Stair lift Installation regulations

Stairlift Installation Requirements In April 2024 

This article explores the various regulations you should be aware of when installing a stairlift in your home. It covers various types of stair lifts, planning permission, building regulations, and selection tips to ensure you make an informed decision. The article will help you do the following:

1 – Understand the importance of knowing planning permission requirements for stairlift installations.

2 – Learn about the different types of stair lifts available and their suitability for your home.

3 – Discover the main topics, including planning permission, building regulations, and stairlift options.

4 – Gain benefits from understanding these topics, such as making informed decisions and ensuring compliance with local laws.

5 – Take actions post-reading, like consulting with stairlift companies and checking with local authorities regarding permissions.

Key Takeaways & Learnings From This Page On Planning Permission For Stairlifts

1. Planning permission is generally not required for stairlift installations, as they are considered minor alterations.

2. It’s crucial to understand the different types of stair lifts—curved, straight, platform lifts, and chair lifts—to select the best option for your needs.

3. In cases where the stairlift installation affects the building’s structural integrity or involves a listed building, planning permission may be necessary.

4. You should choose a qualified installer to fit your stairlift. 

5. Consulting with an independent stairlift company can provide valuable guidance on the best stairlift for your needs and help navigate planning permissions.

6. Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the safety and efficiency of stair lifts.

7. Financial assistance for stairlift installation may be available through government programs like the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).

Topics that you will find covered on this page

What Is a Stairlift?

A stairlift is a mechanical device that transports individuals with limited mobility, such as wheelchair users and elderly individuals with mobility issues, up and down stairs.There are several different types of stairlift, including chair lifts, platform lifts, and curved or straight stairlifts.

Do You Need Planning Permission To Install Stair Lifts?

Planning permission is the legal framework for building owners to operate under when substantially altering their structures. In most cases, planning permission is not required to install a stairlift because it is considered a minor alteration. 

Planning permission may be required if the stairlift installation affects the structural integrity of the building. 

If planning approval is necessary, the process of obtaining permission can take several weeks or months. It is essential to account for this time when planning the installation of your stairlift to avoid delays.

Stairlift Installation Regulations

Whilst planning permission usually isn’t required to install a stairlift, there are several construction regulations which you must adhere to: 

1 – Installing a Stairlift In a Listed Building

When installing a stairlift in a historically significant structure, listed building approval may be required. Listed buildings are subject to additional restrictions to preserve their architectural and historical significance. 

Before altering a listed building, it’s important to consult the relevant authorities to obtain permission to install a stairlift.

2 – UK Building Regulations

Ensure that the stair lift installation complies with the UK Building Regulations, particularly Part M (access to and use of buildings) and Part P (electrical safety). These regulations ensure that the stairlift is accessible to all users and that the electrical installation is safe and does not pose a fire risk or hazard.

3 – Using a Qualified Installer

Choosing a qualified and experienced installer is crucial for compliance with stairlift installation regulations. The installer should be familiar with the specific requirements for stairlifts, including the British Standard for stairlifts (BS 5776:1996), which specifies safety requirements for powered stairlifts.

By following these steps, homeowners can ensure that their stairlift installation adheres to the necessary regulations, providing a safe and reliable solution for mobility within the home.

chair lift for stairs

Finding a Reputable Stairlift Company

A reputable stairlift company can advise you on the best stairlift for your needs and assist you with the installation. In addition, they can help you determine your stair lift installation requirements, obtain planning permission and ensure you adhere to building regulation requirements. 

Choosing a stairlift company with a solid reputation for customer service guarantees that you will receive the necessary support and assistance throughout the process. 

A Comparison Of The Most Popular Straight Stairlift Models In The UK | April 2024

Below is a comparison of the most popular straight stairlift models available in the UK and a breakdown of their key features. 

