Building A Metal Wheelchair Ramp: A Complete Guide

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Metal Wheelchair ramps are commonly installed to increase house accessibility for persons who are unable to utilize stairs or require a softer, less stressful approach to enter or exit their property. A successful home accessibility project necessitates careful design to ensure that the ramp fits the needs of the house occupants, conforms with local construction codes, is safe and robust, and can be used in all sorts of weather.

Begin the project

Before you start designing and building a metal wheelchair ramp, consider the following.

Build-a-wheelchair-ramp-overview  questions like: 

  • Who’s the major user?
  • What kind of methodology does the individual use? (cane, crutches, walker, manual or electric wheelchair)
  • Will the individual’s talents change?
  • What are the zoning regulations in your area?
  • These are just a handful of the questions you must answer before beginning your project. The information provided here should assist you in this procedure.

Making Plans for the Ramp

Prior to hammering the first nail, key aspects such as the precise point of access to your home, the available area for ramp development, the slope of the ramp depending on the height of the level that the wheelchair must reach, and local building codes must be considered.

Home Entrance

The door on which to install the ramp will be impacted by various factors, including ease of access from within the home to the entryway, doorway width, and whether a ramp can easily be fitted to any existing elements of the doorway, such as stairs, platforms, or porches.

Space Constraints Affecting Ramp Design

Many parts of ramp design are constrained by available space and barriers (such as trees, buildings, and pathways) that determine where it may be placed. More ramp distance can be handled in a smaller location by building a U-shaped ramp.

Width of the ramp

To allow a wheelchair, the inner clear width of the aperture between the opposing railings must be at least 36 inches.

This implies the ramp must be at least 42 inches wide to accommodate the 12-inch space between the handrail and any surface, as well as the actual 12-inch railing.

Rise of the Ramp

Any particular ramp segment’s maximum elevation should not exceed 30 inches. Before the ramp continues, a level rest platform should be given once it has risen 30 inches in height. All ramps must have a level landing at the top and bottom, and landings must be at least as broad as the ramp and at least 60 inches long. Ramps used for direction changes should be at least 60 inches by 60 inches.

The decision of which door to install the ramp on will be determined by various factors, including ease of access from within the home to the entryway, doorway width, and whether or not a ramp can easily be fitted.

Ramp Slope and Dimensions

The angle of the ramp surfaces, as well as the length or run of the ramp, are important project considerations. The ramp slope will influence the planning requirements, the cost involved, and the final usability of the ramp. The slope is the angle formed by the vertical height (rise) in proportion to the horizontal length or projection (run). It is commonly stated as a ratio of these two measures, with the rising figure generally fixed at one unit. A slope of 1:12 indicates that as each dimensional unit (typically an inch) of height increases, the opposite side projects (or runs out in length) 12 units (inches).

Standard Operating Procedures

Based on your location, there are a variety of conventional design methods that are usually used on your project. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design sets guidelines for business ramps that may be valuable for you to consider and maybe relevant or expected for residential buildings, even if they aren’t legal requirements for homeowners.