Health & Medical Disability

Building Your Own Mobility Ramps

Thinking about adding a wheelchair ramp to your home? It may be a something you can do yourself.
With some simple carpentry skills you can build a safe, sturdy ramp that will last for years to come.
The ADA (American's with Disability Act) has guidelines that standardize the building of wheelchair ramps making them safe for those that use wheelchairs, scooters or walkers.
The first thing to consider is how high the ramp needs to be.
Measure from the ground up to the surface you are trying to get to.
The ADA recommends that the slope of a ramp should have a slope of at least 1:12.
12 feet of ramp for every 1 foot of rise.
A slope of 1:16 to 1:20 is recommended.
Use the least mount of slope you have room for.
The width of each ramp should be 36 inches minimum with no obstructions per the ADA.
When building a ramp out of wood there are some things to consider: Pressure treated lumber is highly recommended.
Wood must be protected with a sealer, varnish or stain to prevent rotting and warping.
Plywood is likely to warp and separate and it is slippery.
Don't use nails.
Nails work their way back out causing boards to loosen.
Posts that are to be placed into the ground should be rated as such.
You must be willing and have the ability to maintain it.
The easiest approach is to build your ramp in sections and bolt them together.
Read the ADA guidelines before starting your project.
Know them before getting started.
A few moments of your time now will save many headaches down the road.
Also, check with your local building code office to make sure that you comply with any guidelines they have and whether or not you will need a building permit.
Links to the ADA guidelines and local building codes can be found on our website.

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