How Much Is a Wheelchair Ramp?
Building a wheelchair ramp requires superior technical precision and construction skills to ensure comfort and safety. For this reason, it is no surprise that a professionally built ramp costs between $938 and $2,902, and an average of $1,887. Today, each linear foot is between $100 and $250, depending on your choice of materials and the price of labor in your state. The standard size is 30 inches wide, 30 inches long, and 30 inches high.
In order for a ramp for wheelchair to offer convenience and freedom, it must be constructed correctly. Some ramps are complicated to install, so you must hire a professional company that is well-trained and deeply-familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
We’ve listed down the factors that influence construction costs. These can help you make an informed decision.
Handicap Ramp Material Prices Per Linear Foot
Ramps for wheelchairs that are made of wood can you between $100-$250 per foot. Wood has an inherent warmth and charm, but it requires the most maintenance. It has to be primed and coated thoroughly every few years to prevent rot and warping. You must also add traction on the surface to allow access during wet weather. Deterioration can be faster in humid places.
Without proper maintenance, a wood disability ramp can become difficult or unsafe to rolled over.
Available at in many home improvement centers
Easy to install
Requires slip prevention and weather protection
Concrete wheelchair ramps are tough but they can also be costly ( $200-$250 per linear foot). They are also not suitable for temporary situations as they can be difficult to get rid of.
Ideal for permanent situations
Difficult to remove
The average cost of an aluminum wheelchair ramp is $150 per foot. It’s a remarkable material of choice because it is strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum used in ramps usually has grooved surfaces to maintain traction during wet conditions. However, it is relatively expensive, and the lighter the aluminum, the most likely wobble or bend.
A steel handicap ramp cost is at $200-$250 per foot, but it is more stable than aluminum. It is also heavier and less flexible. However, it is prone to rust and corrosion. Galvanized steel is more recommended for outdoor installations with added textured surface for safe movement.
Cheaper and easier to assemble, pre-fabricated aluminum ramps can be shipped to you in sections so you can put them together yourself. Wheelchair ramps of pre-fabricated aluminum are ideal for traveling or temporary situations.
Planning and Designing a Wheelchair Ramp
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines must be strictly followed when planning and designing any wheelchair ramp. This is to ensure the safety and usability of the structure.
A professional ramp contractor is knowledgeable about these guidelines and can suggest the best mobility solutions for your needs. Most often, planning and designing are already included in the service package.
Calculating is the slope that is the most critical aspect of designing a wheelchair ramp. If it is too steep, it can be difficult to climb on and can cause the wheelchair ramp to roll back. You should also think about how it’s going to be during rainy or snowy days. The lower the slope, the safer and easier it will be for the wheelchair ramp user.
For permanent installations, it is advised to keep the slope as low as possible. Professionals recommend a rise that doesn’t exceed 1 inch per 1 foot of length.
To calculate the right slope, get the height in inches, and then convert it to feet. This means a 25-inch ramp would have to be 25 feet long. Flat surfaces or landing pads may be necessary, particularly for long units. Logically, wheelchair ramp cost is higher of the ramp is longer.
Discuss with the professional how the wheelchair ramp will be used. Whether it will be for manual wheelchairs or electric ones, this should be taken into account to build the right unit with the right weight specifications. Naturally, ramps with higher weight specifications require more time to construct. You will also have to use a stronger material, which can drive the cost higher.
Level landings or flat surfaces should be built at the top and bottom of any ramp to allow rest periods and safety stops. These also provide space for opening doors.
A flat surface at the bottom is necessary for the wheelchair user in making smooth turns and transition from flat to slope. Add resting levels in the middle of long units so the user can take breaks.
Landings are required at the top and bottom, and segments should not rise more than 30 inches between level resting areas. Landings should always be at least as wide as the ramp itself and a minimum of 60 inches in length. Those used for directional changes should be at least 60 inches wide by 60 inches long.
