About 18 months ago my ability to negotiate the stairs diminished enough to make a stair lift a necessity. No problem, it's a straight set of stairs so it was an easy installation and quite reasonably price, important as I had to pay for them myself. If only I had thought that my wife might like to get the hall stairs and landing redecorated. Silly me!! Now it has become qite difficult because the stairlift is in the way, not impossible though. The real difficulty comes when we have new carpet fitted as we have to arrange to have it removed, carpet fitted, and then stairlift re-fitted once carpet is done. That's an extra £300 on the bill. Still, it will look nice when it's finished, and, more importantly, my wife will be happy. So if you think you may need one then get the decorating done now!!
bumpkin - It sits on brackets that are screwed to the stair treads through the existing carpet. As my wife wants fitted carpet for the stairs again it really needs to be taken out to give the carpet fitter a reasonably good chance to do a good job.
I can't see anything wrong with cutting around them as you will see the same result but it's your money and her choice apparently. By all means keep your wife happy but to my mind you are wasting your money.
" a good carpet fitter should be able to cut around them easily saving you the £300."
It'll look a right pigs ear if you have anyone cut around it, if they'll do it, and here's much more work involved in doing that than not, and eventually the carpet will start to lift around the rail feet.
For the extra money you're paying for the an extra man to help, so ask a local handyman to temporarily remove it and refit it. I did it for my mother, it's not a hard job, as has been said the feet just screw through the carpet into the treads. But I did slide the feet along so that they screwed into different treads so as the old holes wouldn't be loose.
Quickbeam - I might try to impose on two able bodied sons to help, after all I did lots for them whilst I was able. I just think it would be easier dealing with someone with experience rather than "We might be able to get round tomorrow Dad." Probably they still see me as I was rather than what I am now.
Sorted... Get the sons around. All they have to do is lay it on the floor out of the way while the carpet is fitted to the stairs and wait until the the stairs have been fitted.
The feet should easily slide to a different position for fitting onto another tread. You'll never align with the original fitting holes except by luck, and screwing almost next to the original holes will work loose before long and require refitting on another tread. I had to do that!
Sound as if you have the same sort of stairlift as me. Granted you want the job done properly but £300. Just how much per hour are these people charging and how long do they expect to take? Still if it keeps the missis happy and all that