Today my hubby and I went over to the new house, and after sharing a sandwich lunch, he left me there for the afternoon so that I could meet the representative from Acorn Stairlifts to discuss whether it was feasible to have a stairlift fitted. When I first arrived, I photographed the latest work to be done – there were no builders there today, but I could see what Chris had done when he’d been there in my absence on Friday.
First of all, he has made a start on stripping off the wallpaper from the hall, stairs and landing.
Interesting to see green underneath the wallpaper! I was watching a TV programme this evening which showed an old house where some of the plaster was flaking off, so they got an expert in to remove it all, and they found a historically important portrait of Henry VIII on the wall underneath! What a thrill it would be if something turned up during our house renovation… (Not likely to happen, but fun to dream!)
In the annexe kitchen, the boiler and tank are now exposed and ready for removal. (Nothing of great archaeological interest here, I’m afraid!)
There may be someone there tomorrow, but we can’t spend much time there – we are going out for lunch and will take our friend over to see the house in the afternoon but it will just be a short visit to give the guided tour.
The main purpose of today’s visit was to discuss the stairlift. It was an extremely fruitful visit! The Acorn representative said the staircase posed absolutely no problem; it is a straight staircase and would be a simple job. The only thing was the door into the annexe which is right at the foot of the stairs (see second photo above) but as I expected from my initial researches, all that is required is a hinged track. The track extends beyond the stairs, across the corner of the door, when the seat is in the “down” position, but as you go up, the track hinges upwards after you so that it leaves no obstruction across the door. The only time there is an obstruction is when the seat is at the bottom, and when not in use, it can be “parked” a few stairs up, out of the way.
He showed me lots of pictures from his large brochure. When installed, the whole thing will be very neat, and not impact the normal use of the staircase much at all.
He then proceeded to give me the different purchase options. He said they had a rental option – this is mostly for people who require a stairlift for a limited period, and mostly this period is for less than two years, and generally a lot less than this. It becomes uneconomic to rent for a longer period. You can buy a brand new system, or you can buy a refurbished one (3 different levels for this; he didn’t recommend option C as this usually involved an older, obsolete, and larger model). Option A looked the most favourable. All the refurbs would be ex-rental ones which would have a complete factory overhall, new seat, and a brand new track fitted. It would carry the same guarantee as a brand new one.
He said the trouble was, there was limited availability on refurbs at the moment. Sometimes there were plenty, but he did know that they didn’t have any at present. However, he said that if a customer had chosen that option under these circumstances, the company would offer a brand new system at a refurb price! This is the option that I have chosen.
He phoned through to the office, and then discovered that he had quoted me the price of a manual hinge (which you work yourself by pulling it up after you as the chair ascends) instead of the automatic one which of course was more expensive, but because he had done this, they agreed to let me have the automatic one at the manual price!!
With the signing of the VAT exemption form on top of all these discounts, I reckon I have got a very good deal indeed. All that remained was for me to pay a deposit, and he told the office that the house was empty, with building work taking place, and once we had moved in, I would contact them and arrange for installation. They need a couple of days’ notice but the work itself will only take two or three hours! I need to discuss the position of the power point with Andy but this will be a minor detail.
Altogether very painless! It’s one more thing that is now sorted out, and I am also very pleased that it is costing quite a bit less than I expected. It is going to make a huge difference to me. Although I can manage the stairs, they do take a lot of energy which could be usefully saved for more profitable purposes, and if I have things that need to be carried up and down stairs and I feel able to manage the stairs, the stairlift can be used to carry things. It has two remote controls and can be operated from up or down stairs.
After the representative had gone, I went upstairs and finished cleaning out the mirrored wardrobe in the main bedroom, and did a bit more measuring. I am glad of the extra time before most of the building work begins, because it enables me to be more flexible and make any necessary changes to the plans.
After this, there was just time to have a cup of tea and wash the cups before my hubby came for me. We picked up another Chinese on the way home. A bit tired this evening after my efforts but so worth it!