With the cost of everything appearing to spiral ever upwards, while wages never seem to keep pace, it is understandable that more and more people are opting to take on many jobs around the home themselves, where previously they would have hired a professional. In many instances, this can be a good thing, especially if you have a knack for handiwork and can work accurately and do a good job. But there are some jobs that are best left to the professionals for more reasons than just to save some money.
One of these is the assembly and fitting of a mobility aid called the stair chair lift. This is a very useful device for people with limited mobility, which can be brought about by advancing age, illness, infirmity or for people with disabilities for whatever climbing a staircase is either extremely difficult unaided or otherwise not possible. A correctly installed stair chair lift lift enables people to have complete access to all the rooms in their home where there is more than a single floor in the house.
However, an incorrectly or badly installed stair chair lift can be potentially dangerous or even fatal accident waiting to happen.
While there are many people with disabilities who are on low incomes, it is often the belief that they can save a great deal of money by buying and installing a stair lift by themselves, or getting a family member who is not a professional installer to do it for them. While this may be true in the short term, they could really be playing a game of Russian roulette with their lives and a badly installed stair lift could at some time malfunction. This could result, at the very least in costly repairs to the staircase if damaged, or a similarly costly outlay to hire a professional to come in and re-install the stair lift correctly. Worse, a malfunctioning stair chair lift could cause its user to have an accident on the stairs which could have far more expensive terms of money.
A stark warning has come from the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) that many people with disabilities are placing their lives at great risk by undertaking DIY home stair lift installation.
In the United States these concerns have been expressed strongly by the Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer's Association (AMEA), which states clearly that no individual can really know if they have correctly installed a domestic home stair chair lift unless they have had expert training. In general, consumers may be unaware of the conformance requirements in existence with local and national codes. These should be referenced locally for confirmation although in many locales, codes ASME A17.1, A18.1, and NFPA70 (National Electrical Code) should be adhered to for the consumer to be complying with the law.
It should also be pointed out that there is another hidden cost associated with self installation of a home stair lift, which is the fact that should anything go awry, there is no avenue of recompense. Without the professional insurance cover that qualified fitters are required by law to carry, any accidents during or after the installation are not covered.
Lastly, you should always be wary of salesmen who call at your home trying to sell you a stair chair lift. These people may not have your best interests at heart and often see the elderly or infirm as easy targets. You could end up paying far in excess of the going price for a shoddy product that may be installed by non-professional fitters.
It is always best to relly on reputed or personally recommended companies. While the costs of having a home stair chair lift may be initially expensive, you are paying for a professionally installed product that will bring you many years of trouble free service and peace of mind.