Consider Installing it Yourself: This actually applies to both new and used stair lifts. Most stair lifts that are made for a straight staircase can be installed fairly quickly and using only normal household tools. Talk with the dealer about the installation process and look at the installation instructions. If it seems like something you feel comfortable doing, you can save money by doing the installation yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable though, don’t do it and instead have the dealer arrange the installation.
Is there is a better way? Advances over the past several years has seen the introduction of many new stair technologies. One system that stands out is engineered, self-adjusting, stair brackets. This system makes stair construction easier, stronger and faster. Basic skill level requirements are all that is needed to build a perfect stair the first time. However, should you make a mistake, the brackets can be readjusted to reform the stair, eliminating the normal loss of stringers that is all too common in traditional stair construction.
Over the past several years, much has been done to address deck and stair safety issues, but we still have a long way to go. One glaring example of the failure in deck and stair safety protocol is the industry standard of permitting "hot dipped galvanized" anchors, screws, hangers and other hardware to be in direct contact with ACQ, pressure treated wood. The galvanic corrosion created between the high copper content of the wood and the galvanizing is so severe that the normal industry standard of G90 galvanizing will corrode in as little as 12 months and G185, such as Z-Max® can be gone in 24 months. The industry (including code officials) has adopted G185 as a fall back position with no engineering testing available to substantiate the validity or longevity of this adoption...this is a "knee jerk" reaction and is an accident waiting to happen. Without a barrier between the pressure treated wood and galvanized hardware, serious corrosion is inevitable.
Building stairs is one of the most challenging, time consuming building projects for most builders. Not all stair construction methods are equal. Some are much more user friendly and cost effective than others. Of course, in this economy, you need to save every penny on your deck stairs, basement stairs, or interior stairs. It’s interesting that many people with minimal experience are willing to tackle a simple deck project for the first time, but hit a brick wall when it comes to building stairs. It just seems complicated and out of reach for people with little or no experience. The good news is "you can build that stair".
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