When you are planning to age-in-place, making sure your home is safe and accessible is likely your first priority. Installing a ramp is one way to give you peace of mind as you access or move around your home. 

Keep reading to learn six things to consider if you are thinking about installing a ramp in your home!

1. The Purpose of the Ramp

The first thing to consider is the purpose of the ramp. Consider whether you need an exterior ramp to access your home or an interior ramp to make a threshold easier to cross over, either on foot or in a wheelchair.

The intended purpose of the ramp will help to accurately determine the size, slope, and materials needed for the ramp.

2. The Slope of the Ramp

The slope of any ramp should be gradual enough for you to navigate safely but steep sufficient to minimize the length of the ramp. Following ADA-recommended guidelines, a ramp used for accessibility should have one foot of ramp for each inch of rise.

Determining the slope of a ramp is especially important when installing an exterior ramp to access the front or side doors of your home. Your home may have unique structural features or landscaping to be considered when designing a suitable ramp.

3. The Width of the Ramp

To allow for easy and safe passage, especially if you are in a wheelchair or using a walker, a ramp should be at least thirty-six inches wide. This minimum width ensures that you can use the ramp without worrying about it accommodating a mobility aid.

When considering an interior doorway ramp, you should be sure that the ramp extends to the entire width of the threshold. A ramp that does not span the complete width of a threshold may have gaps along the edges that can cause users to trip or fall.

4. The Surface of the Ramp

The surface of any ramp should be smooth yet slip-resistant to allow users to confidently access the ramp. Both custom and prefabricated ramps are available with a range of surface options to ensure optimal safety. 

When choosing a suitable surface for a ramp, it is important to consider the purpose of the ramp. While an interior threshold ramp might need a simple rubber finish to make it slip-resistant, an exterior ramp likely requires a slip-resistant finish that can stand up to hazardous environmental conditions like rain, ice, and snow.

5. Length of Intended Use

When considering your ramp options, you will want to think about how long you will need the ramp for. The estimated length of time for the ramp use can impact what kind of ramp you might install.

If you intend to use the ramp for years to come, custom exterior ramps are long-lasting and can be built to complement the look and feel of your home. A modular ramp can be a good option if you only intend to use the ramp for a short period of time.

6. Handrails for Extra Stability

Adding handrails to a ramp is essential for both stability and support when you are using the ramp. It is important that handrails are installed on both sides of the ramp at the appropriate height for the users of the ramp. 

At Portland Accessibility Remodelers, we can help you determine which ramp options are best for you and your home as you age-in-place. Whether you need an exterior ramp or an interior threshold ramp, we have the expertise to ensure your ramp not only meets your needs, but is safely and professionally installed!

Are you considering aging-in-place? Contact Portland Accessibility Remodelers today to find out how we can make that dream a reality!