Wheelchair ramps for home use come in many different shapes and sizes and beyond their physical appearance they each have specific applications they are ideally suited for. When choosing the right wheelchair ramp it's important to know as much as you can about each type so you can make an informed decision while ensuring the safety of anyone that uses the ramp.
The right ramp will potentially reduce the overall cost, provide safe access and make it easier to use for whatever the purpose may be. There are many different types of wheelchair ramps and different materials used to manufacture them. They all have the advantages and disadvantages and we hope that after reading this page you have a better understanding of which ramp is right for you.
There are millions of individuals who use wheelchairs, scooters or other assistive devices either temporarily or permanently which makes accessibility both at home and abroad extremely important. Whether you want to convert the front stairs of your home into a wheelchair accessible ramp way, attach an aluminum modular ramp to your mobile home or gain access to your vehicle while travelling, there is a ramp designed for each application.
We'll go over the different types of permanent wheelchair ramps for home applications as well as talk about portable ramps for when you are out fulfilling errands, travelling or visiting family and friends. In addition we will go over some of the basic wheelchair ramp specifications as well as how to choose the right wheelchair ramp based on length, slope and weight requirements.
There are different styles of ramps that are designed to be used around your home including aluminum, wood and threshold ramps. As we go over the different types it will be important to keep in mind the weight and length requirements as well as where the ramp will be located. You may be limited by any of these factors that need to be considered to ensure a safe and compliant ramp.
An aluminum wheelchair ramp can range from anything between a simple one direction ramp to a multi-turn shape designed for space and height requirements. They can also include railings, switchbacks or multiple landings depending on your unique requirements and because they are lightweight it makes them easy to transport even though they are often manufactured as one piece.
They are the most common style of ramp you will find in residences all over North America and will stand up to almost any weather conditions. Whether you own a mobile home or want to bypass the front steps to your house they can be set up just about anywhere. They are often installed permanently at residences, businesses or public buildings and may require a building permit if your geographic area requires.
If you are looking for a semi-permanent, durable and easy to install ramp for the exterior of your home you will find a sectional modular ramp beneficial. A modular aluminum ramp comes in many different sizes, shapes and the multiple sections make them very customizable as well as being easy to build. They don't require a building permit because they aren't considered a permanent ramp.
A wood wheelchair ramp is great idea you are a do-it-yourself handy person or know someone that is willing to help you install a permanent ramp at your residence. They can be custom built to just about any size you can imagine and can be purchased in kits or built from specs or drawings. They are ideal for mobile homes and detached residences especially if you want an aesthetically appealing ramp that matches the rest of your homes decor.
If you are constructing the ramp to be used outside you will want to keep the weather and elements in mind. If you experience rain, humidity or even snow you should use pressure treated lumber and seal it with a quality paint or sealer. The last thing you want is for your ramp to rot and render the ramp unsafe to use. Keep in mind that all permanent wheelchair ramps for home use should follow the American's with Disability's Act guidelines.
Wood ramps are an affordable option and will be less expensive to install compared to aluminum modular ramps. They are ideal for anyone that wants to build their own ramp just how they like it with a bit of elbow grease and creativity and are very common wheelchair ramps for home use.
The most durable and permanent style of wheelchair ramps for home use are concrete ramps. They are not as common in residential applications but they can work quite well for some homeowners if you are prepared for a bit of work and possibly a higher cost. You can be assured that it will stand up to the harshest of weather conditions in addition to being naturally slip-resistant.
A threshold ramp is a basic ramp that is designed for tight spaces or small changes in elevation. They are commonly used in door entranceways or to create a smooth transition over sliding door tracks. Plenty more information can be found by reading our threshold wheelchair ramps page including the different materials and their advantages and disadvantages.
Portable wheelchair ramps are the most widely used style and the most common type of ramp you will find on the market. They are versatile, sturdy and lightweight and can be found in different styles including; track, telescoping and rollup. Read more about portable wheelchair ramps and how they will give you the freedom to go anywhere you want, whenever you want and aren't just considered wheelchair ramps for home.
Vehicle ramps are designed exactly for what they are called including; cars, vans and sport utility vehicles. They are available in both temporary and permanent styles so you will have to decide which is best for you. It's also important to consider if the ramp will be needed for an occupied or unoccupied mobility device as there are different requirements. If you want more information about wheelchair ramps for vans and other vehicles you can find out more by following the link.
After you have decided which type of ramp you will be using it's time to choose a ramp with the right specifications. Wheelchair ramps for home use as well as portable ramps are available in differing lengths, widths and weight ratings it's just a matter of choosing the best ramp for your needs.
The first determination will be to figure out what length of ramp you need and to do that we need to use the wheelchair ramp slope calculator. The recommended lengths vary depending if the user will be in the chair during use or if the ramp will be only used for loading and unloading. The basic rules set out for ramp slope are:
If you would like more detailed information be sure to read our wheelchair ramp specifications page.
In general, the longer the ramp the easier it will be to use and the safer it will be for everyone using it. In some instances you may be limited by space or other challenges and this is where you might want to consider a different type of ramp. A rough estimate for ramps lengths based on the type are as follows.
The next consideration is weight capacity for both wheelchair ramps for home use and portable use. The safety of the user depends on using a ramp that is capable of withstanding the total weight that can sometimes include chair, user, helper and items carried on the power chair. A manual wheelchair user shouldn't have to worry about ramp weight limitations but it's something to consider.
These numbers represent the maximum weights found on some of the models available and don't represent every brand of ramp. Always check the weight limits and capacity for all wheelchair ramps for home use as well as portable ramps.
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