Considering the cost of a stair lift, you may be thinking about installing it yourself. The cost of a new stair lift after installation can range from $2000 to $4000. The company that the lift is purchased from has a big impact on the cost of the lift itself, as well as the cost of the installation. Installing a stair lift yourself has its benefits, but also its shortcomings.
The most obvious benefit of installing a stair lift yourself is the cost savings. While the cost of the stairlift itself typically makes up the majority of the cost, installation also adds to the overall cost. Most lifts do come with some sort of instructions on how to install the lift, which include measuring to cut the rail, cutting the rail, installing brackets, positioning the lift on the stairs, leveling the seat and footrest, and mounting it to the steps. While a stair lift can be self-installed, experience in carpentry or mechanics is very helpful. The purchasing of some tools to complete the project may also be required.
Choosing a reputable stair lift dealer to perform the installation will result in a cleaner and safer fit for your home. Most dealers have put in hundreds, if not thousands of stair lifts, constantly refining their installation skills. Most technicians are factory trained, so that your stair lift is installed to the manufacturer’s specifications. Dealers have all of the tools needed to complete an installation, meaning that they spend minimal time in your home. When installed by a dealer, a straight stair lift can usually be installed in less than 3 hours. Dealers also have the ability to install custom fabricated curved stair lifts, which can accommodate turns, landings, and pie shaped steps.
Most dealers provide some type of parts and labor warranty on the stair lifts they install. If you have any issues during or after the warranty, the dealer is available to service your lift. In contrast, self install stair lifts provide no service warranty and very few companies offer a parts warranty on self installed lifts. In the event that you have issues that cause your self installed lift to stop working, there are often no technicians that can stop out to fix the lift. Instead you may be stuck trying to find a dealer to service the lift.
The level of service you receive from a dealer is typically more extensive than the service you receive from a company that sells self-install lifts. Dealers often have parts in stock, allowing them to have your lift up and running in just one visit. If the service call falls within the warranty period, the call costs you nothing. If you self installed a lift, service usually amounts to calling a technical support phone number. In the event that new parts are needed, you may be stuck with broken stair lift for a week or more while the parts are shipped.
In the end, purchasing a lift through a dealer, who installs your stair lift, may end up being the cheaper option. The cost of one part or service call for a lift that was self installed usually more than makes up for the cost of installation. We have been out to a number of customers’ homes less than a year after they have self installed a stair lift, to take out their broken lift and install one professionally. We recommend staying with a dealer installed stair lift over a self installed stair lift. The warranty and piece of mind provided through a dealer installed stair lift is well worth the cost of installation.