Many homes and businesses require owners and visitors to include just a few stairs, maybe only five or so, to enter. For wheelchair, cane, or walker users, this small staircase is a big nuisance.
To increase accessibility to your home or business, you’ll need to install one of two solutions: a wheelchair ramp or a vertical lift. Both have benefits and drawbacks that you’ll need to consider before renting or purchasing your mobility equipment.
Do you have enough Space?
Wheelchair ramps require a foot of ramp for every inch of rise. For buildings with just three or four stairs and plenty of space out front, this space is likely no problem at all. However, buildings with several stairs may need a ramp that is 50 feet long or longer.
On the other hand, vertical lifts require just a 5-foot by 5-foot square of space for up to 14 feet of lift, which can be helpful if you only have a small yard or garage, or need to go up many stairs.
What is your Budget?
For small rises that are less than two feet, a wheelchair ramp is likely your most cost-effective solution. However, if you need to help users get higher than two feet, a vertical lift platform may end up costing less.
If you need to install a mobility solution inside your business, consider the cost of giving up your floor space as well. Does the ramp displace merchandise you could be selling, or tables and chairs in your restaurant? If so, you’ll be losing money every day because the ramp takes up so much space, and a lift may be more cost-effective for your business.
How much Maintenance?
Both ramps and lifts require some maintenance. For instance, exterior ramps will need to be salted and cleared in the winter. If they are made of wood, the wood may need to be replaced or restained frequently. You can likely do this yourself, or seek assistance from a friend, family member, or neighbor.
Lifts, however, require maintenance from certified service personnel. Though lifts are reliable and can handle the weather, they are like any piece of machinery, needing service and attention on a regular basis.
No matter which mobility solution you choose, you need to ensure it is installed up to code by professionals. At Hampton Roads Mobility, we offer a variety of customizable wheelchair ramps and vertical lifts. You can rely on our experienced personnel to complete installation and provide maintenance.
For more information on our products, please contact us at 757-663-5457.