Is a Ramp Right for You?

Has leaving your home to become a challenge because of the steps or slope of your property?    Does using a walker, cane or other assisted mobility device make it difficult for you to use the walkway to your home?   Do you have heart or breathing difficulties that impact your ability to climb steps?  Are you returning from a hospital or rehab stay and require a short-term solution to getting in and out of your home?  A temporary, permanent or portable ramp will eliminate the obstacles preventing you from leaving or entering your home.  A ramp will give you back security, freedom, and independence; making it safe and easy to enjoy all that the outdoors have to offer.  Ramps are made of weatherproof, slip-resistant materials to provide safe access in all-weather conditions.

Inside your home, thresholds or architectural floor plans can pose problems for people with mobility issues as well as for family members and caregivers assisting those with mobility needs.  A threshold ramp will help eliminate problems of navigating challenging interior designs.  Lightweight, slip-resistant, portable ramps can be the answer to your accessibility needs. 

Let Us Customize a Solution

Every home is unique and so is every person utilizing a ramp.  The goal of Back Home Safely is to create accessible environments that allow you to stay in your home.  We carry ramps in many sizes to accommodate your home.  We will evaluate your specific needs, and make a recommendation to create the accessible environment you need, affording you the ability to move freely and safely inside and outside your home.

When considering a ramp several questions need to be addressed:

  1. Is a permanent or temporary ramp needed? 
  2. Will permits be required?
  3. What size ramp is needed?
  4. What are the weather conditions the ramp will be exposed to? 
  5. What material should the be ramp be made of?
  6. How much maintenance will the ramp require?
  7. What is the budget for the ramp?

Ramps can be Permanent or Modular or Portable

Permanent ramps are ramps constructed out of wood or concrete.  These have footings and require permits which can take a town up to 20 days to allow the work to be completed.  Many times, people who require a ramp do not have this time to wait for the permitting process. 

Modular ramp systems are made of aluminum or steel.  A modular ramp is composed of different ramp and platform sections of varying sizes, which gives the ramp dealer the ability to create a ramp layout that works around your property’s landscape.  They have feet and do not require footings, as such typically do not require a permit.  Many of these ramps have curb edging to prevent the wheelchair or walker from coming off the ramp and they may also have handrails.

Portable ramps are small ramps usually without handrails that are typically used for one or two steps or a curb and can be placed down when needed and then removed (Insert a picture of a suitcase ramp)

Are Permits Required for Ramps?

Permits are required for any permanent ramp that has footings.  Each town has permitting requirements that would have to be investigated before the installation of a permanent structure.  Most towns will not require permits for temporary ramps because they are just that, temporary.  Portable ramps require no permits and can be used inside or outside the home.

What Size Ramp do I Need?

The optimal length of a ramp is 12″ (or 1 foot) of ramp for every inch of rise.  Every step is typically 7 1/2 – 8″.  Therefore, a ramp for 3 steps would require 24’ of ramp.  If the journey to your exterior requires a turn, a platform would be added to allow for the turn. For ramps of more than 30′ long, there should be an extra platform that is used for resting.  In addition, ramps can be dangerous if the appropriate length-to-rise ratio is not appropriate. Ramps that are too steep can create a fall hazard.

What Weather Conditions will the Ramp be Exposed to?

Expert considerations for environmental as well as specific functional needs must be carefully addressed to achieve the safety and usability of the ramp.  Assessing the weather conditions including directional exposure for ice buildup and puddling will be considered when installing the ramp.

What Material Should the Ramp be Made of?

Permanent ramps can be made of bluestone, pavers, and concrete.  They can be tastefully blended into your home environment with the goal of creating accessibility while maintaining the beauty of your home.

Modular ramps are usually made of weatherproof, slip-resistant aluminum that can range from 2’ to 200’ long depending on your individual needs.  They come standard with 36″ high handrails and are able to support the weight of family members, caregivers, and wheelchairs.

Threshold and portable ramps, which can be our solution for high door thresholds or individual steps, are made of lightweight, slip-resistant materials.  This ensures shuffle steppers

How much Maintenance will the Ramp Require?

As with any front walk, you need to keep the ramp clear of debris, be aware of changing or slippery conditions, and be prepared for winter weather.  Once your ramp is installed, be sure to keep ice melt on hand.  For aluminum ramps, a product with magnesium or calcium chloride is best as it is safe to use on aluminum surfaces. Do not use salt deicer. In addition, a ramp should be cleared with a plastic shovel and snow broom; this will minimize any abrasion to the ribbed and grip surface of the ramp.

As with any installation, there could be some loosening of the bolts and screws over time or some settling of the legs due to soil conditions.  If you notice any of this, call Back Home Safely and we will have a technician make the necessary adjustments.

How much will a Ramp Cost?

Back Home Safely, in New Jersey, gives free estimates for ramp systems.  We keep a large quantity of ramp material in our warehouse to allow for quick installations.  Rough Estimates can sometimes be given by a ramp installer by simply looking at a picture of the home.  Best estimates, however, are when the dealer makes a visit to the home.

Temporary ramps can be rented or purchased.  Rental options are beneficial if the medical condition is a temporary situation such as an orthopedic injury that will heal or in a case where an individual will be temporarily residing with a loved one while recuperating.

Ramps may be covered by the following:

  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Veterans Administration
  • Medicaid
  • Auto Insurance for auto cases
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance for Work Injuries