Can A Stair Lift Be Added To A Narrow Staircase?

Posted on: 16 June 2022

A stair lift can be an important addition to many homes. Although the principle of the device is simple enough, it allows the user to retain their independence for longer—which can significantly improve a person's quality of life. An older person with mobility issues faces difficulty having to go up and down a flight of stairs each day—not to mention the potential danger of a fall. A stair lift immediately eliminates this difficulty and danger. Although you might be interested in installing a stair lift in your home, is your staircase actually wide enough?

Metal Track 

A narrow staircase can easily accommodate a lift. The only change to the staircase is the addition of the narrow metal track that must run along its entire length. The track itself isn't bulky, and will only extend into the width of the staircase by a few inches. It runs along the staircase's banister, and so doesn't pose a tripping hazard. But while the stair lift's track can easily be accommodated, what about its chair and motor?

Chair and Motor

Although there can be numerous variations between manufacturers and models, you will be able to find a chair and motor designed to be as compact as possible. The narrow motor will be fully contained beneath the seat. The seat itself should be able to be folded up, and the same goes for the armrests. When folded, the chair and motor are intended to be as narrow width as possible, while still being able to safely support the weight of the user. However, no matter how compact the chair and motor may be, they can still create an obstacle at the base or top of the staircase.

Extending the Track

Depending on the layout of your home, you can opt to extend the stair lift's track. Instead of coming to an end at the base or top of the stairs, the track can be extended further along the corridor, or even around a nearby, convenient corner (if one in fact exists). This allows the chair to move further than the stairs, and when not in use, it can be stored out of the way, allowing for free access to the staircase.

You shouldn't make any assumptions about the suitability of your staircase when it comes to a stair lift, and you should arrange to have the space professionally inspected by a stair lift provider. But if the width (or lack thereof) of your staircase was discouraging you, it's helpful to remember that even narrow staircases can easily accommodate a stair lift.