Few people have to think about getting in and out of their homes, but accessing a front door can be a challenge for those with mobility problems.

If you’ve been looking at solutions to accessing a home, you may be wondering what the best option is.

Here we look at pit step lift vs ramp to see how they fair…


About Access Ramps

Access ramps are sloped pathways used to make moving between two vertical levels easier. 

Steps outside or within the home, or any other building, can be difficult, painful or even impossible for individuals with limited mobility – especially if they use a wheelchair or walking aid. Ramps enable their users to gain access to their homes or move around inside their homes smoothly and safely. 

Types Of Ramp

There are many different types of ramps on the market. Who will be using it, how long you expect to need it for and how much space you have are all factors to consider when you begin to shop around.

Permanent ramps tend to be made from either concrete or constructed from aluminium in a modular style; one of the main benefits of modular ramps is that they can be easily changed, moved or taken away. Read more about modular ramps in our recent blog. 

Temporary ramps are lighter and easier on the wallet. Some fold up into an easy-to-carry case and others roll up for simple storage. Generally, temporary ramps can’t hold as much weight as permanent ones, so it’s worth checking the details before buying.

For more information about ramp installation, take a look at our blog “Ramp Installation: What To Expect Before, During & After”

Access Ramp: The Benefits

Everyone should be able to enter and exit their home with ease. Installing a ramp gives you…

Instant Access

Installing an access ramp makes getting in and out of a property simple and safe for individuals with reduced mobility. Navigating thresholds and steps can be a dangerous hazard if you’re not steady on your feet, not to mention completely impossible if you rely on a wheelchair or walking aid. 

Reduced Risks

A smooth incline up to the entrance of your home and a landing to make opening or closing the door easier means less risk of trips or falls with the awkwardness of steps.

Flexibility And Convenience

Choosing a modular or temporary ramp gives you the ability to change its location or shape quickly and with no damage to the existing landscape. 

About Step Lifts

Instead of a ramp, step lifts can be installed to move their users up external steps to their homes or between split-level rooms. 

Step lifts are a type of platform lift and are sometimes referred to as wheelchair lifts. This is because wheelchair users can stay sitting in their wheelchair whilst they operate the lift. 

Step Lifts: The Benefits

When it’s step lift vs ramp, and you opt for the former, you’ll enjoy these advantages…

Smaller Footprint

Especially for properties without the luxury of a big area at the front of the house, step lifts make access to the home possible without needing a large footprint for the access ramp.

Neat And Tidy

If all you can imagine is ‘Stannah stair lift’, think again. Step lifts are relatively small, sleek and unobtrusive. Compared to a large concrete ramp – or even a metal modular system – which can both be difficult to soften and blend into the surroundings – step lifts are much more aesthetically pleasing.

Best For Steep Inclines 

If the front door to your home sits atop plenty of steps or a steep hill, a step lift is for you. Step lifts transport their user vertically at the push of a button or smart app and are an incredibly safe way of getting an individual from the bottom to the top quickly.

So How Do They Compare?

In the tussle between step lift vs ramp, there are several factors to consider. Let’s take a look at each.

Step Lift vs Ramp: Cost

Available space, prep work and individual user needs all affect the price of both step lifts and ramps, so be sure to contact your preferred provider to discuss your needs and measure up. 

Roughly, you’re looking at between £9,000 and £15,000 for the purchase and installation of a step lift. 

If you’re thinking of installing a permanent ramp, the cost could range from £1,800 for a straight modular ramp to £3000 for a complex concrete ramp to manage a steep incline. For temporary ramps, the dent to your wallet is much smaller, with plenty of styles and designs coming in between £100 and £300.

Step Lift vs Ramp: Installation

Step lifts that require little preparatory work shouldn’t take more than a couple of days to fit and test. Reputable home lift providers will have a team of highly skilled fitters who can install your lift quickly.

Modular ramps take only a few hours to install as long as the ground is clear of debris, and temporary ramps can be ready to use in a matter of minutes! But if concrete is your ramp of choice, you could be waiting up to two weeks, depending on the length and depth of it, for the concrete to set so that you can use it.

Step Lift vs Ramp: Space

Unless all you need is a threshold ramp, which is suitable for single-step elevations, step lifts require far less space than ramps. Hands down.

Step Lift vs Ramp: Design

Personal preference comes into play here, but some people prefer the look of step lifts to ramps. Smart and sleek, step lifts are easier on the eye and easier to blend into the external surroundings of your home.

Step Lift vs Ramp: Maintenance

Both step lifts and ramps should be regularly maintained to ensure they remain safe to use. 

It’s advisable to check to see if the mechanisms on your step lift are functioning as they should daily. For concrete ramps, pay close attention to looking for cracks, and for other types of ramps check for loose bolts and screws – and don’t forget the handrail.

Keeping your step lift and ramp clean is also crucial to maintaining its integrity and prolonging its life. Failing to look after your ramp or stair lift could cause it to become unsafe and require costly repairs. 

Which Is Best?

Step lifts and ramps are both brilliant ways of providing access to the home when steps and inclines are a problem.

There really isn’t one style that outwins the other; rather than it being a case of which is best, think of it as which is best for you. 

Wondering how to find out? Ask yourself these questions…

Who Needs Access?

Does the user need to remain seated in their wheelchair? How much weight does the ramp or step lift need to support? Is the user able to work a control pad or smart app?

The individual needs of the user need to be taken into consideration in the first instance.

How Much Space Is There?

Is there room for a long and complicated ramp? If space is in short supply, and a temporary ramp for a small incline won’t work, a step lift could be the answer. 

How High Is The Threshold Of The Property?

Some temporary ramps, like threshold ramps, are only suitable for single-step level changes, and most step lifts can travel a maximum of 3 metres. 

Access Ramps And Step Lifts Both Provide Benefits

Access ramps tend to be more cost-effective and can be added to your home quickly, whereas a step lift looks great and can help with steeper inclines.

Choosing the right access aid to a home can seem daunting, especially when there are so many different options. We’re here to help you make sure your choice is the right one for you. Get in touch today!