Having a stairlift in your home - An Impartial guide

Page 10 : Width of stairs                              Previous  Page Next  Page

Width of stairs

A stairlift can be installed in most homes, all stairlifts on sale in the UK are fitted to the tread of the stairs, normally screwed through the carpet. (Certain wheelchair lifts may be wall fixed in public buildings). The most common problem which prevents installation, is the width of the staircase.  In theory a lift will fit onto a staircase that is 690 mm (27") wide. In practice the user may not be able to use the lift because there is insufficient clearance for their knees. Most people will require about 750 mm (29œ") to be able to operate the lift comfortably. A useful tip is to place a chair at the bottom of the stairs with the back touching the wall. Sit on the chair as far back as is comfortable and pull your knees as close to the edge of the seat as you can. You should then be able to estimate how much clearance you would have if you installed a stairlift in your home. If you have open banisters, they should be re-instated for the safety of other users. Spindled banisters may also present a hazard, if the user is unable to hold their feet on the footrest. It may be desirable to in fill them with a sheet of perspex or mdf.

This diagram shows the dimensions of one manufacturers straight lift, but you must also allow for the size of the user when calculating if a lift will fit. 

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