Certain ramp dimensions require a certain number of guards and handrails, which increases the costs. Consider including the handrail installation in the hourly rate of your professional wheelchair ramp installer.
There are DIY kits that include handrails, but they usually cost $300 per piece (metal). Wooden guards vary in price depending on the type of lumber.
Lumber has an average cost of $0.70/foot, and on top of that, you need to sand and stain it to prevent damage. A hand sander is at $40 to $130, while a weather-resistant stain is around $20 per quart.
For wheelchair ramps higher than 6 inches and longer than 72 inches, it is advised to install handrails on both sides. Make sure that the head of the handrail is mounted at least 34-38 inches above the surface and at least 1.5 inches from another solid surface (e.g wall).
A professional wheelchair ramp installer will keep the inside rails continuous as the ramp direction changes. A crutch stop or a curb can be used to prevent wheels from rolling over the edge.
Ramps made out of metal or wood (or a combination of both) can become safety hazards when wet. It is crucial to install an anti-slip feature to avoid accidents.
For only $15 to $35, you can already have a roll of 2” x 60” anti-slip tape that can provide extra traction long your ramp. Grit tapes attach quickly and permanently to virtually any surface; they also come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. You can buy pre-cut strips from home improvement centers and online suppliers, or cut the tapes yourself.
Different states may have different requirements when it comes to wheelchair ramps. If you hire a pro ramp installer, they’ll know what papers to submit to the local building office. You should also check if your home owner’s association has rules and regulations regarding this kind of installation. Permits usually cost $30 to $120.
Concrete and wooden models are classified as permanent modifications to an existing structure, meaning you need to secure a permit for them. Modular units, on the other hand, are classified as durable medical equipment (DME), so they usually go without a permit.
A pro handicap ramp contractor can advise on choosing the best option based on your current situation, house design, and specific local requirements.
Portable, Mobile, & Mini Ramps Portable, mobile, and mini ramps are temporary alternatives that go from $100 to $2000. These are usually options for individuals living in rented spaces, and those with temporary mobility issues.
Mini Ramp Costs
You can own a mini ramp for just $100 to $200. Mini ramps are commonly 30 inches wide and 3 feet long and are easy to install and transport. The main purpose of a mini handicap ramp is to allow safe and easy passage over a raised surface or to serve a bridge between two levels.
Insurance for Permanent and Portable Ramps In certain cases, people with mobility problems can get financial assistance to secure a permanent ramp or a modular unit.
Medicare Medicare’s policy considers disability ramps as durable medical equipment (DME), so they can be fully reimbursed if used for medical purposes. However, a licensed physician must declare that the ramp is medically necessary.
Medicaid Medicaid is a federal health program administered by the state. The policies vary, but most often the guidelines as the same as Medicare. This means your ramp will only be fully reimbursed if it’s prescribed by a licensed physician for medical reasons.
Veteran Assistance Veterans who need mobility solutions may apply to the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Cash and Counseling benefit. Those qualified will receive a budget for the supplies and services they need. Any expenses outside the budget will have to be shouldered by the beneficiary.
Veterans with a disability may also be applied for Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grants (HISA Grants) from the Veteran’s Affairs. These are assistance given to veterans who need home modifications for easy and comfortable access. Disabilities related to military service may qualify for assistance can be up to $6,800. If the mobility issue is not related to service, the grand may be up to $2,000.
Wheelchair ramps can only improve accessibility if it’s constructed properly. Hiring a professional contractor with extensive experience in mobility solutions will ensure that your ramp is safe, functional, and comfortable. This is because they are familiar with laws and regulations dictated by the state and the locality in terms of wheelchair ramp installation.
Your contractor should be able to provide a quotation for the wheelchair ramp cost to help you make an informed decision. Bear in mind that the ramp cost is directly proportional to its durability, weight specifications, and size. Logically, portable ramps are cheaper than permanent installations.