Curved Stair Lift, Bay Area Installation

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

Hello all,

I wanted to share another Stair Lift we recently finished in the Bay Area of Northern California, (the customer didn’t want us using the city but gave us permission to post photos.)

Most of our customers purchase a stair lift for the home that they’ve been living in. But, this customer actually purchased and moved into this house knowing that they needed a way to get to the second floor. They were a couple in their late 70′s and the husband could climb stairs just fine but his wife was having difficulty. She had terrible knee problems and just couldn’t do the stairs anymore. They called us and we looked over all their options and a stair lift was the right choice. The stair lift provides them with a way of adding a safe and affordable way to stay in this new home that they loved.

I really enjoyed working with this couple. They were so nice and very smart to get the stair lift when they recognized they needed it. Our experience has taught us that the sooner a stairlift is installed, the sooner you will be able to start appreciating the things you love doing. In fact, we’ve found out that most people wait, on average, six months before calling us!

They have what we call a “Spiral Staircase.” It makes a slow, curving turn as the stair lift goes up the stairs. It is no challenge for us and the Stannah Stair Lift.

Spiral Staircase Down stair

Spiral Staircase Down stair

You can really see how the Stannah 260 Stair Lift curves very slowly up the stair case. It really is an amazing product that we are so proud of. You can see they have a short start at the bottom. Here’s a closer picture:

So close!

So close!

The door was not a problem for us as we got the stair lift as close to the stairs as possible. We can do many different parking arrangements at the bottom of the stairs: extended, 90 degree, 180 degree, etc. None of these were an option here, as you can see. This stair lift was the Starla model and it comes in a variety of colors and wood finishes that you can find here. The elegant curved rail and fold-away chair design leaves your hallway looking spacious and tidy with plenty of space for other stair-users. When not in use, the Starla folds neatly against the wall, giving you and others plenty of space. To store the stairlift away, you can fold away the arms and seat and use the lever to raise the footrest. There’s no awkward bending down, which is particularly useful at the top of the stairs.

This customer had plenty of room at the top of the stairs so we extended the rail for the stair lift an extra several feet.

Nice Long overrun for this Stair Lift

Nice Long overrun for this Stair Lift

To the left of the chair you’ll see our remote control. The wall-mounted controls at the top and bottom of the stairs make it easy to call the stairlift whether you are upstairs or down. They come in a holster so, if you’d like, you can pick it up and carry it around with you.

I hope you liked the photos and review. Please give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to help you!

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Recent installation of a Curved Stair Lift in San Jose

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

Hello from ACME!

It’s been a little bit but I wanted to share this stair lift we recently completed.

This customer contacted us about getting a new stair lift for her Aunt. She has quite a staircase but it proved to be no problem for us and Stannah. She had what we call a spiral staircase. The stairs slowly turn to the right as it rises. This can be a challenging stair lift to do as you have to be exact in your measurements and design.

Starla Chair in Green Fabric, turn and park at the bottom

Starla Chair in Green Fabric, turn and park at the bottom

The Customer opted for our new Starla chair. The Starla chair is a great upgrade. Besides having more design, it has more safety features and a motorized footrest.

You can see more fabric options and read more about it here.

Here, you can see a better picture of the stair case:


Up the stair case


The Stannah curved stair lift rail fits very snug and close along the stairwell. You can see the rack for the stair lift hidden behind the lower tube. This is a safety feature, making sure that you’ll be protected if you bump against the rail while climbing the stairs.

The customer also opted for a turn-and-park option at the top of the stairs.

180 degree Turn-and-park

180 degree Turn-and-park

The turn-and-park is a great option and one we do quite a lot of. It allows you to safely get in and out of the stair lift, away from the stairs. Parking the stair lift around the banister gives you more room at the top of the stairs, too.

If you want to read more about our stair lifts you can here.

Or if you’re ready to have us take a look at your stairs. Give us a call at 1-800-888-5267 or fill out our online form and someone will get in touch with you ASAP.


Wes Rockhold




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Considering a curved stair lift? Here’s a recent install.

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

It can be confusing if you are thinking about a curved stair lift. People usually have little experience with one and there are a lot of unknowns. Questions abound, like: Will it work on my stairs? Or: How will I use it?

This stair lift was finished recently. It is a Stannah Curved Stair lift with a turn and park at the top. This is the stair lift at its “parked” position at the top of the stairs.

What we call a "turn-and-park."

What we call a “turn-and-park.”


Here is the bottom of the stairs.


