Looking to make a four foot handicap cement ramp at the end of the house
walkway. The walkway is about 3 feet wide. There will be about a 5 inch
drop in those four feet. I am going to remove the last 4 feet of level
concrete before I begin.
I was thinking of making a form with 2x4's on the long sides and thinner
plywood at each end. Then, nail a piece of plywood over the top. Pour
cement into the form and let it harden.
Couldn't find much on how to actually make this type of ramp. From what I
read, it didn't say anything about putting a top piece over the form.
Rather, (if I remember correctly) it said to make the mix somewhat firmer
and start pouring at the lower end.
Which way would be better? Or, should I look at this project differently?
Should the flooring be level and just the surface angled? I plan to add
some small stones before pouring.
We live in New England. I bought the cheap $3.00 a bag Quickrete Concrete
mix from Home Depot. Should I have bought the better mix for the colder
Ahh your probably better off building a wood ramp. Sadly house buyers
are turned off when seeing a handicap ramp at a home entrance:( Perhaps
they fear their time and fear prepping for it. it will be a issue if
you ever decide to sell
It will take many baggs of concrete to build what you need.
use treated wood and stain.
hope things go well for you and yours
FYI, per the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards:
Ramps for new construction can have a slope no greater than 1:12
Ramps for existing sites can have a slope no greater than 1:10 provided a
maximum rise of 6-inches and a maximum run of 5-feet.
5-inches in 4-feet is a slope of 10.42%, which is greater than 1:10. The
maximum rise you can have in 4-feet is 0.40-feet or about 4-13/16-inches.
Which means that, if the the ramp is for your own use,
you should probably build it out of something easy to remove,
like aluminium grating, and if it's intended to be for
rental/commercial/permanant use, you need to make it longer.
You're sure you can't sneak out in the middle of the
night and steal the drop-gate off someone's trailer?
Way too big a pour for quickcrete. Unless you have lots of helpers, you will
never get it mixed, placed, and screeded in time.
Better solution, and less of a turnoff to buyers, is to replace entire
sidewalk, and modify yard grading, to make the ramp vanish. If the rise is
over the whole length, it will barely be noticable. If that isn't in the
budget, just do the upper 7 or 8 feet- four feet is way too short for a
5-inch rise, especially where ice is common. Bust out the existing walk,
form up the ramp, with thick edges on the bottom, and maybe curbs on top if
there is a dropoff, and get the concrete delivered. I'd use 4" fabric in the
slab, to resist cracks and frost heaving.
I haven't looked in a few years, but ADA and AIA used to have brochures
about recommended standards for retrofits like this.
Didn't think about the icing. I'll do 7-8 feet minimum. Would call in a
truck to dump some in if I went that far. The whole walkway is about 30
feet long. If I did the whole thing it could turn into a 2-3 week project.
Not what I had in mind.
I could hire someone, but don't want to spend $1000 to have it done. May
get a couple quotes and find out what they want for this type of walkway.
Thanks for the advice. Didn't think about the length of time it would take
to mix it myself. I was planning to rent a mixer.
Just to make sure I understand. You wrote, "form up the ramp, with thick
edges on the bottom." By the 'bottom', you are referring to the lowest part
of the ramp?
No, to the bottom surface of the new slab. The edges should be thicker to
resist cracking and frost heave, and so you don't have a visible gap under
it if you don't regrade the yard up to it. This is especially true near the
top of the ramp, where the visible edge may be 5-8 inches thick. The part up
the center of the ramp doesn't need to be as thick. Is anybody pouring
sidewalks near you? Look in the hole- it is deeper at the edges near the
form boards. If you have never done or seen concrete work before, I'd buy a
DIY book, or look on some web pages. The pictures will make it all a lot
Thanks for the clarification. I never knew there was a difference in
thickness in edges compared to the middle. I have a book put out by
Quickkrete. Didn't have much on ramps. I'll check on what it says about
What I've done so far is reposition the end piece of this walkway at a
downward angle. It's about 18 inches long. Thought that might let me get
away from pouring a new ramp. Found out it is much too steep an incline for
a scooter.... never thought about the ice.
I used a long metal bar to help me move this last section. This section is
about 6 inches thick. While moving it, the next section of the walkway was
exposed. I was surprised how thin a layer of concrete was poured. I think
it was only an inch or two. Surprisingly, it's held up well. The walkway
is well over 50 years old. They used lots of pebbles and small rocks in the
mix. Cracking is minimal. There is only one non-planned central crack in
the whole walkway. Whoever built it is most likely long gone, but his work
Woke up this morning with another idea. Let me know what you think.
Each section of the walkway is broken into 3 foot sections with the
exception of the thick end piece, which is about 18" long. I have already
repositioned this section. As it stands, it's sloped too steeply.
I noticed when I was using the long metal bar to remove the end piece that
much of the rest of the walkway shifted upward easily. This leads me to
believe each section is relatively light and could be moved with some ease.
If I could remove the last two or three sections without cracking them into
pieces, then I could regrade the ground beneath and replace each section at
a continuous sloping angle. I have already done that with the end piece.
It didn't take much time at all.
The difficult problems I foresee are;
1) Separating the sections without cracking.... there seems to be some
adhesional forces between each piece. I am not sure if there is concrete
connection beneath the dirt seams or at the edges. If so, then they might
have to be broken.
2) Forming a nice even slope so that everything blends in nicely when I
reset the sections.
3) I am only presuming each section is light. If each section is heavier
than I bargained for, then I might go back to the pouring concrete idea.
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