In general, stairway chair lifts can be classified into two categories – straight and curved stairway chair lifts. It's a fairly obvious distinction and categorization since these are mobility aids designed to help you go up the stairs and of course, stairways tend to either be straight or curved. Straight stairways do not pose any sort of problem for getting chair lifts installed, but if you have a staircase that is curved or contains a 90 degree or 180 degree bend in it, you might not immediately get a liftway in your house .
Luckily, you can, though, of course it is slowly more expensive to install a chair lift that has to go around a bend, however gentle the camber because it will probably have to be completely custom made. Straight stairways are easier because they can generally be installed from standard pre-made parts that are simply cut to size. Essentially, the most difficult part of the installation of a stairway chair lift to customize is the railing that the chair glides on. A straight railing is easy to make and easy to install, whereas a curved one would need to be carefully made for the specific curve or camber that the chair has to navigate and travel through.
So installing a stairlift chair on your stairway if you have aa flight of stairs that has any sort of bend it is definitely possible. These kinds of flights of stairs include stairs that have a half landing – usually for 90 degree turns in your stairs, or a full landing – usually created when you have 180 degree turn in the stairs. Some stairways have their turns and bends almost at the top of the stairs, while others have their short radius landings more in the middle; it obviously all depends on the space constraints in your house.
The most important thing when getting a stairlift chair that is going to travel any sort of bend (and yes they can even go up spiral staircases) is to make sure it is bespoke made. There is nothing worse than having the railing and chair hacked together from other old bits and pieces that do not quite fit properly and finding your chair gets stuck or snags when you come to going round the corner. Like they always say, buy cheap, buy twice, and this is especially true when you are talking about something that is going to carry you up and down your stairs every single day.
There are special cases when you can install two straight stairlift railing instead of one curved one. This is an option when your stairs make a full 180 degree bend or a full 90 degree turn half way up. In this case, you would in fact have to transfer from one chair to another on the landing so even though it is possible, it is usually safer to just plump for a curved stairlift and be done with it. If you are going for this option, however, it is advisable to get the installer to occasionally scrutinize your landing and give you an opinion on whether you need the landing to be changed slightly to allow a safer platform for transferring from one chair to the other .
The last thing you need to consider with curved stairway chair lifts is how the railings are attached because after all, if your stairs are positioned so that they have a wall half way up and then go around a corner and end up with a banister, people get worried that the banister will not hold the weight of the chair. Luckily, most stairlift chairs these days rely on railings that are embedded in the actual stairs so there is no weight placed on your wall or banister.