At Dermer Stairlifts and Mobility, we believe in providing our customers with the highest in quality service and education regarding our industry and the services we provide. We don’t just specialize in providing mobility and independence for those who are elderly or disabled but also for those who look after them; knowing we are there for you and your loved ones.
Check out our frequently asked questions below and if you’d like to know more and/or schedule a free in-home estimate, please feel free to contact us today at 1-866-454-3896.
How much is a stairlift?
Stairlifts vary in price depending on the model and style. A new Bruno stair lift for a common indoor straight stairway costs between $3,000.00-$4,000.00 for a basic stair lift to as high $7,000.00-$8000.00 for the luxury model that includes all the bells and whistles. New outdoor straight stair lifts start at the $4,000.00-$5000.00 range. There are virtually additional options that can be added to an outdoor straight lift other than if you would require an extra-long rail. Bruno keeps the electronics simple due to its exposure to the elements. Bruno indoor and outdoor curved lifts are custom made and do not snap together like other manufacturers. They start at $7,000.00-$8000.00 for indoor and $9,000.00-$10,000.00 for outdoor. The price depends on the type of turn, number of turns, length of rail or track and optional bells and whistles. All commercial lifts and multifamily homes do run higher being in New York State because they require an overspeed brake and a possible permit from the municipality of where it is being installed.
Can stairlifts be installed in any style home or do they typically require extra construction?
Generally, we can install a lift in any home as long as the stairway has the proper width to accommodate both the lift and the user. On very rare occasions, minor alterations need to be made prior to installation. More occasionally a licensed electrician may be required to bring an electric receptacle to the lift’s location. In these cases, either the homeowner can do it themselves, hire their own contractor, or use one of Dermer’s recommended contractors.
Do stairlifts require maintenance?
The manufacturer Bruno recommends that their lifts receive maintenance one time each year performed by Bruno certified technicians with one exception. Bruno has a patent on their indoor straight rail system with one unique feature. It has a constant charging strip going the length of the track (as opposed to only an upper and lower charging station). So, it is virtually impossible for your lift’s batteries not to receive the proper charging. However, experience proves that outdoor lifts located near the salt water and sand require more and frequent maintenance. Commercial lifts are mandated to receive maintenance every 6 months.
Can stairlifts be customized to match your home?
It all depends on the model selected. Some can have certain parts of the lift custom painted and upholstered at additional cost.
Are there many color and style options?
The choice of paint color options is enormous. The upholstery colors from the manufacturer are standard color but some models offer 4 optional colors at additional cost. However, the chair cushions on every stair lift are removable and can be upholstered separately. I even had one customer have the chair upholstered to match their curtains!
Does my stairway need to have a wall on both sides to accommodate the stair lift?
No, many customers first ask “are my walls strong enough?” The stair lift does not touch any walls. The rail (track) is attached to the stair treads (where you place your feet) in strategic areas and the chair attaches to that rail.
Is there a weight limit?
Yes, Bruno has one model that has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and another at 400-pound capacity.
Can stair lifts be used outside?
Yes, Bruno makes stair lifts specifically for the outdoors. They come with marine grade vinyl upholstery, stainless steel hardware and a cover.
How long does it take a stairlift to be installed?
It all depends on the model and its features. In most cases a straight stair lift is installed within 3-4 hours. A curved lift is typically installed in 5-6 hours. However those that wind up many floors can take as long as 2 days.
Are there different types of stairlifts that would be more beneficial for my loved one depending on their medical condition?
There are. Upon my evaluating the user, their prognosis, and capabilities, as well as the type and width of stairs one might be more suited for instance to add a power option for assistance and easier operation. Other situations such as door at the very bottom of the staircase would warrant a rail that folds up out of the way to alleviate a tripping hazard.
Can stairlifts help my loved one do daily tasks more safely?
Absolutely! Stair lifts do not only give you more independence but also should more that 1 person live in the residence one could send up or down the laundry basket or groceries with it.
What are the odds of accidental falls on a stairlift?
