Ramp or Lift - Which is better for me?
When wheelchair and scooter access is needed for your home or business, the question can often be asked, which product is best for me? One of the first things to recognize is that a portable ramp is seldom the solution for a semi-permanent application. Portable ramps are the answer only if it is an occasional application and the goal is to be able to take the ramp elsewhere for additional uses. There are 3 basic questions to consider when determining the product that is best for you.
- What is the rise?
- How much space is available?
- What will the cost be?
What is the rise?
The first step is determining the rise at the primary entrance that you will be utilizing. To determine this you will need to measure the distance from the ground to the threshold of the primary entrance door. After measuring the rise, it is important to determine how long a potential ramp would be and where it would end. Standard ADA recommendation is 1:12 (rise/run). In other words, for every 1" of rise, 12" of ramp would be needed. For a 20" rise, 20' of ramp would be needed. If you have the ability to run 20' straight with the ramp, and the place where the ramp would land is a solid surface that is convenient to the driveway or sidewalk, it is important to see what the rise would be at the place the ramp ends. If for example, the natural ground slope runs away from the house, it is possible that the run of ramp needed is longer then the 20'. An easy way to determine this is to determine the location that the ramp would end, use a tape laser, or that is placed at the threshold height pointed in the direction of the ramp termination, and measure from the ground to the laser beam.
How much space is available?
Once you determine the length of ramp needed, remember that the ramp can be figured in almost any way to facilitate the run needed. Modular ramps can easily be in straight, L-shaped, Switchback configurations and more. A few factors to consider in this process, where do I need the ramp to end, do I have a level hard surface for the ramp to end on, and are there major obstacles that I will need to ramp around? If you determine that you have enough space to configure the ramp, you then need to consider the cost associated with a ramp verses the cost of a lift.
What will the cost be?
Minimal site work will be needed for a ramp, so if the ramp is less than 36' in length, the cost for a ramp will probably be less than that of a lift; however, once a ramp reaches the 36' length, or there are space constraints, a lift is a great alternative. For utilization of a lift, you will need a concrete pad approximately 5'x5' to secure the lift. Additionally, you will need a power source to operate the lift, or to recharge lift batteries of a lift. Additional options are available to work with the lift such as remote calls and interlocking gates should be considered in the cost as well.
For more information on what product is best for your specific application, visit this web page