Model Acorn 130 Straight StairliftHandicare 1100 Straight StairliftStannah Starla 600Bruno’s Elite Indoor Straight
Weight Capacity159kg140kg136kg 182kg
Power Swivel Seat?YesYesYes, and customisable with safety sensors Yes
Minimum Staircase Width26″ 21″28″27″
Fold-Up Width310mm 320mm340mm386mm
Type of RailAluminium single railFriction rail system with drive rollersSlim-line railVertical rail with covered gear rack
Price (approx.)From £2,000 From £2,200 From £2,200From £2,800
Average Speed12cm per second15cm per secondNot SpecifiedNot Specified
Max Rail Length30mNot SpecifiedNot SpecifiedNot Specified
Space Between Armrests44.5 cm45cm48cm55cm
Warranty1 Years3 Years2 Years2 Years

Speak To An Acorn Straight Stairlift Specialist Today

Call  0333 567 1612 to discuss your requirements and see what the best option might be for you.

A Comparison Of The Most Popular Curved Stairlift Models | April 2024

Below is a comparison of the most popular curved stairlift models in the UK and a breakdown of their key features. 

Model Acorn 180 Handicare Freecurve Stannah 260 Recon Thyssen Flow 2
Weight Capacity 120kg 136kg 120kg 125kg
Power Swivel Seat? YesYes, at an additional costYesYes
Fold-Up Width33.5cm 44cm 40cm 34cm
Type of RailSlimline Single-RailSingle RailPowered Or Manual Hinged Rail Slim Aluminium Rail
Price (approx.)From £4000£4,200£3,400From £4,195
Average Speed15cm per second13cm per second12cm per second15cm per second
Max Rail Length30m 35m Not Specified Not Specified
Space Between Armrests19″17″20.5″18″
Warranty12 Months 2 Years 1 year 1 Year

Speak To An Acorn Curved Stairlift Specialist Today

Call  0333 567 1612 to discuss your requirements and see what the best option might be for you.

"A stairlift is a mechanical device that transports individuals with limited mobility, such as wheelchair users and elderly individuals with mobility issues, up and down stairs."

Stair Lift Electrical Requirements

It’s important to understand the electrical requirements of your stairlift before installing it. This will ensure the stairlift operates safely and efficiently within your home.

Step 1 – Assessing Your Current Electrical System

The first step involves evaluating your home’s existing electrical system to determine if it can support a stairlift. Most stairlifts require a standard 13-amp power outlet, located near the top or bottom of the staircase. It’s essential to ensure that the power source is dedicated to the stairlift to avoid overloading the circuit.

Step 2 – Installing a Dedicated Circuit

If your current electrical system does not have a suitable power outlet near the staircase, you may need to install a dedicated circuit. This task should be performed by a qualified electrician who can ensure that the installation meets the UK’s electrical safety standards. The electrician will likely run a new cable from your electrical panel to the desired location, installing a new outlet specifically for the stairlift.

Step 3 – Ensuring Electrical Compliance

It’s important to ensure that your stairlift and its installation complies with the UK’s electrical regulations. This includes adhering to the Building Regulations Part P, which covers electrical safety in domestic buildings. A certified electrician can verify that the installation is compliant and safe for use.

By following these steps, you can prepare your home for a stairlift installation, ensuring that the electrical requirements are met. 

stairlift regulations uk

A Guide To The Different Types of Staircases For Straight Stairlifts

A – Straight Staircase

This is the easiest and cheapest type of staircase to install a stairlift on. However, if your staircase is narrow, you may want to consider compact stairlift models. 

B – Straight Staircase Followed By A Step

This type of staircase may present a problem if the user needs help managing the final step. A bridging platform may help, however, they are not a particularly popular option today due to health and safety concerns. A curved stairlift may be necessary in this case. 

C – Straight Staircase With A Fan Turn

Stairs with a fan turn will require a curved stairlift to navigate the 45-degree angle

D – Split Staircase

Split staircases require either two straight stairlifts or a curved stairlift. The most cost-effective option will depend on your installation company and the length of your staircases. It’s important to note a user will have to dismount the stairlift twice if you install two straight stairlifts, which may cause them discomfort.

Installing A Stair Lift Yourself 

Although it is technically possible to install a stairlift on your own, we strongly advise hiring a professional stairlift installation company. Installing a stairlift requires ensuring compliance with building codes, technical manuals, and applicable design guidelines. 

