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Should You Build or Rent a Wheelchair Ramp?

There are several ways to improve the accessibility of your property. Building a wheelchair ramp is one of the many options available. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before making your final decision.

1. How long do you need the ramp for?

If you will need the ramp for over a year, building a custom ramp may be your best option. For temporary injuries and illnesses, renting a wheelchair ramp may be a better option. Rental companies typically charge an initial set-up fee in addition to your monthly payment.

2. Who will be using the ramp?

Will the ramp be used by a single person? Or, will many people be using the ramp each day? If the ramp will be located in a high-traffic area, you may need to invest in more expensive, commercial-grade materials.

3. How will the ramp be used?

Will the ramp be used by a single, manual wheelchair? Or, will the ramp need to support the additional weight of motorized scooters and power wheelchairs? Concrete ramps are incredibly durable, but they are very permanent and expensive to remove. Wood ramps are easy to customize, but they require regular maintenance.

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4. Is there enough room available to build a ramp?

All wheelchair ramps should be constructed in accordance with ADA guidelines. The length of the ramp will be determined by vertical rise of the building entrance. If the building entrance is 1 foot off the ground, your ramp will need to be approximately 12 feet in length. By incorporating switchback turns into your design, you may be able to save some space. If space is still an issue, you may need to consider another option as steeper ramps can be very dangerous.

5. Do you need a building permit?

In order to make permanent changes to your property, you may need to secure a permit from the local building department. This helps to ensure that the ramp is safe for all users and compliant with local codes. There may be some fees associated with pulling the necessary permits. Before adding the ramp, you may also need to get permission from your homeowner's association.

6. Are you allowed to make permanent changes to the property?

If you are not the owner of the home or building, you will need to request permission from the owner to modify the exterior of the property. It may not be possible to build a custom wood ramp or pour concrete. A prefabricated metal ramp, that can be installed and removed easily, may be a good alternative.

7. How do I find a contractor?

Finding a reliable contractor can be a difficult process. Lucky for you, ProMatcher is here to help. Use our matching service to request free cost estimates from several local companies. We recommend getting 2-4 estimates and comparing each one carefully before hiring one for your project.

8. How much does it cost to build a ramp?

There are several items that impact the cost of building a wheelchair ramp, including local labor rates, your material choices, and the complexity of the project. Research average prices in your local area by checking out our Wheelchair Ramp Construction Cost Report.

9. How much does it cost to rent a ramp?

If you choose to rent a ramp, most companies will charge an initial setup fee in addition to your monthly rental payments. If you end up needing the ramp longer than you originally planned, ask about rent-to-own option. If this is the case, your individual monthly payments will be put towards purchasing the ramp.

10. Can I build a ramp myself?

Many experienced DIYers can construct or assemble a basic wheelchair ramp on their own. Most of the materials you will need can be purchased from your local home improvement store. A wheelchair ramp construction kit can make your project even easier.

You may also like:

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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