Selecting the Right Wheelchair Ramp for Your Needs

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You need a wheelchair ramp.  Whether you’re replacing an existing ramp or shopping for the first time, you’re facing a difficult decision.  There are many different options available to you ranging from simple, inexpensive ramps to much larger and more expensive permanent and modular options.

Things become even more complicated when you consider the fact that you may purchase either a new or a used ramp.  What should you consider when selecting the right wheelchair ramp for your needs?

Durability and Use Patterns

 

Wheelchair ramps don’t last forever.  They wear down due to repeated use and exposure to the elements.  Durability is an issue you’ll need to consider carefully when making a decision.

Obviously, permanent ramps custom-constructed by a professional contractor from concrete will offer maximum durability.  The cost factor associated with these ramps, however, render them an untenable choice for many people.

Modular units are probably the best wheelchair ramp choice for most people.  They provide longevity at a more manageable price.  When making a choice among modular options, one must carefully consider the composition of the ramp.

A good wooden ramp may be very attractive while carrying a slightly lower price tag than their metal alternatives.  However, those who live in areas that have extreme weather conditions may not want to invest in a ramp that will undoubtedly suffer in the surrounding climate.  If the ramp will be used by many individuals on a very regular basis, there may be durability questions with some wooden options, as well.

When choosing your ramp, consider the level of traffic it will experience and the material from which it’s made.  These two factors should weigh heavily in your decision.

Maintenance

 

Permanent wheelchair ramps usually won’t require much maintenance.  If cracks form, one may want to call in a concrete pro to correct the problem before it does worsen, but overall these ramps are as close to maintenance-free, as one can get.

Modular options will always require a degree of upkeep. They’re assembled from multiple pieces and the points of connection invariably require some degree of attention to maintain the ramp’s function and safety.  Again, the cheaper wooden options generally require more work in this regard than do metal ramps.  Wood is more giving and its constant contraction and expansion based on temperature and moisture make joint work inevitable.

Price

 

You don’t want to put your safety or quality of life at risk in order to save a little bit of money.  Your wheelchair ramp will be an important part of your life, serving as the “bridge” between your home and the outer world.  This is not a place to skimp on quality for the sake of saving a few dollars.

That doesn’t mean that you should throw all caution and financial sense to the wind in pursuit of the world’s greatest ramp, though.  It’s possible to find a reasonably priced disability ramp that will meet your needs if you’re wise enough to do your homework and to perform some comparison-shopping based on your discovered needs.

Used Wheelchair RAMPS vs. New Wheechair Ramps

You can find used wheelchair ramps at a fraction of the new retail price.  In many cases, this can be a great way to get an ideal ramp when you might think the “top of the line” is out of your budget.

If you’re buying used, there are a few things you need to think about.  First, you’ll need to reassemble the ramp at your residence.  No two homes are identical, and modular ramps need to be put together for the home at which they’re being used.  You must be sure you have everything you need to make the used ramp work for you.  Second, investing in a worn ramp may not be a bargain.  You want something solid and long lasting.

The moral to the story?  It’s fine to buy used if the product is still good and if the person from which you’re buying is honest and credible in his/her description.  If all of those factors don’t line up, however, you’ll probably want to find a new ramp.

 

The Appearance Of Wheelchair Ramps

 

Disability ramps are meant to be functional, not aesthetically pleasing.  However, some ramps are far more attractive than others and appearance is something every homeowner will want to consider.

While there are attractive ramps in a variety of materials, wooden options probably offer the best route to making an attractive ramp part of your home.  Using wood offers more stylistic and color/hue options than most alternatives.