The Acorn Stair Lift: Acorn makes only straight stair lifts. Currently you can buy the Acorn Superglide stair lift. This home stair lift uses a modern rack and pinion drive system and is powered by DC 24 volt rechargeable batteries. The home stair lift also comes with two wireless remote controls with send/call features. You get safety sensors on both the footrest and carriage that will immediately stop the chair should any obstacle be encountered on the stairs or track. What sets Acorn apart is that they make a perch stair lift, which is ideal for those who have trouble bending the knees or for staircases that are narrower than normal.
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.
How does it work? The adjustable stair brackets are positioned on two 2x6’s -using a reusable spacing tool. The spacer is set using a chart which will give the exact setting for the rise and tread required for your project. Two screws are set in each bracket, attaching to the two 2x6’s. This forms a fully adjustable stringer which is then adjusted exactly to your stair requirements. Fixing screws are then inserted to lock the brackets in position. Two to three cuts total, top and bottom completes the stringer. Compared this to the dozens of cuts required for traditional construction. With this system, stairs can be built up to nine feet wide, using only the two outside stringers....no interior stringers required.
Other codes address "rail post support" safety. A rail post per code regulations is required to support a lateral load of 200 lbs. This is a poorly enforced area of the code and with many inspectors content with the bump test. If it doesn’t move too much when they bump it with their hip, the rail will pass inspection. Many rail posts are simply lagged or nailed to the rim joists and post which are mounted directly to the deck surface will simply not meet code. The tragedy is, there are systems available on the market that correctly address this problem. Simpson, USP and Deck-Loc have brackets which will meet code for rim joist attachment but there’s only one adjustable bracket system (discussed below) which will meet code for wood or composite stairs.
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