Professional installers have the knowledge and experience to provide the stairlift installed safely and effectively in your home.

What is the Minimum Space Required For a Stairlift?

The minimum space required for a stairlift depends on the model and design of the staircase. Typically, a staircase must be at least 29 inches (74 cm) wide to accommodate a stairlift installation. 

This may vary, however, based on the size and features of the lift, such as a hinged rail for narrow staircases or a platform lift for wheelchair users. It is essential to consult with a stairlift expert to assess your staircase and determine the best model for your needs.

Are There Any Additional Planning Permission Requirements for Outdoor Stairlifts?

Outdoor stairlifts are designed for external use and constructed from weather-resistant materials. Outdoor stairlifts typically do not require planning permission unless they involve significant alterations to the property or compromise the building’s structural integrity. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to check with your local authority to ensure compliance with any specific rules or restrictions that may apply to your property or area.

Different Types Of Staircases For Curved Stairlifts

A – Quarter Landing Turn

With a quarter landing turn the user can either disembark at the top of the first staircase, depending on how many steps there are, or install a curved stairlift to navigate the platform. 

B – Quarter Fan Turn

A quarter fan-turn is when the stairs turn 45 degrees without a platform. A curved stairlift will be necessary for these stairs. 

C – Curved Quarter Fan Turn

A curved quarter fan turn is when the stairs turn 45 degrees without a platform. What distinguishes these from diagram B is that the wall also curves. These stairs require curved stairlifts. 

D – Half Landing Turn

In a half-landing turn, two straight staircases are connected by a landing platform. You can either fit two straight stairlifts, provided the landing between them is level, or a curved stairlift which traverses the wall of the landing. 

E – Half Fan Turn

In a half-fan turn, two straight staircases are connected by a 180-degree turn. These staircases require a curved stairlift. 

F- Three Straight Staircases

In diagram F, three straight staircases are connected by two landings, making a 180-degree turn. These require either three straight stairlifts or a curved stairlift, which would be a costly and frustrating procedure. 

G – Curved Half Fan Turn

In this diagram, three straight staircases are connected by two 45-degree turns. These staircases require a curved stairlift as it is unsafe to disembark a stairlift on a curved stairlift. 

H – U-Turn

In diagram H, two straight staircases are connected by a 180-degree curve. These require curved stairlifts. 

I- Winding Staircases

Diagram I demonstrates a straight staircase followed by a 270-degree turn. These require curved stairlifts.

The UK Care Guide works in partnership with Acorn Stairlifts. 

Here are 10 reasons why they are the best stairlift provider in the UK.

Stairlifts made in the UK
Same day home appointments available
Next day installation available
Slimline models that fold away conveniently when not in use
Hinged rail designs to eliminate any trip or hazard
Affordable and reliable with low running costs
Some can be fitted quickly and easily to the stairs, not the wall
Amazing feedback and testimonials
Some require no structural changes to your home
Market leading experience in the UK

Call Acorn now on 0333 567 1612 to get a quote or to discuss your stairlift requirements.


Book a callback, in the calendar below, for a time that suits you.

Can Stairlift Installation Impact the Resale Value of a Home?

A stairlift installation may affect a home’s resale value, depending on the target market and preferences of potential buyers. A stairlift may be viewed as a valuable addition by some buyers, particularly the elderly or those with limited mobility, thereby enhancing the property’s value. 

Alternatively, some buyers may view the stairlift as unnecessary or unsightly. When determining the impact of a stairlift installation on your home’s resale value, it is crucial to consider your specific market and prospective buyers.

How Can a Stairlift Be Removed?

If a stairlift is no longer needed, contacting a professional company for removal is recommended. They will ensure that the stairlift is adequately disassembled and the stairwell is left in good condition. 

Depending on its age and condition, some stairlift companies may offer to buy back or recycle the used stairlift. It’s advisable to get several quotes when selling your used stair lift to ensure you’re receiving a fair stair lift cost. 

stair lifts

Are There Any Maintenance Requirements For Stairlifts?

Stairlifts require routine maintenance to continue operating safely and efficiently. A professional technician is recommended to service your stairlift at least once a year. 

