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When you get a wheelchair ramp built in your home, it’s for convenience as well as safety, and that is important to keep in mind when its construction is being planned. The goal is to make them convenient, even if you or your loved one does not have a lot of power in the arms.
Taking these things into account during the design phase also helps people that are assisting people in wheelchairs, as it will make it easier for them to help the person enter the home. Improperly built ramps will cause a lot of headache which you want to avoid. Working with the best wheelchair ramp builders near you will ensure that the design suits the needs the ramp is intended for.
When building it at home, it’s a custom and permanent ramp that you’re looking for.
We have made it easy for you to get quotes from relevant contractors. All you’ll need to do is fill out the form at the top of the page and we’ll match you with the 4 most relevant contractors.
Things to Ask Your Wheelchair Ramp Installer
In the process of having it built, you will want to talk with wheelchair ramp contractors when working on the design, and the following list can help guide the conversation. It will also help you in finding the contractors that seem the most likely to complete the project without friction. Before you sign with a specific company to help you out, it’s a good idea to ask as many questions as possible first.
- The amount of incline is important to keep in mind.
If the incline on the ramp is too great, it will not actually be a functional ramp and it may be so bad that it will cause problems or accidents. While wheelchairs are made to be as easy to push as possible, a less steep ramp will be easier to get up. The weight from the wheelchair as well as the person in it makes getting up the ramp more difficult. Sticking to the recommendations in terms of incline will make it easier to achieve the desired function.
The hand-propelled wheelchairs also require less of an incline than motor-driven ones. Ramps built for hand-propelled wheelchairs should not rise by more than 1 inch for every 12 inches, and for motor-operated ones the number is 1.5 inch. The length of the ramp will therefore also be calculated by the amount of incline needed. The more incline you need, the longer the ramp needs to be as a consequence.
- The transition on the ramp.
Not only does the ramp need to not be too steep, but it also needs to have a good transition from the ground which makes it easy to access. Without it, getting on the ramp will be hard and you will likely just get to a halt trying to. The transition needs to be smooth so that there’s no sudden bump that the wheel chair needs to get over.
Otherwise, it can even fall over.
- The landing and how level it is and size.
You want to make sure that the landing is made so that someone in a wheelchair can easily navigate on it, which requires that it has a certain size to it. You don’t want the wheelchair to awkwardly hit anything, which means it will need to be at least 60 inches in length and it should be as wide as the ramp is also.
The landing also needs to be level to make it easier to do all the necessary things required to enter the home. You want to have it done so that the landing stays smooth even after being used for a long time, or you will need to have someone come out and fix it for you at that point.
- Surface and material used for the ramp.
It’s imperative that they do not become slippery, and they only work if they stay that way, even when wet. Handling a wheelchair isn’t easy to start off with, and doing so on a slippery surface is impossible. There are a lot of balancing aspects in the process and both landing and ramp itself needs to be slip-resistant, as you can’t always expect the ramp to remain dry. It also needs to be built so there are no accumulations of water which could degrade the materials used to build it in the first place, and rubber mats are often installed to help add slip-resistance.
It needs to be ensured that water easily slides off the ramp so no accidents end up happening.
- Material recommended for landings.
Some materials are more common for the landing than others because they provide great slip-resistance. Concrete and wood are among those materials you want to be looking into. They’re easy for a pro to work with and provide all the attributes that you’re looking for.
They’re not just slip-resistant, they can also last a long time which is why homeowners have them installed and disability ramp contractors recommend them.
Especially when you’re going with wood will you need to ensure that proper maintenance is done as it will need occasional protective coats, which will keep them from getting slippery and it will also help protect the material.
Handrails provide an important safety feature that helps prevent accidents by allowing a person to lean against it or grab on to it if need be. They should not only be safe but also comfortable to use and you should ask the pro about the specifications that he recommends.
They’re generally encouraged to be 28 inches in height which will let them be usable for both people walking or using a wheelchair, and they should ideally be installed on both sides of the ramp which will provide the biggest amount of support in case it is needed.
- How much weight should it be able to withstand?
It’s important not to forget what the weight capacity needs to be in case especially heavy things need to be transported on it. While it likely won’t be a concern if it is simply to transport a person, ramps with some commercial or industrial needs will likely need to be stronger, and they can be built to support as much as 2,000 pounds, which should suffice for anything you might need it for.
Just to be on the safe side, it is a good idea that you ask what the weight supported is for the ramp to be sure that no accidents happen, especially if you plan to occasionally use it for heavier objects like a fridge.
As well as being safe, they should also be made to be as comfortable as possible which can be done with the implemented design. For example, you might want to limit the amount of turns on the ramp if you have the linear space available to do so, which will make it easier to navigate. If it’s a long ramp, you might also want to put a platform in the middle to rest on.
Good contractors should be willing to take the time to discuss the specifications of the project with you so something is built that you will be happy with. It’s always a good idea to also take future needs into account.
Getting Free Estimates & Quotes From Contractors
When you need to have a disability ramp built, it’s always a good idea to ask different contractors for free estimates & quotes. We have made the process easier by screening contractors and all you need to do is take 2 minutes to fill out the form at the top of this page, which is entirely free for you, and we’ll match you with the 4 most relevant contractors that will reach out, ask about your project and then provide you with quotes.
What are you waiting for?