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Need Help Designing a Wheelchair Ramp

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 04-12-2011 06:43 PM 4612 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jasoncarpentry

119 posts in 1403 days


04-12-2011 06:43 PM

A friend has elderly parents, and they need a wheelchair ramp to go from their carport into their house. The total rise is 12”. He’s getting a quote from a local carpenter, and wants me to do a “sanity check” on it. I’ve found the following site:

http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/

The tricky part for me is that the ramp needs to go OVER the existing two stairs, not BESIDE it. I’m also being told that the ramp needs to be at least 12’ long (since the rise is 1’), but that a “temporary” ramp (whatever that is) can be only 10’ long. I’m also being told that handrails are optional, but that’s not what the URL says.

I need help!!

-- Jim in Tennessee


13 replies so far

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devann

1735 posts in 1441 days


#1 posted 04-12-2011 07:09 PM

I think an ADA requiremnet is a ratio of 1:20, your ratio mentioned above is for a ramp ratio of 1:12. A picture of the stairs might be a good idea. If the steps are concrete use some tapcon screws to fastern the wood to the steps. Has far the hand rail goes you can make a curb along the edge of the ramp. When I’v done wheelchair ramps I like to frame them so that I can deck the ramp with longer boards running lentghwise up & down the ramp and not side to side. You’ll better drainage and the ramp will last longer and it is easier to roll up and down the ramp. Dealing with a carport you may have to make a midlanding and do the switchback thing.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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jasoncarpentry

119 posts in 1403 days


#2 posted 04-12-2011 07:19 PM

Thanks, devann. We were planning to use three stretchers (10” O.C.), and 3/4” exterior plywood for the decking. This seems to meet the code. What size decking boards do you use, and how do you support them?

-- Jim in Tennessee

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CaptainSkully

1194 posts in 2307 days


#3 posted 04-13-2011 04:17 AM

We did a website for www.TexasRamps.org. They may be able to help you.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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a1Jim

112898 posts in 2326 days


#4 posted 04-13-2011 04:23 AM

Some how I double posted see below

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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devann

1735 posts in 1441 days


#5 posted 04-13-2011 04:32 AM

I use 2-2×8s for the beams (sides) of the ramp then 2×6s for joist and decking. I connect the joist to the beams with joisthangers, then deck. If you’re going to use plywood you may want to use some boatdeck paint to cover it. Or use some of that stick on sandpaper stuff used for stair treads.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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a1Jim

112898 posts in 2326 days


#6 posted 04-13-2011 04:34 AM

You need one foot of length for every inch of height(or rise) so if the high part of the ramp is 14” off the ground it needs to be 14ft long. I’ve built many ramps over stairs . Many times the stringers have to have notches over the first or second stair. In my are ramps need hand or safety rails on both sides unless one side is against a wall. Hand rails can not have spaces larger then 4” wide. Also the bottom part of the ramp needs to be connected to the ground.
Depending on the length of the stringers(2×8 or larger) you may want to put one or two sets of post down to the ground cemented in to prevent bounce.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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ScottN

261 posts in 1428 days


#7 posted 04-13-2011 05:49 AM

ADA is 12 to 1 or 8% grade or 1” per ft. however you want to say it. I know there’s a min flat platform on any turns and at the top by the door. Min width is 42” on the ramps. And most definitely need railings. I’ve done plenty commercial buildings that way. And I don’t believe the ADA rules would be any different for residential…but maybe.

-- New Auburn,WI

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devann

1735 posts in 1441 days


#8 posted 04-13-2011 07:51 AM

A4.8.2 Slope and Rise. Ramp slopes between 1:16 and 1:20 are preferred. The ability to manage an incline is related to both its slope and its length. Wheelchair users with disabilities affecting their arms or with low stamina have serious difficulty using inclines. Most ambulatory people and most people who use wheelchairs can manage a slope of 1:16. Many people cannot manage a slope of 1:12 for 30 ft (9 m).

I copied this from the ADA website. I to have done a few commercial jobs and the guy with the pen darwing the plans always ask for the 1:20 ratio. The 1:12 ratio is a max allowed incline.

www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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William

9276 posts in 1591 days


#9 posted 04-13-2011 09:12 AM

I have never designed a wheel chair ramp. I spent a few years confined to a wheelchair and someone else built my ramp for me. Being someone who has had to use a ramp at home though, there is one thing I have to plead with you to do. Be sure to put adhesive backed non-skid strips across the ramp at no more than six inches apart all the way up the ramp. If the person in the wheelchair needs to get down it in the rain, even a not so steep ramp can be plenty slippery enough to send a wheel chair sliding out of control, causing severe injury. I know this all to well from experience. Please apply non-skid strips.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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jasoncarpentry

119 posts in 1403 days


#10 posted 04-13-2011 04:28 PM

Devann, you said: “If you’re going to use plywood you may want to use some boatdeck paint to cover it. Or use some of that stick on sandpaper stuff used for stair treads.”

William, you said: “Be sure to put adhesive backed non-skid strips across the ramp at no more than six inches apart all the way up the ramp.”

Good advice, and I thank you both for it! Now I have a followup question: Has anyone ever mixed fine sand w/ paint (in this case, “boatdeck” or some other weatherproof paint) to achieve a high-friction surface on the plywood? Can this take the place of the non-skid strips?

-- Jim in Tennessee

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devann

1735 posts in 1441 days


#11 posted 04-13-2011 04:40 PM

Jim, I made a ramp for a bar so they could use a dolly (two wheeler) to get their ice and tried the sand in the paint trick. It didn’t work out. I was constantly repainting until a bought the boat deck paint. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way. A friend has the stick on strips on his pressure treated steps and it has been holding up pretty well. Not sure how good they’ll work on a painted surface.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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William

9276 posts in 1591 days


#12 posted 04-14-2011 04:28 AM

The problem with the paint in the sand thing is that the paint isn’t strong enough to hold the sand under stress. If you want to go this route, one option that I’ve heard of is using truck bed liner material. It is sold as spray on or brush on and has some special compound that help it take abuse.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1732 days


#13 posted 04-14-2011 02:45 PM

The 1’ per inch is correct, as well as having hand rails. Be sure that there is a 4” rail along the bottom of the hand rail for the wheel stop. The minimum width of the ramp is 36” and if you have any turns in the ramp you need a 5’x5’ landing or pad.

The one I built for Mom was over 2 steps. I had to attach a nailer to the concrete porch to build from. It was 48” wide and 10’ to the turn landing then the 5’x5’ turn landing and then a 6’ extension to the drive. The handrails were 36” high. I used all pressure treated lumber. After it was built I let it dry for 2 months and then I primed and painted it with flat paint. I then took spray on under coating for automobiles and sprayed the walk way of the ramp and landing. This provided a surface that was skid free and has held up well.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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