Proper Materials For Use
For a wheelchair ramp to achieve the needed safety standards of usage, use the proper materials. Apart from plywood, you can construct a ramp using concrete, go for a pre-made one, or use earth-berm.
Wood and pre-made portable ramps can be an excellent choice for residential construction since there is low traffic expected.
But commercial ramps serving public buildings need more sturdy materials. So reinforced concrete ramps serve the purpose well.
When Should I Have A Threshold Ramp
This type of ramp is best when you have an obstruction that would prevent your electric wheelchair from passing the doorway. Threshold ramps come in handy when the accessibility doorway has a french or pocket door installed.
The question of how to build a wheelchair ramp over steps is puzzling for wheelchair users. This is because it is hard to maneuver with assistive devices over a fleet of steps.
But with a ramp for wheelchairs extending over the stairs, accessibility becomes an easy and quick task. Now you can build your ramp!
I am sure you can now build your ramp. Dont forget to share the experience in the comments section!
When There Are More Than One Step From The Garage Into Your Home
If there is more than one step leading into the home, a threshold ramp will not be a safe or effective option. Ill write a separate blog post on garage wheelchair access into a home when there are multiple steps to overcome. Heres a preview of potential solutions.
- Lifts:The National Aging in Place Council suggests installing a mechanical garage lift if the design of your home is such that you have to go up and down a flight of stairs to get in or out of an attached garage.
- Portable Ramps: If you have a set of stairs leading into your garage entryway with the appropriate amount of space in your garage to safely install a ramp, then a portable ramp might be the best option for you. This type of ramp is especially convenient if you would like to store the ramp away while not in use.
- Semi or Permanent Ramp systems: If you prefer to have a stationary ramp installed to overcome a set of stairs there are many different options for ramp systems with or without handrails to choose from. Custom ramp systems are also an option for your specific needs.
No matter what situation is in your garage, Im sure our ramp experts can help optimize wheelchair access into your home. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to click the chat button below or give us a call. Well be happy to help.
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Wheelchair Ramp Rental Costs
For short-term needs, wheelchair ramp rental costs between $100 and $280 per month. The initial installation will be a one-time charge of about $300 to $800. The cost of rental and installation will depend on the specific configuration needed. Typically, the longer the ramp, the higher the rates. Many rental companies will allow you to use a portion of the rental fee toward a future purchase if you need it permanently.
Garage Stairs Ideas #: Add A Stairlift
The great thing about this approach to garage steps is that whenever a persons mobility changes, a stairlift can always be added. Youll notice that the rail on which the motorized chair glides on is attached to the actual steps, not a wall. This offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of installation options, in addition to one smooth ride.
Garage stairs ideas: A motorized stairlift
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Installing A Wheelchair Lift Or Ramp In A Garage
Many times, an accessible solution is more accommodating in a garage rather than in the back or front yard. Both a ramp and a lift are possible solutions, but we most often recommend wheelchair lifts because of space limitations. A ramp might take up enough room so that a car can no longer park in that space. A vertical platform lift, however, takes up a relatively small amount of small space, giving you room to still be able to park a car or keep the garbage can nearby. Another advantage of installing a lift in a garage is primarily that the user is protected from adverse weather when using the lift. No more struggling in or out of a car in the snow or rain!
Vertical platform lifts are very versatile pieces of equipment that are becoming more and more common as they provide independence and allow a person to enter his or her home easily and with dignity. The size of lift allows more natural space to a yard and is easy to remove in the event a person moves or it is no longer needed. While both solutions are safe and easy to use, a lift is more often recommended when space is limited, and a ramp is best when the budget is a concern and space is not a concern
If you or a loved one is in need of accessible solution to get in and out of your home, please call us at 714-1930 today. One of our local experts can do a FREE assessment at your home to help you better determine if a ramp or lift is the best solution.
Prepare The Ramp Structure
Using the ramp measurement you got in the first step, map out the maximum length the ramp needs to cover.
Cut the plywood sheets to cover the ramp width, glue the pieces and nail the two-inch nails on the edges for durability.
For support, you will also need wooden posts beneath the ramp with their tops cut at eight degrees. Ideally, have support posts for every two feet of vertical rise the ramp will cover.
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How To Build A Ramp Over Stairs
You can build a permanent wheelchair ramp in two ways: DIY the feature or consult a construction expert.
An expert can help get a building code office permit and meet the ADA regulations, but you can work on the ramp plan with the proper knowledge.
Check out this YouTube video from Tommy Boy DIY on how to build a wheelchair ramp over stairs.
