This article was last updated on 1 October 2020.
If going up and down the stairs in your home is becoming increasingly difficult, which is the case for most senior people, perhaps you should consider installing a stairlift.
Stairlifts allow users to manoeuvre around the house while maintaining their independence. This makes life much easier for seniors and anyone in need of mobility equipment due to a disability or medical condition.
When it comes to buying stairlifts, you can either buy a brand new model or reconditioned stair lifts. Here we will outline the pros and cons of the latter option.
Reconditioned stairlifts are used or damaged stairlifts that have been renovated or fixed and later offered for resale. A reconditioned stairlift has been restored to perfect working order, with all defective parts replaced and everything in good repair.
A stairlift is classified as reconditioned only if the work is carried out by the manufacturer or a manufacturer-certified supplier; second hand stairlifts, on the other hand, will not have been safely refurbished and fitted to your home.
This is the number one benefit of buying a reconditioned stairlift. Instead of paying for a new stairlift, the only costs you have to pay for re-conditioned stairlifts are parts and labour.
This reduces the cost of labour and the special materials needed, making used stairlifts much cheaper overall than brand new stairlifts, with a variety of competitive price options.
We tend to assume that all used things may have issues. But when it comes to reconditioned stairlifts, this is not the case.
A re-conditioned stairlift is factory refurbished to the same standards as a new stairlift. Plus, the stairlift as a whole is rigorously tested by a trained engineer to ensure it is in good working order and will provide a safe user experience.
Instead of dumping a damaged or used stairlift in the landfill, reconditioned stairlifts live a second life. This reduces the amount of waste going to landfill, which in turn leaves a positive impact on our environment.
Most companies offer the same labour warranty and after-sale services for their reconditioned stairlifts as they would with new ones. This provides the same level of quality assurances, thereby giving customers peace of mind.
If you are looking at reconditioned stairlifts, you might find this video useful.
As with any home improvements, you need to make the right decisions when buying and installing a stairlift. First off, consult with your Occupational Therapist to see if they agree that a stairlift is the best option for your situation.
Then, make sure you don’t proceed with stairlifts purchases without having first received expert advice.
A home visit from the company is necessary. The surveyor will take precise measurements to ensure the stairlift fits every millimetre of your stairs perfectly and adheres to safety measures.
(Coronavirus update- home visits may not be available at the moment. Many companies will provide a brochure guide with information on their products or allow you to contact them over the phone if this is the case.)
Take up that opportunity to find out about the different stairlifts models available, financing options, and any other questions you may have. Having a family member present to help remember all the information they give you, and compare one company’s quote with another, can be a good idea.
4 – What is the Average Cost of a Stair Lift in the UK?
A new straight stairlift can cost around £2000, while a new curved staircase tends to cost around £4000, and can cost as much as £9000! This can prove a major financial burden. Reconditioned stairlifts, however, can cost as little as half the price of an equivalent new model! (Stairlift installation is not included in these estimates.)
Reconditioned stairlift prices will depend on a number of factors, including the model, brand, type and length of the track, straight and curved models, as well as any additional features and specifications that you may need to improve the stairlift’s functionality.
Generally, a reconditioned straight stairlift is cheaper than a reconditioned curved stairlift since you’ll need a bespoke curved track to fit your home. This will add to the cost of parts and labour. In fact, you can expect each corner of your staircase to as much as double the initial cost.
That being said, the average cost of a used stairlift is £1,990.
Prices starting from as low as £875 for the reconditioned straight stairlift and £2975 for the reconditioned curved stairlift. Most prices are inclusive of installation costs, parts, extra features such as customised controls, and warranty.
Many major stairlift companies, such as Acorn and Stannah Stairlifts, offer a range of different financing options to make purchase of their mobility aids easier. Even so, even used stairlifts are fairly expensive items and a good number of people who need them require some financial help, which can count towards purchase and service support.
If you have a chronic health condition or are registered disabled, you can claim a VAT exemption, which can reduce your costs by a sixth. You may also be eligible for grants from local authorities or social services in some areas.
Some grants worth looking into include:
Once you’ve decided that a stairlift is the right option for you, take care to choose one that best suits your needs before coming to a decision.
With so many options to choose from, settling on one option from the range of reconditioned stairlifts can seem like a daunting task. To help make the buying process easier, here are a few things to consider when buying a reconditioned stairlift:
This is the most important thing to consider when choosing stairlifts. A mobility device should make the user’s life easier, safer, and more comfortable.
Be sure to help the dealer understand the mobility needs of the user so they can recommend the best possible solution.
The size and shape of your staircase will also determine the type of reconditioned stairlifts you can have installed. For instance:
These are suitable for homes in which the stairs have no curves, turns, or immediate landings. If this is the kind of staircase in your home, then the standardized reconditioned straight stairlift should be perfect.
This type of model is, by far, the most common, easy to install, and cheap stairlift available. With this stairlift, the entire assembly is pre-owned, including the drive unit, rail, and seat.
However, stairs in some properties have turns, curves, or immediate landings. As such, some buyers should consider reconditioned curved stairlifts. Given that each curved staircase is unique, curved stairlifts are often custom-made to fit the specific space. In that case, the rail is brand new, but other parts- usually the power unit/ batteries, seat, and rollers- are pre-owned.
Curved second hand stairlifts tend to be a bit more costly to buy and install than a straight used stairlift. Stairlifts reconditioned to fit curved staircases can be expensive.
A leading stairlift company will stock reconditioned stairlifts suitable for a range of staircase types, and within a large or small budget.
