Are you thinking of buying and installing your own stair lift as a DIY project? Today on the web, the tendency is moving towards products friendly to the customer. Factories are developing and promoting products that a consumer or home owner of a typical house can install with standard household tools in just a few hours with some basic skills.
The first stage that all the stair lift factories require of the customer or the owner of a house before a product is made and delivered, is the measurements of the staircase. It is very easy to measure for a new stair lift. You will want to make sure you have the proper measurements or you won’t get a properly made stair rail for the equipment to glide up and down on.
Before you start measuring, take a general overall picture of the layout of your staircase and decide which side (left or right) of the staircase that you want the stair lift to be installed on, as seen from the bottom of the stairs. Typically, a stair lift can be installed on either side of the staircase. Depending on the particular model you decide on, choose the side where it will be easiest to operate the stair lift while avoiding any obstacles at the top or bottom.
The majority of the stair lifts are mounted to the tread of staircase and not to the wall. So much so, that a wall isn’t necessary for the majority of the designs on the market today. Be certain though that you understand the factory design to ensure that this is in fact the case with your stair lift. Now that you’ve decided which side of the staircase the stair lift will be attached to, follow the steps below to make sure you have suitable measurements, and always measure twice.
All measurements should be written down and recorded in inches. The 7 following measurements are required to properly determine if a stair lift will function in the space you have and fit your mobility needs;
1. Overall length – this is the MOST IMPORTANT measurement! This determines the length of the rail which your stair lift will require as its guide. To obtain this measurement to the top of your staircase, take your tape measure and extend it until it reaches across all stair steps from the top of the staircase to the landing at the bottom where the rail guide will touch. How many inches lower is the bottom landing than the top landing? Write this number down.
2. Be sure to measure for clearance – measure from the starting edge of the top stage to the edge of the lower stage and compare manufacturer specs of your model.
3. Width – measure the width of your staircase wall to wall or wall to railing.
4. Lower release – if there is a wall or a door at the bottom, place the beginning measurement at the beginning or opening of the wall or door and continue until you reach the bottom of your wall of stage. Note: This should be done if you have a wall (landing) or as well if it carries it to the top of the stages and to add a measurement and a mark of the number eight (8) which like “higher release”. Three last measurements (5, 6, and 7) will make it possible for the manufacturer to preset the angle of the seat for your stair lift at the factory.
5. Rise in a STAGE – measure the size of a staircase. It is the base of one tread to the next one.
6. Tread of a STAGE – measure the width of a stage. This is the area which you walk. Measure from the front of the stage to the back of the stage (depth of step).
7. Diagonal of a STAGE – measure the length starting from an edge of a stage to the end of the next one. Similar to stage 1, but instead of the whole length of staircase, measure only the length between two of the stages.
If you are unsure about any of these steps it may be more cost effective to have your stair lift professionally installed in hours. Let us take some pressure off and make quick work of your Philadelphia stair lift installation!