how to build a wheelchair ramp over steps

How To Build A Wheelchair Ramp Over Steps

Are you frustrated because there are no quick and simple options for making your home wheelchair accessible?

We’ve got a solution for you!

A portable wheelchair ramp or a modular ramp can be purchased off the shelf, but they are not as robust or safe as a handicap ramp.

Building a ramp over existing steps is a simple job that can be completed over the weekend to give wheelchair access inside a home.

To build a durable, dependable ramp, you’ll need plywood sheets and sturdy wooden pillars.

Using 4-inch screws, secure the ramp to the stairwell.

In this article, we will provide you with an easy-to-follow instructions for installing a wheelchair ramp over existing steps.

Here are certain basics you should be informed with.

How to build a wheelchair ramp over steps?
How to build a wheelchair ramp over steps?

Wheelchair Ramp Installation Guide

The wheelchair ramp will be solid, dependable, and long-lasting if it is designed appropriately.

Follow the 11 steps outlined below and you’ll have a great wheelchair ramp in no time.

1. Take measurements right.

Measure the distance between the ground and the top of the doorsills.

This should assist you in determining the ramp’s rising angle.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, every 1 foot of ascending requires 12 feet of length.

To calculate the length of the ramp, multiply the height of the stairs by 12.

If you are constructing a ramp for unsupported wheelchair use, the slope should not be steeper than 4.8 degrees.

Simply put, a ramp length of 24 feet is required for a height of 2 feet.

The angle of the slope for assisted wheelchair use could be up to 9.5 degrees.

This means that a ramp length of 12 feet is required for a height of 2 feet.

2. Cut the plywood to the appropriate size.

Using a circular saw, cut 6 x 3/4 inch thick plywood to the previously measured ramp length.

Their length must be 5 feet, and they should be situated at the top of the stairs.

Their purpose is to act as a sort of landing zone once the wheelchair reaches the top.

The purpose of a landing ramp is to assist the wheelchair in changing direction once it reaches the top.


The right way to build a ramp


The wrong way to build a ramp

3. Create the ramp-supporting posts.

Using a handsaw, cut 4 wood posts the size of the ramp length

The posts must support the landing of the ramp.

In addition, for every 2 feet of ramp length, cut 2 extra posts to give support for the ramp.

It is essential that the ramp remains stable and does not rock.

Make sure to properly measure the post heights and that each pair is the same height.

4. Ensure that the ramp’s angle is right.

Form an eight-degree angle at the tops of the posts to provide support for the ramp itself, using a protractor.

Cut each post on the designated line with a circular saw.

However, do not make the angles on the landing support of the post.

Check to ensure that the ramp is securely fastened to the supports and does not rock.

The bottoms of the posts should be completely flush with the floor.

circular saw cutting on marked line

5. Prepare the ramp.

Locate the three similar plywood sheets.

Before arranging them, apply some wood glue to the tops of them.

Before gluing them together, double-check that they match.

Next, attach 2-inch nails to each of the plywood’s edges to firmly secure it.

The nails should be placed six to eight inches apart.

The ramp’s strength is increased by using three 34-inch plywood sheets.

Check for any bulges or bubbles between the plywood panels, as these might damage the ramp over time.

plywood sheets

6. The Landing Platform

Place the 5-foot-long plywood sheets on top of each other and glue them together.

After that, strengthen them with nails around the sheet’s edges.

The landing must be completely flat.

You must also verify that the transition from the ramp’s edge to the landing platform is seamless and smooth.

This is how the landing at the top of the stairs will be built.

7. Install support posts for the landing platform.

Grab a post hole digger and drill two holes on opposite sides of the top of the stair.

Each hole must be 12-inches deep, with a space of 38-inches between them.

Then, 5 feet distant from the initial holes, dig another pair of holes.

The four holes must hold the landing posts in place.

After inserting the posts into the holes, measure the length of each post to ensure that they are all even and at the desired height.

This will keep the ramp’s angle within the recommended range.

8. Support the ramp.

Continue digging holes along the ramp’s span.

Their role is to provide support to the posts.

Again, measure the height of the posts and ensure that each pair is even and that the slope cut at their tops matches the appropriate angle.

9. Plant the posts correctly.

Fill the holes with concrete before lowering the posts.

Remember that the angled ends of the posts must be facing upwards.

Allow enough time for the concrete to cure.

Measure each pair at each stage to ensure they are the same height.

Use the ramp to ensure that it easily fits on all posts with no gaps.

10. Protect the landing platform

Lower the plywood and center it on the four posts.

Fasten the plywood to the posts with 4-inch nails.

You’ve completed the landing!

Check it to ensure that it is even and sturdy, and that the posts do not shake.

hammer and nails

11. Finish by securing the ramp.

Place the ramp plywood on the angled posts.

To fix the plywood, use four-inch nails once more.

Check that the ramp sits evenly on the posts before and after nailing it down.

The ramp’s edge where it meets the landing should be smooth and blend seamlessly with the horizontal landing platform.

Also, check the edge of the ramp where it meets the floor to ensure there are no gaps and that the bottom edge blends with the floor.

If this is not done, the wheelchair will shake when it starts up the ramp.

Check each and every section of the ramp to ensure it is sturdy and free of loose joints.

If everything works out, you’re done!

double check the ramp

This is the simplest and quickest way to create a temporary ramp over steps without any prior experience.

All it takes is a little self-assurance and the correct power equipment.

Our Thoughts

A good accessibility construction project necessitates rigorous planning.

This helps to ensure that the construction meets the needs of the users as well as the local regulations.

Keeping these points in mind when building a wooden or deck ramp ensures your safety and the sturdiness of the ramp.

After all, everyone will have unlimited access to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a ramp need to be for 3 steps?

Stairs typically run about 7.5 inches high each so for three stairs a standard rise or height would be about 22 inches.

The ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] recommends 1 foot for ramp for every one inch of rise.

Can I use plywood for a wheelchair ramp?

For an indoor ramp, plywood might work, but when building a wheelchair ramp outdoors, use pressure-treated lumber.

How do you bend plywood for a ramp?

Heat the plywood, using your hands to put pressure on it and bend it.

Once the wood is bent to the right shape, lay it into your mold and clamp it in place.

Then soak towels in water and heat them in the microwave or dip them in boiling water.

Lay them on the work piece and clamp the whole thing together.

What is the best material for a ramp?

Concrete is the most expensive ramp option available. it is also the strongest and the most permanent.

Concrete ramps can easily have excellent non-slip surfaces built in during construction.

Concrete ramps require specialized installation and building permits.

What are threshold ramps used for?

A threshold ramp can be used for height obstructions such as sliding glass doors which have a lower track that prevents wheeled transport devices such as scooters and wheelchairs from crossing over them.