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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a chair that can get my Granddad upstairs safely - as he cannot bend his legs?

Indeed there is. There is one called a Perch Stairlift which means he can go upstairs standing and is perfectly safe.
 

My auntie has arthritis quite badly in both hands. Are the stairlifts easy to operate?

Many operate with vertical 'joysticks', which are fairly simple. But in this case we recommend a lift with 'rocker switches', which have been developed for cases like your aunt's. Castle Comfort's slim

line stairlift has one on both sides for use with either hand.
 

Can I get a second hand stair lift?

Yes you can. These are called 're-engineered' stairlifts and carry the same initial warranty as a new one. There is a good saving but not as much as sometimes people expect. This is because we do not fit 'old bangers' and in any case a new one will not be as much as you expect if you shop around. Companies like Castle have caused the cost of a stairlift in recent years to come right down by creating fierce competition in the industry. The best saving on a used stairlift is a curved one, which can be half the cost of a new chairlift.
 

What is the difference between a stairlift and a chairlift - or indeed a stair lift (two words) as with chair lift?

No difference at all. These are just a way of expressing the product. American spell checks on most computers use the two-word version but in Great Britain the one word version ~Stairlifts' is most commonly used. There is no right or wrong.
 

Can I hire a stairlift?

Yes we do rental systems - but this is only practical if the stairlift is definitely only going to be needed for a short period. Most people ask about renting because they think it is a cheaper option. After paying install and removal fees plus the monthly rent it can be cheaper and nicer to buy a new one. Generally if the lift is only going to be needed for less than 6 months, then renting is sensible. A new one owned for a year can be removed and in fact sold. Which leads us to a very important question...
 

Is there a stairlift for pets?

They are coming. A system for DOGS is being prototyped by a firm in, Essex - in Barking. That is the worst joke in the stairlift industry. If your aim now is smile instead of getting on with the serious effort of obtaining a chairlift - go to www.stairliftcartoons.com
 

What is the weight limit for stairlifts?

Straight stairlifts carry 18-20 stone as standard and depending on the make can be 23- 25 stone for heavier people. A 30 stone lift is now available. Straight or curved, which is an American model. Ask for details.
 

Do I have to take out a chair lifts maintenance contract?

No. But you should consider it for peace of mind. All Castle Comfort Stairlifts have a one-year warranty included. After this year you will be offered to take up varying schemes from one to four years extra cover. These schemes are usually direct with the manufacturer and can be good value for money. This includes an annual service and 24/7 break down cover. Often with nearly all stairlifts having a digital diagnostic display, we can determine on the phone why a lift appears not to be working - and often a call out is not necessary. Our advice is have your first year with the lift that will be nearly always trouble free - and then decide. If you decide not to take out insurance it's not the end of the world, and most repairs can be done simply and inexpensively.



The exception can be if a circuit board fails on an old lift and the part alone could cost over £300. In such cases we often offer a part exchange for a completely new lift. If a circuit board does fail - it is usually on a virtually new product (and therefore under warranty) - a bit like a motorcar - as it probably came out of the factory with a snag!



Where we do suggest that a scheme to look after your stairlift is taken up is if it is a curved system - as it is a little more complicated and complex than a straight one, and therefore more costly to fix.



The bottom line is -how many times have you taken up insurance on products in your home and never claimed?



Think about it and do what your instincts tell you. If you take a gamble in life, don't buy insurance - but if you like your bank account to be as safe as you are on the stairs - take out a warranty!
 

Do stair lifts fit to the wall?

Not these days. Years ago all stairlifts used to fit to the wall making an installation rather complicated. Now, as most lifts are slim line they fit comfortably and unobtrusively to the stairs whether those stairs are wooden concrete or of any other construction.
 

Does the answer to the previous question mean you will spoil my carpet?

No. The slim fixing bolts will of course cause a small penetration in the carpet but the pile of any reasonable quality carpet will totally hide the holes and not seen if and when the stairlift is removed. If you are having a new carpet then it is logical if possible to have it fitted before the stairlift - but a good carpet fitter can always work around around one that is already installed.
 

Do we have to buy a Stannah? Or are there cheaper alternatives?

