Search for a used stair lift online, and plenty of them are available — often with temptingly low price tags. However, it’s essential to know that online stair chair lift prices can be misleading. And the price of used stair lifts is not the only factor to be cautious about.
When considering the purchase of a mechanical chair that will be physically lifting you or a loved one up and down the stairs, it makes sense to ensure that your stair chair lift will be safe, reliable, and easy to use for years to come.
Let’s take a look at the most important factors to keep in mind when you are thinking about purchasing a used stair lift.
Caution about Online Stair Lift Prices
A quick online search sometimes leads people to believe they can purchase a stair lift for under $2,000 — but this is misleading.
Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that these prices typically do not include the following:
- Proper measurement of your stairs
- Professional installation
- Local service after installation
Without a Stair Lift Expert measuring your stairs, there is no guarantee that the chair lift rail will fit your staircase. Furthermore, without installation by a trained professional, the chances of the chair moving every time you need it for the next several months or years decrease significantly.
Finally, without a local Service Team who provides stair lift maintenance and repair in your area, you will not have peace of mind if something goes wrong.
Questions to Ask When Buying Stair Lifts
To make a responsible decision, there are specific questions you should ask when purchasing any stair lift. Given the nature of used and reconditioned stair chair lifts, there are even more questions to ask before you buy.
General Stair Lift Buying Questions
To start with, here are a few questions to ask when buying any stairway lift, whether it is brand new or used:
What type of stair lift is right for my situation?
There are many types of stair lifts, but the main categories are:
- Straight rail: Stair lifts for typical, simple, straight staircases with no bends, turns or landings in the middle of the stairs.
- Curved rail/custom rail: These stair chairs can handle staircases that turn and/or have one or more intermediate landings. This includes anything from large, sweeping staircases to U-shaped and L-shaped stairs and most spiral staircases.
- Outdoor: Made to withstand the elements, these stairway lifts can be either straight rail or custom curved rail, depending on your situation. They are often installed to go up to a deck, down to a patio, or down to a lake from a cabin.
Additionally, stair lifts have different weight capacities, upholstery and appearance choices, and safety features.
To determine which stairway lift best meets your needs, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a trained Stair Lift Expert for a free, in-home consultation.
Do stair lifts require wall construction?
No, stair lifts do not require wall construction because they are fastened securely to the stair treads. So, usually, there is zero construction required. Occasionally, a doorway near the stairs may need to be widened or an electrical outlet added. Still, often our clients are pleasantly surprised to learn that they don’t have to change anything to accommodate the stair chair.
How much does a stair chair lift cost?
Stair lift prices vary by type, geography, and new versus used but typically range from around $3,000 on the low end to over $30,000 for the longest, most complex, curved rail stair lift. Most straight stair lifts cost between $4,000 and $7,000 to install. Curved stair lifts typically cost between $10,000 and $20,000 but can cost more. Buying a reconditioned or used stair lift is one way to save money.
Should I allow a family member to install the stair lift as a DIY project?
No, we do not recommend installing a stair lift yourself. In fact, in some locations, it is against the law for safety reasons. Learn more here.
Depending on your situation, you may have more questions, but the list above is an excellent place to start!
Reconditioned/Used Stair Lift Buying Questions
If you are considering purchasing a reconditioned or used stairway lift, you should ask some additional questions. Here are our top five suggested questions to ask when buying a used stair lift:
1. What is the warranty, and who would perform the warranty service if needed?
If there is no warranty, or the warranty service is contracted out to a handyman or other third party, take a moment to seriously consider your other options.
2. What is the service history?
How old is the lift, are parts still available if needed in the future, and can the seller of the lift look up its service history? Reputable stair lift companies know the answers to these questions.
3. Was it installed initially and then removed by the same company selling it now?
If not, is the company selling the lift certified to work on that particular make and model of stairway lift? In other words, are they a dealer of the specific stair lift manufacturer that made the lift originally? This is important to ensure proper installation and serviceability.
4. Does it have fresh batteries?
Typically, new batteries are part of a multi-point reconditioning process undertaken by reputable used stair lift companies. Since stair lift batteries do not come with a gauge that reveals how many months of use remain available, fresh batteries are usually recommended.
5. Has it been reconditioned?
This is one of the most critical questions. Was the lift simply unscrewed from one set of stairs, stored in a garage for a while, maybe banged around a little or subject to the elements for a short time, and now being screwed down to another set of stairs (hopefully of a similar length)? Or was it skillfully taken apart, carefully transported, responsibly stored, meticulously reconditioned, and then professionally reinstalled? It makes a difference!
Trust the Professionals for the Most Accurate Information on Used Stair Lifts
Buying a used stair lift can be economical, but it requires a bit of research up front. When making a significant purchase decision, such as buying a stair lift for yourself or a loved one, asking the right questions can be crucial. Receiving honest answers in the form of accurate information is just as important.
As a family-owned company specializing in stair lifts since 1985, Arrow Lift is committed to helping you find the right lift for you or your family. Please consider calling us today to schedule a free, in-home consultation with one of our Stair Lift Experts.