You may need outdoor stairlifts to access outdoor spaces like stairs up to your front door, down to the garage, out to the back garden, or around the patio.
They can be straight and curved, although most manufacturers offer only the straight outdoor models.
These models differ from the indoor stairlifts by being made of weatherproof materials to withstand outdoor conditions.
When it comes to seating, there are two choices to make: seated or perch stairlifts. Both options will swivel to ensure users can enter and exit the equipment safely.
A set of safety features will help ensure user safety by preventing falls and injury. It’s important to make sure the stairlift you choose has them. This includes:
A reputable supplier will provide the same level of quality assurance on their refurbished stairlifts as that offered on their new ones.
In fact, most of them back this up by offering 12 months or more of full warranty with their reconditioned models, meaning there is a guarantee that any problems will be sorted by trained stairlift engineers. To ensure you’re getting the best deal possible, compare rates from a range of companies and read online reviews from independent parties.
In addition, to ensure the stairlifts reconditioned by the company are safe, make sure the company is recognized as meeting the professionalism standards set by the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Even though most stairlift products have a standard carrying capacity of 300 lbs, manufacturers offer at least one model that can accommodate up to 450 lbs.
They also offer an optional seat upgrade to keep any buyer comfortable.
Ideally, the warranty should last at least a year from the time of installation and cover any performance issues that may affect the normal operation of the device.
This is not always the case though, so do check the warranty period and note any exclusion. Make sure critical parts like the gearbox, rail, and motor are covered, and that a full labour warranty is included.
This will help save money on maintenance, ensure reliability, and avoid possible hazardous situations.
There’s a big difference between second hand stairlifts and reconditioned stairlifts.
Reconditioned stairlifts must be taken back to the manufacturer or supplier before it’s available for resale, while a second hand stairlift has already been put to use by another user, with all the associated wear and tear. Therefore second hand stairlifts can be cheaper; but don’t be tempted to cut corners on safety by buying a second hand stairlift.
A used stairlift is not recommended for a number of reasons:
As you can see, buying a second hand stairlift leaves a lot of room for error. If you’re looking for used stairlifts, a reconditioned model from a reputable company is a better choice than a second hand model.
You get a fully refurbished, cheap, stair lift with all parts in good working order. Plus, help is available in case of a breakdown, which gives it an edge over second hand stairlifts.
Some companies have reconditioned stairlifts available to rent. This is a more economical option if you need the reconditioned stairlift for a set period of time such as if you’re recovering from a surgery or an accident.
It can also come in handy if the user is not planning on remaining in the property in the longer term.
There’s usually an initial fee, which covers installation, removal, replacement parts, and other servicing costs during the contract period.
This can cost from as low as £350 to more than £1,000. You’ll also be required to make monthly payments for the duration of the contract. Rental fees usually range from £10 a week for straight reconditioned stairlifts, while curved reconditioned stairlifts costs from £150 a week.
Where you buy from matters; luckily, there’s a wide range of companies that make, sell, and install stairlifts.
Consider one that is upfront about pricing, doesn’t pressure-sell, offers reliable after-sale services, and most importantly, offers the best value for money in terms of quality.
If you still don’t know where to start, here’s a range of the most popular stairlift manufacturers in the UK:
At UK Care Guide we have reviewed the main stairlift companies and manufacturers in the UK.
If you are looking for a stairlift, then our recommendation would be for you to use Acorn Stairlifts. This is for the following 8 reasons:
They have been a major stairlift provider in the UK for over 20 years- longer than most other manufacturers in the UK.
Having reviewed the prices of Acorn and compared them to other providers, we found that they were most often the cheapest. This combination of value and quality makes them, in our opinion, unbeatable.
They are the world’s largest stairlift manufacturer, which will help provide you with peace of mind that they will supply you with a good quality lift.
Having a British based company is important as increasingly we are seeing more and more products coming from the likes of China. Whilst they can sometimes be a little cheaper, we do sometimes have doubts about their quality. After all, who wants to end up stuck on a stairlift halfway up the stairs! Acorn are based in Yorkshire.
Having reviewed the prices of Acorn and compared them to other stairlift companies, we found that their average price was often the cheapest for a straight or curved stairlift.
Don’t just take our word for it. Based on over 1,000 customer responses, they have a 5-star review on Trust Pilot.
The need to get a stairlift can often be urgent, especially if someone has been in hospital and is looking to leave. Acorn has over 65 UK surveyors and can do same-day assessments as well as a home visit if needed. This help ensures you get the lift as soon as you possibly can.
Having possibly done an assessment on the day you contacted them, they are also able to complete installation within 3 days in 80% of the UK and within 5 days for the other 20%. Other organisations can take up to two weeks to install your stairlift, causing unnecessary inconvenience.
If you find that you are not sure whether you need a stairlift, then Acorn will allow you to rent one of their stairlifts to see how you get on with it. Not all manufacturers do this and we think this flexibility will be valued by many.
For all of the above reasons, we have no hesitation in recommending Acorn as the best stairlift company for you. If you do want to buy or rent a stairlift, need a quote, or you have some more questions, you can contact them by ringing – 0800 0169 435.
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Curved stairlifts are necessary where you do not have a straight staircase. In this article we look at what you need to consider if getting one.
A reconditioned stairlift can be a good balance between a new and second hand stairlift. In this article we look at what you need to look out for.
A used stairlift is a good option if you are looking to save some money. This article looks at what you need to think about if you want to buy one.
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Equity Release is one way that you can pay for your stairlift. Use our calculator to see how much money you could receive from your home.