When shopping for a wheelchair ramp for stairs, you’ll quickly realize there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are many options— so many, in fact, that it may be overwhelming for a first-time buyer. This article will help you decide which is the best option for you.
Choosing the Right Size
The first thing to consider when choosing a wheelchair ramp for stairs is the amount of space you have available. The length of the ramp is usually calculated using a 1 inch to 1 foot (1”:1’) ratio. For example, if the entry point is 10 inches above the ground, then the minimum recommended ramp length is 10 feet. If the entry point needed for a wheelchair ramp for stairs is higher than a few feet, using turns will help to conserve space while keeping the incline at a safe and manageable level.
Choosing the Right Material
The two primary choices for wheelchair ramp material are wood and aluminum. Williams Lifts only carries aluminum ramps and you’ll understand why after I describe the differences between the two types.
Wooden wheelchair ramps are arguably the more aesthetically pleasing between the two because they can be designed to match the exterior of a home. That’s where the benefits end, however, and when personal safety is on the line you don’t want to choose form over function.
The problem with wooden ramps is they’re more difficult to build, more difficult to install, and require more frequent maintenance to prevent the wood from rotting. Not to mention the maximum weight capacity is less compared to aluminum.
Aluminum wheelchair ramps, on the other hand, are easier to install and require less maintenance. Unlike wooden ramps, aluminum ramps can be easily modified and adjusted. They’re also easier to remove, if needed, which is helpful if the user eventually plans to move or sell their house.
Choosing the Right Wheelchair Ramp for Stairs Specifications
In order to ensure safety, it’s important that a wheelchair ramp meets these minimum specifications recommended by the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act.
- A 5 by 5 foot landing at the top and bottom of the ramp.
- A maximum run of 30 feet before a turn or platform.
- A minimum width of 36 inches.
- Handrails that are at least 34 inches high.
Williams Lifts offers a wide variety of wheelchair ramps for indoor stairs and outdoor stairs, as well as wheelchair ramp installation services. We also offer a portable wheelchair ramp for stairs which require no installation at all.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re making the right choice is to take advantage of our wheelchair ramp for stairs rental service. For an affordable monthly fee and no commitments, you can get a wheelchair ramp in your home today. We rent the same wheelchair ramp models we sell, so if you are satisfied with your selection you can purchase the same model for long-term use.
For more information about wheelchair ramp rentals, please contact us with any questions you may have.