Stairs adjustment

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psychoduck
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Stairs adjustment

Post by psychoduck » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:34 am

Ok this is about stairs, and I hope this is in the right section.

My wife is disabled, she cant use the stairs, and we need a stair lift. A charity is helping us with home conversions, but the stairs are too steep for a stair lift. The solution, for them, is to turn our front room (in a small two up two down terrace) into a bedroom for her. But it will be a small single bed in the room, which means we'll be sleeping separate (which we currently have to, and dont want to continue that way). We dont want to both sleep downstairs, as we have a young son upstairs, but with a single bedroom conversion that wouldn't work anyway.

The reason for the lack of stair lift, is that they say the stairs dont have enough landing room at the top. The stairway basically goes horizontally between the two bedrooms, with a small square landing at the top and a step into each room. They think we need another 12" length of landing for the lift to work as needed.

Now, they say it cant be done... but I was wondering if anyone thinks it's possible, to have the stairs adjusted, so the top step comes out level for the length of 3 more steps, and then, have the steps go down one a time, til we reach the bottom (which is a large square area, where we could fit angled stairs, so the extra height we need to drop is lost partially on that corner, and an extra step coming out?

I know this isn't really asking for a job to be done, just IF it can be done. But we're at a loss here, and really dont want to leave our home of the last 15 years, because our son is just settled in school, and as we'll have to be moved to association housing (to get moved quick, as we rely on Carers pay and ESA private tenancy is hard to get here) we would need to leave the area we always wanted to live in.

Thanks for any help
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by Job and Knock » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:53 am

Hi

I'm not saying it can or can't be done, but maybe a photograph or a sketch or two would help clarify the current situation and help us give you an answer. I think it may be possible, but I think I need a bit more info to go on
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by psychoduck » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:00 pm

Hi,

Having trouble with pictures at the moment, my phone wont stop taking them at max resolution, and I have no easy way of shrinking them. I'll have to upload some from a laptop if still required later.

Ok the stairs are each 31"wide, 9"deep, 8" tall

AT the bottom, the first step from our dining room is onto a 31"x30" square (which is the bottom of the stairs), you then turn right and have 10 steps. Which are the 31x9x8 as mentioned before. The 11th step takes you onto another 31x30 square, from which there is a 9" step up on each side for the bedrooms.

Ideally, according to the stair lift fitter, that last step would not be there. So he would box the top step off so it was all flat, however, he thinks he needs the extra 12"-15", so the chair has room to stop and turn (they twist 30-45 degrees for getting off). But we'd also need the next two steps at the same level.

I think this means from the first none level step (technically step 4) we'd have a 36" drop, so would need to have the stairs adjusted in order to fit that 36" in, and I was hoping that if we keep the 9" height of each, we'd come down 7 stairs before we hit the square at the bottom. Have two angled steps there (where normally there is none), and then the extra step off. As the chair would need to be attached to the wall here anyway, the extra step being added will not impact the dining room space as we will already be adjusting for it.


I hope I explained that well enough, I'll be honest we're a bit desperate so ideas are going through my head that I have no idea if they're possible, but to me seem easy to explain, but I realise without photos or seeing the stairs it can be a pain
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by ayjay » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:47 pm

If the chairlift would actually fit and work with the current staircase, might it be possible to have some sort of raising platform on the top landing? It might need to replace the existing top landing, so it wouldn't be without some disruption.

Your wife's OT should have some sort of idea as to what is available.

I'm assuming your wife can still weight-bear, is her condition likely to worsen? You always need to think ahead before spending cash on what might only be a temporary solution. I've fallen foul of that problem with my wife more than once recently, (sometimes it's inevitable with a progressive illness, but best to always give it some thought).
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by Inky Pete » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:10 pm

How about a lift?

https://www.stiltz.co.uk/
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by ayjay » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:18 pm

Inky Pete wrote:How about a lift?
They start at about £10k, (iirc).
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by psychoduck » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:05 pm

ayjay wrote:If the chairlift would actually fit and work with the current staircase, might it be possible to have some sort of raising platform on the top landing? It might need to replace the existing top landing, so it wouldn't be without some disruption.

Your wife's OT should have some sort of idea as to what is available.

I'm assuming your wife can still weight-bear, is her condition likely to worsen? You always need to think ahead before spending cash on what might only be a temporary solution. I've fallen foul of that problem with my wife more than once recently, (sometimes it's inevitable with a progressive illness, but best to always give it some thought).
The charilift wont actually work without the top square coming out more. Whether they eliminate the top step via boxing, or a raising platform, the main square still needs to have the extra 12"-15" length.


