Here’s Why DIY Stairlifts Are a Bad Idea

If you’re wondering whether you can install a stairlift by yourself, you might want to hold off. While it’s possible to install a stairlift on your own, it’s not a good idea. Stairlifts often require a lot of manpower, plus the help of an electrician—and unless you’re a builder yourself, you might not be able to guarantee it’s structurally sound.

Here’s an overview of what goes into stairlift installation, and why it’s a bad idea to take this task on yourself.

How to install a stairlift

First, your contractor will look for any obstructions that will impede the stairlift’s function. If there are any that can’t be moved, they’ll need to adjust the stairlift to work around the obstructions. They’ll also take measurements of the stairwell and stairlift to ensure everything will fit appropriately.

If your stairlift requires electrical assistance, an electrician will have to come wire your stairwell to power the stairlift. (Never try to do your own wiring, unless you’re a licensed electrician. The risks far outweigh the rewards, which range from harming yourself to potentially faulty wiring causing fires.)

Next, they’ll connect the rail cables and install the brackets. The rail must be set properly in order to ensure smooth lifting and lowering—you don’t want your loved one to have a bumpy ride. Nor do you want the chair to damage the microswitches in the unit. Once these components are installed, your contractor will attach the rails using heavy-duty brackets.

Finally, the seat angle will be set. This is a crucial part of installation that requires a lot of care and expertise—the wrong angle will not allow the stairlift to function properly. Then your installer will test and inspect the entire stairlift several times. If all is in working order, your loved one can enjoy their new mobility aid.

Why you shouldn’t DIY

There are several reasons you should avoid installing your own stairlift. First, as you now know, it’s a complicated and delicate installation, which is difficult for laypeople to do on their own. Safety is paramount, so it’s best to let experts do it for you. After all, they install stairlifts on a regular basis.

Second, if you try doing it yourself, you run the risk of voiding warranties and service opportunities. Your stairlift is an investment, so you’ll want to make sure that if anything goes wrong, you can call someone to troubleshoot. There’s no sense in voiding the warranty before your loved one even gets to use it.

Finally, you can’t guarantee that your DIY stairlift installation is safe enough for a loved one to use. It requires engineering skills to get everything just right. If you care enough to install a stairlift, you should make sure you also get someone to help with installation. It’s the best way to keep everyone safe and sound.

If you’re interested in purchasing a stairlift for your home, Penn York Medical offers several types. Call us today to learn about our mobility aids.