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Building An Access Ramp

Project Overview

BUILDING AN ACCESS RAMP

A ramp provides more comfortable access for persons whose mobility is impaired. All ramps will terminate at a landing, and the location of the entire structure should be at the entrance to the house that offers the most convenient access to the interior. If the door opens toward the landing, allow at least 4 feet beyond the open door. Also direct roof runoff away from the ramp and landing with a gutter and downspout. Build an access ramp with the same methods used to build a deck, including stair layout and construction techniques. The only differences are: The "deck platform" of the ramp is sloped and stringers supporting a ramp section that reaches ground level are tapered. Leave a 1/8-inch gap between decking boards so water will drain from the ramp. Build a concrete landing pad at the beginning of the ramp. Slope the ramp no more than 1 inch of rise for every 12 inches of run.

3 Steps

  1. MARK END OF RAMP
  2. MAKE THE BOTTOM CLEAT
  3. INSTALL TREADS
MARK END OF RAMP
MARK END OF RAMP

Step 1

MARK END OF RAMP

Measure from the end of the deck to the concrete pad or sidewalk and mark the end point of the ramp. To calculate the end point of the ramp, measure the height of the deck from ground level. Then calculate the run length necessary for the deck height. Lay out the slope on one board, make the narrow tip of the stringer 1 ½ inches high. Lay out a 3/4x4-inch notch in the bottom edge of the narrow end to fit over a cleat. Cut out the notch with a jigsaw and make the long cuts with a circular saw. Then use this stringer as a template for the others.

MAKE THE BOTTOM CLEAT
MAKE THE BOTTOM CLEAT

Step 2

MAKE THE BOTTOM CLEAT

Cut a 1 ½-inch-wide strip from 1x6 pressure-treated lumber. First adjust the blade angle on the circular saw and cut a 5-degree bevel on one edge of the board. Then cut the strip so the widest face is 1 ½ inches. Make the strip as long as the ramp is wide. Fasten the stringers to a 1x6 cleat attached to the concrete pad or sidewalk. Attach the cleat to concrete with treaded studs. Install the stringers in joist hangers attached to the deck. Attach the 1 1/2-inch-wide strip to the ends of the stringers with the widest face against the stringers. Drill pilot holes for the fasteners to prevent splitting.

INSTALL TREADS
INSTALL TREADS

Step 3

INSTALL TREADS

Fasten the first tread with an overhang of about 1 inch. Install th remaining treads with 1/8-inch gaps between them. Smooth concrete poured to make a transition from the ramp to the pad or side walk. Apply a bonding agent over existing concrete. Make sure concrete fills the space under the lip of the final tread.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

Materials

  • Lumber
  • fasteners
  • premix concrete
  • joist hangers

Tools

  • Tape measure
  • speed square
  • staightedge
  • maul
  • circular saw
  • jigsaw
  • drill
  • masonry tools
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