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DIY Stair Lifts


We’re frequently asked to fix a stair lift that someone has bought “cheap” online or from a friend, then tried to install themselves. Invariably something goes wrong. The “chair didn’t work as advertised” or “the rail doesn’t fit my stairway” are two very common problems. For your safety and peace of mind we include professional installation with every stair lift. All reputable manufacturers insist on this, and some states require it by statute.

Buying used equipment online has its own set of risks. First, unless you've seen the equipment functioning properly, how will you know it is in good working order? A non-functioning chair could have a defective motor or drive system, or something as simple as dead batteries. Unless you have a strong mechanical aptitude and the ability to test circuitry, how will you know? Second, any reputable dealer that comes to the home to repair or complete a partial install will first need to certify and possibly have the chair permitted and inspected by the state.

One last consideration for do-it-yourself installation is the limited availability of parts should you choose to make your own repairs. For the same reasons listed above, no reputable dealer is allowed to sell parts or supplies to the end user for self repair. Even if everything goes well initially, servicing the chair becomes problematic. As with any other purchase in life, what seems to good to be true usually is. Better to spend a little more and do this right the first time.

The Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (AEMA) does not support the installation or servicing of accessibility lifts by inexperienced persons.

"In the past few years, there has been an increase in the concept of providing lifts over the internet and from storefronts or warehouses with the intent that the end-user (consumer) is expected to perform his or her own installation and servicing (self-installation). The practice is most evident with stairway chair lifts, but vertical platform lifts and other accessibility lift models, both used and new are also available through this marketing method."

AEMA does not support the concept of self-installation!