Wheelchair ramps allow disabled people to get into elevated entrance ways. So whether you are trying to enter an office, house, or car, a ADA accessible ramp makes it possible for you to do it independently. The 1990 American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all public facilities and newly-constructed businesses to have wheelchair access. Although residential homes and buildings are not required to meet these same standards, if you plan to have a wheelchair ramp built, it is recommended to follow ADA guidelines.
A permanent wheelchair ramp provides an independent and sturdy way to access your house. They are usually made out of concrete, steel, or wood. Although the most durable is concrete, it is also the hardest to install and the most expensive. Compared to wooden ramps, steel ones are more durable. However, they have a tendency to be more expensive, heavier, and heat up in the sunshine. Wood ramps have a tendency to be the most aesthetically attractive but must be treated and weatherproofed for them to last.
A permanent wheelchair ramp, depending on the kind of wood used as well as other specifications, that reaches a 30-inch height (and 30 feet in length) can cost $3,500 to $8,000 or $100 to $250 per linear foot.
Although you might only need to have a 10-foot ramp, a horizontal platform needs to be installed at the end and start of the ramp as well. The ADA recommends it to be 60 inches in length. The ADA requirements also specify that the ramp is at least 36 inches wide, handrails, and edge protection to prevent slippage. When you hire a carpenter, be sure that he is familiar with ADA guidelines and is experienced constructing handicap-accessible structures.
Other Wheelchair Ramp Costs
Make sure that weather conditions are taken into account by your carpenter, especially if your area features a rainy climate such as Milwaukee. Wood needs to be protected with varnish or sealer in order to prevent warping and rotting that is caused by rain or other moisture. If you have wooden handrails they need to be finished and maintained properly in order to prevent splinters. Place the ramp boards close enough together n order to prevent any uncomfortable gaps, yet also spaced far enough apart for water drainage purposes.
Unless your home’s entrance is directly underneath a streetlight, you might want to have an electrician install lighting along the side of the wheelchair ramp or above it.
This type of wheelchair ramp is inexpensive and offers on-the-spot and easy help. However, typically they are used for getting into cars or other entranceways that are slightly elevated. They are not able to provide you with access to entrances that are higher. For example, a 5-foot portable wheelchair ramp following ADA guidelines only will reach around half a foot off of the ground. It would not be able to reach an entrance that is over two-steps high. Also, if it is a portable ramp, then a wheelchair-bound person most likely will not be able to transport it or set it up by themselves, which means they will be dependent on another person’s help.
Everyone deserves an affordable and easy way to go into and out of their house, without having to sacrifice aesthetic appeal. Get in touch with a professional carpenter to talk about the needs of your home and how a wheelchair can accommodate you the best. There are some states that offer funding to modify the homes of people who are disabled. to find out what your rights are, get in touch with your local government representative.
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