A question that customers often ask about stair lifts is whether it will get in the way. This concern is understandable since family and friends will likely need to use the stairs too.
The short answer is, “it depends”. In most cases, a stair lift will not be in the way. When not in use, a stair lift seat, armrests, and footrest can be folded to minimize the space it takes up on the stairs. When folded, most stair lifts take up only 12 to 15 inches of the stairway. If you have a standard staircase that is 36 inches wide or more, you should have no issues with normal stair traffic.
However, while it is not ideal, a stair lift can be installed in a stairway as narrow as 30 inches. If this is the case, other household members may find it more difficult to use the stairway. However, you need to weigh the benefits of installing a stair lift with the inconvenience it may cause other users.
You may also be concerned with the space at the bottom of the staircase. Depending on the layout of your home, the stair lift rail may take up some hallway space. However, many manufacturers such as Bruno, offer optional manual or power folding rails that can be stored out of the way when not in use.
Another option is to have a custom curved wraparound park design. This option “parks” the stair lift around the corner of the top or bottom of the stairway allowing you to easily load and unload the lift away from the stairs. It will also save valuable space on your stairway.
A qualified stair lift provider will be able to evaluate your staircase and determine if your stairs can accommodate a stair lift. Many providers offer free consultations during which they can address concerns about your stairs.