Many prospective stair lift owners call to request pricing for the installation of a new straight or curved stair lift for their home. While this is an important question, stair lift ownership almost always lasts for more than just one day, so the initial purchase and installation cost of a stair lift is not indicative of the cost of ownership for the duration of usage. The cost of ownership is the real question that prospective stair lift owners should be asking. To help you get a full picture of the expenses associated with owning and operating a residential stair lift, we offer the following information. We recognize that a stair lift that safely and conveniently transports an individual in his or her home is indeed an investment — and the most economically-feasible and emotionally-satisfying alternative to moving out of one’s home.
How to calculate the cost of ownership of a home stair lift
Purchase and installation
The is the first and most significant cost that consumers will encounter. Every stair lift company can give you a price quote for the home installation of a straight or curved lift, and this is just the starting point.
Batteries typically last between 2 and 5 years, depending on the number of trips, usage, and maintenance of a stair lift. New batteries can cost between $60 and $400. With that wide of a range, it is imperative to understand the cost of replacing batteries when they fail, as well as the anticipated life of the battery.
Annual maintenance and service
For most of the major manufacturers of stair lifts, an annual maintenance and service visit is needed to maintain the product’s warranty. An annual service cost for yearly routine maintenance should be included in the calculation, and this can be anywhere between $100 and $400.
Warranty duration and coverage
Stair lifts typically carry a 1 – 3 year warranty on the product. Should there be any issues with operation or repair, all labor and parts may be covered during that period.
Service or repair call outside of warranty
If a stair lift is not working and the lift is outside of the warranty period, there is typically a standard fee to come to the home to diagnose the problem. Depending on the issue and if replacement parts are needed, charges could start at $140 for a diagnosis and increase from there. The value of a quality lift and service is most noticeable in the long run after the warranty runs out.
Assuming that a stair lift is used for 5 years, here is a basic list for calculating the cost of ownership:
- installation cost
- cost of new batteries
- 4 x cost of annual service
- 1 x service repair
= total cost of ownership
The above calculation is a framework to make an apples-to-apples comparison of the 5-year cost of ownership for a stair lift. The calculation makes some assumptions that may not be applicable to your actual situation. That said, there are some non-quantifiable and intangible benefits listed below:
- location of the stair lift company
- average response time for lift repair or service
- responsiveness to phone calls
- how long the company has been around
- training of technicians
- company reputation and online reviews
You may also be interested in 15 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing a Power Stair Lift in the Lehigh Valley.
Power Stair Lifts of the Lehigh Valley is dedicated to meeting your mobility needs with stair lifts, platform lifts, and elevators. If you have any questions about the above information, please give us a call at 484-895-1188. Power Stair Lifts will be happy to answer all of your questions as you decide on a stair lift company.
Please be sure to visit these other helpful resources:
Lifestyles over 50 — Expert senior content, resources, and care
Power Stair Lifts is a member of Lehigh Valley Aging in Place, a resource helping families help seniors since 2005.
Grab Bar Pros — Safety solutions for bathrooms, entrances, and stairs