have.

Before you order your stair lift you need to have an idea of the length of your stairs. The dealer will then custom cut a track to fit your stairs. It is important to get an accurate measurement, so it is always a good idea to take each measurement twice. Using a measuring tape the first step will be to measure the overall distance of your stairs. Start at the top step and measure the distance to the bottom of the stairs. Ensure that the measuring tape touches the edge of each step and does not sag between the steps. Next measure the distance from the top step to the edge of the bottom step. This measurement is similar to the first one, but does not go all the way to the landing. Again you will want to ensure that the tape does not sag between steps and that it makes contact with the edge of each step. Now measure the height, width, depth, and the diagonal distance from edge to edge of one step. These measurements will help ensure that your first two measurements are accurate and that your stairs are wide enough for a stair lift. Finally, measure the distance from the bottom step to the closest wall or other obstruction.

This Stair Lift Measuring Guide has some really useful pictures and other information.

Once you have an accurate measurement of your stairs you are ready to start shopping for a stair lift. Most reputable dealers have trained staff standing by ready to answer your questions and help you find a stair lift that will fit your stairs and your needs. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the measurements or if you have any questions.

Whether you are in the market for a used stair lift or if you would prefer a new stair lift, there are some good deals at

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