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Buyers Guide:
Outdoor Stairlifts

Outdoor Stairlifts

 

Stairlifts are such a wonderful investment to make for yourself and loved ones. They provide an extra bit of freedom and independence, and also just simply give you comfort. So, if you’ve been considering getting a stairlift, we’re here to help you out along the way. 

As with every kind of investment or purchase, you’re likely questioning how much they cost, of course, we totally understand. 

That’s why this guide will go in-depth on the cost of stairlifts. This guide does focus on outdoor stairlifts, we do have guides on other stairlifts – including straight and curved. So, check those out if they are more up your street. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into this stairlift buying guide, looking at affordable stairlifts and a range of stairlifts to choose from.

 

What is an outdoor stairlift?

If you’re experiencing mobility issues, these don’t just vanish once you leave your home. Stairlifts provide you with freedom inside the house and outside. 

For instance, you may be having trouble making your way from your front gate to your front door. Shopping, going for walks, or visiting friends and family can easily become a headache. Stairlifts can end those struggles. 

 

Outdoor stairlifts do differ slightly from indoor ones. Obviously, they need to be designed to withstand various weather conditions – from super hot to super rainy. To be able to serve you all year round, they are designed a little bit differently. 

Outdoor stairlifts often use different materials and vulnerable components need to be sealed so they are protected from rain, sleet, snow, and heat. 

If you live in a particularly cold area, some stairlifts may benefit from a heater for when the temperature hits extreme lows. 

You may notice that outdoor stairlifts have waterproof covers, which protect armrests and seats – so you don’t have to sit on a wet seat when you need to use it. These are comfort measures. 

So, if you have steps, outdoor staircases, slopes, or veranda access – a stairlift could be for you. 

 

How are outdoor stairlifts installed? 

Like with indoor stairlifts, this won’t cause you inconvenience. A trained engineer will come round and install the stairlift, this will take around two to three hours – again, this varies depending on your specific flight of stairs. 

Either way, your outdoor stairlift will not take longer than a day. There won’t (for the most part) be any structural changes to your steps or stairs. The majority will just fit into whatever is there. 

If you feel you have unique challenges, talk to the engineer or surveyor. There will always be around it. 

 

Important things to consider when purchasing an outdoor stairlift 

There are some things to consider, these are:

  • You will likely have to pay more for an outdoor stairlift. 
  • Outdoor stairlifts are more sturdy and do have additional features. 
  • Make sure you are dealing with a company that takes all your specific needs and worries seriously. Also, make sure your supplier uses qualified engineers to install your stairlift. 
  • There are different models of outdoor stairlifts to choose from. It is worth investigating a few options before you dive into a decision. We do include some options for you at the end of this guide. 

 

Estimating a stairlift price 

Right off the bat, it is difficult to estimate a stair lift price. There are so many considerations and factors which can change this price dramatically. 

For instance, if your house has any obstructions, the price will increase with the cost of moving a radiator, as an example. 

You can also choose to spend more money on a warranty, spending more will guarantee more security. Spending less may cost you more in the long run, but the initial investment will be lower. 

A big factor when it comes to price revolves around whether or not you need a curved or straight stairlift. The curved stairlift is considerably more expensive. One way to save money (on both) is by buying a reconditioned stairlift, these are sustainably cheaper than a new stairlift. 

One thing for sure is, you want to make sure that you’re spending your money on a good investment. So, always read maintenance contracts, read the fine print, and ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your money. 

Lastly, if you have any special requirements, an extra may be required on your stairlift. These will come at an additional cost but are completely worth it. We will get into details about all of this later on. 

 

The average cost of an outdoor stairlift 

As we mentioned, this can be extremely hard to accurately predict. Outdoor stairlifts can be slightly more expensive than indoor stairlifts, because of their extra weatherproofing and protection. 

Outdoor stairlifts cost around £2,500, just for a standard model. This price will increase when there are obstacles, curves, or difficult flights of stairs. 

A surveyor will assess the structural situation, and decide where your stairlift will be fitted, and what specifics you need. You will also need to tell the supplier about any other mobility issues you may have, as this will affect the price. 

£2,500 is a very general prediction. However, your outdoor stairlift may cost less or more depending on your flight of stairs, garden, or other considerations. 

Is this worth it? Absolutely. An outdoor stairlift will make it easier for you to socialise, keep your independence, and get some fresh air. 

You can rent stairlifts, however, for outdoor stairlifts, this may be a little more difficult. 

 

Reconditioned or new stairlift 

One way to save money is by opting for a reconditioned stairlift. 

New stairlifts are more expensive, but they do come with their own set of perks. They are usually the best option for outdoor stairlifts, as gardens and outdoor landscapes will vary quite dramatically. 

The obvious bonus – they are brand new, and you can be sure you’re getting the highest quality. 

