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Wheelchair Elevator vs. Wheelchair Ramp

If you have a deck or commercial building, then you are probably wondering whether you should use a wheelchair elevator or wheelchair ramp. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, we want to review the things you need to consider if you decide to choose either a commercial wheelchair lift or a wheelchair ramp. But before we discuss further, let's look at:

What's a wheelchair ramp?

A lot of people know a wheelchair ramp – the inclines used in the place of the staircase. Most wheelchair ramps are made of aluminum material because it is durable. With an aluminum ramp, there's little to no maintenance.

What's a platform lift/wheelchair elevator

Commercial handicaps or platform lifts are common in churches, restaurants or any other commercial building. They resemble an elevator and they can raise or lower the person. Most of the wheelchair elevators are common in a commercial setting, but they can still be used at home.

Factors to Put in Mind When Making a Decision

Height

The ramp's length will vary depending on how high you need to raise it. ADA guidelines state that ramps have to follow the 1:12 ratio. What that means is for every one inch of raise, there should be 12 inches of the ramp. Most importantly, the ADA will want an elevator at the top and bottom of the ramp.

One thing you also need to remember is that ramps take up lots of space if you have to follow the ADA guidelines. The bottom line is, you can use the wheelchair ramp only if you want to create a small staircase.

But if you want to create a large staircase that is more than five steps, a ramp won't make economic sense. Instead, you are better of using a wheelchair elevator. A wheelchair elevator is ideal for high rises and takes small spaces.

User Ability

You also have to consider the person who will use either the wheelchair ramp or wheelchair elevator. A lot of people will feel comfortable using the wheelchair elevator.

Best of all, the lift will accommodate mobility devices like a wheelchair or scooter. Their paddle switch control is easy to control for an average user.

What's more, a modern lift can be operated using a call/send switch. Ramps are a bit difficult when used with mobility devices. The only things that work best are power chairs and scooters. Manual wheelchair, walkers, or rollators will be challenging to use.

Before you decide to use a ramp, ensure that the user or caregiver is comfortable with it. That's because using the ramp may be tiring.

Climate

Both will withstand harsh climate conditions. But climate will still impact the decision on which one you will choose. A ramp is open to climate conditions, which leaves it subject to debris like leaves and branches that can obstruct the user.

When you have elements like this, it may take a long time to travel up, especially when there's rain. A wheelchair elevator, on the other hand, will protect the user from harsh weather conditions. That said, if you still want something that is ideal for your situation, you can contact us and we will be happy to give you expert advice and recommendations.

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