Practical Tips for Adding a Wheelchair Ramp to Your Home

Ramps are expensive but worth it for the independence and safety they provide, says a man who details his experiences with having a ramp built for his wife

Article Highlights:
  • A man whose wife has progressive muscle weakness due to a mitochondrial disease details his experience with building and adding a ramp to their home.
  • When building a wheelchair ramp, a qualified contractor is the most important choice you’ll make; tips are given for finding and selecting the best contractor for the job.
  • To control costs, choose a contractor who lets you pay separately for labor and materials.
  • Ramps are expensive; they can be financed using low/no-interest loans from a bank or the contractor, or through grants from foundations or your state.
by Samir Shah on July 1, 2013 - 9:11am

Quest Vol. 20, No. 3

When my wife got her TiLite manual wheelchair, it opened up a world of freedom for her. Her back pain was gone, along with her risk of falling, and she could move longer distances. Suddenly, she could again move across the shopping mall, maneuver around the house and perform at her job.

While the wheelchair gave her more freedom inside and outside the house, it introduced a new challenge: getting inside the house from the outside, and vice versa, because of the four concrete steps going into our house.

Watching her carry her lightweight manual wheelchair up the steps made me very nervous. So nervous that most of the time, I carried it for her. I wondered about a ramp, but the issues seemed so complex. Ramps did not appear to be cheap, and we were still hoping for a cure, though it had been one-and-a-half years without a diagnosis for her progressive muscle weakness (later found to be a mitochondrial disorder).

To read the feature in its entirety, visit Practical Tips for Adding a Wheelchair Ramp to Your Home.

No votes yet
MDA cannot respond to questions asked in the comments field. For help with questions, contact your local MDA office or clinic or email See comment policy