If you are looking to improve associability for mobility device-users into a building or home, you must have conducted some research on the various options available.
Wheelchair ramps are an excellent choice for both commercial and residential settings. However, some business establishments have also started installing porch lifts.
These vertical platforms act like a mini-elevator and can be used to ascend to the platform level of a building's entrance. When you start to look for these products, you will find that there are many different ramp and porch lift options available on the market. There are permanent ramps as well as temporary features.
The ramps could be made of different materials and customised to your requirements. Porch lifts are also available in a variety of models and specifications, and you can choose one depending on the setting and your specific needs and budget. If you are unsure about whether you should get a wheelchair ramp or a porch lift installed, read on:
What Is A Wheelchair Ramp?
A wheelchair ramp is a standard feature on most commercial properties in Australia today. Many homes that have elderly family members who need mobility devices also get ramps installed on their property. These ascending surfaces are flat and have a specific slope. They enable wheelchair and other mobility device users to enter and exit the building quickly. They are a practical and straightforward solution for these purposes.
What Is A Porch Lift?
A porch lift is a relatively new concept. This add-on can be installed in a home or retail establishment and is proving to be a viable accessibility option for some users. These features are also referred to as vertical platform lifts for wheelchair lifts. They are mechanical platforms which ascend to several feet off the ground level.
They allow wheelchair users to exit and enter the platform vertically instead of using traditional ramps. Porch lifts can also be installed on residential properties and enable users to enter/exit the building safely and can be installed indoors as well.
- Since both of these options have some specific characteristics and benefits, you might be torn between which one to choose. Let's delve a little deeper into this aspect.
- Some of the basic models of porch lifts are around $3000-$3500 excluding installation. Depending on the surface available, a cement pad may be required in that area before installing the porch lift, and this becomes an additional cost.
- You also have to factor in costs such as a self-closing gate at the upper landing and an electrical service or circuits as required.
- You also need to make sure that the electrical connections of the wheelchair ramp are not directly exposed to the outdoor environment as they can get impacted by rain and stormy conditions.
- It means that you may need to install some shade above the area where the porch lift is. This is another expense you need to take into account while considering a post lift installation.
- While they could be a suitable option for commercial settings, they can be a hassle compared to ramps due to existing building codes and regulations.
- You would require a special permit to get this kind of a feature installed on your commercial property; it would also need to be enclosed for safety and require keyed access.
- All of these aspects significantly increased the cost of installing a porch lift or a platform lift on your property. Certain commercial organisations might be able to get this feature installed and find it more convenient than a ramp. But in most other settings, it proves to be less feasible because of the cost and other factors.
One advantage of a lift is that you can relocate the feature to another place if required. The other benefit is that it requires less space compared to a ramp which is a sloping feature and occupies more space at the entrance to a building or home.
Wheelchair Ramp Advantages
- Aluminium wheelchair ramps are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and layouts.
- These aluminium ramps are not permanent structures though they are very stable and robust.
- They have a modular structure and can be assembled on site. It also means that you can dismantle them if you are relocating.
- These ramps do not need any specific site preparation. As long as there is stable ground in that area, a wheelchair ramp can be installed easily on your property.
- They are suitable for residential and commercial applications.
- You can choose from different widths and also get the kind of railing that you want to be installed.
When you look at all these advantages and the fact that ramp installations are far more affordable than a porch lift installation, it becomes clear that the former is a far better option in most instances. While there is no black and white solution when it comes to accessibility, property owners should keep all of these aspects in view while determining what works best for them.
Custom Wheelchair Ramps
If you are looking for a customised wheelchair ramp that works perfectly in your commercial or residential property, we at Adapta can help. We offer a wide variety of modular ramps that can be customised to your needs. You can choose from Straight, C-shaped, U-shaped and L-shaped layouts depending on the available space and your specific requirements. Our team is here to help you with all the details that you require about the different types of ramps available. The team will also visit your location and survey the area to assess which solution would work best for you.
This comprehensive approach and our experience with different types of ramp installations go a long way in ensuring that you get a feature that will be a value add to your property. We provide a wide variety of domestic and commercial options. You can call 1800 232 782 or contact Adapta through this form, and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.