Our readers often wonder how to build a wheelchair ramp.
Unlike building a backyard deck, building an accessible wheelchair ramp requires knowledge of Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA wheelchair ramp specifications).
Although the ADA wheelchair ramp specs apply to public facilities, you should apply them to your own wheelchair ramp.
In addition, you need to check with your local building codes departments who may have other requirements as well.
Integrate the ramp to complement your home's style
If you have determined that a ramp is your best solution consider the following:
What type of device does the person use (cane, crutches, walker, manual or electric wheelchair, motorized 3-wheel cart)
Is this a temporary or permanent situation? Plan for changes.
Is the individual able to use the ramp independently or will there always be someone to assist?
Will it be to the front porch and front door or other location? Determine the best entry way for the ramp.
Where is the best place for the individual to access transportation?
Determine your local zoning set-back requirements.
We lived in a neighborhood where you could not construct anything within 50 feet of the street.
This restriction would have prevented us from building a ramp to the front porch.
Watch This Video for a Birds-Eye View for How to Build a Wheelchair Ramp
Ramp Building Resources
You can find helpful additional information on the internet by searching for "How to Build Wheelchair Ramp".
Anyone with basic carpentry skills can build a wheelchair ramp; however, you must become knowledgeable
of wheelchair ramp specifications.
If you lack the skills or would prefer a local contractor build your ramp make sure they are aware of the requirements - not all
contractors know the ADA wheelchair ramp specifications.
You may have to provide them with this ADA information.
Cost is almost always a factor.
There are many local agencies that may be able to assist either financially or with labor to build the deck.
Many service clubs like the Kiwanis, Exchange, and others build ramps as community service projects.
In addition, contact your local Easter Seal Society, Council on Aging, or your State Agency on Aging.
Listen To Our Accessibility Audio Program
Mary and I interview Suzanne Taylor, an Aging in Place Specialist with Taylor Made Custom Contracting
share her ideas and tips
for making your home and front porch more accessible.