Accessibility Journeys: When Your Yard Isn’t Big Enough for a Ramp

A vertical lift is the perfect alternate to an accessible ramp

A vertical lift is the perfect alternate to an accessible ramp

When your mobility begins to change climbing only a few steps to access your home can become a big problem.  Constructing a wheelchair ramp on a home that is almost level to the ground can be a relatively easy project – if you have the space to build a ramp that will pass a code inspection. However, in urban and gated communities, having the adequate space needed is a luxury that is simply not available. Many urban lots don’t have enough front yard real state available to accommodate the wheelchair accessible ramp requirements.  Today, homeowners are increasingly looking toward accessibility entry options that do not take their lawns hostage.

When surveying the space available, often the number of steps and the drop to the ground is several inches off the ground. Most municipalities require at least eight inches of ramping for every one inch of drop for a residential building permit. Commercial building codes and ADA apartment complexes require at least 12 inches of ramp for every 1” off the ground. In addition, there should also be a flat landing at doorways, a turn and for every 30” off the ground which serves as a “speed break” for the person going down the ramp. With that being said let’s do the math. If you go up 40” of steps to your front porch, you will need more than 31’ for your accessible ramp and landings.  If your yard drops away from the front of the house, the ramp gets even longer!

Presented with the choice, many of our customers have chosen an exterior lift system instead of an accessible ramp. Accessibility lift systems on the market are durable and dependable in all weather conditions. The lifts often have battery back-up in case of a power outage. So, before putting that 30’ – 40’ wheelchair accessible ramp on your property, do your research and check out exterior lift systems. This alternative may be exactly what you need to both give you the freedom you want while saving your landscaping.

If you are interested in exploring creative accessibility options that go beyond the ramp for your home, call our offices today.

About Creative Renovation:

Creative Renovations completes over 250 accessibility home renovations annually ranging from simple wheelchair ramps, handicapped accessible bathroom to more complex remodels such as fully automating homes. We are an accessibility construction resource for all counties in Greater Columbus, serving people with disabilities and the aging population for over 20 years.

As certified Aging-In-Place Specialists and Bonded General Contractors, we successfully assist individuals and families understand all of the emerging accessibility options that are available. We assemble building teams that are committed to completing every project efficiently and in a friendly manner. We work with our clients to ensure that they feel good about the changes happening in their home. Our motto is “Beyond Accessibility” which means that we go beyond ADA standards, we design creative solutions that maximum independence and safety in every home that we renovate. We proudly serve seniors, veterans or any person that has had an accident which has limited their mobility. Our construction management team has over 100 years of combined experience in both the private construction industry and the not for profit market. If you are in Central Ohio and need our team to help you in your home, please visit our contact page to set up a in-home visit.

Patrick Rafter

Creative Housing/Creative Renovations

prafter@creativehousing.org

www.accessibilityrenovations.org

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