Ramps vs Porch Lifts: Which is Right for You?

by | Aug 31, 2021 | Lifts

Many homeowners struggle to choose between traditional wheelchair ramps and modern porch lifts when looking for outdoor mobility products. It can be a confusing choice; between your mobility needs, property characteristics, budget, and other factors, it can be challenging to figure out what you really need to make your home accessible.

With over 30 years of experience in home mobility, RAM Elevators + Lifts has helped customers across North America find the right accessibility products for their unique needs. To help you make the right decision, you’ll find more information about wheelchair ramps and lifts below.

Ramps: The Economical Choice?

A wheelchair ramp is often considered the most affordable mobility solution for homes. After all, it’s just a sheet of material placed overtop of or alongside stairs; as long as it’s stable enough for users to get up and down safely, it should be easy enough to install and maintain, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Most building codes have specific requirements for building ramps. While specifics vary across different jurisdictions, a general rule of thumb is that every inch of vertical rise will require 1 foot of ramp to maintain a safe slope and gradient. This can add up quickly; a typical 5-step porch would need a ramp approximately 35 feet long! As a result, many homeowners simply don’t have enough room on their property to install a code-compliant wheelchair ramp. Even if they do, the cost of permits, design, materials and other expenses can make installing a ramp far less economical than they originally thought.

Porch Lifts: Saving Time & Space

Compared to a ramp, an outdoor accessibility lift takes up virtually no space. For example, RAM’s Trus-T-Lift only requires a 5′ X 5′ area for installation and use. Because of their compact size, wheelchair lifts are ideal for homeowners who lack the space in either their front or backyard for a ramp, or simply don’t want to sacrifice space in their yard to accommodate mobility requirements.

Because lifts require less space, they also require less site preparation. As a result, installation is often significantly faster; RAM’s Short Rise 28″ Trus-T-Lift can be installed in mere hours, while even 52″ and larger configurations can be up and running in a few short days. Overall, wheelchair lifts offer homeowners and users significant savings in time, space, and hassle, making them an excellent mobility solution in both the short and long term.

Keep Moving with RAM Trus-T-Lift

RAM Elevators + Lifts has over three decades’ experience engineering products that provide easy, affordable accessibility with superior reliability, comfort, and performance. We understand that our lifts become part of your daily routine; we build solutions to keep you moving forward every day.

Our Trus-T-Lift products are ideal for indoor and outdoor mobility. RAM’s exclusive design features provide compact, versatile performance that easily integrates into any space. Soft Touch Paddle controls are highly responsive and easy to operate, even with limited dexterity, allowing users to get moving with ease. The field-proven All-Electric Drive System offers reliable performance with minimal upkeep (and no harsh smells from hydraulic fluids). Meanwhile, our patented Zero-Load Start design protects the Trus-T-Lift motor from extreme weather conditions, ensuring reliable use for as long as you’re in your home. Finally, the Trus-T-Lift’s non-slip platform and high-sided enclosure keep you safe, secure, and comfortable.

Ready to Learn More?

Request a quote today, or contact us to learn more about RAM’s complete line of residential mobility products.


Get started with RAM today.