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Residential Ramps: Where do I begin?

The process of installing a wheelchair ramp at home can be confusing, especially if you don’t know exactly what type of ramp will best suit your needs. With many options out there in varying sizes, materials, and configurations, it’s hard to know where to even start.

At EZ-ACCESS, we want the process to go as smoothly as possible, even before you choose what type of ramp to go with! Follow this guide to help you through the process. We’ve created this guide to help everyone find the right ramp for their home, whether it’s your first or you’re replacing an existing one. 

 

three different styles of semi-permanent and portable ramps

Find the Best Ramp for Your Home  

Where should you start when you decide a wheelchair ramp is needed at home? Our first piece of advice is to answer these “getting started” questions so you know what you’re looking for in a ramp. These questions will help you narrow down what you really need in a home wheelchair ramp:

  • What type of assistive mobility device is used? This is an important factor for choosing proper ramp width and slope.
  • Will this device change over time? If the individual is using a walker now, but will eventually be in a wheelchair, you may want to consider a more permanent ramping solution.
  • Which entrance to the house is most accessible and what obstacles, such as a set of stairs, do you need to overcome?
  • What material do you want the ramp made of? Consider which is more important to you: Functionality or curb appeal?
  • How permanent do you want the ramp to be? Will you need to move it later?
  • How much time do you or your family have to invest in construction? Would you be better off with a professional wheelchair ramp installer?
  • What is your budget? Will your insurance or Medicare benefits plan be able to assist you in covering the cost? If you’re not sure about how you will fund the ramp, check out our blog on how to Get Funding for a Residential Wheelchair Ramp.
  • Does your local municipality require a permit for a ramp? If so, what specifications are required?
illustration to demonstate the ramp length and ramp rise

Map Out the Ramp Layout

The type of ramp and any customizations you may need will depend on the entrance point you choose. For homes that have one or two steps at the entrance, a shorter, portable ramp may be the simplest solution. But, if the entrance is higher and includes multiple stairs, then you will likely need a more sizable ramp system.

Below we outline the key measurements to take into consideration when mapping out your residential wheelchair ramp.

How to Measure Ramp Length

The higher the entrance, the longer the ramp should be in order to help maintain safety and a gradual slope. A short ramp will have a sharp angle and be more difficult for the user to safely navigate. 

To determine the ramp length, follow this guide:

  1. Confirm the necessary incline. Refer to your mobility equipment’s user guide for exact recommendations concerning acceptable usage and allowable slope. We also recommend checking with your local municipality to see if there are incline requirements.
  2. Measure the distance from the top step/landing to the ground (Rise). This height is what’s called “rise.”
  3. Enter the values in the EZ-ACCESS Incline Calculator to determine the length of ramping needed. The calculator allows you to input the rise, select the slope that best fits your needs, and provides you with the recommended length to achieve that outcome.

What Is the Slope for a Residential Ramp? 

The incline or slope of the ramp should be gradual, with many organizations and mobility device manufacturers recommending a ratio of 1:12 for height to length, also called rise to run. This is just over an 8% grade, which is a gentle angle that allows easy navigation for those using a mobility device. Always check with the manufacturer of your mobility device to understand any recommendations specific to that equipment.

Ramp Width

When it comes to determining the ideal width of a wheelchair ramp, we not only recommend checking with your local municipality to see if there are ramp width requirements in place, but also measuring the size of the mobility device that is being used and the amount of room it takes for the individual to turn around. A standard wheelchair, a rolling walker, and a motorized scooter can vary greatly in how much width is needed to clear the sides of the ramp. EZ-ACCESS residential ramps come in standard widths of 36” and 48” to accommodate most mobility devices.  

Platforms

Platforms are flat landing areas used to help individuals maneuver on and off the ramp with ease, and they also act as resting spots on longer ramp runs. In order to keep individuals safe and allow for comfortable ramp use, make sure you meet your local municipality’s requirements, if applicable. They may have requirements similar to the ADA (Americans with Disability Act), which states that a 60” x 60” platform needs to be at the top of every ramp and a resting platform needs to be present after every 30’ of ramp to provide level surfaces in case the user needs a rest. After using the incline calculator for ramp length, you’ll know how many platforms are necessary for the ramp being installed at your home. Platforms also provide space to create turns in the ramp when the direction of the path needs to change. 

man online shopping on the contact us page for EZ-ACCESS

Order the Ramp

If you’re reading this article, we’re guessing you’re the type of individual that likes to do their research before making a big purchase, and we don’t blame you! Whether you’ve already decided which ramp is best for your home or you’re not certain which to choose, our Customer Service team will walk you through the process. They will help connect you to local partners for installation or talk you through the options to land on the perfect ramp for your home.

Types of Wheelchair Ramps for Homes

There are three primary types of aluminum rampsthat EZ-ACCESS produces for home use:

  • Portable Ramps: These can be used at home or on the go. They come in both folding and non-folding variations.
  • Semi-Permanent Ramps: These home access ramps can be used long-term and have added handrails but are also able to be quickly repositioned.
  • Long-Term Ramps: For homes that need a more permanent solution or have larger rises to overcome, these ramps are the ideal solution.

Installation of EZ-ACCESS Ramps

Installation can be done by your local dealer. With our aluminum ramps, the process is fairly simple and takes only a matter of hours, which means minimal disruption for you and your family.

Ready to Make Home Access Easy?

Our Customer Service team is here to get your new ramp to your doorstep. We’re here to help you and your family get the best residential ramp to live life without barriers.

After the secure setup, all that’s left to do is enjoy easy access at home!

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


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