Folded neatly away for use of the stairs


The Stannah 260 really is the best curved stair lift out there. We would install it if it wasn’t. It is custom made to fit your stairs and uses a double rail system which provides for better stability and tighter turns.  We can do any corner or turn imaginable, which helps when you’re doing a stair lift in an old home in San Francisco or Berkeley.

So, is a stair lift right for you?

In the end, it just depends. Everyone’s stairs are different and everyone’s situation is different. What works for one person wouldn’t work for another, even if the stairs are similar. The reasons for considering a curved stair lift are many so it can be confusing. ACME does provide a free site visit if you’re looking for some answers. We’ll come out and look at your stairs and speak to you about YOUR specific situation and how a stair lift would help.

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UPDATE: Outdoor Curved Stair Lift in San Francisco

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

We recently finished this stairlift and it is quite amazing. The install took a little more than a day but considering that this lift was almost 72 feet long, we were quite pleased. The customer built this house years ago and is now faced the prospect of a difficult stair case to climb. Not wanting to move, they called us and we came up with a great solution for them. This was a definitely a challenge as the lift needed to turn 5 times before reaching the top of the stair case.  With the outdoor curved lifts, they come with a zinc coated (not washed) rail. This ensures a long lifetime of use. Please take a look at the pictures to see how it came out! You can click on them to see them in a larger size.


The rail matches the stairs perfectly on this outdoor curved lift.

The rail matches the stairs perfectly on this outdoor curved lift.


Up at the first platform, towards the second set of stairs

Up at the first platform, towards the second set of stairs

Those wires aren’t ours, by the way.

This photo is from the top platform, looking up the rest of the stairs.

This photo is from the top platform, looking up the rest of the stairs.

When you consider the complicated nature of this staircase, the stair lift really couldn’t have come out better. This picture really shows the versatility of our outdoor curved stairlift: it can be mounted on any type of surface. On these stairs we start with redwood steps, transition to pressure treated wood and finally the pebble-mix concrete treads.

Moving up the steps and looking down at the transition from wood to concrete steps

Moving up the steps and looking down at the transition from wood to concrete steps

Now for a larger photo. Take a look at the rail: it’s perfect.

Looking down the stair lift

Looking down the stair lift


You can see there are even more stairs to go up on but the homeowner decided to wait to put a stair lift on those steps. We definitely could have continued the rail but they wanted to keep using the stairs.

We’ll come back and put another one on there if they want us to!

Check out all our stair lifts here.

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Amazing Outdoor Curved Stairlift in San Francisco

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

We are just getting started on this project but it is a real testament to what the Hawle Stair Lift can do. It is approximately 22 meters (over 72 feet!) and makes 6 turns.  I’ll come back and show you the photos as we install the lift but just look at the photos of these stairs!

We definitely love a challenge.


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A Curved Stair Lift in San Francisco

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

We get many calls for stair lifts in San Francisco. We’ve been serving the Bay Area since 1987 so we know our way around a few neighborhoods in the city. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that there is never the same staircase in the same house, especially here!

The amazing architecture on the outside of all those beautiful homes is reflected in the inside as well. We’ve done stairlifts that curve any way you can imagine as well as straight and outdoor stair lifts.

A Curved Stair Lift in San Francisco

A few years ago we did this stairlift for Norma Shattuck. A wonderful women who was gracious enough to write an article about staying in her home for the SF Chronicle.

As you can see, the stair lift hugs the wall but is mounted to the floor. Every curved lift we install is custom made and fits perfectly to your stairs.

Please call us and let us know how we can help you put a stair lift in your home in San Francisco!

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Independent Living made possible with a Stair Lift. It’s not good for your health, it’s GREAT!

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

Stay Independent!


I was talking to our owner the other day and he asked me to look for an article on the effect moving has on people over the age of 65 or “Seasoned Citizens,” as he likes to call the other members of his generation.

I found the article he mentioned here.

Here’s what I took away: “What has been observed by daily experience throughout the entire long term care industry, and supported by numerous studies, is that individuals living in institutional care (regardless of age) will have significantly shorter life expectancies than their contemporaries living independently. Mortality is not only driven by their condition, but also by the impact of the significant change in environment

Here’s another article about downsizing in retirement.

It goes into the financial costs of moving which can very easily total over $25,000, including realtor’s fees.

There are many reasons to get a stair lift but we hear most often that people just want to stay in their home. I completely agree! That’s where your kids took their first steps and went to school. It’s where you have had holidays and birthdays.

