Fifteen Handy Stairlift Case Studies

Stairlift Case Studies

Stairlifts can be installed on most types of stairs. 

Some stairs will not be suitable for a stairlift, the most common reason being the width of the staircase. Standing (or perch) stairlifts allow the user to stand while using the stairlift. This reduces the depth requirement for the stairlift as there is no need for a full-depth seat.

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All of the below case studies are common in the industry. Due to the unique design of some staircases your situation may not be listed below. In this case we are happy advise as to the best options.

Please note none of this information is to be taken as health advice. We recommend that you speak to an occupational therapist or similar health professional as they will be able to assess any future needs.

Straight staircases:

  1. Straight stairs – no impediments on stairwell.
  2. Straight stairs – intermediate landing.
  3. Straight stairs – doorway at immediate bottom of the stairs (on wall side).
  4. Straight stairs – radiator or similar at immediate bottom of the stairs.
  5. Straight stairs – fan steps at the bottom of the stairs.
  6. Straight stairs – square/rectangle landing at the bottom of the stairs.
  7. Straight stairs – window with extruding sill on stairwell.
  8. One 90º bend – no impediments on stairwell.
  9. Two or more turns – no impediments on stairwell.
  10. One or more bends – landing midway.
  11. One or more bends – doorway at immediate bottom of the stairs.
  12. One or more bends – radiator or similar at immediate bottom of the stairs.
  13. One or more bends – fan steps at the bottom of the stairs.
  14. One or more bends – square/rectangle landing platform at the bottom of the stairs.
  15. One or more bends – window with extruding sill on stairwell.

  1. Straight stairs – no impediments on stairwell. This is the most simple configuration for a stairlift. A standard straight lift will travel on the wall side of the stairs, parking just below the bottom step. The lift is attached to the stairs and downstairs landing/hallway floor.If for some reason the lifts needs to travel on the banister side of the staircase a curved lift will be required. This rail will turn 180º at the bottom of the stairs to allow the life carriage to park in the bottom hallway.
  2. Straight stairs – intermediate landing. If the staircase has an intermediate landing or doorway on the bannisters side of the stairs it may be possible to install a standard straight stairlift.If the impediment is on the wall side a curved stairlift may be the only solution.
  3. Straight stairs – doorway at immediate bottom of the stairs (on wall side). If the staircase has a doorway that is with three feet of the bottom of the stairs, on the wall side, you will need a hinged or slide rail. This will lift out of the way to allow safe access to the doorway. A standard rail will create a trip-hazard if used in this instance.
  4. Straight stairs – radiator or similar at immediate bottom of the stairs. If there is an obstruction such as a radiator or box unit within three feet of the bottom step on the wall side, then the rail will need a reduced intrusion. This is also known a snub-nosed rail. In this instance a curved rail/stairlift may be the only solution. The rail will turn 180º at the bottom step allowing room for the stairlift carriage and seat to park.
  5. Straight stairs – fan steps at the bottom of the stairs. If the staircase has fan steps at the bottom of the stairs there are a couple of options.The first option is to remodel the bottom steps to allow the use of a standard straight stairlift. This may work out cheaper than buying a curved stairlift. Keep in mind that this solution may require a new carpet.The second option is to install a curved stairlift that will travel on the bannisters side of the stairs. 
  6. Straight stairs – square/rectangle landing at the bottom or top of the stairs. If the staircase is a square or rectangle landing you can, as above, remodel the stairs or buy a curved stairlift. Another option in this case is to park the lift on the landing and walk the final steps. This decision will rest on the users mobility (and projected mobility needs).
  7. Straight stairs – window with extruding sill on stairwell. If the staircase has a window on the wall side of the stairs the windowsill may obstruct the movement of the stairlift. The most common solution is to reduce the extrusion of the sill. This may require that the windowsill be repainted after the woodwork has been completed.
  8. One 90º bend – no impediments on stairwell. If your stairs has one 90º bend and nothing obstructing the stairwell it may be possible to install a straight stairlift, if the users mobility allows it. This is done sometimes where cost is an issue. Most commonly a curved stairlift will be required. A curved stairlift can travel on the wall or bannisters side of the stairs. This allows for a number of rail configuration options and a lot of flexibility.
  9. Two or more turns – no impediments on stairwell. If the stairs has a number of turns in it a curved stairlift will almost definitely be the only option..
  10. One or more bends – landing midway. If your stairs has one or more bends with a landing midway along the stairs there are a few options. It may be possible to install two straight stairlifts, if cost is a barrier to getting a stairlift, and the staircase layout allows this. Most often a curved stairlift will be the best solution in this instance.
  11. One or more bends – doorway at immediate bottom of the stairs. If you need a curved stairlift and there is a door on the wall side of the stairs, within three feet of the bottom step, the lift will travel on the bannisters side of the stairs.There is also the option of a snub-nose curved rail. This has a very short travel and park distance after the last step.
  12. One or more bends – radiator or similar at immediate bottom of the stairs. As above you can look at the option of a snub-nose rail if a radiator or similar obstruction is blocking the bottom landing where the lift can park. The stairlift can travel on the bannisters side in the instance too.
  13. One or more bends – fan steps at the bottom of the stairs. If the are fan-shaped steps at the bottom of the stairs you might want to remodel these steps if you want the lift to travel on the wall side of the stairs. If the lift travels on the banister side of the stairs usually no modifications will be required. 
  14. One or more bends – square/rectangle landing platform at the bottom of the stairs. If the stairs has a landing platform before the bottom step you may be able to use one or more straight stairlifts on the staircase. If this is not possible you will need a curved stairlift.
  15. One or more bends – window with extruding sill on stairwell. As with a straight stairlift, if a windowsill is blocking free movement of the stairlift the window frame can be modified, in this instance the lift may also travel on the bannisters side.

As you can see stairlifts come can be used in almost any situation.

If you need free advice on what your options are please contact us. You can send photos to Whatsapp 0878079993 if you are in a hurry.

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