Things to Consider Before Adding a Wheelchair Ramp to Your Home

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wheelchair ramps for stairs

People who use wheelchairs are faced with many challenges on a daily basis. What may seem like a small step to you, for them may be a hill. This is why installing ramps at several key points in their home is crucial to help these people go about their days easier. However, as is with most things, there are a couple of things to consider before installing these units.

How Large Is Your Front Yard?

Space is crucial when installing a wheelchair ramp that leads to your front door. The architectural design of your front door area is very important for this process. Trees, bushes, flower beds and other features in your yard should be considered. If your front yard’s layout is not very suitable for installing a ramp, consider if there are other entrances to your home, such as through the back of your house, for example.

How High Is the Front Door?

The door’s height will determine the length of the wheelchair ramp you buy. The ramp shouldn’t be too steep to make it difficult to climb or go down it. If the door is too high, the ramp will have to be longer. In general, the slope shouldn’t be sharper than 2.5:30cm (2.5 cm in vertical change for every 30cm in length). A 2.5:30 slope is most common for wheelchair ramps. If your front door has a 60cm tall porch, the ramp would have to be 7 metres long. Some homes don’t have enough space for such long ramps (especially if the home is surrounded by trees or is located close to the street). You can also use half of the length of the ramp by building a U-shape ramp.

wheelchair ramp

Is There a Need for Landing?

If you’re building a long ramp (if the porch or door is too high), you might have to build a landing as well. The landing is a flat space that is built halfway through the ramp. Practically, it’s the place where you will take a break from climbing the first part of the ramp. The landing makes the climbing much easier and helps the user pass the ramp without anyone’s help.

Consider Visibility at Night

Even though there might be enough street lights in front of your property, your rail should have extra exterior lighting that will make it safer to use at night. You can either use strip LED lights alongside the ramp to mark it and make it more visible, or you can install a super bright light on your front porch that will have a double function.

Longer Transportable Wheelchair Ramps

Portable ramps are usually placed over steps, raised curbs, porches, inclines, and uneven ground.

suitcase ramp

Suitcase Ramps

These types of ramps are lightweight, foldable and easy for transport and you can store them anywhere. Usually, they’re quite heavy, up to 450kg. The best options for a larger powered wheelchair can be up to 2400mm.

Trifold Ramps

Trifold Ramps

These ramps are similar to suitcase ramps. They fold into three pieces and are easy for storage and transportation. Most of these models need inserting and removal of a pin so you’ll have to put them together. The big advantage of these ramps is that they come in lengths up to 3050mm, They’re ideal if your home has a lot of steps or deeper treads.

Roll-Up Ramps

Roll-Up Ramps

Roll up wheelchair ramps for door threshold are an excellent choice is the ground is uneven as they are easily adaptable to the terrain. They’re robust but have a simple structure. You can even shorten their length (depending on your needs).

wheelchair modular ramp

Modular Ramps

Portable ramps are great if you don’t own the home, but still need to add a substantial wheel chair ramp. If there are many stairs to the door, modular ramps are excellent and can be built with a platform to make access to the top and bottom easier. You can add handrails at any height you want, and you can add in a flight of steps that can be used by other people in your home.

Steps, stairs or uneven terrain should not stop you from freely entering and exiting your home. An adjustable wheel chair ramp can make your day-to-day activities easier and make you feel more independent when moving around your home.