What is an outdoor stairlift?
An outdoor stairlift is a stairlift designed specifically for outdoor stairs. That includes a durable, weather-resistant chair and a rail that is made to handle a variety of climate conditions. Outdoor stairlifts also come with hard-wired landing controls, so that you can call the stairlift up or downstairs, making it feasible for multiple users. Typically, outdoor stairlifts are installed on deck stairs and front entryways, but they can also be used on patios or garage entrances.
Not every company sells outdoor stairlifts, so it’s important to ask about their availability upfront. It’s also important to recognize the difference between outdoor stairlifts and some of the other types of outdoor mobility lifts. In this guide, we’ll cover the key differences between the different types of outdoor lifts and give you the information you need to make an informed decision. Then, you can decide if an outdoor stairlift is right for you.
What is the difference between an outdoor stairlift, a vertical platform lift and an outdoor chair lift?
Vertical Platform Lifts or Porch Lifts
In addition to outdoor stairlifts, there are several other types of mobility lifts that can help you get in and out of your home. One of the most popular is a vertical platform lift, sometimes called a “porch lift”, because it is frequently used to help users get from the ground level up to an elevated porch or deck. Vertical platform lifts are especially useful for those using a wheelchair, because it’s a full platform that raises and lowers, carrying the user and their wheelchair safely up the stairs. While vertical platform lifts are great for wheelchair users, they can be difficult to install and aren’t suited to certain staircases. If you’re ambulatory and just want a solution to make climbing stairs a little easier, a stairlift is typically a better solution.
What is the difference between an outdoor stairlift and a chair lift?
A quick search for “outdoor chair lifts” will probably bring up your local ski resort. You might also find some examples of indoor “lift chairs”, which are lounge chairs or recliners, designed to extend and incline to help the user stand up from a seated position. Most of the time, when you hear someone talking about a chair lift (especially an outdoor chairlift), they are really just talking about a stairlift.
Can you use an indoor stair lift outside?
An important distinction between indoor and outdoor stairlifts is their ability to withstand the elements. While indoor stairlifts often come with aesthetically appealing features, like woven upholstery or wood trim, these features are not well-suited to outdoor conditions. An indoor stairlift installed outside will quickly breakdown and you’ll be back to square one. Make sure to ask your mobility provider if your outdoor stairlift is designed for local climate conditions, including inclement weather.
Can a Stannah stairlift be used outdoors?
Fortunately, Stannah’s 320 model stairlift is designed to handle the outdoors. Its durable plastic coating is waterproof and UV‑resistant, while the 320’s rail is made for all seasons. The 320’s arms, seat and footrest fold up easily, creating space for others using the stairs. It also comes with a protective cover to keep your stairlift clean dry all year round. Landing controls for the top and bottom of the of the stairs also come standard, allowing you to call the stairlift upstairs or down to the ground level.
Additional security and safety features
Stannah’s 320 model comes with a number of standard features to keep you safe and secure while boarding, riding and getting up from the stairlift’s chair. Check out some of our key safety features below.
The 320’s center-clasp seatbelt buckles around the user’s waist, ensuring that you won’t fall out while riding. This gives added security to those with limited mobility in their legs and provides added peace of mind as you travel up and down your outdoor staircase.
Footrest Safety Edges
Like our indoor models, Stannah’s outdoor stairlifts are all equipped with safety edges on the footrest and sides of the carriage. If there are obstructions on the stairs, or if the user’s foot drops down between the footrest and a stair tread, the stairlift will come to a gentle but immediate stop. This means that you’ll never have to worry about accidentally running over something while using your stairlift.
Chair Swivel at top of the stairs
When you get to the top of the stairs, the chair swivels to face the upper landing, so you can get off safely. The chair arms provide support and leverage, while the back of the chair offers a barrier between you and the open staircase, making it easy to disembark on the upper level.
What are the dimensions of an outdoor stairlift?
Outdoor stairlift dimensions and specifications can be found below. You can also learn more about Stannah’s outdoor model features on our product page.
If you’d like to learn more about our outdoor stairlifts, get in touch today! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, so you can decide if an outdoor stairlift is right for you.