Discover your home's full potential with the best accessibility solutions!

    Discover your home's full potential with the best accessibility solutions!

      Buying or Renting a Stair Lift: How Much Will It Cost?

      What are the conditions that make it challenging for people to safely use the stairs? The list includes arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal injuries, stroke, heart conditions, etc. And at the end of the day, simply growing old leads to a decline in balance- as studies show that people normally start experiencing balance problems between the ages of 40 and 50. The National Institute of Health reports that one in three individuals aged 65 and older will experience a fall each year. 

      Nowadays, people are investing in mobility aids, especially for older family members, and those with limited mobility and disabilities. Stair lifts are one of the most popular accessibility equipment for those who may have trouble going up and down the stairs.

      With a stair lift’s price point, it is considered an investment and it makes sense that you take your time in studying your options before picking the right one for your home. 

      We will explore the definition of stair lifts, the types of stair lifts, their installation costs, and the pros and cons of renting versus purchasing.

      What is a stairlift?

      A stair lift is a mechanical-powered seat that carries individuals up and down stairs. It is also called a chair lift, seating platform lift, stair glider, or private elevator.

      To install a stair lift, a rail is installed on the stair treads. A seat is attached to a moving platform that moves up and down the rail. The battery-operated rack and pinion system moves the platform up and down the rail.

      Stair lifts typically move at a speed of 18 feet per hour, and will never move faster than they should, thanks to safety measures like the over-speed regulator and emergency braking system. 

      How much does a stair lift cost?

      In reality, there is no straightforward answer to this question, because a stair lift is quite a complex piece of equipment and there is no one-size-fits-all. The following factors will determine how much a stair lift unit will cost you:

        • Do you need an indoor or outdoor stair lift?

          First, you must know where you need to put your stair lift: do you need it on the staircase inside your house, outside your house, or both?
            • Indoor stair lift

              Will the stair lift need to go in a straight path only, or will it also need to change direction or curve around a corner? This will determine whether you will need a straight stair lift or a curved stair lift. Generally, straight stair lifts are less expensive than curved stair lifts.

              Your budget for a straight stair lift will typically start at $3,600 (CAD). This price already includes the installation services and the warranty.

      On the other hand, curved stair lifts are customized based on the design and  curves of your staircase, and the price depends on the level of customization needed. The price usually starts at $13,000 (CAD).

            • Outdoor stair lift

              Stair lifts do not necessarily need to lead to the second floor of the house. If you have several steps leading to the main entrance of your home, such as patio steps, decks, and docks, you can also install an outdoor stair lift to help you navigate those steps. 

      Similar to their indoor counterparts, outdoor lifts can be purchased with either regular straight rails or custom curved rails. They come with seat covers to protect the chair and equipment and are specially designed to withstand the outdoor elements, such as cold weather, rain, sun, and salt air.

      The cost of a straight outdoor stair lift typically starts at $6500 (CAD). The  starting price for curved stair lifts is $12,887.10 (CAD) but can go up based on the size and difficulty of the stairs.

      Price variations are also due to differences in brands, models, features,        and optional add-ons. We will take a more in-depth look at these areas in the following sections. 

        • Staircase dimensions

          An oversized stair lift will look out of place in your home and negatively affect the accessibility of your stairways. Your staircase dimensions determine the correct size of the stair lift. 

         The ideal setup is a stair lift that fits properly in your home and won’t take up much     space, so others can still use the stairs comfortably.

          It is best to leave the measuring and assessment with a home accessibility expert      or certified stair lift installer since every stair and home are different. 

        • Brand and model

          There are many important factors to consider when purchasing a stair lift. Brands and models can vary significantly, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase. Additionally, be sure to buy your stair lift from a licensed installer or authorized distributor of top brands to guarantee the quality of installation and maintenance, as well as the manufacturer’s warranty.

         When it comes to stair lifts, it is important to find the best value for your needs and     situation. Cheap is not always better – remember: safety should never                           be compromised.

         Be sure to find a reputable seller or distributor who offers excellent after-sales             service. It’s one thing to receive a stair lift in a box, but it’s quite another to have it       installed by a certified and skilled technician.

         It is important to consider both the long-term value and the reliability of the                   provider. Upfront fees may be significant, but you should always weigh what you           stand to gain in the long term. Whatever your priorities are, the solution should give     you both independence and peace of mind.

        • Features and add-on options

          In addition to the usual standard functions, many stair lifts can be equipped with enhancements to increase their safety and ease of use. The total cost of your stair lift would depend on the add-ons and customization that you require.
            • Safety sensors

              Industry standards require all stair lifts to have safety sensors on the sides of the motorized carriage and under the footrest- This makes sure that if it runs into a barrier, the stair lift will come to an immediate but gentle stop.
            • Retractable rails

              For stairs with a small landing at the bottom, withdrawable or collapsible rails are an optional feature. 

      Rectractable rails are available in either manual folding or power folding. With the power folding option, the rail automatically raises and lowers to make space for a door or walkway, as the chair moves up and down the steps. This ensures that the rail won’t become a trip hazard or obstruct an emergency exit.

            • Foldable components

              Being able to fold the seat, footrest and armrest means that the stair lift takes up less room when not in use. Manual foldable seats, footrests, and armrests are part of a standard stairlift unit, but you can opt to upgrade to power folding options for added convenience.

      In addition, a motorized footrest that folds up with the press of a button on the armrest makes getting in and out of the chair simpler and safer.

