Adding a Concrete Handicap Ramp to Your Home in Rochester HIlls

If you or a loved one have limited mobility and are considering adding a handicap ramp to your Rochester Hills home, consider the following things before building. You’ll want to make sure that the ramp not only is easily accessible for your loved one but that it’s safe and durable as well.  But where exactly do you start to make sure that you get the ramp you need?

First, make sure to familiarize yourself with your local city ordinances in order to make sure your handicap ramp is up to code. The general rule of thumb for specifications for handicap ramps is known as the 1:12 rule. Basically, that means for every 1 inch of height, you need to run the length of the ramp at 12 inches across. This ratio creates a slope that is both safe and manageable for both patients and caretakers to use. It also meets the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) requirement for both residential and commercial properties ramps.

Next you’ll want to think of the people who are going to be using this ramp. The 1: 12-inch slope is typically manageable for most wheelchair users with strong upper body upper body strength. If you feel your loved one will still struggle, consider adopting an even gentler slope. Consider how your loved ones do on other ramps since most adhere to the 1:12 rule, and decide from there if the slope of your ramp needs to be adjusted. That’s why it’s important to check your local city ordinances first so that if any minor adjustments need to be made your ramp will still be in code.

You’ll also want to consider what you’d like your handicap ramp to be made out of it. We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest concrete, but why concrete over other materials? Some other common materials that handicap ramps can be constructed out of are steel, wood, or aluminum. These options may seem more cost effective at first, but if you consider the maintenance to prevent rust, corrosion, or dry rot, the cost of these other materials quickly increases. Concrete is a durable, low maintenance option that can save you money in the long run.

Concrete also provides a higher weight limit than other materials in case there will be a caregiver helping your loved one or if heavy equipment is needed to go on the ramp. In the case of an emergency, that higher weight limit can give peace of mind knowing that if emergency personnel need access to the ramp with gurneys or any other equipment they will be able to.

The biggest issue that people tend to fault concrete ramps with is cost. But as mentioned above, concrete can cut down on maintenance costs. That alone makes concrete well worth it. The curb appeal of a concrete ramp is also another major reason to consider going with concrete over other materials. Often, aluminum and steel ramps tend to stand out like a sore thumb against the architecture of your home. This may affect the resale value of the home in the future. Concrete can blend seamlessly with the architecture in your Rochester Hills home and enhance the curb appeal for any future resale.

Hopefully, this information helps you as you start the process of adding a handicap ramp for your residence in Rochester Hills. If you have any more questions about exactly where to start or how to make your new addition blend smoothly with your architecture, reach out to us directly at (248) 379-0250 or (586) 726-6091.

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