How to Build a Wheelchair Ramp With Plywood?

how to build a wheelchair ramp with plywood

If you know someone in your family or close acquaintance who suffers from a disability, installing an appropriately angled wheelchair outside your home’s entrance can make a difference in the long run. Your mobility-challenged loved one would feel more welcomed the next he or she visits your place, and it give a great sense of accomplishment and affection at the same time. Now, you must be wondering how you can build a wheelchair ramp with plywood. Depending upon the occupant’s needs, you can inform the builder to make the related measures during the construction phase.

In order to carry out a successful home accessibility project, you first need to assess the level of elevation required for the disabled person to enter from the main gate in a convenient manner. The installation should be performed with protection and safety in mind, and the architecture should comply with the local building association rules and regulations. This way, you would be able to erect a supportive handicap ramp that is sturdy and durable to last for many years to come.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Just like you perform inspection phases during a kitchen revamping session, the same rule applies for the installation of the slope to promote easy access and entry in the household. The amount of load wheelchair ramps can hold depend upon their thickness and the material used during the assembling process. If you just want to install it to carry your everyday furniture items and appliances, then you might not require a heavy-duty model. On the other hand, if you are purchasing wheelchair ramps for an occupied wheelchair – which is usually the main reason people place these sloped floors outside their residential properties – then you should look for a sturdy and heavily built plywood that can bear heavyweight without bending or curving.

Planning The Ramp

From adhering to the local zoning requirements to identifying the primary users, you need to thoroughly execute the planning process before starting the actual installation of the wooden ramp. Even if you know someone who uses crutches or walkers to assist their walking motion, you should try to add features that facilitate their mobility.

Many homeowners might be tempted to install low-slope wheelchair ramps because they are spread over a shorter surface area, but they can be difficult for wheelchair-bound individuals who rely entirely upon the grip strength of the rubber tires of the device. Make calculations to identify the length of ramp you need to install, which is measured from its foot towards the other end making contact with the base of the property’s front door.

Tools Needed

Because of your lack of expertise in the field, you need to invest in professional-grade equipment and tools, so that you can minimize the chances of any collateral damages. Some basic items that you would need during the installation process include the following:

  • Wooden board (the type of plywood you require for the task at hand)
  • Drilling machine
  • Screws and galvanized nails
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wooden brackets

Cost of Materials

If you don’t want to spend a fortune to install your wheelchair ramp, then you can save some bucks by performing a DIY task on your own. Once you have gathered all the necessary tools and equipment to get started with the construction process, you need to figure out the best possible material you should go for. Usually, you would be entitled to a number of options, which includes concrete, aluminum, and wood.

If you are looking for something with a long lifespan, and you have the financial resources to pay a large upfront amount, then you should consider building a concrete ramp. This is a permanent solution that would not require routine repairs or maintenance jobs.

If you currently have a limited budget to improve the accessibility of your front door, then you should consider selecting plywood boards. These raw materials are grown in abundance all over the tropical regions of the world, and they are usually imported in bulk amounts in the local market. Despite the fact that the front face of these veneer sheer might appear to be flimsy from a distance, but they have strong and rigid core that gives them a robust structure.

Rules And Safety Guidelines

It is always better to be in contact with your local building authority, so that you can apply for an essential permit that would give you the right to have a ramp installed outside your property. Complying with ADA standards (Americans with Disabilities Act) not only ensures that you are not violating a municipal rule, but it also guarantees that your handicap ramp is safe to be used and can be operated without any chances of health hazards or accidents.

Home Entry

Once you get the approval from the local building construction authorities, you can now figure out the measurements that would ensure a safe entry into the house. A typical 2X4 board may not be suitable for household entrances, and you would have to look for narrower options. When you go to the local hardware store, look for aluminum base brackets, so that you can provide firm support and stability to the entire ramp once it is subjected under high load and pressure. Use your drill machine to place L-brackets on either sides of the lower brackets, which would in turn promote strength and durability of the handicap ramp. Depending upon the dimensions of your porch or wooden deck, you would have to choose an appropriate size of door.

Space And Landing Requirements

According to the safety standards set by ADA, home builders need to maintain a ratio of 1:12 when setting the angle of the slope. If you do not have adequate lineal space outside your property, then you can design the ramp with additional turns that would retain the shallowness of the structure. You also have to construct a level landing on both the sides of the ramp in order to maintain the highest standards of safety.

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