Best Practices for Installing a Wheelchair Ramp

Are you considering installing a wheelchair ramp to accommodate a loved one? Before you begin construction, consider the guidelines provided by the Americans with Disability Act about the slope, rise, width, handrails, and general requirements of a wheelchair ramp. These guidelines will ensure the safety and security of anyone using the ramp.

What Are the ADA Requirements for a Wheelchair Ramp?

A wheelchair ramp is installed to provide accessibility for those who cannot use stairs to enter or leave the home. Before you begin construction, consider the following elements:

  1. Who will be using the wheelchair ramp?
  2. Are there any space limitations to the wheelchair ramp?
  3. How many ramps will you need?
  4. What is the main point of entry into the home?
  5. Are there any alternatives to installing a wheelchair ramp?

A successful installation will require using the detailed outline below to construct, install, and maintain a wheelchair ramp. This information is summarized from the Access-Board.gov:

Consider the Slope, Rise, and Width of the Ramp

The maximum slope of the ramp should be 1:12 and the maximum rise should be 30 inches. The slope and rise will ensure that the wheelchair can efficiently make it up the ramp without causing strain to the individual. The appropriate slope will also prevent water from accumulating on the surface and the ramp should be made from stable, firm, and slip-resistant material to accommodate all weather conditions. The width of the ramp should be at least 36 inches to accommodate the wheelchair itself. Be sure to measure the wheelchair (if available) so you know what size is needed.

Add Landings and Handrails

The ramp should have handrails on both sides and these handrails should be 1.5 inches from the wall. The ends of the handrails should be rounded or return to the floor, wall, or post. These handrails will provide additional support for those with limited mobility. The landings to the ramp should be at least as wide as the ramp itself and the length must be a maximum of 60 inches clear.

After reading this blog you can see that it requires precision and an understanding of ADA requirements to create a wheelchair ramp. The slope of the ramp and the proper installation of landings and handrails are critical elements to pay close attention to. If you have questions contact a local contractor for cost estimates for the installation of a wheelchair ramp.


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