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GUIDE TO BUYING A STAIRLIFT

If you are thinking of buying a stairlift, read our simple guide which should help answer some questions you may have. 

Stairlifts provide users the independence to access all levels of their home while also reducing the risk of falling down the stairs, which can unfortunately pose tragic or fatal outcomes. Depending on the type of stairway you have in your home will determine the type of stairlift you require, curved or straight.

Straight Stairlifts

The simplest and the most economical stairlift to buy is a straight stairlift. Straight stairlifts fit all straight staircases, regardless of the steepness of the stairway or the number of steps. A straight stairlift does exactly what it says – it goes straight up and down, in parallel with your stairs. They are suited for staircases that have no corners, bends or landings. Each track is cut to size based on your staircase height (or the number of steps).

At Beechfield Stairlifts, we offer a variety of straight lift options so you can decide whether you want to keep it basic or add on a few extra features.

These features include:

A Manually Swivelling Seat allows your seat to swivel toward the landing once you reach the top. This ensures you are getting on and off your lift walking toward the landing and away from the stairs. Without a swivel option, you are forced to dismount near the edge of the stairs.

We also offer a Powered Swivelling Seat, which is ideal for those with limited hip mobility, such as post hip surgery, as the chair will automatically swivel when it reaches the top or bottom of the stairs.

All Handicare stairlifts have foldable seats, footplates and arms that can be folded up when not in use, allowing clear access for other stair users.

We also offer a Powered Folding Footplate so users don’t have to bend down to fold it up and out of the way – this is ideal for those with limited mobility as for many people, bending down isn’t even a possibility.
If you have a door near the top or bottom your stairs, a Slide Track is a ground-breaking solution available only from Handicare for use with a Simplicity or Simplicity+ straight stairlift.
This unique solution allows the track moves up the staircase at the same time as the seat is moving, leaving the doorway at the base of your stairs unobstructed. This is ideal for tight spaces or when the track may block a doorway or hall. The Slide Track works automatically when the toggle or remote control is activated.

Curved Stairlifts

If your buying a stairlift and your staircase has bends, landings or corners, then you will need a curved stairlift. For example, you will need a curved stairlift if your staircase has 13 steps up, a mini landing, then goes up another three.

It should be noted that not all curved lifts are built the same. Some manufacturers use modular pieces that they put together like a puzzle to fit your staircase. Unfortunately, since not all homes are built the same, the track may be wider than you need and not lay flush against the staircase. It also means a bumpier ride as you go over the joints where the pieces are bolted together.

All Handicare curved stairlifts are built specifically for your home, ensuring it fits tight like a glove. Curves are tighter to take up less space on your staircase and there are plenty of extra features to add on as desired.

Our stairlift team use specialist software to take 3D images of your staircase. This not only ensures a tailor-made solution, but also provides you an upfront look at what it will look like once installed in your home. This allows you to visualise the stairlift in situ and make any changes before you buy.

A unique feature exclusive to our curved stairlift range is the hinged track. Sometimes, for the seat to get low enough for the user to sit on, it is necessary for the track to extend beyond the staircase to the lower floor level. Or in some cases, there may be a doorway close to the bottom of the stairs and the track may intrude across this.

Curved Handicare stairlifts can be supplied with a powered hinged track that extends when you go downstairs and folds up when you go upstairs or want to park the lift out of the way, allowing clear access on the lower level.

Like our straight stairlifts, you can choose from manual or powered folding footplates and manual or powered swivelling seats.

Buyers guide questions
HOW MUCH WILL A STAIR LIFT COST?

Stair lift pricing starts at only €1,599 (plus VAT) fully fitted with a full 1 year warranty. Now, for a limited time, you also get a €100 Beechfield Healthcare voucher with any straight stairlift or €250 voucher with any curved stairlift installed.

Please call our Customer Care Team on 1890 989 353 to discuss your stair lift requirements and any queries you may have. Beechfield Stairlifts provide free home surveys and quotations with a “No-Hassle No-Obligation Guarantee”.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL A STAIR LIFT AND WILL IT MAKE A LOT OF MESS?

Your stair lift will be constructed in the factory, so it will arrive at your home ready to be fitted. Our professional fitters will perform the installation and it usually takes just a couple of hours to fit a stair lift to straight stairs, slightly longer to fit a curved stair lift. The rail will be fitted first, then the motor and the seat. It will then be tested thoroughly and you will be shown how to use it. There will be minimal inconvenience and any mess made will be tidied up by the installation engineer.

