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Stairlifts fall into three main types…

12:00am | & Tips and Advice

Stairlift installations differ widely according to the unique features of the staircase they’re designed for, but broadly speaking they fall into three types – straight, curved and outdoor.

Acorn Stairlifts are available in all three categories and can be fitted extremely quickly if your need is urgent, often next day. That’s even true for more complex curved stairlifts – more on that later – but for now let’s look in more detail at three main stairlift types.

Straight stairlifts. The simplest (and therefore lowest priced) type of stairlift is one fitted to a regular straight flight of stairs. It’s called a straight stairlift because the carriage (the part you ride on) travels along a straight rail, cut to the right length for the staircase where it will be used.

Acorn Stairlifts use a single light but very strong aluminium rail, which is securely fixed to the stairs, not the wall. It means there’s no messy or disruptive structural work, such as drilling through plaster and into masonry, and no need to redecorate. The stairlift takes its power from the nearest domestic plug socket, so there’s usually no need for rewiring either.

The domestic power supply goes to charging points at the top and bottom of the stairlift rail. When the carriage is ‘parked’ on either of these points the powerful rechargeable batteries in the carriage are automatically topped up. It means the stairlift will still run in a power cut, so you won’t be left stranded halfway up the stairs. It’s also very economical to run.

Even simple straight stairlifts differ between installations, with various modifications available to suit their particular setting. One popular modification is a short hinged rail section at the foot of the stairs. It allows that section to be folded up out of the way (electrically or manually) when the stairlift isn’t in use if the bottom end of the rail would otherwise cause an obstruction or trip hazard. An Acorn Straight Stairlift can be installed by our skilled engineers in about an hour.

Curved Stairlifts: These are stairlifts which, as the name suggests, need a rail which has at least one curve or bend in it. Some staircases are genuinely curved, but many more are ‘return staircases’, which have a small landing part-way up and then change direction, usually by 90° or a full 180°, going back on themselves.

The stairlift rail needs to curve smoothly through these angles, often rising at the same time to follow the contours of the staircase. A more detailed survey is needed for a ‘non-straight’ staircase so a stairlift rail can be designed to fit it. Traditionally these one-off rails are built in a factory before being transported to site for fitting – a process which can take several weeks.

However, Acorn Stairlifts has revolutionised this process with its patented FastTrack® system for curved stairlift rails. It means a curved stairlift can be installed within days of a customer’s first inquiry, even next day is urgency is paramount.

FastTrack® is a modular system of interlocking rail sections. The staircase survey dictates which pre-made sections are needed to construct a bespoke curved rail for that staircase. An Acorn engineer then travels to site with those sections to assemble and fine-tune the rail on site in a few hours.

As well as slashing installation times for a curved stairlift, it has also reduced the cost. Some people assume their stairs are too quirky or unique to accommodate a stairlift, but the FastTrack® system is extremely versatile and adaptable. There are very few situations where it can’t provide a solution.

Outdoor stairlifts: If there are steps to the door of your house, a steeply sloping drive, or if you have a split-level garden, then you could benefit from an outdoor stairlift. Acorn’s outdoor stairlift is a variation of its indoor straight stairlift which has been fully weatherproofed for use outdoors. That includes a durable waterproof cover to secure over the stairlift carriage when not in use.

Like all Acorn Stairlifts, it can be easily immobilised when not needed using the lockable key switch. It has all the same comfort and safety features as our indoor straight stairlift and is supplied with two remote control handsets. The only modification you might need is an outdoor power supply to the location of your stairlift, but this is a simple job for a qualified electrician.

Whatever type of stairlift you need, Acorn Stairlifts can help. Give us a call today on 0808 223 4871 or click on the ‘Quick Free Quote’ button at the top right of this page. Your home survey and all-inclusive quote are completely free and carry no obligation to purchase. Your quote is valid for a year, giving you plenty of time to decide or seek other quotes, but we’re confident you’ll find an Acorn Stairlift offers the best all-round quality and value on the market.

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