Being confined to a wheelchair makes things harder, whether it is due to debilitating disease or just a temporary injury that requires the use of one. If you or a family member needs a wheelchair to move around, then entering a multi-storey structure can prove to be a challenge to traverse. While elevators can be installed in some instances, some structures may prove this to be an excessive expense to install.
While homes can be fitted with wheelchair ramps with the assistance of stair manufacturers in Perth, if you are an establishment owner, wheelchair ramps are now a standard. Do note that when building these ramps, there are building codes and manufacturing standards that need to be followed to ensure its safety of use and proper integration.
Installing a Wheelchair Ramp to Your Establishment
Giving those who are indefinitely bound to a wheelchair the ease of access into your establishment will give them a sense of independence and freedom. This also means that you have extra chances at garnering another loyal customer.
When considering adding differently-abled access points to your establishment, stair manufacturers, like Aussie Balustrading, here are some tips on what to understand before building a wheelchair ramp:
While you may think this job is something easy and can be done by cutting corners on the costs by handling it on your own, this entails increased risks with the finished product. When building stairs and setting handrails in Perth and other areas of Australia, there are building codes that one has to consider when starting a particular staircase construction. A professional contractor that knows balustrading and are professional stairs manufacturers in Perth will know all these bits and pieces of information.
The Measurements and Location of the Ramp
Remember that all establishments are created in a different way, which means there really is no one-size-fits-all ramp that can be used for all buildings. Depending on the exterior and interior architecture of your building, a professional stairs manufacturer can determine the proper measurements of the ramp to be usable. The location of the ramp will also be considered and will be developed to work in tandem with the structure stairs.
In terms of measurements, ramps for wheelchairs must also have the degree of the incline properly measured for safety purposes. An incline too low will be less cost-efficient, while an incline too high will be unusable for those with wheelchairs. Steep ramps are dangerous going up and down and can cause harsh injuries for those who lose control while on it. An ideal ramp should have an incline of an inch per 12 inches of length, as a rule of thumb. A well-made ramp will allow access for anyone without too much assistance.
The Material and Surface of the Ramp
Ramps cannot be made out of slippery building materials, and have to comply with building standards set by the Australian Standards for both wet and dry use. NCC Part 18.104.22.168 in the Australian Building Code has all of what needs to be known about slip-resistance in building stairs, which is even more so applicable in ramp building.
By adding a non-skid surface in both indoor and outdoor settings, you will be able to prevent wheelchair users from sliding and potentially getting into accidents. Stair manufacturers in Perth will be aware of the requirements of building a skid-resistant ramp for inclusive use of establishments.
The Maximum Load Specifications Should Be Up to Date
Remember that a variety of wheelchairs exist in today’s world, meaning that the ramp you may have had for decades may not be able to accommodate the newer models. With electric wheelchairs that weigh even more nowadays, your ramp has to be sure that it can handle a variety of weights that include the user of the wheelchair, and the model being used.
The Necessity of Railings
For public establishments, handrails in Perth are a must add to any staircase or ramp, but are optional for private establishment ramps. Some users rely on handrails in the event that they get tired from pushing themselves up the ramp, so the assistance of handrails will give them the ability to rest and regain strength. If the handrails are wood, be sure that they are of high-quality and have a good finish to prevent splinters and wounds.
The Lighting of Ramp Areas
Lighting is often overlooked when it comes to building ramps. A wheelchair ramp is supposed to be safe to use no matter what time and season it is. At night, these can be difficult to navigate because of lack of visibility, which can cause injuries and serious accidents. By installing lights that are motion-sensor activated, you can save electricity while keeping those using wheelchairs safe at night.
The Different Types of Wheelchair Ramps
Thanks to modern design technologies, there are multiple kinds of wheelchair ramps that come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. These also offer different functionalities for each, with the same goals of allowing those with wheelchairs and scooters easier access to places.
These are lightweight wheelchair ramps that allow water to fall through and are planted over the threshold. They have different heights that span from 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches and have a 300-pound weight capacity.
Stronger than the previous lego-type ramps, this aluminium ramp can go between 1-inch to 6-inch thresholds and hold a 600-pound weight capacity. Thanks to the aluminium build, this is a very lightweight ramp and contains a non-slip surface as well for the safe use for wheelchairs, scooters, and those who use walkers.
These are normally made of aluminium and are best for commercial areas that have long flights of stairs. Modular ramps are more permanent solutions and can accommodate a variety of configurations to function. Extra handrails can be added to improve safety measures.
These custom ramps are often permanent installations that are going to be integrated into the building with the staircase. With the assistance of an architect and professional stair manufacturers, they can create a proper staircase that is designed to work in tandem with the ramps around it.
The Bottom Line
When designing a ramp or deciding on a system of ramps for your establishment to offer differently-abled visitors ease of access to your building, then ensure to have it professionally done. This ensures the proper safety of use when the ramp is finished, as well as a good fitment with the existing staircase and layouts of the building.
Are you looking for a custom stair manufacturer in Perth to help you with the construction of differently-abled access points for your establishment? Aussie Balustrading and Stairs is one of the best providers of custom staircases and balustrades in Perth, Australia. With the use of premium and high-class materials, your home or establishment will be looking A-grade in no time! Get in touch with us today and browse through our catalogue to see what stairs fit best for your needs.