The Americans With Disabilities Act requires many public buildings and businesses to be accessible to people that use wheelchairs and wheelchair users also need accessible homes, of course. If your home or place of business has stairs to reach the entrance, you can build a wheelchair ramp to allow wheelchair users access. It's important to build a ramp correctly so that it's safe and easy to use.
Check local building codes to find out if you must have a permit before building your wheelchair ramp.
Plan to build a ramp with a rise of no more than one inch per foot of ramp in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act standards. That means if your ramp must go up to a level of 10 feet, it must be ten feet long. Measure from the ground up to the level where your ramp must reach to determine how long the ramp must be.
Build switchbacks into your wheelchair ramp if you do not have enough room to make a ramp long enough without switchbacks.
Construct a ramp at least 36 inches wide to easily accommodate a wheelchair. You may find the ramp easier to use if you build it a bit wider than that.
Build landings at the top and bottom of your wheelchair ramp and at any switchbacks. Make all landings at least five feet long and at least as wide as the ramp. You may find the ramp easier to use if you make any landings at switchbacks longer than five feet.
Select pressure treated wood to construct your wheelchair ramp to increase durability and prevent rotting of the wood. Build your ramp from concrete or aluminum if you prefer. Select wood or other materials that match the exterior of your home or business for the best appearance.
Install sand grit strips on a wooden ramp to improve traction as wood becomes very slippery when wet.
Install handrails on both sides of your wheelchair ramp. Make the handrails 30 to 38 inches high.
Mobility Advisor. http://www.mobility-advisor.com/build-a-wheelchair-ramp.html . Build a Wheelchair Ramp.
Adaptive Access. http://www.adaptiveaccess.com/wood_ramps.php . Wood Ramps.
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