If you are in the market for a stair lift, one of your biggest questions may be about how much a stair lift costs. Something that should be heavily considered is the Total Cost of Ownership, which includes the cost of the stair lift, having it installed, and the cost to keep it in working order for years to come. A wide variety of prices for stair lifts can be found online, with some claiming prices as low as $1000 for a used stair lift, or $1749 for a new lift. Unfortunately, such low prices are often for low quality products that are not built to last. These prices also do not reflect the total cost of having the lift delivered, installed and serviced. The online advertised price often only includes the cost of the stair lift itself, with additional charges applied for shipping, installation, and even measurement services. New straight stair lifts are the most common types of stair lifts and typically can be purchased and installed for between $2500 and $4000 depending on the model you choose. Reputable stair lift dealers often provide some type of labor warranty to guarantee the quality of their work. Be cautious of any company not willing to back up their installation.
Cost Comparison For a New Straight Stair Lift
Local Dealers – Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
Often times, a local dealer can offer the best value on a stair lift. Over the lifetime of a stair lift there is the chance that repairs or maintenance may be necessary. Local dealers work to keep this cost low for their customers by offering additional benefits. Most local dealers offer a labor warranty in addition to the parts warranty that comes with the lift. This way, should there be any repairs necessary within the first year, they are completed at no cost to you. Local dealers may also offer moving guarantees, so if you move to a new home, your stair lift can be moved as well, free of charge. A buyback guarantee also brings down cost of ownership, as it gives you the opportunity to sell the lift back to the dealer and have it removed from your home when you no longer need it. Finally, dealers typically do not attach any additional fees to the sale of your stair lift. A online retailer may charge extra for installation, measurement and estimate, and shipping. Their prices often do not include a labor warranty either. Local dealers include the cost of these services in the quote they give you, so the price you are quoted is the price that you pay.
Online Retailers – Low Advertised Cost
The lowest advertised prices that can be found online are typically posted by online stair lift retailers. While they may draw customers in with low prices, often the final cost of a stair lift from an online retailer comes very close to that of a local dealer. We were able to find prices advertised as low as $1749 for a new straight stair lift. Unfortunately the $1749 price tag did not include the $575 up-charge for installation, $150 measurement services, or $200 shipping charge. When these additional costs are considered, the price comes in line with or even exceeds the price of a similar product from a local dealer. While the lifts typically come with a parts warranty, there is often no labor warranty offered and it may be difficult to have someone service your lift in a timely manner.
Purchasing from a Manufacturer – Ability to purchase straight from a manufacturer
Manufacturer prices often reflect those of a local dealer. While purchasing direct from a manufacturer may sound appealing, there are some areas that customers should be aware of. Manufacturers are not especially equipped to provide installation and service of stair lifts. Rather than have local installers available, they often have a single technician that handles installation and service of several surrounding states. While the technicians are skilled and experienced, it often may take longer to schedule an install or have your stair lift serviced. Because of the area covered by a single technician, service and labor warranties can often be quite costly from a manufacturer. This is why many manufacturers have worked to supply local dealers rather than install their lifts via their own technicians.
We recommend being thorough in your search for a stair lift and company to install and service the lift. There are a variety of options when purchasing a stair lift, and the chart shown at the beginning of the article lists many of the important factors that must be considered. There are a few other factors that are important to take into account though. Length of warranty can be extremely important. There are two types of warranties available on a stair lift: labor and parts. While a parts warranty obviously covers any parts that must be replaced, a labor warranty covers the cost of a technician coming to your home to complete any necessary service. Pay close attention to warranty periods, as parts warranties can be as short as 30 days, or as long as a lifetime warranty, while labor warranties vary from being nonexistent to lasting a year. It is also important to consider the cost and availability of service after the sale. Some local companies may be able to respond the same or next day, while larger organizations may take over a week to provide service. Also, ask the companies you are considering purchasing from about the cost of their service. The cost of an additional year of labor warranty can be as low as $180 or as high as $500, and hourly rates can differ as well.
When trying to decide where to purchase your stair lift from, participation in a free in-home consultation is encouraged. There are likely multiple companies in your area who would be happy to meet with you in person to answer any questions you have and provide you with an accurate price estimate for the cost of a stair lift in your home. The only cost of a consultation should be your time. There are a few companies which charge for a consultation and/or taking measurements, but it is recommended that you should not have to pay for a consultation. Doing so leaves you with a cost, even if you do not purchase a stair lift from that company.
Finally, choose a reputable company. There are contractors who do stair lift installations on the side, called “chuck and truck” operations. While they may be able to install the lift, they often lack the experience and expertise required to provide service if the lift should need it. Such installers are willing to collect the large check from the install but will refuse to return if service is necessary. Read online reviews and ask your friends and neighbors if they would recommend anyone. If you see a trend of negative reviews and feedback from others, it is best to pursue another stair lift company. Choose a company that you feel comfortable with and believe will continue to provide you with excellent service, long after the installation.