Stairlifts are an innovation that allows folks with mobility issues to navigate stairs. Given that making use of these stairs for such folks can be exhausting and dangerous, this innovation allows them to move easily and also regain their independence.
Hence, many folks are purchasing stairlifts to enable them to move easily from one space level to the next. Most buildings are incorporating them into their structure design as they make provision for individuals that have mobility issues.
While there are different types of stair lifts, our focus will be on theoutdoor stair lift in this article. We will look at the features that these products should have that will prove them to be a worthy investment.
Furthermore, we will look at some of the best outdoor stairlifts brands in 2021. With this, you will be able to narrow down your choice to one of these.
But before we go into all that, a little definition is in order…
What a Stair Lift Is?
This is a product designed as a chair to ascend and descend a stairway thanks to the addition of a track. Other names for these products are stair glides, stairway lifts, and chair lifts.
It is expected that the global market for these items will rise to about 8% from 2020 to 2025 as reported by Arizton which is a market research organization. The demand for these items is expected to come majorly from the U.S.
This is not a surprise given that more than 11 million senior citizens in America have one form on mobility issue or the other. Hence, navigating stairs is a difficult and painful experience for these individuals.
How does it Work?
A stairway lift makes use of a track placed on the adjacent wall next to the stairway. The track can also be attached to the staircase’s thread. A chair that has a secured seat and a base of either motorized wheels or gears is then attached to the stairway. This chair then ascends or descends the track slowly.
This chair is mounted with controls or a remote control might equally be installed. Hence, with the remote, you can control the chair to come up if you are upstairs and the chair is downstairs and vice versa.
Although we are focusing on outdoor stair lifts, it is good to know the other types of chair lifts that are available. So, let’s take a quick look, shall we?
The track of this product type is flat, standard, and designed to move you from one floor to the other inside your home. The installation process is the easiest; hence, it is the cheapest type.
For this to work, the track must be customized to suit the curved stairway. Furthermore, if your stairway has a multi-level landing between each level, a custom solution will be required. The tracks are manufactured individually before being assembled, tested before being disassembled so that they can be transported to your home. All these processes increase the cost of this type of stair glides.
Since they are used outside, these products are made to be resistant to the harsh elements of weather. They come with an anodized aluminum track and a seat that is weather-resistant thanks to the material it is made from – in most cases marine-grade vinyl.
These outdoor chair lifts are designed and used primarily to move folks to a deck, pier, patio, or porch. While a standard track like that of the straight lifts can be used if the grade of the stairway is the same as the indoor stairs; however, in most cases, some form of customization is required.
Features an Outdoor Stair Lift Must Have
The following features are things you should consider when choosing an outdoor stair glide:
The product must be able to withstand the weather elements including rain since it is an electronically motorized appliance. Hence, the electronic parts and batteries must be protected from wind and rain.
The appliance must be able to go for many journeys without breaking down or even losing battery power even when there is a blackout. Click here to learn how to prepare for a blackout.
It should be able to detect obstructions as it moves; this is possible when sensors are installed. This way, the appliance will stop when it detects such.
A security lock is also important to prevent unwanted access to your appliance given that it is outdoors. It should also have a seat belt; this will keep you from falling.
4. Folding Rails
The lift must have railings at the bottom that allows you to easily climb the chair. These railing should be foldable as well to prevent any obstruction along the path.
5. Control Switch
With a control switch, you can send the appliance down or up the staircase to the level where you want it to be.
By this, we mean the chair should be able to be folded away when you aren’t using it.
Best Outdoor Stair Lifts Brands
The price range is around $2,000 – $12,000.
- Maintenance assistance is provided
- Safety sensors are installed
- Plug-in power and backup battery
- Seats lack swivel motion
- Can only support a maximum weight of 280 lbs. (pounds)
- The armrests do not have control panels
The price range is around $1,700 – $10,000.
- Supports a maximum weight of 600 lbs. (pounds)
- Maintenance assistance is provided
- Used/reconditioned units are available
- 30 days battery warranty
- Only some models have footrests and armrests
- Not every model has safety sensors and seat belts
The price range is around $2,000 – $15,000.
- All models are designed with swivel seats, safety sensors, and seatbelts
- 5-year product warranty
- Rail designs ensure the maximization of open space steps
- Expensive than other brands
- Purchase cannot be made from the manufacturer directly; you have to pass through authorized dealers
In the article above, we have defined what stairlifts are, how they work, the types, the features an outdoor chair lift must have, and the best outdoor stair glides in the market in 2021.