Aluminum Wheelchair Ramps: Finding Mobility Freedom
Living with a mobility disability can bring unique challenges. Too many cities and structures simply weren’t built with people with disabilities in mind. Even someone’s own home can hold barriers to freedom and independence. There is no question that we still have a long way to go when it comes to accessibility standards, especially given the 3.3 million Americans who use a wheelchair.
Fortunately, the variety of customizable ramps available can offer solutions to some of these accessibility challenges. The right ramp can be convenient, affordable, and make all the difference when it comes to accessing all the world has to offer. For many, the right ramp material is aluminum for its variety of benefits from cost to durability to customization options.
Read on to discover the multitude of ways a ramp can impact everyday life, the benefits of aluminum, and pointers for choosing just the right ramp for your mobility needs.
The Difference a Wheelchair Ramp Makes:
A wheelchair ramp in a home can provide many benefits for people with mobility challenges. The most obvious is access. A mobility ramp provides a gateway for those in wheelchairs to move through their entire house and enter or exit a home. It allows access to friends and family. It represents the ability to run errands, go to medical appointments, or attend social events. For a person with a mobility disability, it is a necessary path to independence, freedom, and peace of mind.
Having a wheelchair ramp in the home is also crucial for safety. Many ramps are designed to be slip-resistant and have both handrails and side rails to provide stability and support when transitioning. This can allow a person with a disability to move around the home more confidently and with less risk of injury.
Even more importantly, in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or inclement weather, someone’s mobility doesn’t stand in the way of getting in or out of a house to safety.
A wheelchair ramp can also provide convenience. It eliminates the need to transfer between a wheelchair and other mobility devices. This can be especially beneficial for those with limited strength and balance.
Finally, a wheelchair ramp can increase inclusivity. It is a part of the sense of comfort and security that everyone deserves in their home. It allows a person with a disability to feel that their home is well-suited for their needs rather than representing another barrier.
A wheelchair ramp promotes inclusivity in another way too. It allows someone with a mobility challenge to access the homes of family and friends. It allows independent outings for social activities and hobbies. It helps to remove a feeling of isolation.
There are a multitude of available options for ramps. A popular choice is aluminum and there are many reasons why. Let’s take a closer look at this essential home mobility choice to help determine if it may be the optimal solution for your specific mobility needs.
Why an Aluminum Ramp?
When building a home ramp, the cost is often a primary concern. Medicare usually will not cover home modifications, even when related to a medical condition. Aluminum tends to be a relatively inexpensive option and very affordable for many peoples’ budgets.
Aluminum is a lightweight material, making it a great option to provide mobility access, particularly if the ramp must be moved from time to time. It also increases ease of installation.
Being a light material does not keep aluminum ramps from being durable. These mobility ramps are typically made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes them incredibly strong and gives them excellent longevity in a variety of locations.
During production, the aluminum is treated with a corrosion-resistant coating. The benefits are twofold. This ensures that the ramp will remain in good condition even in wet or humid environments. It also means that an aluminum wheelchair ramp is low maintenance, when it comes to repair and cleanliness, making them an ideal option for many different applications for wheelchair users.
The lighter weight also means aluminum mobility ramps can be easily customized to fit the space available. This makes them a great option for smaller and irregularly shaped spaces. Some also offer features like adjustable heights, handrails, and slip-resistant surfaces. This ability to customize each ramp, as needed, makes them a great option for spaces that require ADA compliance.
Choosing the Right Aluminum Ramp for You
Aluminum Ramp Cost
As with any home renovation, the cost of having a permanent ramp installed will vary.
Size is a primary factor. If you just need to clear a raised threshold, a modest ramp will do the job. If you are building a ramp to a raised structure like a porch or deck, that will take more material and incur a higher cost. A couple of other factors that affect cost and personalize the ramp to your needs include:
Aluminum Ramp Appearance
Some aluminum mobility ramps will have options to make them look more attractive, to be less noticeable, or to match the aesthetics of the home. For example, wood paneling and various color options are available. Consider if these factors are important enough to your lifestyle to warrant a higher price.
Aluminum Ramp Durability
Ensure that you are getting a quality ramp by asking how it is coated or otherwise weatherized. Consider how the location affects your needs for durability. Will the ramp have regular exposure to wet weather conditions? You’ll want to ensure that it is properly weatherized and probably avoid options like wood paneling. Steer clear of excess railing or fencing that can stop snow and rain from draining, creating obstacles. Consider options that provide extra non-slip surface area.
Is it in an extremely high traffic area? You may want to upgrade to the highest durability standards.
Back to the Cost
All of the above factors can make a ramp feel just right for you, but they also impact the price. Broadly, you can expect a quality, permanent ramp to cost between $100 and $250 per linear foot.
The True Value of a Wheelchair Ramp
Aluminum wheelchair ramps for homes, whether temporary or permanent, can be life changing. The threshold to your home should represent security on one side and possibility on the other. The right ramp helps ensure inclusion, independence, and freedom to people of all mobility levels.