For anyone who loves the outdoors, being confined to a porch or deck because of steps can be heartbreaking. Whether you want to travel through the neighborhood or across the country, the first step of your journey is getting safely off your deck or porch, even if it has stone or cement stairs. Outdoor stairlifts are made specifically for exterior use and can be installed on nearly any deck or porch including the straight or curved stairs at your vacation home or cabin. With an outdoor stairlift, you can enjoy your lawn and garden again, relax under the shade of your favorite tree, or even help bring in the groceries.
4 Key Considerations with Outdoor Stairlifts
If you have already started searching for outdoor stairlifts, all the different makes and models of outdoor stairlifts available today may leave you unsure of which outdoor chair lift is best for your situation. Well, there are several key factors that help you make a short-list of your best option. T An outdoor chairlift is designed to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors. While there are coated indoor stairlifts that are sold as outdoor stairlifts, these generally only last a few seasons before serious problems start happening. So even though these lifts are generally less expensive than a true outdoor chair lift, they don’t last nearly as long. How can you tell the difference?
- Check out the brochures of any stairlift companies. If the indoor lifts and the exterior lifts looks basically the same, they probably are.
- Review the specifications for any outdoor stairlift you are considering. You should see different materials and ratings that are specifically for outdoor use. You should see marine grade materials for the seat cushions, the electronics should be Underwriters Laboratories approved, and the cover for the chair should be integrated and not like a BBQ cover.
- The guiderails should be anodized with a hard chemical coating, and should be made from aluminum or steel. Though some companies use thinner rails to help reduce cost, if you need a long-term solution, make sure your rails are full sized sections.
- You need to be able to get off and on the stairlift as easy as possible. A swivel seat makes it easy to turn at the top or bottom of your exterior stairs so you can get on and off the chair safer and easier. Also, being able to fold the seat and footplate will ensure the stairlift is out of the way so others have full access to the stairs.
Now there are many more features available with most outdoor stairlifts, including a variety of materials, railings, colors, and remote options. Stairlifts can also be installed on a wide variety of stair types including long or winding stairs, such as those that might lead from the home to a boat dock. But if you keep the four key considerations in mind when creating your list of possible makes and models, you can feel confident that you making the most informed decision.
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