Wheelchair ramps and vertical platform lifts are two of the best ways to make a home or company more accessible for people with mobility issues. Each alternative, however, has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and the best one for you will rely on your individual requirements.
Due to their low cost and ease of installation, wheelchair ramps are frequently used to help people get around. Wood, metal, and concrete are just some of the materials that can be used to craft them, and they can be altered to meet your needs. People who only need access to their home or company on rare occasions can also benefit from ramps because they are easy to dismantle when not in use.
Advantages of wheelchair ramps include their cheap cost in comparison to other mobility aids. Aluminum or concrete ramps cost about $2,000, while a hardwood ramp costs only $1,000. In addition, you can choose the ramp substance that is most affordable and aesthetically pleasing to you, from wood to aluminum to concrete.
One major drawback of wheelchair ramps is the amount of room they require. A ramp must have a minimal slope ratio of 1:12 in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. For every one foot of incline, the slope length needs to be 12. For this reason, ramp installation may be challenging in apartments or other small areas, or in homes with limited outdoor space. It’s also risky for wheelchair users to navigate wet stairs.
Another common means of conveyance is the vertical platform lift (VPL), sometimes called a porch lift. These elevators are normally mounted on the exterior of a home or office. A wheelchair user can use them to get up onto a veranda or other elevated surface. VPLs use energy and have a key or remote control for on/off functionality.
As they take up much less room when compared to ramps, vertical platform elevators are the better option. Because of how compact VPLs are, they are a great option for homes with restricted outdoor area. Because they run on energy, VPLs can be used in any climate.
Another positive aspect of VPLs is the increased seclusion and security they offer to people who use wheelchairs. Most ramps are exposed and obvious, while VPLs are hidden and require a key or remote to activate and deactivate. When taking the elevator at night or in bad weather, this can give wheelchair users a much-needed feeling of security and privacy. VPLs’ primary flaw is that they are more costly than ramps. There is a wide range in price for a VPL, from $6,000 to $15,000, based on the model and its options. Furthermore, VPLs need routine servicing, which adds to the overall cost of ownership.
Finally, there are pros and cons to both vertical platform elevators and wheelchair ramps. People on a tight budget who only need occasional access to their home or company can benefit from installing a ramp. However, VPLs are a fantastic option for those who need frequent access to their home or business but value privacy and safety above all else. If you’re a local of the Cincinnati, Ohio, region and are interested in improving your discoverability, give some thought to your specific requirements and circumstances before making a final decision. It is also important to talk to our expert installers and experts to find out what will work best for your unique situation.