Are Stairlifts Custom Made?

Today we are going to be covering a topic that confuses many customers both buying and selling a stairlift – Is my stairlift custom made? The answer to the question depends heavily on the type of house it is fitted to, and what kind of stairlift you have. We will cover all the custom adaptions that a stairlift may have.


Standard Stairlift

Firstly, we must ask what is a standard stairlift? The qualities of a ‘standard’ model will vary depending on the manufacturer and model of stairlift so we cannot say exactly for every type of lift. Typically, the qualities of a standard stairlift would include:

  • A straight rail that has no curves or bends
  • Standard length of 2.6 meters / covering 13 steps
  • Manual seat swivel
  • Two handheld remote controls
  • No adaptions to the rail or chair

These are the typical features that you would expect to find on most stairlifts, without any adaptions being made to customise the stairlift for the user or home. However, not every standard stairlift would fit in every home which we will explain next.


Customised Straight Stairlift

A straight stairlift is simply just a stairlift where the metal rail goes straight up the stairs and does not curve off or bend at all. Just because you only require, or have, a straight stairlift in your home does not mean the stairlift is not custom made. A straight stairlift can be modified with the following adaptations:


Track Length

Although most straight stairlifts span a standard 2.6 meters, or covering 13 steps, some staircases may require a shorter or longer rail than the standard measurement which would be made custom for the property. Sometimes a stairlift is required for only 3-5 steps, so a custom very short rail can be manufactured.

Hinge Track

Sometimes by installing a stairlift, it would obstruct a door at the bottom or top of the stairs. A way to avoid this would be to have a custom-made hinge track installed which would fold upwards when not in use so that the door can be used and that the rail is not causing obstruction.

Powered Swivel

Another custom element that can be added to the stairlift is the addition of powered swivel. This feature allows the stairlift to automatically turn when it reaches or nears the top of the stairs, meaning the user can easily step off and onto the landing. This is particularly useful for users with issues using their hands or with little strength to operate the manual swivel handles at either side of the stairlift seat.

Powered Footrest

Another modification from the standard straight model is the powered footrest. This feature automatically folds the footrest up, so it is not obstructing other users going up and down the stairs. This feature is particularly helpful for those with back or leg problems that would stop them from bending down and folding the footrest away.

Customised Seat

A simple custom element is the seat. Most stairlifts come with a standard seat style, fabric and colour that varies depending on the make and model. A customer may choose to upgrade the seat to a different type that they prefer that is in keeping with the décor or their home. This seat upgrade is usually at additional cost and would modify the stairlift from the ‘standard’.

Perching Seat

Finally, a different type of chair entirely may be added depending on the customers requirement. Sometimes a perching/standing seat can be installed for stairs without room for a full seat, or where the user requires it for comfortable use.


Curved Stairlift

Due to the nature of this type of stairlift, there is no standard curved stairlift. Every curved model on the market is custom made and manufactured according to the customer’s home and requirements.

The installer will come to your home to do a full assessment. They will measure the length of the stairs and assess how many bends and custom pieces are required to be manufactured. In addition to the custom rail, a curved stairlift may also be modified with all the above features similarly to the straight stairlifts.

Many people believe that the curved parts of the rail can be taken away and the stairlift reused and installed as a straight stairlift, but the rail for a curved stairlift differently shaped and specifically made for curved staircases and cannot be modified and installed for a straight run of stairs.

As you can imagine, the majority of stairlifts purchased and installed are custom made, as it is likely one or more of the customisations is added either because it is required to make the stairlift suitable for installation, or because the user would prefer or require additional features.


Can I Sell My Custom Stairlift?

Just because a stairlift is custom made for any of the reasons listed above, doesn’t necessarily mean the stairlift can’t be sold on or reused. A custom made stairlift can be harder to sell, or maybe less desirable if it has features such as a custom rail that means it was specifically made for your home, but often it can be reused for parts at the very least.


Read more information about how you can Sell Your Stairlift by clicking here. Contact We Buy Any Stairlift today to find out if we can purchase your stairlift. Get cash and free removal for your unwanted stairlift.