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Thread: garage wheelchair ramp vs lift

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    garage wheelchair ramp vs lift

    We are modifying our existing home to accommodate my power chair and me. Currently there are no easy ways in/out of the house. The plan is for me to enter/exit through the garage. Ramp vs. lift? The door into the house is 30" above the garage floor. We've had 2 quotes for ramps, both around $5000.00 - amramp system and one built from wood. Both ramp plans require using about 1/2 of the 2-car garage. A lift would take less space. Looking for pros/cons for each approach. Thank you!

  2. #2
    I would go with a platform lift. You need a minimum of 30 ft. of ramp to do the ramping, and in most garages this would require a switchback, which would take up 1/2 the space. A platform lift is not going to be cheap, but if you stick with a major brand, they are very dependable, and have a battery back-up in case of power failure. Does the door into the house currently open into the garage or into the house? You should have it changed to the latter if it is the former configuration.

    (KLD)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    5K for a 3ft ramp sounds nutty, and as mentioned, the space needed is a consideration. A used one of these would work well...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SAVARIA-CON...T/192288402574

  4. #4
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    You don't say if you use a power chair or a manual chair. Homeowners are not governed by ADA requirements when building a ramp in their own home for their own use. So if you use a power chair and managing a steeper incline isn't an issue, you may not have to use so much space in your garage for the ramp.

    I use a power chair and the ramp in my garage does not meet ADA standards.

    Of course, there are many configurations of garages and the location of the entry door varies greatly.

    Have you priced out lifts?
    Last edited by gjnl; 12-30-2017 at 08:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re ramp: because I have a power chair, I can handle a steeper slope, but would still need a switchback. Interior door is perpendicular to garage door, interior door edge is 15' to garage door, door is 3', 2' to house. Door opens into house.

    Re power lift: Just starting to look at lifts. I am concerned about used lifts without a warranty.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by flex; 12-30-2017 at 08:42 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    5K for a 3ft ramp sounds nutty, and as mentioned, the space needed is a consideration. A used one of these would work well...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SAVARIA-CON...T/192288402574
    I can tell you these are reliable lifts, I have one that's been sitting outside for about 20 years now and never had any major problems with it. A 30" rise is a lot of ramp and it's going to hog up a lot of your garage and create useless space.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    5K for a 3ft ramp sounds nutty, and as mentioned, the space needed is a consideration. A used one of these would work well...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SAVARIA-CON...T/192288402574
    I've been watching these ads for the last few months for myself. Sometimes deals can be had on the cheap, but there is almost always this to contend with:
    "Ships to: Local pick-up only"
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  8. #8
    Those porch lifts aren't the easiest things to move around, that's for sure. There's a safety contact plate on the bottom of the carriage with a bunch of micro switches mounted under it, so care must be taken not to destroy them in the moving process.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    I needed a 31" lift for my shop. In 96 I got estimates ranging from $8000 to 12,000!
    I found a electro/hydraulic side entry lift out of a Ford F150 van for $250. It was designed to hang from an inverted "U" frame. When you deployed it swung out clear of the floor, and the platform folded out from the moveable frame, at an angle of ~110* so it was parallel to the ground. I removed it from the outer frame.
    I welded stops at the bottom so it swung to 90* and mounted it to the adjacent wall. I ran 5/16 steel tubing through the wall/floor intersection into the basement where it connected to the 12V pump; I powered it with a small used Honda battery on a trickle charger which lasted 12 years. The lift was in constant use 5 days a week for 21 years. Total maintenance: one new battery.
    It was fast and easy to use.
    I listed it here as a RAOK. A member got it. He never reported what he did with it or if he used it.
    You could search it and see if he isn't using it. The photo was taken 11/2016 and the unit was picked up a month or two later. My free ad was posted shortly after taking the picture. The member's name is lazierdog

    In my opinion, one of these old lifts is bulletproof, super viable, and incredibly cheap if you can find one, especially when free!
    It's an easy install, runs fast, what's not to like?
    PS: you can fold the platform/the railing folds flat to it automatically at which point it takes up no space (maybe 4" x 50"protrusion from the deck its mounted to)
    PPS: and it's battery powered so always available.
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    Last edited by pfcs49; 12-31-2017 at 12:36 AM.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    I needed a 31" lift for my shop. In 96 I got estimates ranging from $8000 to 12,000!
    I found a electro/hydraulic side entry lift out of a Ford F150 van for $250....
    I wanted it, but NJ is too far.
    There is a Ricon north of here. I don't know if it is good or not looking at his pictures,
    https://skagit.craigslist.org/for/d/...416418135.html
    but that style if it has enough drop might work. However without being able to attach it at the top as you did, I don't see it being a candidate. Also yours looks like it has more headroom, not that we need headroom. I never figured out your pictures. That one ram controls both sides without it getting stuck? And the ram rod doesn't look long enough to match the distance between floors. I'm only asking because I've always thought van lifts were the perfect solution for garage to house lifts since they take up almost no floor space anywhere and as you say run on an 12v battery with a trickle charge.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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