One in 100 million! Bruno stair lifts are extremely safe. Bruno designs their stairlifts with priority being safety and ease of operation in mind. They know the demographic age of their users and all that would be necessary to make them feel as safe and secure as possible. Included on every stair lift are features such as a retractable seat belt, several sensors that detect obstacles, and will not run if not in the proper operating position. I personally have never heard or been called with an accident ever occurring on any of Bruno’s products.
When is the right time to start looking for a stairlift? (What is the signs mom or dad need one)
That all depends. The obvious answer is once one starts having difficulty climbing stairs, this would be the proper time. My famous saying is “it only takes 1 fall!” I’d also add that although you might think the bathroom is the most likely place for an accident to occur, that’s not the case! Fact is, there have been articles written stating that stairs are the most likely place for one to experience an accident in their home. It’s also important to note that there are alternative reasons one might need a stair lift other than the senior age group including disabled children and younger adults to those with epilepsy and other debilitating ailments.
I have seen so much variation in price with stairlifts. Why the huge price differences?
Most price disparities come into play mostly when one compares straight lifts to curved lifts. Another thing to consider when comparing straight lifts is the brand. Most do not realize the price difference between Bruno, which is one of (if not the most) highly rated lifts in the industry, to what I call junk or lowest priced lifts which is a mere couple of hundred dollars at most. I have even personally experienced some of these inferior stairlifts salespeople charging more to some than others for the same lift. It is shameful that they are mostly taking advantage of seniors. Some do not do their homework and do not want you to know what I am divulging. While price is something to consider, Bruno does not want the reputation of being the cheapest lift – they want to be respected as the best lift.
If I sell my house can I take it with me or is it all custom built?
Generally, all straight lifts can be transported and reinstalled. That being said, there are some considerations. If the lift will be going onto a longer stairway it will be more costly because they will need to invest in some additional parts as well as labor. When reinstalling on a shorter stairway we can adapt it without the need to purchase parts and charge only labor. When it comes to custom curved lifts, unfortunately most cannot be transferred. If a neighbor who has the exact stairway and is interested, you hit the jackpot! In some cases, if the lift is not very old I will offer money to buy only the chair back. I can offer a new customer a discount on their lift as well as use it for parts. I discount the price of the part if used. We will however remove the entire lift for a fee which often off sets the purchase price of the chair.
Is there a manual override if I lose power?
No but, the fact is in today’s world all stairlifts run on battery power. However, we need an receptacle to plug in the battery charger. Depending on the model the most amperage Bruno’s lifts draw is 2 amperes (Amps). This is very little power. You will not see any increase on your electric bill from installing a stair lift. So, if you were to lose power or even worse have a fire in which case the fire department will immediately shut off the power to your home the lift will still operate for you to get out of your home.
We are a multigenerational family. Is there a way that only my mom or dad can use it and not my kids?
Yes, there are several ways to disable the stairlift that we will show you upon installation. In addition, we will show you how to place the lift into vacation mode which prevents the batteries from overcharging. The overcharging over time will shorten the life span of the batteries. We will demonstrate every aspect of the lift including all of the do’s and don’ts. We are not in the business of seeing our customers constantly needing repairs or batteries. We will show you how to get the most and best experience of owning a stair lift. We will not only show you how to operate the lift but will also show you how to properly get on and off the chair. If this is not done properly it could lead to costly repairs. Most others will not show you these important tips. They want to have service calls and constantly sell you batteries. It’s important to note the quality of the battery as well. Just like when you go into any store, there is the top quality item and the inferior no name brand. When you buy a stair lift from us, you can expect a full explanation and instruction on how to use the lift to keep running optimally and keep your little ones safe. Our installers will not leave your home until every question is answered. If after you leave you have more questions, we are only a phone call away. You will have the owners personal cell phone number. We are old school!
What if the seat is very uncomfortable, can we try it and then swap out different seats?
