Not being able to use the stairs often prevents individuals from accessing half of their property, creating big problems and often rendering the home unfit for purpose.

The installation of a stairlift can dramatically change the way your patient or customer manages at home because they are a practical solution for transporting users between floors. 

Don’t know much about them? You’re in the right place. Welcome to stairlift 101.

What Is A Stairlift?

Stairlifts are mechanical devices that enable people with reduced mobility to move freely around their homes by transporting them up and down a staircase along a rail. The rail can be fitted to the wall or more discreetly run along the stair treads if the staircase is extra wide.

Stairlifts move users between floors and are not to be confused with step lifts, which cover shorter distances, such as up external steps to the front door of a property. They use a low voltage, so are quiet when in use and don’t zap your electricity as you might assume. 

Who Do Stairlifts Help? 

Being unable to use the stairs in their house can take confidence and dignity away from those with limited mobility. Not just that, but without access to higher floors for facilities like bathrooms, living at home becomes virtually impossible. 

Stairlifts help patients and customers who are elderly, use a wheelchair, have disabilities and limited mobility, or otherwise can’t manage the stairs due to long-standing injuries and illnesses. 

By installing a stairlift in an individual’s property, you are providing improved independence and the ability to feel comfortable, safe and secure in a home environment.

How Do They Work?

Stairlifts rely on three components: the motor, the battery and the gear.

The motor and battery join forces to power the stairlift and can be found within the base of the chair unit. This means that there isn’t usually a need for a separate power source, making stairlifts pretty easy to install.

Stairlift batteries are long-lasting and shouldn’t need replacing very often. They also don’t need to be charged, so maintaining your stairlift is simple.  

An individual using a stairlift will sit comfortably on the chair of the facility, use a discreet seatbelt for safety and operate their stairlift with a remote control. Because the needs of individuals with limited mobility vary so widely, there is a vast range of seat options, including both swivel and lift-and-tilt versions. 

To get the lift to move and transport its user, the motor turns the gear, which is connected to a geared strip that is built into the track. Together, these three components propel the stairlift in the chosen direction. 

Cost And Installation

It’s tricky to gauge an accurate price of stairlifts because it very much depends on the space available, the length and shape of the staircase, how many corners the lift must turn and any necessary prep work, like relocating radiators. 

However, to give you an idea, the average cost of a straight stairlift installed with no hiccups is around £2,000, and a curved stairlift will set you back nearer £4,000. Contacting your preferred provider to arrange an appointment so that they can discuss your needs and measure up in person is the best way to get a more accurate answer.

But how long will a stairlift last, we hear you ask? On average, a stairlift will last around ten years, though this can be enhanced with regular service and maintenance. Given their long life, stairlifts are a cost-effective purchase that can be invaluable for patients and customers living at home. 

And, if you’re wondering about running costs, it might surprise you to know that the average yearly charge for a stairlift is a mere £10. This is because a docked stairlift is actually busy charging the batteries hidden within it. 

Financial Support For Home Adaptations

It’s also worth mentioning that help could be available for funding a new stairlift, so do your homework to check what your patient or customer might qualify for. Support could include the purchase falling under VAT exemption or getting a stairlift from the local council. Read more about funding adaptations here


When a professional fitter installs a stairlift, it should only take around four hours in total, making introducing stairlifts into any home a speedy and minimally disruptive procedure. The fitter will demonstrate how to properly use, clean and maintain the equipment, leaving you up and running in no time.

Stairlifts Increase Happiness And Enhance Independence 

Installing a stairlift allows your customer to access the entirety of their home, promoting complete independence for them. With stairlifts now being a common feature in many homes, you won’t have to look too hard to find an adaptation specialist or builder to install one for you.

Would a stairlift transform the life of someone you know? If you’re still unsure, read about other types of home lifts in our recent blog.