Reconditioned stairlifts may be an option for you if you have a fairly standard set of stairs. They will be refurbished and should be working like new. Obviously, you should ensure that you have a warranty that will cover everything and a trustworthy 24-hour call-out service. 

For outdoor stairlifts, the seat may be refurbished, but the track will likely be brand new.

 

Do you need any extras?

You can get extra parts on your stairlift, which will make it more tailored to you and your specific needs. 

It’s important that you disclose your specific needs to your supplier so that they can provide you with an accurate quote, and a stairlift that works best for you. 

An example of this would be a perch seat, for those that have difficulty bending. Swivel seats are also an option, and powered footplates can also be fitted. 

 

What about warranty and servicing? 

We don’t have to tell you how important warranty and servicing is. This is definitely something that you need to ensure your money is going to. 

One year’s warranty is the minimum you should expect. That should also be included in your price, make sure your supplier isn’t cutting corners. 

We know how tempting it is to just go for the lowest price. However, you should avoid that. Look into warranties and also servicing costs. You should have the security of knowing there is a 24-hour call-out service, who will be able to help you at all times. 

The majority of suppliers will also offer an extended warranty, once the year is over, for under £100. Servicing contracts should also come to under £100, too. 

We will always encourage spending your money on these, just in case. They may just save you money in the long run. 

 

Are stairlifts exempt from VAT? 

This can get a little confusing, so if you need more information please check out the government’s website. 

In short, for the chronically sick or disabled, you will not have to pay VAT. This is because items for disabled people are zero-rated. This also applies to any extras and stairlift products. 

If you don’t fall into this bracket, you will get a 5% VAT relief if you are over 60. Remember, if you believe either of these exemptions applies to you, you need to let your supplier know, and they will work out the rest for you. 

VAT reliefs should be looked into, so please research this a little more if you’re confused. 

 

How much do stairlifts cost to run? 

Stairlifts do not cost a lot to run, at all. Many manufacturers will claim that it costs around £10 a year, less than a kettle. As with all the cost estimations, this can vary, too. If you use your stairlift less or more than seven times a day (what that estimation is based on) the cost will increase or decrease. 

However, they are super low-cost and low-energy – this is what makes them safe to run outdoors. 

 

Outdoor stairlift maintenance

As with everything; prevention is always better than a cure. So, regular maintenance of your stairlift will enable you to live a little more stress-free. 

We recommend that your outdoor stairlift should get serviced every year. Again, this needs to be done by a qualified engineer -anybody who is not qualified may actually damage the unit.

Always use the waterproof coverings and any other protection that you are supplied with. This will ensure that you get the longest life out of your stairlift.  

 

How do you power an outdoor stairlift?

Of course, to power your stairlift, you do need a power source. As an outdoor stairlift, this obviously is a little bit different from indoor stairlifts. 

This is usually achieved by charging an internal battery inside your home and will be there to charge various points on your rail. 

This battery is a very convenient system and allows your stairlift to work even when there is a power outage.  

These batteries will last for several years. As stated, they also don’t make much of an impact on your electricity bills. 

 

How to pick a stairlift company 

Here are some things to consider when picking a stairlift:

  • How much are you willing to spend on a stairlift?
  • Does this company offer a payment plan?
  • How many years’ warranty do they offer?
  • How does this specific stairlift handle a power cut?
  • What safety features do they provide?
  • Do you want to buy or rent a stairlift?
  • Do they offer outdoor stairlifts that are battery-operated?

 

Stairlift companies for you to compare

  • Acorn Stairlifts – This company offers straight, curved, and outdoor stairlifts. They complete an in-home consultation required for pricing, this is a promising way to get the best deal for you. Acorn Stairlifts are a family-owned company and provide (arguably) the most contemporary designs. They are one of the most popular companies to choose from. 
  • Stannah – Again, these offer straight, curved, and outdoor stairlifts. The prices range from £2,000 to £4,000. This company is recognised worldwide, they actively find ways to bring people freedom, independence, and safety. Stannah stairlifts are often totally customisable and they often do free assessments. 
  • Handicare – This company is totally committed to making life easier for disabled and elderly people. Their products empower people and assist them in their day-to-day lives. Essentially, they provide you with well-designed solutions that will increase your independence. They are all super safe and easy to use, too. 

 

Can a stairlift be paid for? 

In some cases, you may be eligible for a grant – this will depend on your local council. This means that they may be able to help with the cost of installing a stairlift in or outside your house. 

 

As with every investment, make sure that you do your research and discuss all your options with your OPs, suppliers, and engineers. You need to ensure that you’re making the best decision for you and your specific needs – so make sure everything is met. This is your life and your money, after all. 

We can answer any more questions that you may have, too. 

 

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Our CEO Henry Wall had a vision to create a mobility business that offered a completely different customer experience, providing that all important personal touch.

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