If you want more mobility and accessibility in your garden, then you may wish to consider installing an outdoor stairlift.
Outdoor stairlifts fulfil the same role as traditional indoor ones do, only they need to do so often to cover a great deal more distance and be able to withstand and operate in all manner of weather conditions.
As a result of these factors, they are often much more expensive than the indoor variations. This makes getting the decision of which one to buy all the more important, and so your journey to making that decision will need to factor in several considerations.
Some of the key factors to consider when choosing an outdoor stairlift are as follows:
Is It Really An Outdoor Stairlift?
The first consideration sounds simple, but it’s an incredibly important factor. Some companies try to market indoor stairlifts as outdoor models, albeit with some protective coating on which may help it to stand-up to two or three years outdoors. However, especially here in the UK, it’s ill-advised to choose one of these products.
Instead, you want a stairlift that has specifically been designed and built for use outdoors. They will have been built to a specification that can stand-up to harsh weather conditions as well as perform as it’s required.
Do You Need A Cover?
Depending on what you need your outdoor stairlift for, it may be necessary to consider whether you need a cover installing on it to protect the user from inclement weather. This is likely to be necessary if using as an access mechanism to and from the property.
In addition to a cover for usage, what about a cover for storage when the stairlift is not in use? It can help prevent the seasonal wearing or deterioration of the unit.
It’s important not to overlook safety functionality on outdoor stairlifts, especially given that the public can potentially access it. Even if it’s just friends, family, neighbours and the postman, you want a stairlift that will not represent risk to any visitors to your property.
One important safety feature to insist on is an obstruction sensor, or sensors. These will instantly halt the operation of the stairlift if an obstruction is detected. This can protect the user if perhaps a foot or other part of the body is obstructing the path of the lift, it can protect visitors on your path and can also prevent family pets from being injured when the stairlift is in use.
A high-quality outdoor stairlift will be built to last, as we have alluded to above. So, when you’re researching products and companies, pay attention to which materials are used to construct the stairlift.
Generally speaking, aluminium and steel are the best types of metal for constructing rails and other key mechanical elements of an outdoor stairlift.
Make sure you think of some of the general factors you’d consider when purchasing an indoor stairlift. Does the chair need to be a swivel chair to allow easier access to the stairlift, and will it need to fold away when not in use to allow people to pass and use the stairs at other times?
Mounted To Wall Or Stairs?
Something to consider specifically with outdoor stairlifts is where they will be mounted to? Companies offer variants that can be mounted to the stairs themselves on a raised rail, or from an adjoining wall that may run up the side of the stairs.
Again, consider accessibility, convenience and strength of each structure when deciding on this, and speak to professionals who should be happy to offer their advice as well.
Warranty & On-Going Maintenance Plans
Finally, due to outdoor stairlifts being outside and in the eye of just about every extreme weather condition, you should quiz companies that are offering you the product about their after-sales care plans. First stop should be your warranty. How long does it last and what does it cover you for?
Also, what about regular servicing or on-going safety checks and repairs? What costs are involved and what do these cover you for?
Additionally, do your research on the companies themselves as well as on the brands of stairlifts and specific products they offer. Look for reviews about the service that other customers have received.
Speak To The Professionals
If you are still unsure of your requirements, or maybe you’re ready to proceed with an order, why not contact us today on 0151 525 3610 or alternatively, feel free to let us know what it is you need by completing our simple enquiry form here. Our skilled and dedicated team will be happy to help.