How to Build a Wheelchair Ramp

December 8, 2008 at 5:05 am

A wheelchair ramp is an inclined plane used by wheelchair users and by people with strollers or any other wheeled objects to gain entry and exit from a building.

For optimum usage of a wheelchair ramp, one must keep certain things in mind while designing it and adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.The guidelines specify a minimum of 36 inches for the width of a wheelchair ramp and not more than 1 inch of rise for every 12 inches of length, for the slope.A landing of a minimum of 5 feet square (60 by 60 inches) should be provided at the top and bottom of the ramp.

Wheelchair Ramp How to Build a Wheelchair Ramp

Before you start check if you need permission to build a ramp from your local authorities. Once done, get the following equipments ready for the construction: camera, measuring tape, a level, table saw, skill or scroll saw, chop saw, power drills, power screwdriver and a hammer. For the materials use pressure treated lumber to prevent the wood from rotting.

Start by taking photographs of your side to help you design better. Take accurate measurements. Like the height of the ramp from the ground etc.

After the measurements and drawings are done, lay out a 5 foot square landing. Square the corner with 3-4-5 triangle principle to square the corner. Dig 2-3 inches of the earth for the bottom of the ramp.

Use masking tape to lay out the exact locations. Dig holes and install posts in them. Now cement your posts with concrete. While cementing take care to eliminate the air pockets. Once the concrete is smooth, leave it for 48 hours.

Put the landing joists in place and tighten them with bolts. Corners between the joists will have to be strengthened with angle brackets.

Hope this gives you an idea as to how to build a wheelchair ramp.

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