            • Seatbelts

              A high-quality seatbelt is a must for the safety of stairlift users. 

      While the industry standard armrest-mounted retractable seatbelt (simple to grasp and buckle, even with arthritic fingers) is already a great component, some brands provide additional seatbelt features to address more specific needs.

      These innovative options may be helpful to stair lift users: a seatbelt with a sensor (the chair will not move until the seatbelt is fastened), and a seatbelt with lap-diagonal and five-point harnesses (additional safety over the shoulders and between the legs).

            • Controls

              Consider the controls that come with the stair lift- You should choose one that is easy to operate and allows for a wider margin of error, especially for those with weaker hand and finger functions.

            • Keylock option

              The stair lift’s key lock mechanism prevents unauthorized use of the device, such as if you have small kids in the house and don’t want them playing around on the stair lift.  

      This option means that no one will be able to use the stair lift if the key is not inserted.

      Not all stair lifts come with this option, so if you want to have this additional safety feature installed- please check availability and price with your provider.

            • Types of seat

              You should choose a seat that offers both comfort and useful features that meet your specific requirements. 

      Here are options to consider in choosing the type of seat for your stair lift:

      If the user is bigger physically or simply wants a more spacious space- seats with wider armrests would be a good choice. They can also give you more leverage when standing up from a seated position. 

      For those with back or knee issues, the perch/standing option may be for you. A hydraulic seat allows the user to remain in a semi-standing position and makes it easy to rise from the seat.

      Stylish seat options are also available, apart from these functionalities. You can pick from a selection of colors for both the seat and trim and materials for the upholstery.

      A stair lift does not have to be an eye sore in your space, as you can choose a design that best complements the aesthetics of your house.

      How much is a stair lift rental?

      There are situations wherein you just require a stair lift for a short while. For instance, when you’re recovering from surgery, you need to make accommodations for your elderly parents who are visiting you, your elevator is broken, or you will be moving out of your home soon.

      Home2stay understands these situations and we also offer to rent out straight stair lifts for a minimum of 4 months. Our monthly rental fee is $250, with a setup fee (inclusive of measuring and installation) of $575 and a removal fee of $225. 

      You only need to pay for the setup fee, removal fee, and first month of rental upon installation. 

      No one has to struggle to meet a temporary requirement thanks to this affordable choice.

      How much is the typical budget for purchasing a pre-owned stair lift?

      If purchasing a new stair lift is out of your budget, but you need a stair lift for the long term, there is the option of buying a pre-owned stair lift. This can save you up to a thousand bucks.

      Since curved stair lifts are custom-made according to each unique staircase, you can probably only get a straight stair lift in the second-hand market.

        • Online marketplace

         You can find used stair lifts on online selling platforms like eBay, Kijiji, Craigslist,         etc. Of course, it’s a free market and prices are just subject to sellers’ discretion.         As per our checking, some sellers list their used stair lifts for as little as $350.

         However, there’s always a big risk when it comes to buying from individuals that           you don’t know personally. First are the quality and safety issues- there is no way         for you to find out if the item is still in good working condition, or if the history of         the product for sale is accurate or not. 

         Did the seller purchase the stair lift from an authorized dealer? Is he the first or           second owner? Did the unit undergo regular maintenance, cleaning, and checking? 

         There’s also the risk of meeting up with a person that you just met online. 

        • Certified pre-owned stairlifts

          If you want to ensure that the pre-owned stair lift you’re buying is in good working condition, some authorized distributors have secondhand stairlifts available- and they usually refurbish them before reselling. 

         Getting from a certified or registered stair lift dealer is the better option if you want     to purchase a second-hand stair lift since they can also include installation                   services and a store warranty in the package. 

         You would typically need a budget of $2000 to $3000 to avail of certified pre-               owned straight stair lifts, depending on the unit’s make, model, features, and                 condition.

      How much is a stair lift rental?

      Depending on the age of your stairlift, you need to have a preventive maintenance service done around once or twice a year. Maintenance service costs $195 in Home2stay, and includes cleaning of the old grease and application of new grease (similar to change oil for vehicles), and checking of the batteries. The technician will then give you recommendations if the battery or other parts require replacement, which will be on top of the service fee.



      While the cost of installing a stair lift in your home may seem high initially, it is important to weigh all the benefits and costs now and in the future. In addition to providing a dependable mobility aid, a stair lift also ensures your independence and freedom to move about.

      Alternative costs should be taken into account. While you may be tempted to downsize from a multi-story house to a one-story apartment to save on expenses for mobility solutions, this would cost you in realtor fees, closing costs, and moving expenses, as well as the emotional stress of leaving your beloved neighborhood.

      Renting a room in an assisted living home in Vancouver costs around $4,300 per month- this is already more than the cost of the cheapest straight stair lift model. Nursing homes are even more expensive, with an average monthly cost of $8,800 for a private room.

      In comparison to these alternatives, the expense of purchasing a stair lift isn’t so significant after all and, of course, the benefit of living comfortably and independently in your beloved home is priceless!

      We hope that our blog helped you to understand the costs associated with purchasing or renting a stair lift. We hope you had a chance to learn more about the benefits of having a stairlift and the many things it can do for your home.

      The Home2stay team has been installing stair lifts in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland for almost a decade and has seen how they help people regain their independence and mobility. If you have more questions about stairlifts, you may call us at (604) 259.1211 or send us an inquiry form. We’ll be happy to assist you!



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