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garage wheelchair ramp vs lift

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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
    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)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      #3
      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

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        #4
        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; 30 Dec 2017, 8:36 PM.

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          #5
          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; 30 Dec 2017, 8:42 PM.

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            #6
            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.

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              #7
              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.

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                #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.

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                  #9
                  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.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by pfcs49; 31 Dec 2017, 12:36 AM.
                  69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                  NW NJ

                  Comment


                    #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This definitely competes with your 5k ramp. If they will deliver it, plug it in.
                      http://www.discountmobilityplus.com/...SABEgJMDvD_BwE
                      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.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by flex View Post
                        Re power lift: Just starting to look at lifts. I am concerned about used lifts without a warranty.
                        I can say that particular lift model is good. Only issues so far with mine over the last 15 years were the main load bearing for the cab (unit was shipped and ran with just the packing grease on the bearing, until it ate itself). The bearing itself is like $20, also used as a wheel bearing application for a Land Rover of all things, lol. Then some chaffed wires going to the cab, burning out the power supply for the relays, after I tin-foiled the fuse (I'm a hack at times). Generic power supply was like $30, and some creative re-wiring. Use AeroShell aircraft cold-rated grease on the acme screw and bearings when you do finally maintain it, otherwise it will cease to function below 10F if using automotive chassis grease. But other than that, the electronics package is good, the motor is a quality unit, and I think getting used and basic mechanical skills will prove economical

                        Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                        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.
                        Heh, no kidding. Annoying when snow blows under it too. I bypassed that whole annoyance

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                          #13
                          ^^^that's what I did on my lift too, by-passed that safety feature.

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                            #14
                            I built a lift with something like this, a friend of mine gave it to me. Just had to make a larger deck to accomidate the size of the chair, and a small ramp to it.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by nonoise View Post
                              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.
                              It's a backwards block and tackle. The end of the piston has a double row roller chain sprocket. The ends of the chains are tagged/stationary, and the two chains go to their respective sides and down (over rollers at the top corners) into the telescoping sides. The key is that by running the chains over the piston head/sprockets, the travel is doubled. This is how I remember it from looking up into the cover. Seems it would also need to have a low sprocket pair to make the 180* turn to head back up to the top but I have no recollection.
                              I think pop top campers use a similar setup but backwards so it's easier to crank but more cranking to erect the roof.

                              Re attachment: I tagged two small metal plates at both sides/bottom that supported the lift to the (upper) floor. There were single holes in each with a 5/16" lag bolt into the wood.
                              At the right/top, I tabbed it and secured with a long threaded bolt.
                              I was sure that this wouldn't be sufficient, that the frame would twist in torsion with my fat ass and the carriage cantilevered so, but to my surprise it didn't move at all!

                              AFAIKR, it was a Braun lift. I bought it in 96 and it was already old. Converting it to this use was incredibly simple actually: tack a couple of stops under the deck so it only folded down 90*; drill and weld on 3 mounting plates; install with 3 bolts.
                              The biggest task maybe was running the hydraulic tubing and flaring the ends/connecting the pump unit (which is identical to the ones we used to see on Jeep snowplows). Get some 3 wire (droplight) cable to extend the control switch wiring to the pump in the basement, and done. Of course, in a garage installation, all this stuff would be right by the lift, no need to get creative!
                              Last edited by pfcs49; 31 Dec 2017, 2:15 PM.
                              69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                              NW NJ

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