Curved And Straight Stairlifts

How does it work?

Stairlifts, just like the name implies, are mechanical devices which lift people up and down the stairs. Aside from stair lifts, it is also called stair gliders or chair lifts.
How does it work?

A rail is mounted to the stair’s treads, then a lifting platform or a chair is attached to the rail. A person then gets into the platform or the chair and is being lifted up and down the stairs.
Let’s travel back to history lane and see how this great device got invented.

C.C Crispen, an entrepreneur from Pennsylvania, developed this idea in the 1920s. His inspiration was his ailing friend, who he wanted to travel from floor to floor conveniently despite his sickness. He designed an inclining chair that could climb stairs and called it the Inclin-ator.

Stairlifts have different types, two of the most popular ones are the Straight-rail stairlifts and Curved-rail stairlifts.

Straight-rail stairlifts

The most common types of stairlifts used in private homes, straight-rail stairlifts are used for straight stairs and have a straight track or rails attached to the staircase’s steps. Since their rails are simply cut to length from a stock part, this type of stairlifts are the least expensive and fastest to install.

There would only be a problem with the installation if your stairs are especially narrow or if there are any obstructions at the top of your staircase, such as doors. These scenarios though don’t happen very often.

Curved Stairlifts

A stairlift can be classified as curved if it goes around a corner. They are more complicated than straight ones because they require bespoke curved rails to be exactly fitted to the shape of your staircase. It’s not only the rails that are custom-made to follow your staircase, its chair is also more complex in a sense that it has stay at a levelled position when traveling along a track that changes angle and direction. Because of these reasons, curved stairlifts cost more than the straight ones.

Installation process also takes longer than the straight stairlifts and careful design, measurement and manufacturing are considered in the specification of curved stairlifts.

Other types of stairlifts that are less common

Standing stairlifts

Also called perching stairlifts, standing stairlifts are installed when you have a particularly narrow staircase and a seated lift will not fit. You have to take into consideration though the headroom of your staircase if you opt for this type. The headroom should be high enough for you to be able to stand up.

If you have problems bending your knees, standing stairlifts are better choice than seated lifts. Some models have small ledge for you to be able to have your balance kept. Standing lifts may not be suitable for those that gets dizzy easily or don’t have enough physical strength.

Vertical ‘through-floor’ lifts

These types of stairlifts are only used if ordinary stairlift is not suitable in your staircase – for instance if you have a spiral staircase or it’s too narrow. Wheelchair users who are not capable of transferring to a stairlift seat are recommended to have the vertical lifts.

Amongst the stairlifts, this one is the most expensive as you will be required some alterations in your house to be able to create a flap in the ceiling.

Outdoor Stairlifts

They are almost the same with the curved stairlifts and indoor straight except that they were build out of more weather-resistant materials.

Before choosing which stairlift to install, it is wise to contact stairlift companies first. They would need to visit your home, check out your stairs and work out which type of lift would be best suited.

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