A stair lift serves the purpose of improving mobility as well as safety in the home. Would you be able to install your stair lift and insure that you have done it in a manner that insures maximum safety of the unit? Though it can save you money upfront, it may cost you down the road if injury occurs on the stair lift.

Does it void the warranty if you install it yourself?
There is risk of failure associated with any mechanical device. A warranty for stair lift parts is very important. The only stair lift manufacturers that market do-it-yourself installs with a warranty are TK Access, Summit and Acorn. You may risk voiding the warranty if the manufacturer requires a professional installation in the warranty contract.

Are there any laws regarding installation?
It may be a requirement in your area to have installed by a licensed professional. There may even be a need for permits. Check with your local building inspectors office for advice in your particular locality. By ignoring or disregarding the above two points the installer could well be breaking the law. Besides, would the average person who is fitting one for the first time be knowledgeable about the clearances needed, the electrical safety and the proper anchoring of one?

Does the “Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association”  have any advice on the matter?
The AMEA (Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) strongly advises against self installation of both new and used lifts. The AMEA points out that with self installation the consumer cannot possibly know if they have installed it in a safe manner. Also, the consumer can’t be sure if it has been installed in such a manner that ensures operational safety and that the installation conforms to local codes and regulations.

Do you need any special tools?
The only tools you need are a hammer, screwdriver, level and the kit. It is very important to consult with the owner’s manual in the kit before starting the installation but in general the basic installation steps are simple. Most quality instructions will have a needed tools list at the beginning, this makes a good checklist before you begin.

So what is the best way to install a stair lift?
Obviously hiring a professional to install your lift is the best idea in this case to insure safety, proper install and insuring proper codes and permits are followed. Do not let the idea of saving a few bucks get in the way of you and your loved ones safety.

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