Will I need to redecorate after my stairlift is installed?
Will the stairlift take up most of my stairs and how will other people get upstairs past it?
What is the maximum weight the stairlift will carry?
What happens if there is a power failure, will I be stranded?
How long does it take to install a stairlift?
How much does a stairlift cost to run?
Do I have to pay VAT on my stairlift?
Are there any grants or financial assistance available to help fund a stairlift?
When choosing a stairlift, how can I be sure that I’m making the right decision?
Our stairlifts are fitted to your staircase, not the wall, so there's a minimum of disruption to your home and no unsightly repairs to be made.
Stairlifts today are very slimline. When folded they usually take up around 350mm depending on the model. This leaves plenty of space for non-stairlift users to walk the stairs as normal.
The standard Brooks Superglide Stairlift has a maximum user weight of 20 stone.
Brooks do have an option that is suitable for larger users weighing a maximum of 25 stone.
The Bison 80 Stairlift has a maximum user weight of 18.8 stone.
All our stairlifts are battery powered and will continue to work even if you have a power cut. The lifts we install are designed with the advantages of safety, smooth power delivery and the ability to operate normally during a power failure.
A fully charged battery will complete approximately 15 return trips on an average straight staircase and 5 return trips on an average curved staircase. The actual number is dependent on the length of staircase, angle of staircase and the weight of the user.
Because the stairlifts we install are manufactured with installation in mind a straight lift will be installed in under half a day and a curved lift will take no more than one working day. Any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.
Before our installer leaves your home they will make sure that the stairlift is thoroughly tested and a full demonstration will be given, including all the lifts features, making sure you are perfectly happy and confident using the stairlift.
Our stairlifts have very low running costs due to the rechargeable battery that is fitted as standard. The rechargeable battery means that the stairlift isn't constantly using power when not in use, but "tops up" the battery when needed.
Our calculations predict that using your stairlift for seven return journeys a day, should cost you around £5.11 a year. Compared to other household items such as a kettle (£15.84) and a light bulb (£14.40), a stairlift has very low running costs.
You may be eligible for a 0% or reduced VAT rate if you meet certain criteria laid down by HM Revenue & Customs.
If you are disabled or chronically ill you will probably not have to pay any VAT on your stairlift.
Zero rating VAT on stairlifts
If the person is chronically ill or disabled then they are exempt for VAT on certain items, including stairlifts, for domestic or personal use.
A person is chronically sick or disabled if he/she:
• has a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out everyday activities;
• has a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes; or
• is terminally ill.
This does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied, or any person who is temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.
If a parent, spouse or guardian acts on behalf of a chronically sick or disabled person, your supply is treated as being made to that chronically sick or disabled person.
5% VAT relief
If you are not eligible for 0% VAT on stairlifts and you are over 60 years of age you are still eligible for 5% VAT relief.
This relief is for the supply and installation of a stairlift for users over the age of 60, when having the stairlift installed in their normal residence.
Please note, this relief only applies to stairlift installation in private homes.
How do you claim for 0% VAT on stairlifts?
You simply have to sign a written declaration claiming entitlement to VAT relief at the time of purchase of your stairlift.
Unsure if you are eligible?
There are severe penalties for making a false declaration. If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to purchase a stairlift without paying VAT, you should get advice from the VAT helpline on 0845 30 20 203.
You can also find out more information on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
Your local council may be able to help with a Disabled Facilities Grant.
A Disabled Facilities Grant can be used towards the cost of adapting your home to enable you to continue to live there. A grant is paid when the council considers that changes are necessary to meet your needs, and that the work is reasonable and practical.
A grant can be used for adaptations to give you better freedom of movement around your home - for example, by installing a stairlift.
The DirectGov website has lots of useful information and how to apply. Or alternatively you could contact your local council directly.
Having a stairlift installed is the solution to keeping and enjoying the pleasures of your surroundings. Compared to the cost of moving home or going into care, it is the most cost effective solution to remain in your home.