A Few Simple Tips on How to Build a Ramp?

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Everyone knows that ramps are built for those people, who cannot use stairs. However, how to build a ramp becomes a real problem. The whole process requires rather careful planning and a special ramp building project that combines such aspects as special needs, security concerns, appearance and, of course, budget expenses.

So, what are the things you are to start with? What steps should one take if he is aiming at finding out how to build a ramp?

There are a few things you should always take into account:

The ramp you are about to build should be on the safe side. This is why it must be from 36 to 46 inches wide.
Make sure it ends at the location that is accessible to transportation, as well as leaving the house. Its bottom should be even with the ground in order to provide a rather smooth transition.
How to build a ramp? Use proper building materials: if you choose pressure treated lumber, the ramp will be less prone to rooting, and wood is pretty hazardous when it is icy or wet. We suggest using aluminum and concrete while building a wheelchair ramp. One more thing to keep in mind: ramps are to be made of durable materials, as this is the only way how they can load human traffic.
A wheelchair ramp can have a slope of 1:8 to 1:10 ratio, but its rise should not be more than 3 inches.
It is essential to use anti-slip strips: place them every 6 inches up the ramp to reduce the risk of sliding down the ramp, especially when the ramp is wet.
Make sure you’ve positioned the bottom of the ramp far away from the road, as well as the edge of your driveway.
Always take into account unique requirements of the person, who’s about to use the ramp. You are to ensure there’s adequate room at the upper end of the ramp allowing the door to open without hitting the ramp.

Building Process

So, how to build a ramp and what should you start with? Firstly, make sure you have needed materials and instruments. You are going to need:

  • 2×12 ledger board

  • 2×6 treated decking

  • 2×8 treated stringers

  • 4×4 treated posts

  • circular saw

  • drill

  • level

  • metal flashing

  • post hole digger

  • rails

  • ready mix cement

Find the Place

Your task number one is to figure out where the ramp should go. Normally, the front of the house is a perfect place. However, the fact that most ramps are designed there doesn’t mean you are to follow the tendency. Many things depend on the ground levels and landscaping.

How to build a ramp? Before building the ramp, remember that it should be built one foot for each 1 inch of the rise. Its width shouldn’t be less than 3 feet, and length – 36 feet. You are to make a series of rails along the ramp.

Marking the Outline

Take landmark paint and mark the outline, driving small stakes in places, where there will be dug posts for switchbacks and the ramp.

Then you are to start installing metal flashing and a ledger board (2×12). This will help to secure the ramp, as well as keep out moisture.

Digging Holes

Before setting posts, dig the holes (about 18 inches deep), and then get the posts anchored in the concrete. It should be done for every corner and along the ramp’s length. Normally, every 6 feet.


How to Attack Stringers and Decking?

Take galvanized lag bolts and attach 2×8 stringers to these posts, following the outline until you start leveling off at the bottom. Attach the decking (2×6) across the stringers. Make sure you keep a distance of nearly 1/8 inch between the boards for the rain to run off. We also suggest buying ready-made rails to save time.

How to build a ramp? As you see, that is not very hard, especially if you consider the tips we’ve provided and take into account specifications, including location, slopes, materials and special needs of an individual.

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