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Thread: Wheelchair ramp

  1. #1
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    Default Wheelchair ramp

    I'm designing a temporary wheelchair ramp. I have most of the design requirements.

    One question, though- the height of top of ramp is 24". Do I need a guard rail? or just a hand rail?

    While on this topic, here's a design guide from a Minnesota non-profit I've found useful and stuck in my file. Might be useful to some of you, also.

    http://www.wheelchairramp.org/rampma...l/rampindx.htm

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Here the cutoff is 30" for needing a guardrail. But I think at that height it will look and feel better if it has some kind of guardrail, even if it's not strictly necessary.

    Thanks for the link also.
    www.telianconstruction.com
    Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. - Zeuxis, 400 B.C.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Here I would look at our building regs (codes) there is a complete section on acess to buildings for the less able

    Failing this as noted above dozens of organisations dedicated to various disabilities give valuable information foc. The info is much better than the general stuff avalible
    Limey Carpenter

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    (posted wrong link, see Tom's post below)

    We don't have any codes/inspections locally, I use these. Usually the HO is getting some funding from an organization to help defray the cost. The orgs almost always require compliance with the specs in the link.

    -Norm
    Last edited by VTNorm; 07-09-2010 at 05:52 AM. Reason: wrong link

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    This is the link to the federal ADA.

    http://www.ada.gov/stdspdf.htm

    Tom
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    I'd opt for a guardrail with a handrail and a curb.
    BTW is this ramp 24' long ?
    SteveC
    The improbable takes time, the impossible takes a little longer.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Steve,

    Seeing as this is an existing home the ramp only needs to be 19.2 feet long. The ADA allows a fall of 1" in 16" on an existing home. On a new construction it needs to be 1" in 12".

    My moms ramp ended up being 68.5 feet long.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/tbadernwi/ADARamp#

    Figure 16 of ADA 4.8 shows the rise and 4.8.5 requires a handrail for a rise 6" or greater. There is an asterisk, but I could never find what it is for.

    The guard rail should be standard.

    Tom
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Nice ! !!!!!
    SteveC
    The improbable takes time, the impossible takes a little longer.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Quote Originally Posted by tjbnwi View Post
    Steve,

    Seeing as this is an existing home the ramp only needs to be 19.2 feet long. The ADA allows a fall of 1" in 16" on an existing home. On a new construction it needs to be 1" in 12".

    My moms ramp ended up being 68.5 feet long.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/tbadernwi/ADARamp#

    Figure 16 of ADA 4.8 shows the rise and 4.8.5 requires a handrail for a rise 6" or greater. There is an asterisk, but I could never find what it is for.

    The guard rail should be standard.

    Tom
    How do you figure that, Tom? 1/16 slope is a lesser slope than 1/12, which makes the ramp longer, not shorter. It would be 32 ft, wouldn't it?.

    Either way, I wasn't aware there was a different standard for existing. Do you have something you can cite for that?

    That's some ramp, by the way.
    Last edited by S.Joisey; 07-14-2010 at 05:08 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    TO answer my original question, it seems for ramps under 30", I don't need a guard rail with spindles less than 4" apart, etc. But I do need a setup like this:

    http://www.adaptiveaccess.com/showpi...set=wood&pic=1

    A top rail, mid rail, and a roll off guard less than 4" above the decking.

    And I need hand rails on both sides within their height requirements.

    I haven't found that specifically in the ADA specs, but this site is saying that's what I need to do..

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Joisey,

    Sometimes my brain is way ahead of my fingers on a key board.

    I did not include a reference to 4.1.6 which is the exception section for existing buildings. It is 4.1.6 (3) (a) (i) (ii). That is where it states you can go to 1 in 8 and 1 in 10.

    Sorry for the confusion. You are absolutely correct 1 in 16 is much shallower.

    Mom likes the ramp and it makes easier for her. Dad likes the ramp also it is easier on his knees than stairs. I have heard that people with hip replacements may have a harder time on a ramp.

    Glad you got your project worked out.

    Look at 4.8.5 and 4.8.7 for more rail info.

    Tom
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    In times like these I hate to think of suggesting something to take work away from someone. Here in St Louis there is some organization that provides a steel temporary ramp for homeowners. I thought the charge was very little or maybe even a sliding scale. But I have heard they can work with homeowners to allow someone to stay at home the last months or so of their lives, say in a hospice situation.

    I have heard from our local Rebuilding Together organization that they can often get permission to install them without all the permit process since they are temorpary and are taken down ASAP. I am guessing that most places would worry that anything built would stay even if thought to be only temporary when the permits were applied for.

    Just a thought.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Keep in mind that most of the states have adopted the ICC/ANSI A117.1-2003 code which is commonly referred to as the "American National Standard" for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.

    I cannot find this ANSI in a free PDF format; they want you to buy a copy. Seems to me it was $15 when I got mine. Then some states "amend" the standard to fit their requirements.

    Something interesting about the Accessible codes is I inspected and finished a Housing Authority project which had numerous ANSI requirements in order to comply before I could CO it. This they did, and we were done. However, because their money was somehow Federal, they had to comply with the Federal ADA which was based on the 1978 writing. They could not apply ANY variations to our ANSI requirements until we were gone. I don't specifically recall any conflicts, but they were warned to be very cautious if they elected to "alter" any inspected property because they could possibly create an ADA Accessibility issue after the fact!

    Count on our Gov't to not use the same book everyone else uses!! That would be too simple!!
    Take Care

    Jim

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Tom- thanks for the reference. I would have looked all over that document and not found it.
    Seems like the 1:8 slope has a maximum rise of 3", and only if limited space doesn't allow the 1:12 slope. I noticed it also allows a 1:10 slope with a maximum 6" rise.

    Beezo - I had wondered about pre-made ramps. Something to look into. Makes sense, since ramps are often for a limited time.

    This ramp is for a friend's mom, who is "getting up there". We decided to put off the ramp unless she becomes wheelchair bound. Right now, she just has one step out the door, and two off the patio. If I do a ramp, she'll need to walk 24' of ramp plus a switchback. So for now, she can do steps easier than walk a long ramp. And I have the plans in sketchup just in case.


    Jim - since she receives social security, does that mean she is government funded and the federal rules apply? : )

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wheelchair ramp

    Joisey,

    When you find out the answer to your last question, let us know. I find the question amusing.

    On my mom's ramp the AHJ, did not permit it. I had my dad bring them in, the inspector told him, seeing as it is governed by the ADA he had no standing and we could do what ever. He never bothered to look at them. Never been by the house either.

    Tom
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

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