Everything you need to know when buying a stairlift

Stairlifts can radically change people’s lives for the better, enabling those with mobility problems to maintain their independence. It can also ensure that you don’t have to move out of your beloved family home into a property that doesn’t have stairs.

Naturally, the vast majority of people who would now benefit from a stairlift have probably never considered what they need to look for when purchasing one. This buyers’ guide gives you everything you require to make an informed decision.  

Which type of stairlift do I need? What if my stairs are too complicated to accommodate one?

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Ultimately, the type of lift you need will depend on the layout of your property.

There are two main types of stairlift - straight or curved. A lot of people worry that the way their stairs are set out will prohibit them from having a stairlift, but they really shouldn’t. You can get a bespoke home lift installed regardless of how complex your stairs are.

Even if your stairs are separated by a landing, this won’t be an issue for a reputable stairlift supplier. Nor is it a problem if your stairs are unusually steep, as is the case in many older terraced houses.

You might not want a stairlift at all. If you’re still able to move around, but are a little unsteady on your feet, solutions like the Stair Steady (pictured below) might be more suitable.

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How much will a stairlift cost?

This is probably the most difficult question to answer. In short, the price of your stairlift is determined by a number of different factors.

As you’d expect, straight lifts tend to be much cheaper than curved versions, and the price also depends on how much customisation is required. Millercare’s stairlift prices start from as little as £1,295. This is why our free, no-obligation quotes are so important. You won’t know exactly how much your lift will cost until a surveyor has been out to measure up and assess which type of lift will work best.

Reconditioned stairlifts - whether straight or curved - can often work out cheaper. They undergo a stringent 47-point check before they leave our Service Centre, giving you peace of mind that the lift is as good as new.

Can I try before I buy?

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As with any big purchase, you’ll ideally want to test the product first. That’s why it’s always a good idea to deal with a retailer that has working demonstrations in its stores. Millercare - which operates across the North West - has a working straight stairlift in all of its stores, while some outlets also have curved lifts for customers to try before they commit to a purchase.

If you’re using a stairlift frequently each day, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a design that you find comfortable.

Are there any aesthetical considerations?

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All of our stairlifts are designed to fit into your home without being intrusive. Contemporary styling ensures that the lifts take up the minimum amount of space, and you’ll also find that they fix into the tread of the stairs, rather than the walls. This means you won’t have any unsightly fixings in your wall.

How long will my stairlift take to install?

We pride ourselves on the speed in which we can install our customers’ stairlifts. We can do a survey at your home in the morning and have your lift installed on the same day.

Which stairlift manufacturer is the best?

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As soon as you hear the word stairlift, you immediately think of Stannah, and with good reason. Joseph Stannah built his first lift in the 1860s and his esteemed company has gone on to become the most trusted and reliable name in the industry.

What makes Stannah stairlifts so appealing?

  • Quality guaranteed.

  • Made in the UK - This not only means that all regulations are met, but parts are also easier to come by (a lot of other stairlift manufacturers are based in the Far East).

  • Only deals with the best retailers - Stannah only works with the most highly regarded retailers. Millercare is the 2016 Stannah Dealer of the Year and is one of only a handful of UK companies that is registered to sell Stannah products. We also hold the prestigious Centre of Excellence Award.

  • You get a two-year warranty on all components, while some parts (gearboxes made in Germany, for example) carry a five-year warranty.

What about aftercare?

When weighing up costs, you simply must think long term. This is another area in which Millercare excels. We have a team of in-house engineers who have all been officially trained and accredited by Stannah. What’s more, our Service Centre operates an emergency callout service 365 days a year, so we’re always on hand to rectify any problems you might have.

We’ve already touched on the impressive warranty that you receive on Stannah stairlifts, and it’s also worth pointing out that Millercare offers two free services (usually after 12 months and 24 months).

Why buy from Millercare?

Our credentials as a respected stairlift dealer speak for themselves and we’re also highly competitive on pricing. Something else that sets us apart is our impeccable customer service. We’ve got bases in Blackpool, Bolton, Bury, Leyland, Manchester, Oldham, Oswaldtwistle, Preston, Stockport, Warrington and Wigan, which means we have a strong local presence across the North West.

This is important. When making such a big purchase, you’ll want to have face-to-face contact with our experts. They’re right on your doorstep and are always happy to help. We’ve been doing this since 1952, and have built a fantastic reputation across the region over the years.

For free, impartial advice call us on 0800 652 8533 or contact us here.

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