For most people, purchasing a stairlift is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Unlike purchasing a car, where you know what to expect, it is difficult to know what is “normal” when deciding which stairlift to buy. This article aims to help the many home owners and family members out there who are wondering, “How do I know which stairlift to buy?”
When answering this question, it is important to clarify two common misperceptions about stairlifts. First, stairlifts are not a commodity; in other words, it is NOT “just a chair that goes up and down the stairs.” In fact, there are many differences between stairlifts, in terms of safety, reliability, and ease of use. More on that below. Second, the quality of the stairlift itself is only part of the equation—the quality of the installation and the service after the fact are often even more important!
Regarding the stairlift unit itself, the age-old saying “You get what you pay for” is true in almost every case. Buying a cheap stairlift is like buying a cheap parachute and then going skydiving. Or like buying a cheap used car and going on a cross country road trip. Or like… well, you get the idea! Rather than looking for the lowest price, you should instead seek the best price. At Arrow Lift, the way our family has been doing business for over 30 years is to offer competitive pricing on top-quality stairlifts (and doing a great job on installation and service, too!).
To give you some examples of what constitutes “a quality stairlift,” let’s look at the three criteria mentioned above: safety, reliability, and ease of use.
- Safety: Has the manufacturer been cutting corners, resulting in recalls?
- Reliability: What is the manufacturer’s parts warranty? Industry standard is two years on all parts and even longer on the drive mechanism (motor and gearbox)
- Ease of use: For example, some models allow the footrest to be folded with the push of a button. This can be a safer alternative to bending over at the top of the stairs to fold the footrest (see photos and video below).
These are just some of the factors that go into choosing a stairlift—the best way to make a safe choice is to speak with a qualified company who can identify the right stairlift for your needs and your budget. Give us a call at 888-815-4387 and we can help identify the best solution for you.