Types of Wheelchair Ramps

  • Intermediate

Whenever you have to gain access to a multi-level home or get over a threshold with the height a few inches above the floor, a ramp is almost necessary unless 2 people grab your wheelchair and lift it across the obstacle. The following paragraphs will offer and describe some options that are available for different types of ramps that can be added to facilitate the transition.

Permanent Ramp

If you or a loved one must use a wheelchair because of a permanent condition, you'll probably evaluate your home and change your home to make it easier to get around. In this case, a permanent ramp might be a helpful solution.

You'll find many homes today equipped with a sturdy type of ramp which is permanently fixed to the exterior of the house providing wheelchair access from the ground level (driveway or pathway) up to one of the house's entrance. Most of those ramps are usually constructed from treated lumber or metal, and following the building code specifying a maximum angle of 1-inch rise per every foot of horizontal run. This being said, a 36-foot straight ramp would be needed to get to the top of a 36-inch high platform, and even more, if it has to be built in sections to zig-zag all the way up because its full length would not fit the available space for it.

A platform lift also called a porch lift is another option that is much more compact in installation and should be considered before getting over-involved in building a large ramp. It may be well worth your while to check with the insurance companies, government agencies, or local charitable organizations for assistance in the matter.

Temporary Ramps

There are also lots of different types of temporary wheelchair ramps. You can remove temporary ramps and even take them with you whenever required. You will need to consider temporary ramps if you want a ramp that you can transport with you or a ramp that needs to be removed from time to time.

Temporary wheelchair ramps are also ideal if you have a visitor bound to a wheelchair but only have an occasional need for it, and also when you live in an apartment or even plan to move to a new home, being easily transportable.

Folding Ramps

Many ramps fold in half along their center. This feature making it portable allows you to store the ramp more easily. But folding wheelchair ramps can still be pretty large, so you will need to find space to fit yours.

Suitcase Ramp

A suitcase ramp is a special type of lightweight folding ramp, which has handles so you can carry it easily. This is an ideal type of ramp for anyone who uses a mobility scooter; you can take it with you wherever you go.

Telescopic Ramps

Telescopic ramps are perfect for getting up to different heights of step because they can extend in size. If you need to take a ramp in your car, a telescopic ramp offers a good choice. However, it is not as durable as many other types of ramp.

Solid Ramps

A solid ramp is typically made out of metal, which means that it lasts for a very long time. Constructed of aluminum or stainless steel, they won't rust if you leave them outside. Although you can remove these wheelchair ramps, storing them is difficult.