DOES THE STAIR LIFT FIT TO THE WALL?

No, your stairlift will be fitted to the steps, not the wall. As most stairlifts are slim line they fit comfortably and unobtrusively to the stairs. At the time of your consultation we will be able to show you on a computer how the stairlift will look when it is fitted.

CAN OTHER PEOPLE STILL USE THE STAIRS ONCE THE STAIR LIFT IS FITTED?

Beechfield Stairlifts have a market leading slim design. The seats, arm and foot rests that can be folded up when not in use, leaving plenty of room for other stair users to walk up and down the stairs.

ARE STAIR LIFTS COMPLICATED TO USE?

Our stair lifts have been designed for ease of use. They glide smoothly up or down the stairs at a gentle speed. All models have a seat belt for your safety. Our customer service team are always available at the end of a telephone line if help or reassurance is needed, just call 1890 989 353.

WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMETHING IS LEFT ON THE STAIRS AND GETS IN THE WAY OF THE STAIR LIFT?

Our Stairlifts have built-in safety sensors that will detect an obstructions on the stairs, such as objects that have been dropped, pets or children. The sensors will respond by automatically stopping the stair lift so that the any obstruction can be safely removed.

WHAT IF THERE IS A POWERCUT?

There is no need to worry. Your stairlift is run on DC power with battery backup, which charges up when your stair lift is left on a charge point This means that if there is a power failure your stairlift should carry on working for approximately 6 – 8 trips.

ARE THERE ANY WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS?

This depends on the model, most stairlifts have a weight limit of 18-22 stone or 115 – 140kgs. Our team will be able to advise on the different types of stair lift during your consultation, helping you to choose the stair lift most suited to your needs.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY STAIR LIFT BREAKS DOWN?

Handicare Stairlifts from Beechfield Healthcare are very reliable and it is rare that they would break down. However, in the unlikely event of a breakdown, our engineers would be able to get to you quickly and fix the problem. We advise that all stairlifts should be serviced annually to keep them in excellent working order. Your Beechfield Stairlift is also covered by a 2 year warranty with the option of an extended warranty which we will discuss with you.

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT BEFORE MY STAIR LIFT IS INSTALLED?

Not long! A stair lift for a straight stairs can be installed very quickly, within 2 weeks. A Stair lift for curved stairs are made to measure your stairs so may take slightly longer. We will be able to advise on the delivery time for your stair lift at your consultation, we’ll keep you updated on the delivery date and arrange the most suitable time for you to install the stair lift.

CAN I CHOOSE WHAT COLOUR MY STAIR LIFT IS?

During our consultation we will discuss the various models of stair lift which offer a choice of different upholstery colours so you can choose one to match the décor of your home.

WILL FITTING THE STAIR LIFT IT DAMAGE THE CARPET?

No. The fixing bolts will cause a small penetration in the carpet but they will not be visible as the carpet pile will hide the holes if and when the stair lift is removed. If you are having a new carpet fitted then it is better if possible to have it fitted before the stair lift – but a good carpet fitter can always work around one that is already installed.

HOW IS A STAIR LIFT OPERATED?

Stairlifts are operated by simple, large, up and down paddle switches on the arms, which are designed to work with minimal pressure. This makes them suitable for people with arthritis or who are visually-impaired. You simply need to gently press the paddle in the direction of travel to start the stair lift. When your stairlift is installed we will show you how to use it and the various features of your new stairlift. We are always available by calling 1890 989 353 should you have any questions.

HOW EASY IS IT TO GET ON AND OFF?

Stairlifts come with different features which included swivel seats, making it easy to turn away from the stairs and to get on or off without having to twist or turn your body. You can use the armrests to push yourself up. The armrests can be raised separately, which is especially useful if you are getting on from a wheelchair. During the survey we will discuss the various features of each model and help you choose the one most suited to your needs.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY HUSBAND/WIFE HAS USED THE LIFT TO GO UPSTAIRS AND I’M STUCK DOWNSTAIRS?

Stairlifts come with 2 remote controls, which is used to call it back to where you are or if you want to send something up or down the stairs without having to carry it. Your remote controls can be mounted on the wall at the top and bottom of your stairs so you can always able to find them when you need them.

WILL MY STAIR LIFT BE EXPENSIVE TO RUN?

