Stair Lifts are mechanical moving seats that lift people who can not climb stairs on their own. They can also be used to lift wheelchairs. The chair itself is mounted on rails which can transport the person from one level to another. The stair lift can be a wonderful addition to a home, if you can no longer use the stairs provided, however they can be quite costly. Buying a second hand stairlift can be less expensive, and provide you with the same mobility you need. There are several things you should look for before you buy second hand, to ensure that you are getting the best stairlift for your money.
The Variety of Stairlifts
Electric or Battery
Most early stairlifts were run on electric power. The cord would run alongside the rails, or through the rails, and provide the energy needed. Today's models mostly run with re-chargeable batteries. The plus side to this is that if you suddenly lose power, your stairlift will continue to operate on the battery, as long as you keep it well charged. Electric stairlifts can suddenly leave you stranded if the power should cut off. But the battery charge life is not very long in most models, so you will need to check out the life on yours.
Stairlifts are easy to maneuver, as there are not many buttons to have to deal with. You just have to turn on a switch or perhaps move an arm forward or backward, and you will be on your way. Beware of controls that take two hands, or ones that are extremely hard to maneuver with arthritis or other handicaps.
Where to Buy
When researching stairlifts to purchase the perfect one for your needs, there are many options to consider. Newer isn't always better, but second hand can be the wrong choice if you do not clearly check out the lift you plan to buy. You should always buy from a reputable dealer, and if possible try to get a warranty. A business that has a good customer service reputation will make you feel at ease if you have any problems or concerns you want to discus with them now, or in the future. Buying pre-owned from a single individual can be a bad idea. You want to be sure that the replacement parts for your particular make and model of lift are easily available, so that you can take care of any future problems without a hassle. Belts and motors can easily get worn out after time, and finding out that you can not replace them will only cause you more grief. Having extra parts on hand when you buy your lift can assure you that when problems arise in the future, you can easily fix them immediately. Check to be sure that your seat is not cheap plastic, and that the weight limit for the chair is easily enough to hold the person it is intended for.
Safety is a big factor to consider when buying your stairlift. Added safety features can be more expensive, but knowing you are at less risk for accidents can lessen the burden. Seat belts, sensors to detect collision, and even swivel seats can make your lift safer and easier for you.
Finding the best stairlift for the best price can be a difficult task, but worth the effort. Buying a new stairlift can run you around $1,750 for an electric lift, and $1,850 for a battery powered lift. Used stairlifts can be purchased for around $1,350 for electric and $1,450 for a battery powered. Not a tremendous savings, and you can probably find more of a bargain if you search online, or through manufacturers. But is it worth it? The extra money needed to replace worn out parts could add up quickly. Buying a new lift can assure you that everything is in working order and no hidden parts are ready to quit on you. Buying a second hand stairlift might not save you much in the long run, if you consider extra parts you may have to purchase. Your special needs and in-depth research can help you to decide what is right for you. Remember, safety, reliability and a good warranty.