Stairs can severely limit mobility and quality of life as we age but a stairlift can be an effective solution. One of the questions we get asked most frequently is “how much does a stairlift cost?”. The answer can vary widely because there are many factors that affect the total cost of having a stairlift installed in your home. According to HomeAdvisor, stairlift costs generally range between $2,500 and $15,000, with the national average at $6,000. Prices differ from the national average due to staircase type, shape, length, installation and labor costs, lift and seat type, power source, and brand. Our guide will help you sort through all the options so you can get an idea of what a stairlift would cost for your home.
Straight vs. Curved Staircases
Straight stairlifts are less expensive than curved stairlifts for both equipment and installation costs. Curved stairlifts require a much greater degree of customization. Prices for curved stairlifts are usually $9,000 to $15,000, whereas straight stairlifts typically cost $3,000 to $6,000.
The longer the length of the stairs, the more track needs to be purchased and installed, and the higher the cost. If there are landings on your straight staircase, expect to see prices more in line with a curved stairlift. Some straight stair lift tracks can accommodate up to 70 feet, but anything longer can add $50 to $75 per linear foot. If your staircase is particularly narrow, you may need a more specialized stairlift that may cost more (check out our full guide to stairlifts for narrow staircases for specific recommendations).
Outdoor Stairlift Costs
Outdoor stairlifts require more robust materials to withstand extreme temperatures, rain, snow, dirt, and grime and still work correctly. Installation can also be more difficult depending on the material of the outdoor stairs and the availability of electrical wiring. Depending on the length, installing a stairlift outside can range from $2,000 to $10,000.
Stairlift Installation & Labor
Installation costs can run between $1,000 and $5,000 for many stairlift models. If you have a standard, straight staircase, the installation will generally be easy on your pocketbook, but prices can be higher if the stairs are steeper than average or if the lift is installed on outdoor steps made of harder materials like stone. Occasionally, modifications to the home need to be made to accommodate the stairlift which can raise the installation price. For example, installing wiring can cost between $600 and $2,200, building a new wall can run from $1,000 to $2,700, repairing drywall is $300 to $800, and replacing or upgrading an electrical panel can range from $600 to $1,800. If you chose to purchase a stairlift from HomeLift, we offer free in-home estimates so you can be sure of exactly how much a stairlift would cost to install in your home.
Type of Seat
Many stairlifts have different seat options and whether you choose a standard seat or require a special type can affect cost. The seat you choose will affect how much space the lift takes up on the stairway and how comfortable it is to ride.
- Collapsible seat stairlifts are of the most popular styles of lift seating, the seat (and often the footrests and armrests) folds up to save space when it’s not in use. This is an excellent option for those with a narrow staircase or who want to reduce the overall stairlift footprint.
- Perch seats are one of the newest types of stairlift seating. They save space by allowing the user to lean against the seat in a partially standing position while riding up and down the stairs. While these are not made for people with significant mobility or balance issues, this type of stairlift seat takes up considerably less room than a standard seat and could allow a stairlift to be installed where one otherwise wouldn’t fit.
- Swivel seats pivot at the bottom or top of the stairs to allow the user to get out of the lift without twisting. The swivel mechanism locks while traveling between floors. Some high-end models have a powered swivel that turns the chair automatically and others must be rotated by the user.
- Angled seat lift chairs tilt backward slightly so the user feels more stable while using the lift. These are a great choice for those with significant mobility issues.
Stairlifts can be battery-powered or connected to an electrical outlet. Battery-operated stairlifts have the advantage of working during a power outage but some plugged-in models have a battery backup for when the power goes out. Plugged-in stairlifts will cost more upfront if they require electrical wiring work, they cost more in electricity to run, but they don’t require as much maintenance as a battery-operated lift. Battery-operated stairlifts need regular battery health checks.
Customizations & Add-Ons
Custom add-ons to a stairlift will increase the overall price. Some brands, such as Handicare, have almost endless aesthetic customization options that will allow you to design a stairlift that blends perfectly into the style and décor of your home. You may need custom functionality for your exact mobility needs. This could mean a certain style of seat or footrest. Stairlifts can typically handle users up to 250-300 pounds, but a specialty lift may be needed for those who use wheelchairs or weigh over 300 pounds. Those can start at $5,000 and range up to $20,000 for lifts that can support over 400 pounds.
Stairlift Service & Maintenance
Preventative maintenance checks have been shown to extend the life of the equipment and reduce the cost and frequency of repairs. We recommend scheduling preventative maintenance checks every 12 months to avoid preventable issues from happening with your equipment. We pride ourselves on installing reliable equipment but in the unlikely event that your stairlift malfunctions, we have a team of knowledgeable service technicians ready to assist. In the event your equipment malfunctions outside of normal business hours, we have an on-call service technician dedicated to emergency situations. You can visit our Service and Maintenance page for more information.
Renting a Stairlift vs. Buying
We do not offer stairlift rental but if you or a family member need a stairlift for a limited period while recovering from surgery or an injury, renting a lift is an option. The cost to rent a stairlift generally runs from $300 to $500 per month, not including installation or removal fees. Many stairlift companies require a minimum 3-month rental agreement. Keep in mind that the installation fee can run from $400 to $700, removal can cost between $300 and $600, a refundable deposit ranges from $500 to $1,000, and the 3-month rental averages between $900 and $1,500. We’ve found that renting stairlifts rarely works out to the benefit of the customer. Our stairlift buy-back program is our solution for making sure our customers receive the best quality products and installations for the best experience for whatever duration of time they need.
Pre-Owned Stairlift Cost
We offer a limited selection of pre-owned stairlifts that we have bought back from our previous customers. We only buy back stairlifts that we sold and installed ourselves within the last three years and pass a rigorous inspection by our technicians. When we buy back the used stairlifts, we hold onto them in our warehouse until we have a client that needs a stairlift but cannot afford one full price. If we have a used stairlift that fits their staircase, we will sell them the used stairlift at a discounted price. This does tend to be a somewhat limited option as we only carry a few used stairlifts at a time, but for those who need them, our used stairlifts can be a great option. The overall price can vary depending on the brand, model, and type, but average savings can range from $500 to $1,500 off the cost of a new stairlift.
We never want finances to prevent someone from receiving equipment that could improve their quality of life so we’ve made financing available for stairlifts through our partnership with LightStream. LightStream offers low-interest loans for installations of stairlifts, home elevators, wheelchair lifts, and other home improvement projects to people all over the country.
- Financing from $5,000 to $100,000
- Competitive fixed rates
- No home-equity requirements
- No fees or prepayment penalties
- A simple online loan process
Is it worth it?
Only you can decide if the cost of installing a stairlift is worth it for your needs. Improving mobility can allow people to live independently and safely without having to move to a single-story home, assisted living, or a nursing home. Genworth’s most recent cost of care study puts the national average cost of a private room in a nursing home at $9,034 per month and assisted living at $4,500 per month. The entire cost of having a stairlift installed in your home could be less than one month in a facility. What is staying in your home worth to you or your loved one? If you decide you’d like to look into getting a stairlift installed in your home, contact us to arrange a free in-home estimate. Our experts can guide you through this process and ensure you receive the ideal stairlift for your home and your needs.