The stairlift may be cleaned, lubricated, and inspected for potential problems during routine maintenance. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and scheduling regular maintenance appointments can extend the life of your stairlift and ensure its optimal performance.

Our Final Thoughts

Here are seven key points discussed in this article:

1 – Most stairlift installations do not require planning permission, simplifying the process for homeowners.

2 – Stairlift selection should be based on the staircase configuration and the user’s mobility needs.

3 – Planning permission may be required for installations in listed buildings or those affecting structural integrity.

4 – Engaging with an independent stairlift company can provide tailored advice and facilitate a smooth installation process.

5 – Regular maintenance ensures the stairlift remains safe and functional, enhancing the user’s quality of life.

6 – Financial assistance for stairlift installation may be available through government programs for eligible individuals.

7 – Removing a stairlift should be done professionally to maintain the property’s condition.

Have A Free Consultation With A Stairlift Specialist

You can contact an Acorn stair lift specialist in one of 3 ways:

  • Option 1 – Call directly on – 0333 567 1602
  • Option 2 – Book an appointment directly in the calendar below, and one of the team will call you back at your chosen time
  • Option 3 – Leave your contact details and Acorn will get in touch with you

Option 1 – Call Acorn Stairlifts Directly


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Friday : 8am – 5:30pm

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Call us on : 0333 567 1602

Option 2 – Book an appointment, in the calendar below, for a callback when it’s convenient

Option 3 – Leave your details and Acorn will get in touch

Leave your contact details below, and one of the Acorn team will give you a call to discuss your needs.

                                                      Please note that Acorn Stairlifts undertake all calls.

Meet the author

Tom Walker

Tom is a Content Writer and Editor for UK Care Guide, having previously acted as Head of Online for the Manchester Historian, and also the former editor for The Peterloo Institute.

Tom is a graduate of the University of  Manchester with a BA (Hons) History degree. 

His particular specialisms include writing on issues relating to later life (e.g. stairlifts, live-in care) and elderly care, having previously worked in a care capacity.  


1 – What is the process for obtaining listed building consent for stairlift installation in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, a listed building consent is required for alterations that may affect the character or appearance of historically significant structures. You must apply to your local planning authority to obtain permission to install a stairlift in a listed building. 

The application must include comprehensive information about the proposed stairlift, its impact on the building, and any mitigation measures. 

Collaborating closely with a stairlift company with experience working with historic buildings is essential to ensure the installation complies with all applicable requirements and restrictions. 

Plan accordingly; obtaining approval for a listed building can take several weeks or months.

2 – How can I determine the most suitable stairlift model for my home?

To determine the best stairlift model for your home, it is necessary to evaluate your specific needs and the characteristics of your staircase. 

Consider factors such as the user’s mobility level, the stairs’ dimensions and configuration, and any additional requirements, such as a platform lift for wheelchair users. 

A professional stairlift company can thoroughly evaluate your home and recommend the best stairlift model to meet your needs, making their advice invaluable. In addition, they can provide installation guidance and any necessary modifications to ensure the lift is safe and functional.

3 – How do building regulations in the UK apply to stairlift installations?

Building regulations in the United Kingdom outline the minimum requirements for building design, construction, and alterations. Compliance with these regulations is necessary to ensure the safety and functionality of a stairlift during installation. 

Some aspects of building codes that may apply to stairlift installations include minimum staircase width requirements, structural soundness, and electrical safety. 

Working with a reputable stairlift company that is familiar with UK building regulations can ensure that your installation satisfies all requirements and avoids potential problems.

4 – What are some safety features to consider when purchasing a stairlift?

Safety features are essential when selecting a stairlift, as they protect the user and improve the lift’s performance. 

Safety sensors that detect obstacles and automatically stop the stairlift, a swivel seat that allows for easy entry and exit, and a battery backup system that ensures the stairlift’s operation during a power outage are essential safety features to consider. 

In addition, look for stairlift models that include seatbelts or harnesses for added safety and remote controls for easy operation. A professional stairlift company can help you select a model that meets your needs and provides peace of mind by discussing your safety requirements.

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