Choice Between Wheelchair Ramps And Wheelchair Lifts

Maria James

While wheelchair ramps still exist in some areas, many wheelchair users who live in densely populated areas or cities rely on vertical platform lifts (VPLs), as their primary means of access to their homes.

Wheelchair Ramps

Man using a handicap ramp as a power chair to enter his home safely. A handicap ramp is usually the best option when there is restricted access to a building, church, school, or home. One foot of ramp is needed for every inch of rise in modular aluminum ramp systems. Because of this, it is not always possible to install a handicap ramp that meets code. A handicap ramp for a house with seven steps will usually require a length of 50 feet, including the platform(s), that would be needed where the ramp turns.

Wheelchair Lifts

Vertical platform wheelchair lifts require a space of approximately 5’x5′. Its compact in size makes it the preferred choice of many wheelchair users, especially in urban areas where there is not enough space for a porch lift. Lifeway CHI, Berwyn, Illinois installed the vertical platform wheelchair lift to provide safe access for those who do not require a ramp.


The front porch or back porch is where wheelchair lifts are installed. These lifts are also known as porch lifts. The lift rests on a concrete pad with a lifting height up to 14′. This is sufficient for most first-floor and second-floor levels.


A wood platform is often installed above the porch at the top of the lift. This wood platform is flush with the floor so that wheelchair users don’t have to take the final steps into the house or climb up the wedge ramp at the front door.

Installing A Ramp Or Wheelchair Lift In A Garage

A garage is often more suitable for an accessible solution than a back yard or front yard. A ramp or a lift can be used, but wheelchair lifts are the best option due to space limitations. A ramp may take up too much space to make it impossible for a car to park there. 


The vertical platform lift takes up very little space and allows you to park your car or place the garbage bin nearby. A garage can also be used as a lift, providing protection from the elements. You won’t have to struggle in and out of your car in the rain or snow.

Reasons Why Lifts Are Better Than Ramps: 

For a long time, ramps have been a popular choice. Vertical lifts have become a popular choice for homeowners who realize the benefits of independent living for those with disabilities. We will take a look at some reasons vertical wheelchair lifts are a better choice to make for you or your loved ones.


Uses Less Space

Vertical wheelchair lifts take up much less space than traditional ramps. A ramp requires a one-foot section for every inch of rise. A 12-inch rise means that a 12-foot ramp will be required. Some homes and businesses don’t have enough space to accommodate this much space.


A vertical lift requires a concrete pad of 5x5ft in size. The base slab will be used to install the lift, which can measure 48 to 53 inches. To access a home, you must ride the lift vertically to the door, and not navigate a long ramp.


A Lift Is Safer

It can be hazardous for those who use a wheelchair to maneuver the long ramp slope. Ramps upward need constant forward motion. You should not leave your home as you must carefully descend the slope in order to prevent the wheelchair from picking up too much speed. Navigating the ramp in bad weather like snow and ice can make it more difficult.


Many safety features are available in vertical lifts. The wheelchair lifts are sturdy and made of durable materials. They can be used in all weather conditions. The rider climbs onto the platform, and is then moved safely to the top landing by pressing a button.


Avoid Unattractive Aesthetics

It is difficult to find the exact type of wood or stain for ramps that have been installed after the home has been built. A mismatch in design can detract from your home’s appearance and decrease its value. A long, bulky ramp can make your home the focal point of curb appeal.


Vertical lifts require less space. Vertical lifts can be placed in areas that are not visible, such as inside a garage. The lift can be moved out of sight so that the home is more welcoming to guests. You can also move the lift to another location if you choose, so you don’t have to worry about selling it.


Additional Advantages Of A Wheelchair Lift:

Vertical lifts are a great option for home projects. These are just a few:



You’ll be surprised at the amount of labor and material that go into building a ramp 12 feet long or more. Although the initial cost of a wheelchair lift might seem high, it is usually cheaper than hiring someone to install one. A lift is also less expensive than re-staining an old wood ramp.


Faster Installation Compared To Ramps:

Ramps can take several weeks to install, a lift takes less time to install. Customers have had their lift delivered in the morning, and it is ready for use that afternoon.


A Wheelchair Lift Is Easy To Use:

It allows you to easily access your home and can be operated by yourself without the assistance of others. You may need help to maneuver your handicap ramp safely into your home.


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