When purchasing a stairlift for your home or business it can be very confusing trying to figure out the exact width you need. The average stairwell width is about 36 inches; the average chair lift utilizes about 14 inches of space on the stairs.
When the seat and footrest are in use, the unit can stick out as much as 26 inches. The average stairlift length (referred to as the track) is approximately 24 feet. You must also accommodate the extra 6-8 inches above the landing and 14-24 inches below the last step.
Start measuring your stairs by first deciding which side you would like your lift to be installed on, keep in mind the additional 6-8 inches at the top and 14-24 inches at the bottom, choose a side that will not block any doorways or entrances. You may need a folding stairlift if the track at the bottom or top blocks a door. Now stand at the top of stairs and extend your tape measure down to the landing (at the bottom of the stairs), letting it rest on the edge of each tread (top of the stair) along the way. The tape should not sag or bend along the way. Record the distance from the edge of the upper landing to where the end of the tape measure rests on the floor at the bottom of the stairs.
Next measure from the edge of the upper landing to the edge of the first stair’s tread (top of the stair) at the bottom. Next measure the width of your stairs treads this being from one wall to the other. Next measure from the edge of the first stair at the bottom to the wall or doorway which ever you may have. With all of these measurements in hand you will be able to confidentially know whether or not your new system will fit your needs.