Some terms stick with us long after their original context is gone. Ever ask someone to “roll down” their car window? Many use the expression regularly, even though nearly all car manufacturers replaced hand-crank windows decades ago. The same concept can hold true for stair lifts. You may hear someone refer to a stair lift as a stairglide. The word stems from one of the original stair lift manufacturers, American Stair-Glide. Its name changed at the turn of the century when another company acquired the business. However, the term stairglide lives on!
Also occasionally called a stairglider, stairglides and stair lifts are one and the same. In fact, there are several other names for stair lifts, such as stair chair lifts. But, no matter what you call it, the stairglide can be a valuable mobility tool for you or a loved one.
Just as there are many terms for a stairglide, you also have several options to find the right stair lift for your needs.
Types of Stairglides
There are four common categories of stairglides that will meet the requirements of most users. They include:
- Straight stair lifts. The most common form of stairglide, a straight stair lift works on stairs that do not curve.
- Curved stair lifts. As the name suggests, curved stairglides are designed to move along a staircase that winds.
- Outdoor stair lifts. Made to last in various weather conditions, outdoor stairglides have weather-resistant features.
- Used stair lifts. Used stairglides are previously owned and reconditioned to operate as new.
A flight of stairs that goes straight up and down is an excellent fit for a stairglide. Because they do not require a custom build, straight stairglides are often in stock and available for near-immediate installation, usually within a week. The stairglide system will fasten directly to your stairs, requiring no additional construction.
Unlike most other stair lift companies, Arrow Lift stocks multiple stairglide makes and models, providing you with plenty of options to find the right look and feel for your stairglide. In addition to color and size selection, you can also choose from other options. For example, you may want to opt for a rail that is retractable at the bottom of the staircase, allowing it to fold up when not in use.
Note that split entry stairs, or two sets of straight stairs that are divided by a landing, often have the option of using two stairglides, one for each set of stairs, or a curved stairglide that travels along the inside of the staircase’s landing in one continuous motion. Wondering how to choose between the two? Consider the size of the landing and whether or not the user is able to physically transfer from one stairglide to the other.
Key benefits of a straight stairglide include:
- Sturdy. It can hold up to 400 pounds.
- Low profile. The seat and footrest can fold up when not in use.
- Reliable. Battery power enables continuous operation during a power failure.
Curved stairglides are a custom-made solution to fit a staircase that curves or has multiple landings. They can even work on spiral staircases. Because they are specially made, curved stairglide chairs offer additional customization options, such as expanded rail color selection and additional seat upholstery choices. The custom build also means you can expect a longer installation timeframe for curved stairglides, typically between two to eight weeks.
Key benefits of a curved stairglide include:
- Made-to-order. The curved stairglide is designed to fit your specific staircase, even narrow ones.
- Construction free. Does not require additional home construction or remodeling.
- Flexible design. The stairglide rail can be designed to curve at the top and/or bottom of the stairs so that it parks away from the landing.
Whether it’s to reach lakeside property in the Midwest or use porch doorways on the West Coast, outdoor stairglides can provide much-needed access to the great outdoors. Outdoor stairglides are similar to inside ones, with the biggest difference being the materials used in their assembly. A waterproof motor and battery protect the chair from the elements, as does rust-resistant paint and other components.
Key benefits of an outdoor stairglide include:
- Durable. UV-resistant material prevents color from fading.
- Dependable. Waterproof motor and battery enable year-round use.
- Safe. Includes safety features such as sensors that detect potential obstructions.
Thanks to the general durability of high-quality stair lifts, used or reconditioned stairglides can be an excellent option for those looking to find a stairglide at a reduced cost. Used curved stairglides are less likely to be available because they are custom fit to the original buyer’s staircase. However, Arrow Lift stocks a variety of lightly used straight stairglides.
You can expect a reconditioned stairglide to be 10% to 25% less expensive than a new one. Although, because it has been previously used, the length of the warranty will be shorter than its original warranty.
Key benefits of a used stairglide include:
- Like new. Reconditioned stairglides follow a multi-point checklist to ensure quality and performance.
- Ever-changing. If you don’t find a used stairglide that fits your needs immediately, check back regularly, as stock varies often.
- Tested. A reconditioned stairglide from Arrow Lift is just as safe as a new one, thanks to rigorous safety testing.
How to Get a Stairglide
Now that you know the most common types of stairglides available and how they can benefit you, the next step is to consider purchasing one. Most people find it helpful to begin their stairglide purchasing journey with an in-home visit, potentially followed by an in-store evaluation.
What to Expect from an In-Home Consultation
The best way to get a stairglide is to start with a free in-home consultation. At Arrow Lift, you may be able to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation for as soon as the same day it’s requested. A trained Arrow Lift employee will evaluate your specific staircase layout and discuss the available stairglide options that are likely to work best with it. You can then expect a straightforward quote, free from hidden fees or strings attached.
Test Ride a Stairglide
To deepen your knowledge and test out a stairglide for yourself, take advantage of one of Arrow Lift’s stairglide showrooms, located across Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and California. Although visiting a showroom is not a requirement, doing so allows you to try different types of stairglides and get an up-close look at design options and styles.
A Stairglide by Any Other Name
Call it a stairglide, stair lift, or stair chair lift; a mechanical chair that brings you from one floor to another can be life-changing for people experiencing mobility challenges. Much more economical than moving or renovating, stairglides reopen multiple levels of your home for continued use and enjoyment.
If you’re interested in a stairglide, we encourage you to schedule an in-home consultation with one of our professionally trained technicians. Family-owned since 1985, you can feel comfortable relying on the experience of Arrow Lift’s industry-leading experts. Request your free consultation today!