A wheelchair ramp can quickly add accessibility to nearly any space. If you’re considering adding an access ramp to your home, there are five important factors that you will need to consider in order to purchase the right ramp.
Area Where the Ramp Will Be Used
Before you start shopping for ramps, consider the area where you intend to use the ramp. Do you need a ramp to travel over a threshold, or are there a few steps that you need to navigate? Ramps are often used for raised landings, or they can even be designed to circumnavigate a flight of stairs.
The area that you will be using your ramp in will partially determine the type of ramp that you need. Smaller threshold ramps are a bit more basic than modular ramp systems designed for use with raised landings or over stairs. Whatever type of ramp you need, make sure that there are two areas of solid ground or floor where you can place either ends of the ramp for stability.
The Minimum Length of the Ramp
You will need to make sure that you purchase a ramp that is long enough for your needs. Buying a ramp that is too short can result in a steep slope that can be unnavigable or even dangerous. The ADA recommends a 1:12 slope, meaning that for every one inch of vertical rise, you have 12 inches of ramp.
If you use a power wheelchair or scooter, the manufacturer may make specific recommendations about ramp slope. Please refer to your owner’s manual to make sure that you can safely navigate the ramp that you purchase.
Along with the ramp’s length, you will need to consider the overall width of the ramp. Measure your wheelchair’s width, and look for a ramp that allows at least a few extra inches of space on each side.
Ramp Weight Capacity
Wheelchair ramps offer different weight capacities, and it’s important to find one that is appropriate for your needs. Consider your own weight, plus the weight of the heaviest wheelchair or scooter that you will use on the ramp. Then, look for a ramp with a greater weight capacity.
Ease of Installation
Finally, you will want to consider how easily a ramp’s installation is. Some ramps may be simple enough for you to install yourself, and installation may take just minutes. Other ramps may be more complicated.
If you’re looking for a larger ramp, then you may be considering an aluminum modular ramp, or a wooden permanent ramp. Keep in mind that wooden ramps take time to build, whereas many aluminum ramps can be installed in a single day, and will be ready to use.
Ordering Your Wheelchair Ramp
Ultimately, you will need to weigh the pros and cons in order to decide which ramp is right for you. However, don’t hesitate to give Med Mart a call. Our medical equipment experts would be happy to help you find a ramp that is just right for your needs.