Upon a site visit we will go over every aspect of each Bruno stair lift and the differences between them. Bruno makes 2 styles of seats. Both are upholstered, however the luxury model is plusher and has upholstered armrests as well. Unfortunately, one does not adapt to the other so we cannot swap out the seats. Keep in mind, in most cases it is a very short time you are in the chair. I have never been told the seat was uncomfortable.
Is there a chance my insurance can cover the entire cost and will you deal with them directly?
This is one of the most common questions asked. I wish it were. I would sell a lift in every home I visit and be a multi-millionaire. Most if not all insurance companies do not cover stair lifts. Nor does Medicare or Medicaid. I have heard that some long-term healthcare policies cover it or a portion of it if you have an addendum added to your policy that covers DME equipment (Durable Medical Equipment).
Is there a warranty on this product?
Yes, every Bruno stairlift I sell comes with a warranty on parts and labor, whether new or used, straight or curved. The warranty differs depending on the model. I have never been accused of selling a lemon. If interested in a used lift it has been thoroughly tested before we acquired it. We do not sell refurbished or reconditioned stair lifts. I do not buy it. With my experience, it is the same price to purchase a new lift from the factory as it is to refurbish or recondition a broken lift when you factor in the price of all the parts that have to be bought to make it functional. Most lifts we acquire are from users moving or passing away unfortunately. It is one aspect of this business that is difficult.
Can I lease instead of purchase?
Yes, you can lease. The firm we use offers up to 5 years to pay for the lift. I also offer a rental with option to purchase arrangement which suits some more favorably.
How much construction is involved/damage etc. to install?
There is virtually no construction ever involved. It is the very rare occasion that someone will need to alter a door jamb or handrail at most. If need be, we have all the trades required as well as licensed electricians to fill any need should our customer request it. There is also no damage other than that we must sink 3/8th screws into the stair tread for the rail (track) supports at strategic points which is not on every step.
Do the seats come in different sizes (for obese people in particular). Is there a weight limit?
Yes, The Elan model has a 300-pound weight capacity and the Elite (straight and curved) have a 400-pound weight capacity. When purchasing the Elite model not only do you have the option for a larger seat but also a larger footrest as well.
Are there updated styles for a modern look? Color options, leather, etc?
Bruno has just updated the style of their straight and curved indoor stairlifts. The color was updated to a warm gray color. The Elan model was updated to a new look with some new features. On the outdoor models they now offer a new type of cover. So now you have a choice of cover.
What happens when there is an L shaped stairway?
We can accomplish this type of stairway in one of two ways: either with a custom curved stairlift or by placing 2-straight lifts (which costs substantially less). However, by installing the 2-straight lifts it requires the user to transfer from 1 chair to the other on the mid-landing. This is important to consider.
What are the top brands?
I believe Bruno is the best. That’s why I only sell Bruno stair lifts and am a preferred dealer. It is the only brand I trust. Talk is cheap please refer to the internet to prove my point for its quality and ratings.
What are the most common repairs?
The most common repairs are by far battery replacement. We will tell you and show you how to get the most life out of your batteries. Others will not.
Do I need to charge batteries often?
All of todays lifts operate on what is called a trickle charge. So what that means is the lifts batteries are always charging when not operating the lift. The only time the batteries are not being charged is when you are moving up and down the stairs. The other is at the top when you must turn the chair (swivel) to properly exit the lift. After you exit the seat you must place the seat back into the original operation position. If you do not do this the lift will start to beep asking you to put me back. A powered automatic swivel is also available at addition cost on all of Bruno indoor stair lifts. Remember Bruno has a patent on their rail (track) with the means of charging your batteries no matter where it is the rail on the straight lifts. They are the only ones that have this feature as well as the design that takes up the least amount of space on your stairway. On the curved and outdoor models you must keep the chair at the very top or bottom when not in use unless you have arranged to have mid-park charging stations installed.
Is there a basket on the chair to help carry things?
No, however as I mentioned earlier, you can place a box or basket on the chair itself and send it up or down. It is also not recommended to hang anything on or from the armrests.