There are many alternatives, some cheaper than a Stannah stairlift and some not. But generally prices have come down in the past two years to compete with other quality brands. See here what lifts are available. We can supply any of them, Acorn, Brooks, Minivator, Freelift etc and of course Stannah.
 

Are grants possible and if so who provides them?

Yes - but this can be a complicated, long-winded and daunting exercise. Local authorities assist with funding but this will involve a means test. Usually anyone with over £6,000 to his or her name in assets will not be awarded a grant. Even if granted, often-local councils do not have the funds to support them. Recently we were featured on BBC News providing a desperate case with a free stairlift from our Goods Deeds Fund. People who have worked hard all their lives and own their own properties are the ones who find it most difficult. It can also take two years for an application to be processed. Sometimes grants are possible through an ex-employer for example, the armed forces - We will explore this possibility for you.
 

Can a stairlift be fitted to my very narrow stairs?

Yes. Very rarely do we come across stairs, which cannot accommodate the necessary solution. In any case a survey is free and without obligation so just ask us to call and confirm it.
 

Is there a stairlift that goes around several corners?

Yes. Curved stairlift systems can have multiple bends in them. They can even be made for spiral stairs or even a lighthouse.
 

When my stairlift is no longer needed, can it be sold?

YES of course. But this is a contentious issue that often causes heartache when some companies have assured buyers that they will buy back the stair lift later. Often folk have been misled- either the supplier offers a ridiculously low amount or they refuse to buy it. At Castle Comfort we point out that we do not flat out guarantee to buy any lift back - but we work with trade companies who do and will liaise for you. The amount depends on demand at the time and market conditions - but never have we known more than £500 be offered for an unwanted lift. It is these days more likely to be between £100 and £300. You may get more if sold privately or advertised on www.stairlifttrader.com. Selling or buying a lift can have its complications in that rarely will a removed stairlift fit another property. In a nutshell - BEWARE. If a re-purchase is vital - be sure to get the offer put in writing from the company with all details - and how long that offer lasts for.
 

Should I get more than one quote for my stairlift?

YES without doubt. You will make your decision on not just price - but the reputation of the company and how they treat and respect you. Don't be tempted or bullied.
 

Does a stairlift cost much to run?

NO - pennies not pounds and that is each month. Most are DC powered - that means the batteries control things - and the only power used is the charge that keeps the batteries topped up all the time - and that is what costs pennies. DON'T turn off the charger at the plug as the batteries may go flat causing the need for new ones. If you go away for a few weeks and wish to deactivate the stair lift - switch it off on the controls first and then the plug. Call Castle Comfort for a reminder on how to do it - but the general advice is leave it all switched on - your stair lift will be ready and waiting for you when you get back!
 

When and who can I call if I have a problem?

Whether you have ordered the stairlift directly from us or through one of our approved manufacturers, you will have a 24/7 help line or you can call any of our regional stairlift offices. Or you can phone the factory number which will be found on the stairlift itself, or in the handbook. All that may be required is some advice.
 

My doctor says I should 'not give in' and keep trying to climb the stairs. Do you agree?

We are not doctors therefore would never offer medical advice or overrule your trusted GP. But common sense tells us all that a slip on the stairs when struggling to get up and down may cause your doctor more work but more importantly a lot of trouble for you and your loved ones who may have to look after you with a damaged limb caused when you fall downstairs. Climbing the stairs safely is vital. Much better exercise is a walk or try joining a group of health conscious like minded people who look after themselves under the guidance of a training professional. We have one client in Stoke on Trent who is a member of a gym at the age of 98!
 

What happens to the stairlift if there is a power cut?

The batteries continue to power it, so you can't be stuck!
 

How long does it take to fit a stairlift and will it make a lot of mess in the house?

A straight one rarely takes longer than 45 minutes - a curved one perhaps a morning or afternoon. There will be minimal inconvenience and any bits of mess caused will be tidied up by the very professional and ~house trained' engineer.
 

Are stairlifts complicated to use?

No. This is a product evolved with that aspect totally covered, as someone who may be getting on in years, or poorly of course needs a stairlift. Ease of use is ensured. However, we - or our manufacturers are always available at the end of a telephone line if help or assurance is needed.
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