For people who have difficulty tackling the stairs in their home, stairlifts provide a viable alternative to a disruptive and unwanted move. Choice is not the problem in today’s market – quite the opposite – a wealth of products provides options for almost every personal circumstance and staircase configuration. The problem SERVOSCALA PERUGIA arises in defining which product, from the myriad available, will best meet the needs of your relative now and in the future.
This brief overview should provide you with an insight into the areas you need to investigate, questions you need to ask and things you need to think about, to choose the right stair lift.
Overview of the stairlift market
The UK stairlifts marketplace is amazingly crowded. There are around 12 major stairlift manufacturers all producing products aimed at a market that’s growing year by year. As the population ages the demand for their products has increased significantly.
Here’s the best way to go about buying a stairlift. Before you pick up the phone and call Stannah or Bison Bede or Minivator, talk to your friends and relatives. Do they know anyone who’s had a lift installed? If so, speak to them. Ask them about their experiences, the benefits and the drawbacks, if any.
Then get in touch with all the reputable companies that you can and start to compare their products and prices, keeping in mind that reliability and safety are the most vital elements. The web is a great place to start; all the major manufacturers have websites for you to view.
During the process of choosing a stairlift, grill the sales representative. After all, it’s their job to know everything about their products, be they curved, straight or outdoor. Talk about your relative’s staircase, about their particular mobility problems and about the budget you are working around.
Try to get hold of as much information as possible on the manufacturer and its products. How long have they been in business? Do they have full insurance? Try to read testimonials from genuine customers.
Ask them about after-sales. Once the lift is in place, how long is the warranty? Is it extendable and for how long? How much will this cost and what will they include? Ask them about the small print, some manufacturers will put a lifetime guarantee on their products. This sounds great, until you realise it’s just for certain components.
Then there’s service and support. If the lift breaks down, how quickly will the company get to you? Will it be their own stairlift engineers who visit or will the service be contracted out, so that you might have to wait a couple of days for the problem to be solved?
The Internet is a great tool to help you find out all you can about stairlift manufacturers. Look in the regular media for stories about them and check online forums, is anyone making negative comments? Stay clear of cold callers and take each lift for a test ride in the showrooms before you part with any money.
Buying the right stairlift means taking into account the needs of the user and deciding on the features that will be most important for them, not just today, but in a few years down the line.
If their needs are likely to change in the future, take this into account when deciding on the key features you are looking for.
Curved or Straight?
The next step, once you’ve whittled down the manufacturers to a manageable number, is to get company representatives in to assess your staircase. First things first: there are two main sorts of stairlift, straight and curved. Straight stairlifts are made for stairs without bends or half-landings. If your stairs are on a straight run, you’ll find you can save quite a bit of money on your stair lift.