Home Elevators vs Stair Lifts

Home Elevators vs Stair Lifts

People who have difficulty in mobilizing from one level to another find it challenging to live in a home with more than one story. In such cases where people are unable to manage climbing the stairs due to an injury, illness, or any other disability, installing an elevator or a stair lift can help them to move from one level to another conveniently. For that matter, we compare both the options for you to make a better decision according to your requirements.


Stair lifts are more evident as they are difficult to conceal, some of them might fold while not being used. They come with seats or platform, safety bar or straps, and rails. Also, they come in different finishes. However, they are utilitarian in appearance. Elevators, on the other hand, have a shaft that can be concealed using different styles of doors as well as panels. Also, the elevators come in aesthetic styles and don’t need a lot of concealing. Click here to view different styles of home lifts and elevators.


Stair lifts are available in a range of widths to accommodate different styles of stairs. In most cases, removing a railing might be necessary in order to install the stair lift as the manufacturers might not provide with a narrow enough one for your stairwells. As a result, an additional amount of $50-$100 is added during the installation. Elevators also come in a wide range of widths and sizes. However, elevators with shafts may require additional space behind, below and above in order to accommodate the motor. A pneumatic elevator, however, requires the space for its cab only which is much less.


Stair lifts are faster, convenient and cost-effective when it comes to installation. They take three to four hours maximum, and most of them also come with a DIY kit to help you install them yourself. Elevators with shafts require a lot more time for the installation and might even take up to three weeks. Elevators without shafts, for instance, the pneumatic ones require lesser time but can still take up to a few days.

Cost Comparison

The average cost of a stair lift including the installation ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 where the cost of the lift itself is around $1,000 to $3,000 with the labor cost of $2,000 on average. Elevators have more types and installation options, and for that reason, their cost range is wider. A pneumatic elevator may cost you $10,000 where the elevator itself costs $5,000 to $7,000. And a hydraulic elevator may cost around $20,000 including the installation where the elevator itself costs $10,000.


Both the stair lifts and elevators require a yearly inspection and conduct the maintenance if necessary. Elevators particularly the cable-driven ones may require additional maintenance every five years to replace the cables.

You must consider the factors mentioned above and analyze your requirements to make the right decision as to what would be best for you: stair lifts or elevators.

Category Home Improvement