My wife can weight-bear, but uses a crutch. Her condition will likely worsen over time, but our bedroom is currently set up with room for her to walk around with crutches, or use her wheelchair (she has one for her worst days outside the house, but we've tried it around the house to make sure we had room) So it really is the stairs that are the only issue, everything else is suitable.

It's a charity doing the work for us, so they obviously dont want to spend a fortune, but said they will do everything they can... but said they know of no way to change the layout of the stairs, other than to rebuild and reposition, which is too much work as we'd need to not be living in the home during it (as they said). But I've seen small adjustments before, as my dads friend years ago had stairs that were too steep, and they boxed them so each step was 2" lower, by adding two extra steps at the bottom. So hoped my idea may work too, I just dont have the know how to do it. I did build it with cardboard boxes, and it looked fine (obviously I'm not gonna walk up and down it) so the room is there.

2018 was just so full of bad luck for us, then we got told we were getting help and it all started to look good... to get told on New Years Eve that the stair lift is now not possible (they guessed as much two weeks ago, but they needed confirmation from the provider), and to be told we may have to move, it's really crushed my wife. I dont want to move either, but my wife wanted to live here for over 30 years, so when we got a house in this area 15 years ago, even with its small size, we never planned on wanting to move. I know things change, and you cant prepare for every eventuality, but being told it's definite hard no to finding a solution will be tough for her
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by psychoduck » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:35 pm

Inky Pete wrote:How about a lift?

https://www.stiltz.co.uk

A lift was suggested by the OT, but once the company came in to measure everything up for the adjustments, they said the only lift available was this huge square thing which took out a chunk of the dining room and our bedroom, and it really is a good size chunk cause of all the fittings.

The lift you linked to is much smaller and tidier, and I'm going to pass this on to them as it would leave a much smaller footprint and be a much better idea in general if the stairs are not able to be modified.
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by ayjay » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:16 pm

If you're stood at the top of the stairs looking down them and can see a bulkhead, then this will be the limiting factor when it comes to the alterations you want to achieve.

Gaining height at the bottom of the flight is necessary for what you want to do at the top, but if the bulkhead can't be moved or altered then the whole idea will be stopped before it's begun.

psychoduck wrote: A lift was suggested by the OT, but once the company came in to measure everything up for the adjustments, they said the only lift available was this huge square thing which took out a chunk of the dining room and our bedroom, and it really is a good size chunk cause of all the fittings.
Looking forwards, you may need a wheelchair accessible lift, and they are larger (and more expensive) than the domestic passenger lifts.
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by psychoduck » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:31 am

ayjay wrote:If you're stood at the top of the stairs looking down them and can see a bulkhead, then this will be the limiting factor when it comes to the alterations you want to achieve.

Gaining height at the bottom of the flight is necessary for what you want to do at the top, but if the bulkhead can't be moved or altered then the whole idea will be stopped before it's begun.

psychoduck wrote: A lift was suggested by the OT, but once the company came in to measure everything up for the adjustments, they said the only lift available was this huge square thing which took out a chunk of the dining room and our bedroom, and it really is a good size chunk cause of all the fittings.
Looking forwards, you may need a wheelchair accessible lift, and they are larger (and more expensive) than the domestic passenger lifts.

There is a bulkhead as you look down, if a bulkhead is what I'm thinking it is (haha). it's level with the second from bottom step. The Bulkhead is a cubbyhole in my sons bedroom. It used to house the waterheater many years ago, but now is empty except for a few toys. The wall seems like it's none structural though, so I'd hope it can be adjusted.

In fact, in my neighbours home... although it was years since the couple moved, so I may not remember this right and dont know the newer neighbours well enough to ask to peek... they had the same cubbyhole, but had an adjustment done, and it became a loft access. For some reason, in doing this, they had it narrowed, so it did not go over the stairwell as much... it pretty much covered the bottom 31x30 square, not going over the extra two steps.

A wheelchair lift is something we did think we may have to consider. Although with a stair lift, we'd have a wheel chair downstairs and upstairs. If the lift has rails, my wife should be able to stand with that support for a long time yet. It's really going up and down, or distance she has issue with (and will continue to do so) but standing for a period of time with something for support should be ok
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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by someone-else » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:34 am

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Re: Stairs adjustment

Post by ayjay » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:22 am

psychoduck wrote:
my wife should be able to stand with that support for a long time yet.
You can never guarantee anything: a specialist told my wife back in 2005 that she would never need a wheelchair, now she lives in one, (and has to be hoisted into it).

My wife has MS, by the end of 2014 she could still walk about a mile (albeit very slowly), with just a pair of sticks for assistance, she then got Shingles and within three days she couldn't get out of a chair unaided and had virtually lost the use of her legs.

She did get back to walking again in 2015 but was now down to about 300 yards maximum, and even that has gone now after further deterioration in February this year.
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