How To Get The Best Deal
The best way to get a good deal when renting a wheelchair is to compare the prices from all competitors. That way, you can choose the rental that offers the best prices. However, keep in mind that the cheaper places tend to be less reliable and offer low-quality devices.
Dont forget to consider your needs first. An uncomfortable wheelchair can be cheaper to rent, but it wont be a good investment if you are going to hate using it.
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Overcoming A One Step Rise At The Inside Garage Door
If youve assessed your garage and deemed it a good candidate for wheelchair access into the home, then the next task is to bridge the stair or landing from the garage into the home. In a typical attached garage, the rise to enter the home is a single step, or less than eight inches in height. As weve written in our series on threshold ramps, the higher the barrier to overcome, the longer the ramp must be. A good rule of thumb is that for every inch in rise, you need a foot in length for the ramp. This ratio, 12 inches of ramp for every inch of threshold height, ensures that someone in a scooter or who is capable of using a wheelchair by themselves, can safely navigate the ramp alone.
If the person in the wheelchair will always be assisted by a loved one or helper, its possible to modify the ratio for a slightly higher incline.
Support The Wheelchair Ramp
Cut wood joists to the length of the ramp. You may need to cut notches to create a flush fit at the top where it meets the threshold and the length of the existing steps underneath. Youll also have to cut an angle along the bottom of the joists where they will rest on the floor or ground. Secure the joists to the existing door threshold, which may be wood or concrete. Use the appropriate screws or brackets.
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Choosing A Wheelchair Ramp
Once you know how and where you want to use a wheelchair ramp, there are a couple of more things to consider in choosing the perfect wheelchair ramp for you. One thing to consider is the level of incline that your wheelchair or scooter can handle. This information can be found in your user’s manual, and will determine how long your wheelchair ramp needs to be. You may need a longer or shorter wheelchair ramp depending on the vertical height you want to climb and the amount of floor space you have to do so. Another consideration is the width of your wheelchair or scooter. When choosing a wheelchair ramp, you want one that is not only wide enough for you and your machine, but one that will also provide a margin of safety on either side of your wheels. A wheelchair ramp for stairs can do more than safely bridge the height difference between one floor and another. It can also provide you with more independence and the freedom of mobility at a cost that is significantly lower than renovating your home. Now that’s a change you can look forward to.
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How To Build A Wheelchair Ramp For Your Home
Adding a wheelchair ramp to a home is one of the most helpful updates to make for anyone who wants to safely age in place. If you or a loved one struggles with mobility, youll find tips and advice in this guide on how to build a ramp for wheelchair, motorized scooter, or walker, to make the house easier to enter. Even if your home has entry steps or stairs, you can convert them into a wheelchair accessible ramp.
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Rite Aid Wheelchair Rental
Rite Aid is one of the most reliable providers of home care devices in the country, including wheelchairs and scooters. Sadly, the company only allows you to buy its products, and theres no way to rent them.
If you decide to buy from Rite Aid, you can find a wide variety of wheelchair models at reasonable prices.
Homcom 6′ Suitcase Threshold Ramp
One of the main factors that you should be looking for when choosing a portable handicap ramp for stairs is the non-slip feature. It has guardrails on each side to prevent you from getting into the edges in case you are not appropriately aligned. The ramp is designed not just for wheelchairs but for scooter and other bulky items that might not be moved using the stairs.
When it comes to construction, it is made of the durable aluminum frame which is anti-corrosive and is the best tool for many years to come. Also, it comes with a handle so you can transport it easily. The ramp is comfortable and convenient to use.
The dimension of the ramp is big enough and very sturdy that it supports up to 600 lbs. making it a good option for many people. As a whole, it is an excellent equipment which enables an area to become easily accessible for those with physical disabilities.
- It is not recommended for walkers as it is too risky for that
- Not as sturdy as expected
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Prairie View Industries Sfw330 Single
This is yet another great product from Prairie. The SFW330 is an easy to carry ramp that is available in various lengths. The ramps width is 30 inches and can handle any wheelchairs make sure their width is not more than 30 inches wide from wheel to wheel. It is quite a stable ramp, which can handle weight up to 800 lbs.
As compared to other ramps, this wheelchair ramp is welded instead of riveted which makes it stronger and best for heavier individuals or wheelchairs. For ease of carrying, it is equipped with a handle.
The Prairie SFW330 has skid resistant, anti-slip surface to avoid possible accidents. It is a bit heavier than other brands, but its sturdiness and usefulness are worth a few extra weight.
