These wheelchair ramp plan will help you come build and also install a handicap ramp that"s safe and efficient.

You are watching: Building a wheelchair ramp out of wood


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If you have actually a family member or friend with mobility difficulties or you"re dealing with one yourself, installing a wheelchair ramp can permit for a safe and also independent lifestyle. Here are part basics you have to know.

Building a wood ramp overview

Ramp prices count on the in its entirety length, the number of landings, the materials (wood or aluminum), and whether you build it you yourself or rental a contractor. You can construct one yourself for a products price of around $35 every lin. Ft., or hire a ramp contractor to build it for you in a job or 2 for around $100 per lin. Ft.

Prefabricated wheelchair ramp kits with aluminum part cost about $100 every lin. Ft., and you have the right to assemble the sections yourself. However they take it a while to order and also ship. Or you can hire a company to design and also install one aluminum accessibility ramp for about $150 per lin. Ft. Girlfriend can get ramp design advice, contractor referrals, assist from ar volunteers and also even financial assistance from much more than 350 nonprofit establishments nationwide. Just search online for ‘ramp task (your state)’ to find them for her location.

We’ve viewed some pretty scary DIY ramps, so we contacted the experts at the Metropolitan facility for independent Living, publishers the the booklet ‘How to construct Ramps for residence Accessibility’ (get the booklet and DVD). Lock referred united state to Warren Moe Construction, a ramp contractor in Minneapolis. Warren go us through the basics of building a timber ramp and let us recognize the most typical DIY ramp-building mistakes and also handicap ramp code. With an easy carpentry an abilities and a miter saw, router, drill, level and also framing nailer, girlfriend can construct your very own ramp. Here’s the process.

Measure and also design your handicap obtainable ramp

Start by measuring the distance from the threshold come the ground at the installing a handicap ramp most accessible exterior door. Then determine the preliminary accessibility ramp length. A tenderness 1:20 steep (1 in. That rise calls for 20 in. Of run length) is best for ease of use but requires a longer, an ext expensive ramp. If your yard isn’t big enough to accommodate the length, include switchbacks and landings or develop a ramp v a slightly steeper grade (the steepest ramp slope allowed is 1:12). Follow ramp-building guidelines and handicap ramp password and adjust the ramp length and also slope to account for grade changes in her yard.


Landings for turns
Landings because that switchbacks

Get approvals and also permits

Most building codes need a permit and inspection if the wood ramp is 30 in. Or an ext above the ground. In addition, some places require frost-proof footings for permanently set up ramps, while others allow you to collection the ramp on cure plywood pads if it’s for short-lived use. Plus, plenty of homeowner associations call for design and also material preapproval before you have the right to start the project. Check all those requirements and also get all her approvals and also permits well before any trips come the lumberyard.

Build the wood ramp in modules

Building the ramp in ar with long spans is a usual DIY mistake. Lengthy spans are harder to change and difficult to reconfigure if the original architecture proves unworkable. Instead, construct individual modules and also bolt them together at the upright supports. Later on on, you have the right to disassemble and sell the modules come recoup your investment when the ramp is no longer needed.


Ramp width and also height

Mind the gap

The two many important locations on a ramp space where the top landing butts up to the door threshold and where the ramp transitions to the ground. The top landing must be level or in ~ 3/8 in. The the threshold. A larger gap will abruptly prevent the wheelchair’s front wheels.


Calculate slope and also end allude for your accessibility ramp

Use the slope formula to calculate the ramp’s end point. Because that a residential wheelchair ramp slope, main point the distance from the threshold to the floor by the desired slope. That’ll offer you the ending allude from the residence (not the really ramp length), if the ramp is constructed in a straight line. To recognize the actual ramp size to calculate a bill of materials, uncover the square root of the amount of the rise elevation squared and the street from the residence squared. Then include the lengths that the landings.


The essential dimensions for a wood ramp: Handicap ramp specs

Door landings have to be huge enough (at the very least 58 x 60 in.) to enable a wheelchair occupant to open up the door and back up without rolling onto the sloped area. Permit extra elbow room (12 to 24 in.) top top the handle side because that out-swing doors. A 58 x 60-in. Landing is enough for 90-degree turns (Figure A), however must it is in 58 x 96 in. (Figure B) for 180-degree switchback turns. If the ramp consists of long stretches, incorporate an intermediate level landing together a rest area.

Making the ramp as well narrow is additionally a typical DIY mistake. The ramp must have actually at the very least 36-in. Side-to-side clear room and a best 36-in. Spacing indigenous the ramp floor to the top of the handrails (Figure C).

Before girlfriend proceed, draw a comprehensive sketch of her ramp, showing ramp width, landing size and also site location.

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Local codes trump our advice

Local building authorities have actually the final word on every designs and also specifications. Don’t wait until your ramp is built to find that it doesn’t satisfy your neighborhood codes. Acquire your plans reviewed by a local structure inspector first so friend don’t need to redo your hard work.