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How Much Does It Cost To Put A Lift On The Stairs?

Imagine being able to take your groceries up a flight of stairs easily. Or, not having to worry about physically dragging a wheelchair up the stairs. Whether in a home, medical or commercial setting, putting a lift on stairs can give you an efficient way to travel between different floors.

But how much does such a project cost? It depends on the type of lift installed and other factors related to the space where it will be located. In this article, we’ll look at all the individual costs associated with putting a lift on stairs for both inside and outside applications.

Understand Your Needs

Before we get into pricing details, let’s ensure you understand your needs. If you or someone in your household has limited mobility or difficulty climbing stairs, a lift is likely the best way to ensure access to the upper levels of your home.

In addition, if an elevator is too large or impractical for your space, a stair lift could provide an alternative option to reach multiple levels within your home.

Costs Associated with Indoor Installation

When installing a lift inside your home or building, several factors must be taken into account to get an accurate cost estimate. The largest expense associated with indoor lifts is labor.

Depending on the type of model being installed, anywhere from one to four workers may be needed at any given time. You should also factor in your project’s installation materials, wiring, and piping.

Additionally, if you need to have components delivered and flooring redone after installation, these expenses should also be factored into your budget.

What Are The Different Types Of Lifts On The Market?

There are two main types of stair lifts: chair and standing. A chair lift requires more space than a vertical lift and therefore requires more space and reads more complex installation requirements. This lift is also generally more expensive due to its size and complexity.

Standing lifts offer more affordability and flexibility than chair lifts because they require less installation space. However, both types of lifts can provide a safe, efficient, and comfortable way to get upstairs or downstairs in your own home.

•      Platform Lift

Platform lifts are one of the most popular types of lifts for stairs. This lift has a platform that moves up and down the stairs along an aluminum track.

It’s great for easily transporting people and items up and down the staircase. Platform lifts typically cost between $10,000-$15,000.

•      Stair Climber

Stair climbers are battery-operated lifts designed to help those with mobility issues climb stairs without assistance.

These lifts can be quite costly and range in price from $20,000-$30,000.

•      Home Elevator

Home elevators are becoming increasingly popular among those looking to make their homes more accessible.

Home elevators typically cost between $25,000-$50,000, depending on size and features.

The Materials Involved & Cost Breakdown For Installing A Lift On Stairs

Once you have decided which type of lift would be best for your home’s specific needs, it’s time to start looking at the installation materials and associated costs.

When it comes to installing any lift on stairs, both labor costs and pricy equipment must be taken into consideration. First, let’s look at the various materials that will comprise your new lift system:

•                     Stair rails

•                     Sliding systems

•                     Lift mechanism

•                     Seat/platform

•                     Control panels

•                     Internal wiring/connectors

 Each element has an associated cost which can be broken down into three main parts: materials, labor costs, and added features you may want/require, such as an automatic door opener or alarm system.

Depending on these additional features and how complicated they are to install, labor costs can easily range from $500-$1,000+. Furthermore, the purchase price of the different components could range anywhere from $2,500-$8,000 depending on the make and model chosen (i.e., electric vs. battery-powered).

In total, a mid-range estimate for adding a lift onto stairs would be around $10,000 – $12000, which does not include any unforeseen complications or additional fees resulting from code compliance or contractor fees for extra wiring services, etc. 

Other Factors To Consider When Calculating Costs For Installing A Lift On Stairs

Aside from material costs and labor fees, several other factors should be considered when budgeting for an accessible stair lift. One example would be structural changes needed for proper lift installation, such as enlarging stairways, recalibrating door frames, etc.

In these cases, another qualified professional such as a carpenter or electrician, must come in to do an assessment (which will add to overall costs) before installation can begin so that no safety regulations are violated during the process.

Additionally, taxes MUST be accounted for when calculating overall elevator cost since they typically range between 8%-10%. Other factors include;

•      Number Of Floors

If your home has multiple floors or sets of stairs that require lifts, this will increase the project’s overall cost. 

•      Type Of Stairs

Stairs with curves or turns will require extra customization, which could add to your total cost depending on the project’s complexity.

•      Power Source

If you opt for an electric lift rather than a battery-powered one, this will increase your overall cost since electric models require wiring and installation by an electrician.

Other Lifts That Can Help Reduce Costs Associated With Installing A Lift On Stairs

If all these numbers seem overwhelming, there are other options available that could reduce the financial burden often associated with custom stair lifts – particularly if you want one temporarily while recovering from an injury or illness rather than permanently installing one inside your home right away (which should ideally always wait until after such medical issues have resolved completely).

Pre-owned wheelchair lifts come in many different shapes, sizes, configurations, styles, etc……and could represent great bang for the buck considering added convenience they provide despite being second hand – however, due diligence must still be followed regarding manufacturing date condition, history, etc. so thorough research is advised about possible pre-owned units before purchase/installation,  proposal or presentation period.


Installing a lift on stairs is an excellent way to make your home more accessible, but it’s important to consider all factors before making a final decision.

Knowing how much it costs is essential for any home improvement project, so consider all potential expenses, such as labor costs and power sources, before taking the plunge! With this knowledge, you can move forward confidently and create a safe and convenient home for yourself or your loved ones.

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