- Easy to carry, equipped with a handle
- Since the ramp is welded, it is very durable and sturdy
- Some users complain about the middle hinges sticking out, but for some, it is not a problem at all
- The edges are not very secure and may tend to slip off
Garage Stairs Ideas #: The Ez Steps Variation
Another variation of garage stairs are these EZ Steps. Their shorter rise and longer run is great for anyone that relies on a walker and makes entering/exiting a home easier. Each step fits both the walker and the person, which help maintain ones independence.
EZ Steps are ideal for those that use a walker
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Start Assembling The Ramp
Using the posthole digger, drill 12-inch deep holes on top of the stairs and lower a pair of support posts. Dig another pair of holes five feet apart from the first pair to provide the base for the second pair.
Dig more holes in the ramp span to ensure sturdiness, and as highlighted before, have the pairs of holes two feet apart.
Pour wet concrete into the holes and lower the angled posts, providing the heights and angles are equal.
You can use the plywoods to measure the posts balance and ensure no left gap. Let the concrete rest for some time to cure.
Check out this video on the proper handicap ramp angle.
Is Your Garage A Good Candidate For Wheelchair Access
To determine if your attached garage is a good candidate for wheelchair access into the home, consider the following. First, do you have the space needed for a loved one in a wheelchair to navigate? The National Association of Home Builders suggests that there be at least five feet between a handicapped-accessible van and either a wall or other obstruction. The practical implication is that a two-car garage is essentially a requirement because of the space needed.
Second, if your garage has become a storage facility for bikes, lawnmowers, golf clubs, Christmas decorations, etc., there will be challenges. A clear path for the wheelchair is required for both convenience and, more importantly, safety.
Finally, if a door through the garage is going to be the primary way for a wheelchair into the home, it is important to make sure that features, like light switches or keypad for an electric garage door, are located at a height and in locations that will be convenient for the person in the wheelchair.
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Equipment For Handicap Accessible Homes
Equipment such as stair lifts and vertical platform lifts save space and add efficiency. They are the best solutions for 4 or more steps and for small garages. This specialized equipment can be pricier than railings, grab bars and ramps, but depending on the need, financial assistance may be available from a number of government and non-profit entities.
Stair lift or chair elevator
Vertical platform lift
Prepare The Top Landing
Ideally, having the permanent ramp positioned over the fleet of stairs is better than notching its joists. So cut three sheets of ¾-inch plywood to the desired minimum landing size using a circular saw.
To ensure the landing is sturdy, cut the thick plywood and glue the sheets to the standard plywood.
Also, cut four wooden posts, and add one foot for the underground footing, to support the landing surface and ensure that the four pots are equal.
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Sink Posts To Secure The Ramp And Side Railings
You may be digging post holes in the ground or securing posts to concrete. Make sure the posts on both sides are tall enough to support railings between 34 and 38 inches above the ramps surface. Posts can be spaced as far as eight feet apart, but check your local codes to be sure, and some codes require spindles between posts for safety. Use carriage bolts to attach posts to your support joists. You may need cross-bracing as well.
Wheelchair Ramps For Stairs
Making the transition from walking to using a wheelchair or scooter can be challenging. Normal and every-day actions that once seemed effortless, such as walking up stairs, can suddenly be impossible to accomplish. Home renovations to accommodate your wheelchairs or scooter can be expensive and time consuming, as well as stressful. Luckily, there is a much cheaper alternative to renovating your house: purchasing a wheelchair ramp for your stairs. A wheelchair ramp for stairs can have many uses. It’s important to identify which uses are the most important for you. Many people use a wheelchair ramp on the exterior stairs leading to their front or back entry doors. Others use a wheelchair ramp on the steps from their garage into their home. Other ideas include retrofitting the stairs inside of your house, as well as bridging the gap of a sunken living room. At times, you might travel with your wheelchair ramp, bringing it along on visits to your friends or family members whose homes have stairs that impair wheelchair or scooter navigation.
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Reasons Garage Doors Provide Convenient Wheelchair Access Into A Home
Attached garages with entry to the home are often the most convenient way to provide regular wheelchair access for three reasons. First, being able to exit a car or van while in a sheltered garage shields you from inclement weather. Theres no fumbling with umbrellas or dodging snow.
Second, entering from the garage removes the hassle of having to overcome obstacles such as an uneven yard, wet sidewalks, etc. Garages are designed with flat, even floors. Thats a real advantage for scooter and wheelchair access.
Third, there are often fewer steps to traverse from a garage into a home when compared to the front door or side door. For both aesthetic and functional reasons, most homes have an elevated front doorway by design, making them attractive but also challenging for wheelchair access.