Can Stairlifts Be Fitted to Any Stairs?

Can stairlifts be fitted to any stairs?


In short, yes stairlifts can be fitted to any stairs. However, different staircases require different mobility solutions. Learn about the types of stair lifts, the factors that determine what kind you need, and what to do if you need a custom stair lift. 

Types of Stairlifts

Three types of stairlifts can be fitted to stairs, which are: 

  • Straight stair lifts. Straight stair lifts are stair lifts created for the most basic staircases. They consist of a chair and a rail. Straight stair lifts are popular accessibility solutions for those aging in place or who have temporary mobility issues. They are also the quickest stair lifts to install as they come in standard configurations and are typically in stock. 
  • Curved stair lifts. Curved stair lifts have the same features as straight stairlifts, except the rail is custom-made to fit your curved staircase. These lifts do require a longer lead time as they are specifically made to order.  
  • Outdoor stair lifts. Outdoor stair lifts can be both curved or straight.  These lifts are specially designed to withstand the harsh elements that come with being outside 24/7, like heavy precipitation and overexposure to the sun. Many outdoor stair lifts are crafted with marine-grade materials to ensure durability in their environment. These are very popular in homes that have outdoor decks.

Factors That Determine The Type of Stairlift You Need

Different factors will determine the kind of stairlifts that can be fitted to your stairs. It’s always best to consult an expert to make sure you purchase the right lift.  If it is not properly fitted to your staircase, it could be unsafe to ride. Reputable companies will offer free in-home assessments where they can measure your staircase and understand your mobility needs.

  • The layout of your home A professional advisor will look for outlets, doorways, stair heights, and stair shapes to ensure the stairlift and features they recommend are safe.  For example, there are options you can include on your stair lift such as a retractable rail that will allow a portion of the rail to move when not in use to avoid causing a tripping hazard. 
  • Your mobility needs. It is important to understand your physical strengths and weaknesses.  If you have limited use of your hands or difficulty with your grasp there are stair lifts that may be better suited for you.  Be sure to share with the advisor any concerns you may have and they can offer specific solutions to make your life more accessible.
  • Indoor vs. outdoor. You cannot install an indoor stair lift in an outdoor setting.  Indoor stair lifts are not suited for the elements and your investment would not last long in these midwest conditions. Only install outdoor models on front porches and decks. 

Assessment Process

Each stair lift provider may have a different assessment process for your home, but it typically goes as follows.

  • Professional in-home assessments. First, a trained advisor will go to your house to see the staircase in person and assess your needs. They will determine if it is a straight, curved, or outdoor staircase, how long it is, and the reason you need a stair lift.
  • Measurements and expert evaluation. During this time, the advisor will also measure your staircase. They measure the length, width, and height, and will go into more advanced measurements if it has a curve or a landing.
  • Customized solutions and product offerings. Afterward, they will talk to you about their products and features.  Many dealers have both new and used stair lifts to fit every budget. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can stairlifts go around corners on curved stairs?

Yes, they can. You will need to consult with a stair lift specialist to determine the right design to fit your staircase.

Does a stairlift have to be fixed to a load-bearing wall?

No, because they are not fitted to the walls. Rather, they are fitted to the stairs and flooring underneath them. You don’t have to worry about upgrading your wall or even taking decorations off of it. 

Are there stairlifts for narrow stairs?

Yes. Stair lifts can be customized to fit a more narrow staircase. Additionally, many models offer compact, retractable, or foldable features—like armrests, footrests, and seats—to store away and make more space on the stairs when the lift is not in use.

How do I choose a stairlift?

Choosing a stair lift comes down to the type of stairs you have, your budget, and your preference. It’s best to consult with a stair lift expert to get the right lift for your needs. DME Elevators & Lifts offers free in-home assessments to help you get started.

Contact DME Elevators & Lifts for a Free Quote

Choosing the right stairlift for your home can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be. Work with DME Elevators & Lifts to find out the best kind of stair lift for you. Our advisors will tell you the best brands, models, and pricing for whatever you need. People choose DME Elevators & Lifts because: 

We’ve Been in Business Since 1977

We’ve been serving our customers for over 45 years, making us experts in all things elevation. Rest assured we have the answers to all your elevator, wheelchair lift, stair lift, and dumbwaiter questions.

We Only Work With Long-Standing, Reputable Providers

Because we’ve been around for a while, we’ve been able to determine which lift providers are the best in the business. We’ve built long-standing relationships with them to provide you with the best products, services, and deals.

We’re Dedicated To Your Project

At DME Elevators & Lifts, you always come first. We have a dedicated team of experienced advisors, project managers, and technicians. We often get five-star reviews commending the DME Elevators & Lift team for their outstanding customer service and knowledge. 

Contact Us to Get Started on Your Stair Lift Project

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