The following is a list of ramps that are appropriate for home use. We have also added some information about home-use lifts, for those situations where a ramp simply isn't the best option.
Aluminum ramps are the second-most popular type of ramp. They offer many advantages over other types of ramps. These typically come in standard modules that fit together in configurations that work for most homes. Some manufacturers will alternately custom build a ramp system if you require something unique. Here are some pictures of typical aluminum wheelchair ramps.
Wood ramps are the most popular form of ramp. They can be made from common materials found in any good home improvement store. It is advisable to have someone with experience build your ramp for you. Visit our "Build a Wood Ramp" section for links to plans and advice on construction techniques. Even the best-built wood ramps will need the addition of some type of non-slip surface. The best option is the relatively new non-slip treads. These are made of aluminum, are simple to install and never need replacement.
Here are some pictures of some good (and NOT so good) wood wheelchair ramps, along with some pictures of aluminum stair treads.
Here are some pictures of galvanized steel ramp systems and a close-up view of the decking material. This decking material has an "open" pattern that gives excellent traction and doesn't allow water, snow or dirt to accumulate. It's also VERY hard on bare feet and high-heeled shoes!!
Here are some pictures of concrete deck ramps. These ramps give the feel and walking surface of a poured concrete ramp, but are less expensive to install and a lot less permanent.
There are many different kinds of portable ramps. The most popular and inexpensive are the aluminum portables. They come in many different lengths, surfaces and folding configurations. There are also portables that are made of various plastics and fiberglass, but these tend to be very expensive and have relatively low capacities.
As their name implies, these are made for a very short rise, which would typically occur at a door opening. Some of these areas may not look like much, but a rise of 1 1/2" might as well be a brick wall when you hit it with the tiny front wheels of a wheelchair. These are typically made from either aluminum with a non-skid surface or solid rubber.
Made for areas where a ramp won't fit, or where the rise is simply too severe for a ramp to make economic sense (the dividing line is usually a 30" rise or greater). Wheelchair lifts require a permanent concrete pad as a base. Because they are electrical, they require a dedicated power source. Lifts should only be installed by a dedicated, experienced installer.