We know that many people have questions when it comes time to choose from their two options for ramps at their home: construction of a wooden ramp or the installation of an aluminum ramp. An aluminum ramp is quite simply a much better investment. Let’s compare and contrast wooden versus aluminum.
Versatility and Ease
Aluminum ramps are modular and they are customizable to virtually any situation. Options include 2-8 foot straight sections and custom platforms for resting or turning over existing walkways and entrance steps. Lengths of aluminum ramp can be added if your needs change or there is a more gradual slope needed. There is a wide variety of railing options.
The majority of modular ramp systems take our certified technicians 1-3 hours to install and we keep rental systems in stock. Great for unexpected or planned upcoming discharges home from hospital or rehab facility
Cost and Construction Permits
Most wooden ramps are built from scratch. Before a wooden ramp can be constructed, concrete footings must be poured. In addition, a wooden ramp requires a building permit.
An aluminum ramp does not require a permit throughout most of Rhode Island nor does it require concrete footings, which saves both of these costs and also saves time if you need a ramp installed in a short period of time. No waiting for permit approval or for concrete to cure.
You will also save time, expense, and anxiety with an aluminum ramp by not requiring an inspection after completion of construction. Anxiety because often times local building officials will require re-building or even removal of a wooden ramp if not constructed exactly to code.
Aluminum ramps are easily removable and this is great benefit for those only needing a short term rental or for someone who is a resident in a rental property. The aluminum ramp can be moved from home to home. Wooden ramps, on the other hand, are permanent and very difficult to remove.
Aluminum ramps are safer in rainy or snowy conditions and have a textured surface that will help wheelchair users and caregivers. Wooden ramps, on the other hand, can become slippery when it rains and have other traction issues. While you may be able to add non slip tape to a wooden ramp, this again adds more to the cost, and they inevitably peel off..
Ongoing Maintenance and Warranty
Wood is not a material that you can set and forget. The ramp will need yearly maintenance including painting, pressure-treating, termite inspections, repair of any weather damage, and application of non stick tape. Aluminum ramps, however, are almost maintenance free. In the winter, pet-friendly ice melt may be used after snow or ice then simply hosed off with warm water to clean at the end of the season. There is also a lifetime warranty on parts of the aluminum ramp.
Storage After Removal
A wooden ramp becomes a permanent part of your home once it is completed. Even if circumstances change and you no longer need a ramp, you will not be able to remove & store it. If you move, you cannot take it with you. An aluminum ramp can be put away when no longer needed and be brought to your new home if needed. Simply adding or removing sections accommodates any new location.