Whatever your reason, we can help. ACME has been installing stair lifts for over 25 years. It is a great passion for us and we strive to make it easy, quick and most of all, safe for you. Here is some information about our stair lifts:

If you’d like, give us a call and we’ll come on out and give you a free estimate. 1-800-888-5267



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The possibilities of a Curved Stair Lift

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Stair Lifts

So, your stairs are special. Or do you think that they’re all the same?

The reality is that there are some common elements among stair cases but not one is exactly alike. When a carpenter builds a set of stairs, he usually doesn’t have a pre-made kit. He measures, cuts and installs each riser and tread.

After 25 years of doing this, we can explicitly say that no two sets of stairs are the same. Some can be similar but little differences here and there add up.

What does this all mean?

A custom made rail is what is needed to provide you with the safest and least intrusive solution. We can put a stair lift on just about any set of stairs: 90 degree turns, 180 degree turns, wide radius, pie-shaped steps, etc. Nothing is really out of the range of possibilities.  Beyond that, you can add custom starting and finishing rail sections, as in the picture above.  We also have a range of fabric and style selections for you stair lift.

Off-the-shelf products may be quicker but we find that most people wished they hadn’t chose it. You won’t get the same quality and that truly matters when you are talking about your safety and the safety of your family.

Our Starla Stair Lift is our most popular curved lift:

We offer free consultations so give us a call! 1-800-888-5267

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The Curious Differences of Home Elevator Gates and Doors

Written by Wes Rockhold. Posted in Home Elevators

There is a difference between Gates and Doors on a Home Elevator and we often find ourselves describing the differences between each option. In this post, I’ll go through what these options and, hopefully, help you decide what is right for you.

The Basics

The best way to visualize this is that the elevator travels with a door or gate and one door stays at each landing. So, when the elevator stop, what you have is essentially two doors at each landing: the gate on the cab and the door to the elevator shaft. The landing door keeps people from falling into the shaft and the gate (the one that rides with the elevator) keeps you and your family safe on the inside.

We can provide elevators with openings front and side; front and rear; and even front, rear, and side.

Let’s start with the commercial doors:

Side Sliding Doors

Have you ever ridden an elevator in a hotel?  Sure you have. That’s what those doors are called: side sliding doors.

Here is a drawing I marked up showing the layout of these doors:

Drawings of Side Slide Doors in a home

In this drawing, the Car Door rides with the elevator and the Landing Door Stays at each landing. So, if you have an elevator with 3 Stops and Inline openings (only one way in and out of the elevator), you’ll have 4 sets of doors.

Here is a photo of an installation we recent completed with Front and Rear Commercial openings in a home.


More specifically, these are called two speed doors. There are two panels that open and close and one is a slow door and one is a fast door.

If you want people to know that you have an elevator in the house, this is the way to go. These doors require a little more maintenance but really stand out. We’ve done them as you see above in painted steel but also in Stainless Steel, Bronze, or even Glass.

Woodfold Gate and Swing Landing Door

This is the traditional layout for a home elevator door system. Similar to the doors described above in layout but very different in application, a woodfold gate is an economical choice. Here is a set of drawings for those:

Home Elevator with a Woodfold Gate

With this layout, you have a woodfold gate that rides with the cab and collapses to open. The landing door will be a swing door that is secured by an interlock.

The woodfold gate is made by a different company than the one that makes the cab, so the material on the woodfold gate won’t match the material on the cab walls. However, you can have it in a variety of options: laminate, wood, clear, and aluminum.

Tambour Gate

The Tambour Gate is really something special. Here is a drawing:

The Tambour Gate slides around the outside of the cab

Here is a picture of a Tambour Gate that we recently completed.


Wood border Tambour Gate with glass


The Tambour Gate slides around the outside of the cab. It gives you a great option if you do not like the look of the woodfold gate or the commercial doors.

Besides a superior design, the Tambour gate is also made with the exact same materials as your cab. Did you want mahogany?  Great!  The Tambour Gate with match your cab walls EXACTLY.

Lastly, the Tambour Gate is safer than the woodfold. Because of its flat shape when closed, we can get the elevator gate closer to the landing door which will far surpass code requirements.


So there you have it. Three different door systems, each with their own application. One might work out better than another but it comes down to your personal preference and how you want your elevator to look and feel.

The commercial doors with give you the full elevator experience.

The woodfold gate will give you a traditional, economical look.

The Tambour gate is something new and exciting that will give you a seamless design.

You can check out more photos and videos at our image gallery or if you’d like to call and talk to someone, here’s our number: 1-800-888-5267

Thanks for visiting our website and for reading!


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