Install the stairlift yourself: is it possible and what do you have to consider?

5 min

Expensive, more expensive, stairlifts: In the case of sometimes five-digit amounts that local stairlift providers call for travel modules, rails and lift installation, consumers are naturally looking for potential savings. The skilled do-it-yourselfer immediately thinks of the Installation on your own. If the installation of the stairlift is not on the bill because you installed the lift yourself, that represents a relatively large saving. But can you really easily install a stairlift yourself or do you absolutely need the expertise of a professional?

Install the stairlift yourself: You have to consider this when it comes to the costs of the installation

Stairlift assembly: do it yourself or hire a professional?

One speaks of one Stair lift, one usually means a whole System consisting of driving module, drive, rail system and fastening. Which components are suitable is decided on the basis of the structural conditions and the individual physical limitations of the user.

Wheelchair lifts, for example, have a platform that can be driven on. Anyone who is not dependent on mobility aids such as wheelchairs or rollators can do everything right with the classic and much cheaper seat lift and save a lot of money compared to installing a wheelchair lift.

Also with the Type of attachment of a stairlift there are differences: B. between clamp, wall, cheek and harp attachment. With the latter, the stairs are largely spared. When planning, it is important that the necessary load-bearing capacity is guaranteed. Fastening, rails (monorail or double rail system) and travel module must therefore form a unit and be perfectly coordinated with one another.

The following table provides an overview of the types of installation and fastening and their advantages and disadvantages.

Types of fastening for stairlifts

Clamp fastening

With clamp fastening, the supports for the stair lift rails are fastened to clamps. These are simply screwed to the steps. This makes the clamp fastening very gentle on the building structure and particularly suitable for cantilevered stairs.

Wall mounting

A wall mounting is screwed directly to the wall. The resulting holes can be repaired relatively easily during dismantling. The supports of the guide rails are then mounted on the fastening with an angle. Here, too, the steps remain intact: Most of the time, the supports are simply placed on the steps. There is also a variant without supports for very stable walls and / or particularly light lift constructions.

Supports in the stairwell

The supports in the stairwell are particularly suitable for very narrow curved stairs. It is not necessary to drill into the steps. This type of fastening is therefore very gentle on the building structure and is accordingly well suited for apartment buildings.

Cheek fixation

As with wall mounting, the drill holes created by a cheek mounting can easily be repaired. The supports are attached to the inside of the stairs.


In the case of a harp attachment, the supports for the guide rails are placed on the steps. Drilling is not necessary. A clamp ensures that it is attached to the staircase harp.

Rail system as a cost driver

Lifts with large platforms are naturally more expensive than chair lifts. In addition, you have to pay a little more money for the sealed drive electronics of external lifts than for comparable internal lifts.

The rails also have a large share of the final costs. Apart from very short straight stairs, these are always made to measure. And here applies: the more complex, curvier and longer, the more expensive.

The rails are also the reason why Consumers with used stairlifts do not always and in any case save large sums of money. Especially when it comes to private purchases, the proverbial bottomless pit lurks here. Even when renting, there is no avoiding custom-made rails.

Rail systems

1-rail system

The monorail system has the lowest load-bearing capacity and is accordingly suitable for seat lifts that can transport a lower load than platform lifts, for example.

2-rail system

The rails of a two-rail system run parallel on top of each other and ensure increased load-bearing capacity – e.g. B. for wheelchair lifts.


With a horizontal start, the rail system has a horizontal approach.

Check financial aid

If you decide against DIY installation after careful consideration, you can also save without having to install the stairlift yourself. Regardless of age and state of health the state development bank KfW supports barrier-free renovation measures with a low-interest loan of up to 50,000 euros. Alternatively, private individuals can apply for a direct grant of up to 6,250 euros per residential unit. Furthermore, the tax deductibility must be checked.

Does the health or care insurance fund contribute to the stairlift costs?

People with a degree of care are entitled to the so-called Subsidy for measures to improve the living environment. Here the long-term care fund contributes up to 4,000 euros per person to the corresponding renovations. If several people in need of care live in the same household, the subsidy is granted a maximum of four times. This corresponds to a maximum funding amount of 16,000 euros.

If the need for care changes (care level upgrade), those affected can apply for the care insurance subsidy again in individual cases.

A contribution from the health insurance company to the costs as well as a direct participation in the purchase of a stairlift is excluded (with the statutory health insurances), since stairlifts are not regarded as care aids.

Install a stairlift in an apartment building

The purely prophylactic stairlift installation in apartment buildings is a good opportunity to increase the property’s value and to develop new tenant target groups. However, all owners have to agree on whether they want to install a stairlift themselves or hire a professional. Even the costs cannot necessarily be passed on to the tenants – unlike in the case of energy-efficient renovation with modern and sustainable heating systems.

Minimum running width and co

If you want to build a stairlift yourself, you must also observe building regulations

If you want to build a stairlift yourself, you must also observe building regulations.

In addition, the building law requirements for fire protection and the minimum width of the stairs in the apartment building must be observed. According to the DIN 18065, which is part of the technical building regulations of the federal states, the Minimum running width of 100 cm for a necessary staircase in houses with two or more residential units are not significantly or permanently undercut despite the stairlift. On an additional (not necessary) staircase, a minimum width of 50 cm is sufficient.

Even with straight stairs, a small curve at the staircase can therefore be useful so that the lift does not block any escape routes in the parking position. Folding seats and platforms are also suitable to save space.

Tenants who are demonstrably dependent on a stairlift may have a stairlift installed in the apartment building at their own expense. The right to barrier-free access to one’s own living space outweighs the interest of the owner / s not to make any structural changes to the property. However, owners are allowed to demand complete dismantling at the end of the lease. These costs are also to be borne by the respective tenant.

Security as an important factor

With a TÜV / GS seal it is not done. Even the safest stairlift becomes a danger if it slips during installation. Because the installation can be carried out relatively quickly and easily by specialist companies after the rails have been manufactured, the mere installation accounts for the smallest part of the total costs.

It is therefore doubtful whether the DIY stairlift installation really pays off – especially if you pay for the supposed savings afterwards with a certain loss.

In addition, questions about warranty and guarantee must be clarified. If something breaks during assembly on your own, in case of doubt you are left with the costs.

What does a stairlift including installation by a specialist company cost?

Local stairlift suppliers or sales partners the big brands and manufacturers usually make complete offers including rail system and assembly. Prices start at around 4,500 euros for a seat lift. A used model from the dealer is available (for straight stairs) from around 3,500 euros including installation. A platform lift for a winding staircase can quickly add up to 12,000 euros or more in total costs.

Photo credits: © wittayayut –, © hikdaigaku86 – (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)


Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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