Wheel chair ramps can help make your home or office more accessible to the elderly and disabled. Hence, in this article we’re going to be giving you some tips to help you build one on your own. Bear in mind that these tips are more suited for constructing a temporary or portable ramp.
If you want to build a permanent structure, you’ll need to recruit someone who has engineering skills. In that case, we recommend you contact a local construction company like Mobility Access, who specialize in all sorts of disability access solutions.
Plan It out First
One of the very first things to figure out is the ideal location to place your ramp. This will help you determine the dimensions of the ramp as well as other thing like the distance between it and the street, and the level of elevation required.
You’ll also have a good idea as to whether you’ll need to make modifications to the house in order to accommodate a ramp. For instance, you may have to remove part of the patio’s railing in order for the wheelchair ramp to lead up to the front door.
In addition, it’s best to figure out the total cost of the project before you start. This will help ensure that you stick to a budget and don’t overspend. Make sure you factor everything into the cost estimate, including the price of a building permit (if applicable), the cost of materials and tools and any additional help you may have to hire.
Choose the Right Layout
Typically, there are three basic types of ramp layouts to pick from. First of all, we’ve got the in-line ramp which is basically a straight line from start to finish. The second type is the dog-legged ramp which is the shape of an ‘L’. The third and final is the switchback ramp where there’s a 180 degree turn at one or couple of the landings.
Probably the biggest factor that determines your layout is the size and shape of the yard. If you’ve got adequate space on either side of your house, you’ll be able to easily incorporate an in-line ramp that meets the patio from the side. Otherwise, if there’s a driveway blocking a lot of that side, you may need to go for a dog-legged one.
Use Screws Instead Of Nails
A lot of DIY builders make the mistake of using nails to assemble the ramp instead of screws. The problem is that nails can come off after heavy use, potentially leading to the collapse of the structure. Screws on the other hand are way more durable and therefore the safer choice.