I want to build a ramp up the two steps to my front door so that I can bring
my mom into my house. She can't walk and she is too heavy to carry. I know
I'm not the first person in this position. I am capable of designing and
building the ramp; I just don't know what angle to make it. Space is not an
isse. I've been carrying a tapemeasure around with me in the car so I could
measure the ramps at other places but they are all commercial places and the
ramps are way long with a small grade. I was just wondering if anyone else
has done this that would share the experience so I could get a clue.
Doing a Yahoo or Google search brings up a lot of info. I had to do
something similar for a coworker one time.
Since you are the one who will push her up the ramp its easy enough to
do a few experiments yourself. The ramp can be steeper than the grade
recommended for public access ramps where the wheelchair user has to
propel himself. You may even want to use parallel metal channels that
the wheels can run on instead of a permanent ramp. The channels can
be stowed when not required.
You Win! This is the idea I'm going to go with. And weld a round bar under
the end to catch the step.Maybe a stop on each step to help line them up.
Perfect. I'll set a brick in my front yard to rest the bottom. I already
figured I could drive up to anywhere on the front lawn that the ramp comes
to and drop a piece of plywood for a solid surface. Alas, her chair is not
built for 4-wheeling. 8 foot long channel would make it about 10-1/2
degrees. Pretty steep I think. I don't want to dump poor mom out of her
chair! I'm going to make some calls tomorrow. Thanks.
My Aunt Mae was in a wheelchair till she passed away last spring in her
early eighties, she was a polio victim since her mid 20's.........
Im thinking she was able to easily scale about a 2/12 pitch ramp all by
And if she had a helper then a 3/12 or even 4/12 wasnt really a problem
either, though on the steeper slopes you will probly wanna pull her up
backwards rather than push.......
Contact your local zoning board ASAP. They have the answers you need.
It's not going to be easy, but if the inspector finds out about the ramp
after the fact it will be much harder.
I had a co-worker who needed a ramp for his wife. The requirements
seemed ridiculous, but there wasn't a single one that didn't make sense
when explained by a friendly inspector.
| Contact your local zoning board ASAP. They have the answers
| It's not going to be easy, but if the inspector finds out about
| after the fact it will be much harder.
| I had a co-worker who needed a ramp for his wife. The
| seemed ridiculous, but there wasn't a single one that didn't
| when explained by a friendly inspector.
That's really odd: I built my own ramp (knowing I'd be needing
it in the near future) and there were no, zero, nada, local or
national requirements for a ramp on a personal residence. Well,
there was one requirement; the footings had to go down 4 feet
into the ground, a foot farther than I expected.
What I did was go to a disabled access gov site & used their
specs for info & design. The ramp is almost finished; another
day will do it; and the permit expires next week. Only part I
really needed info on was handrail height; which I found easily
at the gov site, using their specs.
Now, if you were to put a roof over it, then there would be
requirements; but a ramp? No.
What state/locality are you in? Just curious.
While I don't know your strength or moms weight,
something to consider might be make a ramp suitable for just the first lower
step so the ramp won't be really long and then you can manhandle backwards
up and sort of wheelie and lower the real wheels down a single step without
We have a marine plywood ramp here 4.75"h x 72" which equals about 1:12 rise
and anything steeper an elderly person is going to risky rolling down alone.
Rolling down alone was the major consideration here in case of fire. Nailed
2x2 edger except where the door swept across to try to contain it, 2x2 is a
too high or not high enough mistake .. wheelchair hand grips roll on top of
it perfectly lifting the wheels off the ramp, he sits there and freewheels
one wheel wondering whats wrong ;)
I built one for my daughter while she was recovering from an accident. Internet
research showed that 1" of rise in 12" of run was the maximum, with 1" in 20"
being better. I built a 1 in 12 ramp. She could not get up it using her hands
on the wheels, but could back up it by pushing with her good leg. She was 30 at
the time and in good condition. It was mildly difficult for me to push her up.
In summary, I'd recommend a 1 in 20 ramp if possible.
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