Wheelchair Lift vs Modular Wheelchair Ramp: What’s Right for You?

Armando Carillo Blog, Education

Wheelchair ramp versus vertical platform lift comparison

Both a vertical platform lift (VPL) and a modular wheelchair ramp are ideal solutions that grant a user home accessibility. There are various factors to consider between these two durable medical equipment options. This side-by-side comparison should help steer you in the right direction.

Factors VPL Modular Wheelchair Ramp
Image: Vertical platform lift or VPL installation in the garage of a home with custom wooden steps Modular wheelchair ramp made of aluminum installed at the entrance to a home
Description: A VPL functions like a mini elevator for a home or business. It more commonly called a wheelchair lift or simply a porch lift because it is commonly installed adjacent to the porch of a home. This equipment is cost-effective and can grant accessibility into and out of a home for a wheelchair or scooter rider, in addition to a caregiver at the same time. The modular wheelchair ramp is made of aluminum, and it offers infinite configurations to create safe and seamless access for both standard and unique entryways to a home or business.
Cost: $5,000 – $18,000 for the equipment
You can expect the price of a 8-10 foot lift to cost an additional $3,000 – $5,000
$1,000 to $3,500
Funding options:
  • Veterans Administration
  • Federal Housing Administration
  • Some private health insurance providers
  • IRS tax exemption on the cost of installation
  • Non-profit assistance
  • Credit
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • Medicare under the category for durable medical equipment (DME)
  • Regular Medicaid or Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers
  • Non-profit assistance
  • Credit
Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • High weight capacity up to 750 lbs meaning it can carry a primary rider plus a caregiver
  • Requires less space and can be installed in tight areas like a garage
  • Can reach tall heights up to 14 feet high
  • Can be installed indoors or outdoors
  • Comes with a gate that closes while in use to protect the rider
  • Weather resistant and a cold weather package is available as an upgrade
  • Can be moved should a homeowner decide to take it with them
  • Easy to use
  • Quick installation within a matter of hours if no other modification to a home needs to be made
  • Installation can be universal in design meaning anyone can use it or it can serve as an alternate path
  • Available with a variety of hand rails
  • No power is required
  • Various slip-resistant surfaces are available
  • Fairly easy to clean
  • Non-permanent and can be removed and disassembled when no longer needed
Cons:
  • More expensive than a modular wheelchair ramp
  • Requires power to work
  • Depending on the height of the steps, a ramp can take up a lot of space
  • Requires light maintenance typically with a broom or blower to keep it free of debris, ice or snow
  • Typically best installed outdoors
Download a Catalog: Vertical Platform Lift Catalog >>

Download VPL catalog CTA button by Accessible Systems

Residential Wheelchair Ramp Catalog >>

Download modular wheelchair ramp catalog CTA button by Accessible Systems