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outdoor wheelchair ramp

my entrance is about 4 foot above ground where ramp would end, so I'm pretty sure I need about 24" of ramp plus 1 turn back platform half way (12'). Do they have premade railing I can use , and what materials are recommended for the ramp itself? Thanks,  Dan
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Posted 2016-04-21T14:27:16+0000  by suziegirl suziegirl
Hi suziegirl,

The Telescoping Wheelchair Ramp is one simple way to ensure safety.

Built-in guides ensure the wheels stay inside the ramp ... making handrails an optional design feature.

Personally, I like the handrails even though the telescoping ramp ensures the chair cannot go off the side of the ramp.

In an earlier thread, Adam and Dave do a great job of describing how to build a wheelchair ramp over stairs.

Click the link to read that thread.

When done, come back and share your approach so others on The Community can learn from your experience.

Hope this helps,

Pat InPaint

Posted 2016-04-21T14:51:34+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Hello suziegirl and welcome to the Community.


There are some companies that make wheelchair ramps systems out of aluminum.  Many people prefer building their ramps out of Pressure treated lumber, basically as a slopping deck style or ramp



Premade railings usually are available for either straight or stair applications.  A wheelchair ramps slop is much more gradual than a stair case. So pre-made options are really not available.  Most wooden decks are customized and the same would be true of a wheelchair ramp so to build the railing system would be also.  


There are several options for the material of the railing system that would be ADA Compliant. One example is the Trex ADA Handrail as seen in this earlier article


Another company that makes handrails that can be adjusted to the more gradual pitch is Peak Aluminum railings.  Open this link to the Universal connector and view the install video by clicking on the box with the arrow as seen below..



One more brand is the EZ Handrail aluminum system that is also ADA compliant.


I hope this gives you some ideas and choices.


Thanks for your inquiry.



Posted 2016-04-21T16:37:12+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
If this is a commercial structure or open to the general public, then the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards will likely come into play.  You should also check with your local building code department for any additional requirements.  If this is a private residence, then your options are far greater although, again, it might be a good idea to check with the building code folks.

The general recommendation for residential ramps is a run of 12" for even 2" of rise.  As you mentioned, that gives you a total run of about 24'.  That isn't set in stone and could vary slightly depending on the kind of wheel chair and who, if anyone, is doing the pushing.  Beyond that, you're essentially building a sloped deck.  When you do the "turn around" make sure it's wide enough to maneuver. You obviously want to pick materials suitable for the outdoors such a pressure treated lumber.  It might also be a good idea to paint the walking surface with skid resistant paint, especially if you live in areas where it snows.

As for railings, they will likely need to meet the same code any other kind of outdoor railing given the upper end of the ramp is four feet off the ground.  You can use some kind of "pre-fab" system as previously mentioned or construct your own.

Posted 2016-04-21T21:51:20+0000  by Adam444
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