Toolbox > Handicap Ramps
People in wheelchairs need access to elevated areas and may require the use of a handicap ramp. Wheelchair ramps can be difficult for someone using a walker, crutches or a cane, so consider the installation of both, ramps and low riser steps. This design will accommodate people with a broad variety of physical needs and requirements and help maintain their independence.
Handicapped Wheelchair Ramp Design
There's many factors involved in the design. The ADA provides codes and guidelines that apply to public places and government funded projects, however, we incorporate these guidelines for all applications, including residential homes. Why? Because it works!
Slope and Rise
When built to provide an accessible entrance, the slope of the ramp should be as small as possible. The maximum slope in new construction is 1:12, (every inch of rise will require one foot of run). Example: A step that is 6" high would require a ramp 6' long. The maximum rise for any run is 30".
The minimum clear width of a ramp is 36" between railings. This can be a little tight, especially for a long run. We prefer about 40" wide.
Level landings are required at the top and bottom of each run. This seems to be overlooked by many builders. Imagine trying to open a door, in a wheelchair on an incline. Not easy!
If the run is over 30' long, you'll need a level landing 5' long and as wide as the ramp. For an L shaped turn, a 5' x 5' landing is required. For a switch back turn, 5' x 8' is minimum.
If a wheelchair ramp has a rise greater than 6", or a horizontal run greater than 72", it requires handrails on both sides. A 12" extension is required but can not project into another path of travel.
Ramps and landings with a drop off require edge protection to prevent people and wheelchairs from slipping off. This can be accomplished with curbs that must be a minimum of 2 in. in height. You can also install the protection using the lower rail of your handrailing.
The maximum slope of a curb ramp is 1:12 the flares is 1:10. An alternative to flares can be a 2" curb.
Slippery surfaces can be a real problem, especially for the elderly. Concrete is easy, a rough broom finish. That's just one of the reasons I prefer concrete.
Wood can be very slippery when wet and will create a hazard (and liabilities). Wood ramps have not been clearly addressed by TAS or the ADA. Possible solutions include sand grit strips and additives to paint. We use 36" wide, white asphalt, rolled roofing.
How We Build Our Wood Ramps
Although we prefer concrete, there are times when wood is the only alternative. View our design for wood wheelchair ramps.
Aluminum Wheelchair Ramps
Aluminum ramps are strong, durable and weather resistant. They are the best alternative to provide quality and functional assess to many areas. Aluminum ramps require minimal maintenance and will last a lifetime. Check out our online catalogs: Modular, Folding, Solid, Threshold.
Finding a contractor familiar with handicap accessible construction techniques can be a real challenge for anyone. We offer accessible home and business remodeling and modifications in Houston, Texas and the surrounding area. Most modifications can be made simply and inexpensively.
Contact us today to see how our experience can work for you. Our service begins with a free evaluation of your home or business. We make our recommendations with your current and future needs taken into consideration so we can make your life easier!