Saturday, 6 June 2009

Stair Lift Measuring - How To Take Proper Measurements To Install A Stair Chair Lift

Thinking about buying and installing your own stair lift? In today’s internet market, the trend is moving towards customer friendly products. Manufactures are developing and producing products that a typical consumer or homeowner can install with standard household tools in just a few hours.

The first step all stair lift manufactures require from the customer or homeowner before a product is made and shipped are the measurements of the staircase. It is very easy to measure for your new stair lift. All you need is a good quality tape measure to get the job done.

Before you begin to measure, take a general overview of your stairway layout and decide which side of the staircase the stair lift will be mounted on, when viewed from the bottom. Typically, stair lifts can be installed on either side of the staircase. Depending on the layout, choose the best side where it will be the easiest to get on and off the lift avoiding any obstacles at the top or bottom.

Most stair lifts mount to the staircase tread and not the wall. So no walls are necessary for most stair lift designs. Make sure you understand the manufactures design to ensure this is the case.

Now that you have decided which side of the staircase the stair lift will be mounted, follow the steps below to take proper measurements. Always measure twice. All measurements should be recorded in inches.

The following 7 measurements are required to determine if a stair lift application will work for your mobility needs.

1. Overall Length - This is the MOST IMPORTANT measurement! This determines the length of rail you will need for the lift. To obtain this measurement stand at the top of your stairs, extend your tap measure until it is laying on all the stair treads and the tip of the tape measure is touching the landing at the bottom of the steps. How many inches is it from the bottom landing to the top of the upper landing? Document this number.

2. Top Stair to Bottom Stair - Measure from the edge of the top step to the edge of the bottom step.

3. Width - Measure the width of your staircase from wall to wall or inside width of the staircase. In many cases this will be wall to wall.

4. Bottom Clearance - If there is a wall or a door at the bottom of the steps, place the beginning of the tape measure at the beginning of the door frame or wall and extend out until you reach the bottom of you step wall. Note: This should be done if you have a wall (landing) or door at the top of the steps as well and add a number eight (8) measurement and mark that as the "top clearance".
The last three measurements (5, 6, and 7) will enable the manufacturer to preset the seat angle of your lift at the factory.

5. Rise of ONE STEP - Measure the height of one stair. This is from the base of one tread to the next.

6. Tread of ONE STEP - Measure the width of one step. This is the area you walk on. Measure from the front of the step to the back of the step.

7. Diagonal of ONE STEP – Measure the length from one edge of a step to the tip of the next. Similar to step 1 but instead of the entire staircase length, only measure the length between two steps.

Great, now that you have completed the hardest part of determining if a stair lift will work in your home, the next step is to find a stair lift company to ship your product. If you would like more details on How To Measure a staircase please feel free to read more at the above link.

This article was provided by Gerald Lee Graham, Jr. of 4-Med Supplies LLC – wholesaler of Durable Medical Equipment for the disabled. For more information on stair lifts or any other medical equipment, please visit

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