People in wheelchairs or those with other mobility challenges, sometimes need help getting into and out of their mobile homes. In these situations, the choice generally comes down to either installing a ramp or putting in a vertical porch lift.
A ramp is a good solution when the rise between the ground and the door is low and there is enough room for its installation. In terms of height, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires a ratio of 1:12 for all public buildings; that is, for each inch of height, 12 inches, or one foot of ramp, is necessary. And while some local building codes might be more lenient, requiring perhaps only eight inches of ramping for every inch of rise, the ADA ratio is still considered the safest solution.
So, for example, if the rise between the ground and the entry door is 30 inches, which is often standard for a mobile home, 30 feet of ramping will be needed. And if there isn’t 30 feet of straightaway space available, the ramp is going to have to be broken up with platforms, landings, and/or turnarounds, which can make a ramp project more complex and more expensive.
Another thing to think about if a ramp is being considered is the choice of material used. That generally means either wood or some type of metal – most probably aluminum. Wood may be less expensive but metal stands up better to bad weather. Either way, a ramp should be covered with some sort of non-skid surface. And it needs to be kept free of obstacles or the occasional fallen branch.
If a ramp is not an acceptable option, a porch lift, sometimes called a vertical platform lift, can be a better solution. It takes up less space than a ramp and generally has a lifting height of up to 72 inches. And a lift can be a whole lot easier and safer for a wheelchair user to operate than going up and down a long or steep ramp. The good news is that a lift can also be comparable in price. These considerations make a porch lift a reasonable alternative when a mobile home owner with mobility challenges needs to make his or her abode, more accessible.
Before you decide on which alternative is the best one for your situation, you should seek out professional advice. Here at the Pacific Mobility Center, we can assist you in making the right decision for yourself or a loved one. Call us for a no-cost assessment and a member of our staff will work with you to help you choose the most appropriate solution.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)