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Should you install a stairlift yourself?

When beginning the process of evaluating and buying a stairlift, many of our customers ask themselves: Should I self-install my stairlift? The short answer – and it isn’t just because we’re the chair installation experts! – is no, and this is for many reasons.

Although many products feature simple operation, their installation processes may not be; in fact, it is often a thorough, sensitive practice. Our professionally certified techs can ensure a high quality installation and service for your and your family, and because we’re both certified and insured you can rest assured that we’ll be by your side throughout the process.

In the end, while self-installation may save money, it can also put you, your family, or your home in danger. The more sophisticated the design, the more true that statement becomes. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way; let us assist you.

A+ Stairlifts of Pittsburgh's
Streamlined Process

Step #1

Meet the owner, a Certified Senior Advisor

Ideally, you would have a consultant come out and figure out what your options are, depending on the type of stairway you have. With A+ Stairlifts of Pittsburgh, you will meet the owner, Carl D’Alicandro, a Certified Senior Advisor who will do the home evaluation.

The stairlift must be installed along the wall and usually includes brackets that anchor the rail on several stair treads. If there are doorways on either side of the stairwell or carpeting, these may need to be removed or adjusted accordingly.

As for power, if you do choose an AC powered stairlift, the cord is typically installed along the track so it will be out of the way.

Step #2

Await your technician to arrive.

1.) With the information gathered during the home evaluation, a technician arrives at your residence to install your stairlift. Typically, for a straight stairlift, the installation and instruction process can take about two hours, depending on the stairlift product and options you have chosen.

2. ) The technician assembles the stairlift track onto the stairway to ensure that it is the correct size and will properly fit to the structure. Each stairlift track is customized for the needs of the stairlift model you chose, as well as for your specific staircase.In most homes, the stairlift track is installed on the same side as the wall on the staircase. If your home has two walls, the stairlift is generally installed on the side without the railing.

2. ) The stairlift technician secures the track to the stairs using a series of brackets, which screw into the stair’s tread. A stairlift installation will not damage risers or walls.

4.) The wireless call/send remotes are installed. This is the feature that will allow you to “call” the stairlift to the bottom or the top of the staircase using a wireless remote control device.

5.) The technician plugs the stairlift’s transformer into a regular electrical outlet, providing power to the rail’s charging points that will make contact and provide the necessary charge to keep the stairlift batteries fully charge when not in use. During power outages, battery-powered stairlifts will operate for a period of time on the charged batteries.

The stairlift is installed. The technician makes initial adjustments based on the user and the home.

Step #3

Testing your stairlift.

1.) You will have the opportunity to sit in the stairlift to test for fit and sizing. The technician makes any necessary adjustments as needed to ensure that the stairlift is comfortable, safe, and easy to use.

2.) The stairlift is tested to ensure that it is properly functioning.

3.) The technician provides complete and thorough instruction on the proper use of the stairlift as well as any additional options or controls that you have requested.

If you’re still considering a self-install, keep the following in mind:

1.) Depending on the installation specifics, many jurisdictions require a lift to be installed in conformance with local or national codes. In many localities, the codes referenced are the ASME A17.1, the A18.1, and the NFPA70 (National Electrical Code). A consumer installing a lift would not be familiar with the safety requirements of the applicable codes such as clearances, electrical safety, proper anchoring and other factors. Such non- conformance to the codes may make the installation unsafe.

2.) On certain installations, Licensing and permitting is commonly required by many jurisdictions. In these cases, a stairlift must be installed by a licensed, trained technician and also inspected by the local authority having jurisdiction prior to placing it in service.

3.) The potential hazards of self-installation apply to used and new equipment. There are many used lifts available on the market today. All lifts, new or used, should be installed and serviced by experienced technicians.

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