What Should A Seven-Year-Old Know And Be Able To Do Wooden Wheelchair Ramp Building and Seven Things You Must Know

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Wooden Wheelchair Ramp Building and Seven Things You Must Know

I have recently noticed a great deal of interest in information on building wooden wheelchair ramps. While I recently wrote an article that covered the construction of concrete ramps here at my own residence. I thought I would cover building a wooden wheelchair ramp. I have built several wooden ramps in the past.

Wooden ramps come in a wide range of sizes and materials. So we’ll cover the general rules you need to follow to build a sturdy and most importantly safe wooden wheelchair ramp. I say mainly safe because I have seen and even used some wooden ramps which in my mind were more dangerous than not having a ramp. There are seven things you need to know to build a safe and durable wooden ramp.

1. Do I really need a wooden slope here or would something else be better?

2. Remember the rules of slope construction. Your angle is 1:2 or 1″ rise = 12″ run, every 30″ rise a landing of 60″ long. Avoid long runs to break them if you can.

3. Materials must be pressure treated or rated for outdoor use. Use stainless steel or galvanized carriage bolts and screws. You will also round foot shapes and post brackets.

4. The tools you will need are very basic. You will need a handsaw or circular saw. A drill with a 1/2″ bit to drill holes for the carriage bolts. A ratchet to tighten the nuts. A tape measure, a carpenter’s square, a level, and a cordless drill driver are other tools you’ll need. You’ll also need a post hole spade and a shovel.

5. Any structure is only as good as its foundation. So we take special care of the base of our wheelchair ramp. They should be placed every six feet forming a 6′ x 4′ rectangle with a post bracket inserted in the top.

6. Don’t make it too steep. Always check your angle and use the ratio. If it’s too steep the user won’t do it.

7. Put it together properly! Use deck screws and nuts and bolts at all joints. Think of the ramp as a wheelchair bridge and build it as such. Don’t just nail it together.

As we can see building a wooden wheelchair ramp is not a simple undertaking. It is, however, within the skill of the average do-it-yourselfer. And while I wrote an article covering the building of a concrete ramp, it was a fairly simple threshold ramp that you would encounter in a typical slab construction home. However, I would not recommend a concrete ramp project of the scale I just described for the DIYer unless you have previous experience with concrete projects of this scale.

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