Home Elevator or Stair Lift: Which is right for you?

by | 6:06 am | Product Guides

Deciding between a Stair Lift vs Elevator

There are so many things to look at when trying to access the second or third levels of your home. Choosing between a Stair Lift and a Home Elevator comes down to your situation. What is most important to you?. In this post, I’ll go through the benefits for each product and considerations for each to help you decide what is right for you and/or your family. Let’s get to it: Stair lift vs Elevator!

Stair Lifts

stair lift vs elevator

A stair lift is a cost effective way to get up and down stairs.  Most people get a stair lift because they’re having trouble getting up and down the stairs. Whether it’s because of tired joints or a medical issue, there’s a right stair lift for everyone. There’s a stair lift for people who have a hard time bending their knees. We can put a stair chair lift on pretty much any set of stairs. Inside or outside the home. Curved or straight. They can install on both sides of the stair case. It’s very rare to have to remodel for a stair lift. The most typical expense outside of the stair lift is to add an electrical outlet at the bottom of the stairs.

Some people don’t like the look of a stair lift but that can be overcome. You can choose a different color rail or a chair with more design option.  You can blend it in or make it stand out. Our Starla stairlift is a really great chair. I like that you can add the wood trim to the seat and chair. 

Stair Lift production time varies but if you’re in a hurry we can usually get stock straight stair lift installed quickly. The turnaround time can be as quick as the next day for a stock unit. Curved stair lifts will take longer. Up to 4 weeks. I know that can seem like a long time but consider that our curved stair lifts are made specific for your stairs. It’ll be a great fit and not stand out. 

Stair lift pricing is hard to pin down without coming out and looking at your stairs. A curved stair lift is custom made for your steps so that will have a higher price tag than a straight lift. Our representative can tell you for sure. You can look here to get an idea of where to start. 

Home Elevators

stair lift vs elevator

An elevator in your home is a really unique and smart investment but you have to know what you’re getting into. Adding a home elevator is a remodel, do not doubt it. You will be submitting plans to the building department. You will be working with a General Contractor and an Architect. It is more work but in the end, it is worth it. 

An elevator will accomplish the same thing as a stair lift but it will add style and value to your home.  It will need its own hoistway (shaft) to travel up and down in, just like a commercial elevator. It has swing doors and a gate (see this page for more descriptions) as standard and comes in hydraulic or cable drive operation options. The hydraulic is the way to go. It’s a smooth ride and quiet. 

We can customize the cab to whatever you’d like: wood or glass or even metal. We’ve done cherry or walnut cabs. Glass home elevator cabs and even 100% stainless. 

Doing an elevator will take longer than the stair lift and cost more but you’ll make that up in home value. As I said, you’ll have to hire an architect to draw up your plans. You’ll then need a contractor or builder to take care of the remodeling. We’ll come in at the end and install the elevator. It usually takes about 6 months from start to finish but could take longer depending on the permitting process.

Shaftless Home Elevator

Wessex Home Elevator

This is the newest edition to our line up: the Wessex Home Elevator. The Wessex is a great option as it offers a solution for someone who needs (or just wants) a traditional residential elevator but doesn’t want the full renovation. I recommend this option to our customers in a wheelchair because you don’t have to worry about transferring from one a wheelchair to a stair lift. In this case, you just roll right in. It’s also hydraulic powered but the tank is smaller than your average fish tank and can be easier hid up to 25 feet away.

There’s minimal rework to do here as well. We’ll provide you with shop drawings and you cut a hole in the upstairs floor. You’ll have to also give us an electrical disconnect and a phone line and then that’s it. We’ll come over with the lift  and install it in just a few days. There is a safety pan above and below the cab that prevents any injury what so ever. All other safety features are fully compliant with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers A17.1 requirements for a shaftless home elevator. 

Summary: Stair Lift vs. Elevator

There you have it. A stair lift will have a lower price tag and can be installed much quicker than an elevator. But a stair lift won’t give you the style and return on investment that an elevator can.  A shaftless home elevator is also a good option if you don’t want to renovate much.  If you need to get up the stairs tomorrow, then a stair lift is probably the way to go. But if you want a unique experience and style is more important then an elevator sounds like a great fit for you.

I hope that this post helped you choose the right product for you or a loved one.

Everyone’s situation is different so feel free to call us to discuss yours. We’ve seen a lot over the last 30 years so chances are we can bring something from another’s dilemma to help you.