A wheelchair ramp can be a great way to give your loved one mobility freedom and independence. They are beneficial for rolling walker, wheelchair, and mobility scooter users, or anyone looking for an additional mobility aid.
When deciding which type is right for you, it’s important to consider material options and the benefits and downsides of each. Here are some differences between the aluminum and wood variety.
Aluminum has a key upside. It is very durable. You won’t have to worry about aluminum rusting. They are quick and easy to install, and don’t require using concrete or acquiring a building permit. They typically take around 1-2 hours to install. They are also easy to move or expand and adjust as needed in the future. Required maintenance is minimal, they only need to be cleaned and cleared of outdoor buildup like snow or leaves. If you no longer require one in the future or decide to get a new one, they have a great resale value.
Wood requires more upkeep than aluminum. They should be thoroughly cleaned and resealed to avoid rot and decay. Even with excellent maintenance the wood will warp over time and will need replacement. Because they are installed permanently, they require a building permit. A wood ramp installation takes more labor than an aluminum one and with the rising cost of wood and regular maintenance, it may not be as cost effective as aluminum. Because it is a permanent structure, it cannot be relocated and has no resale value. It may also be an undesirable cost for a future homeowner who must pay to have it removed.
Picking a wheelchair ramp doesn’t only mean choosing between an aluminum or wood variety, there are varying features that can make mobility even easier. Here are a few things to consider.
Slope Safety- The ADA recommends a 1:12 slope ratio. What this means is that for every 1” of vertical rise, there must be at least 1’ or 12” of length. This is the appropriate ratio for someone who is propelling themselves in a wheelchair and for commercial use. If you are pushing someone in a wheelchair you need to consider your strength and the weight of the individual being pushed. If you are in a mobility scooter, then you can usually do half of what the slope is. Check in your mobility scooters owner’s manual as they will put in the maximum slope the scooter can handle. If there is ever any doubt always use the ADA guidelines.
According to the American Disability Act there should be a foot for every inch of rise. However, for those not propelling themselves you may be able to decrease the overall length.
You may also want to consider if you have a need for railing. A railing is great for someone who isn’t already using a mobility aid.
With each type there is a different weight capacity. This will likely range between 800lbs and 1000lbs.
As noted before, aluminum is more cost effective than wood. Pricing is also based on the length and additional needs such as a platform. For a complete and accurate estimate an assessment may be needed.
Installation times vary based on material, type, and location; however, All-Star Medical will typically install within a week of assessment.
For a variety of wheelchair ramps in Smyrna TN come to All-Star Medical. These are just a few of our great in store and online options.
EZ-Access Gateway 3G Portable – This may be the perfect fit for wheelchair, knee walker, and rolling walker users alike. It has a one-piece design with no required assembly or moving parts. With easy setup and use, the Gateway is great for home and business accessibility needs.
Suitcase Trifold AS – This option is great for anyone on the go. It is durable aluminum and folds up to fit in your car. It also comes in a great range of size options.
Transitions Angled Entry – Transitions is an easy to transport, small threshold ramp. It features adjustable legs with swivel feet, allowing 2” of vertical adjustment. This is a great option for doorways that swing in and out and for uneven surfaces.
No matter your needs, All-Star Medical has you covered. Learn more about how All-Star Medical is your one-stop shop for ramps. From measuring and assessments to installation, we do it all. Come to a location near you for personalized recommendations and even rental options.
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