A Stair lift is very energy-efficient and economical to run. They run on a 13 amp socket and the daily cost of running a stair lift is comparable to using a kettle – the only power used is the charge that keeps the batteries topped up all the time. We advise you not to turn off the charger at the plug as the batteries may go flat necessitating replacement batteries.

WILL IT BE NOISY?

No, they are very quiet. You will be able to use your stair lift at any time of the day or night without disturbing others.

IS THERE A GRANT AVAILABLE?

Yes, you will need to apply to your local county council and ask for a mobility grant. Our team will guide you through the process and assist you with completing all the necessary paperwork for your grant application. VAT is also charged in the price but can be reclaimed, we will provide the necessary documentation and advice to assist in this process.

What is the Weight Capacity?

Every stairlift will have a recommended maximum weight capacity as determined by the manufacturer. Most stairlifts will accommodate at least 120Kg which equates to almost 19 Stone. There are models of stairlift that can accommodate greater weight capacities up to 200Kg/31 Stone.

How do I Control the Stairlift?

Stairlifts are easy and safe to use. There are simple controls on the chair itself as well as the option of having controls that are permanently fixed at the top and bottom of your staircase. At Beechfield Stairlifts, our implementation engineers provide a full demonstration on how to use the stairlift after it’s installed.

Are Stairlifts Safe?

Safety is an obvious concern when choosing a stairlift. It is important to ensure that the stairlift you choose has adequate safety features such as a seat belt, obstacle sensors, easy-to-use pressurised controls. It is essential that you thoroughly understand the various safety features included on the stairlift you choose. At Beechfield Stairlifts, we have a range of safety features available on our stairlifts, just ask our stairlift specialist during the survey.

Are Stairlifts Comfortable to Use?

There are two types of stairlift driving systems. The ‘Rack and Pinion System’ and the ‘Cable System’. While cable drive systems can be slightly cheaper, they generally provide a bumpier ride. The Rack and Pinion System that our stairlifts use provides a smooth ride and has a geared drive system that runs along a rack of teeth on the rail.

Should I Buy a New or Reconditioned Stairlift?

Buying a stairlift isn’t just about your stairs. It’s about you and your specific needs and how a stairlift is tailored to meet them.

At Beechfield Stairlifts, we only fit new stairlifts which come with a 2-year warranty for extra peace of mind. Our stairlifts are custom made and fitted to suit your staircase. This allows complete flexibility when it comes to fitting the stairlift – we can fit either side and have a range of options to cater for potential obstructions, such as doors, thresholds, banister rails, radiators, or other potential obstructions.

Our custom stairlifts are precisely measured to ensure they fit every millimetre of your stairs. This means the rail is as tight as possible to the wall or bannister and causes minimal obstruction for other users.

Do I Need a Plug?

Our stairlifts will work from a standard 3-Pin Socket power supply with no specialist wiring required. However, if there is no power source available close to the stairs you will need one installed. Our stairlift surveyor will be able to advise you in this regard during your stairlift survey.

In the unlikely event of a power failure, our stairlifts hold enough charge to ensure you don’t get stuck and will return you to the top or bottom of the stairs. A unique feature of our Handicare 1100 straight stairlift is the continuous charge functionality, which allows you to park the seat anywhere on the rail and it will stay charged.

Manual or Powered Swivel?

If manually swivelling the chair is difficult due to limited mobility, we offer a powered swivel option to make turning easier. This is a simple mechanism that allows the seat to swivel when it reaches the top or bottom of the stairs and makes exiting the stairlift easier and safer.

Manual or Automatic Folding Footplate?

All Handicare stairlifts have foldable seats, footplates and arms that can be folded up when not in use, allowing clear access for other stair users. Depending on your level of mobility, you can choose a manual folding footplate or a powered footplate option that will remove the need to bend down to fold or unfold the footplate.

What if I Have a Problem?

An important consideration when choosing a stairlift choice is length of warranty and what happens if there’s a problem. The key questions to ask are:

  1. What parts of the stairlift are covered
  2. How long does the service department take to respond to service request?
  3. How long is the stairlift warranty?

With Beechfield Stairlifts you can rest assured that you are covered by a comprehensive parts warranty and a dedicated and compassionate service team.

With Beechfield Stairlifts you can rest assured that you are covered by a comprehensive parts warranty and a dedicated and compassionate service team.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly stairlift specialists during the home survey.