Ramps can provide easy access for both outside and inside of your home. There are several designs and options to choose from, in fact some options can be customized according to each person’s needs.
To meet the ADA need, a ramp should have a slope between 1:12 and 1:20. This slope measurement usually works for physical abilities of most people, whether they be ambulatory, using walkers or in wheelchair.
Another thing that needs to be considered carefully is the top and the bottom landings. It must be wide as the ramp leading into the landing. The minimum landing length has to be 60”. If there is a change of direction of the ramp, the minimum landing size has to be 60” by 60”. If a ramp and landing has drop-offs it must be protected with curbs, railings, walls or projected surfaces. This is to protect any users from slipping off the ramp. Proper flooring protection should be applied to outdoor ramps and landing to prevent slipping and further injuries.
As a homeowner you may need to install a permanent or temporary ramp on your home. You need to calculate the slope and rise for the ramp. Here are some of the things you need to think carefully.
- If an individual has to manually roll their own wheelchair, stay closer to the ADA’s slope measurement recommendation.
- If the patient is being assisted by another person, you can make changes with ADA’s recommendation. Always keep in mind to consider the weight of the patient and the strength of the person assisting the patient. The shorter the ramp, the harder it will be to push the wheelchair.
- An electric scooter or wheelchair should always stay within their manufacturer’s slope restriction. Always consult the owner’s manual or the manufacturer for this information.
There are other factors that need to be considered when building a ramp. The ratio of the height of the ramp should be 12” horizontal for every inch of height. Which means if you need to get up 30” you’ll need a ramp that is 30 feet long, plus the landings.
You can also take into consideration the marketability of your home. Some property buyers may not be very interested in purchasing a home that is installed with ramp, while others may find it very useful and important. However there are options where a ramp is removable. This makes your home an attractive property to purchase.