Here’s How to Build a DIY Wheelchair Ramp and Landing

Tips for building a wheelchair ramp

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I know we don’t like thinking about it, but there will come a time in the future when we won’t be able to climb the stairs to the front door of our home. At that point, we have a few options. One, move out. Two, crawl. Or three, rent or build a wheelchair ramp. If you’re more of a DIY type (or just too stubborn to check into a nursing home), option three is for you.

To help you get started, we’ve shared a list of tips for building your own ramp and landing, courtesy of DIY Network. Good luck!

  1. Cut Frame Pieces: Using pressure treated wood and galvanized roofing nails, which hold up to outdoor elements, use a chop saw to cut frame pieces to size. A landing should be 5×5’ under ADA regulations.
  2. Create the Frame: Use a framing nailer to assemble each of the pieces of wood to create a frame. Cut and attach cross joints to the inside of the frame every 16” for additional support and stability.
  3. Put the Frame in Place: Once the frame is built, place it flush along the doorway’s edge and on the concrete. Make sure it is level horizontally and vertically. Add a few shims made from pressure treated wood to level it and provide ventilation.
  4. Attach the Frame to the Building: Furrow the nail gun between the joists and put a nail every 8”.
  5. Create Ramp Supports: Create the ramp by first measuring the distance from the top of the landing to the concrete base. Then cut three boards using this measurement on one end and angling the cut down to a point, creating ramp supports. Next, fasten the three ramp supports to the side of the frame.
  6. Add Braces: Use wood cross braces between each ramp support to make the ramp more stable. Secure these to the concrete by drilling two pilot holes into each brace using a masonry bit and fastening using concrete anchors or screws.
  7. Add the Deck Planks: Add the deck planks across the ramp and landing frame. Begin by placing a full board where the angle of the ramp changes. Be sure to orient the boards perpendicular to the ramp. Secure each board working out as you go.
  8. Trim Off Overhang: Once the planks are in place, trim off any overhang with a circular saw and sand the ends smooth.

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