A customer with a tri-level home in Birmingham, MI called to ask about stair lifts. He thought he would need a curved stairlift to give his father access to all three floors of the house. After discussing the layout of the home, we suggested that he consider installing two straight stair lifts, one from the lower level to the middle level and one from the middle level to the upper level. This would save him several thousand dollars since straight stair lifts are so much less expensive than curved stair lifts.
The primary disadvantage of using two straight stair lifts is that to get from the top level to the bottom, or visa versa, the rider would have to transfer from one chair to the other at the middle level. However, this customer explained that his father would usually be going from one level to the next, rarely all the way from the top floor to the bottom floor or visa versa. So he wouldn’t have to transfer to the other chair.
The customer accepted our recommendation and purchased two Harmar Pinnacle straight stair lifts, which we installed “back-to-back”.
Our Highland Park customer was concerned that the rails on which the seats glide up and down would create a tripping hazard at the middle level. We explained that the rail coming up from the lower level could be cut so it wouldn’t extend more than a few inches. However the rail coming down from the top would normally extend about 12″ past the nose of the bottom step, which someone could trip over. To eliminate this risk, our customer purchased an optional folding rail for the upper stair lift. When the chair moves towards the upper level, the bottom section of the rail folds up and out of the way.