What is the Correct Slope Measurement for a Wheelchair Ramp?

What is the Correct Slope Measurement for a Wheelchair Ramp?

Constructing your own wheelchair ramp can by no means be a simple task-it requires immense amounts of precision. One has the option of choosing from different kinds of ramps such as folding ramps, threshold ramps, and gateway permanent ramps, and each of these is to be constructed in a specific manner. They are designed after a lot of planning with regard to their slope or inclination. This is to ensure that the transition between the ramp and the landing is smooth.

If you’re planning to build your own wheelchair ramp, the following are a few things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that the task is done properly.

Measuring the slope

Slopes can be expressed as a ratio of rising to run i.e. a ramp that sits four inches high (rise) and is four inches long (run) has a 4:4 slope. It can also be expressed as a percentage i.e. X units of rising per 100 units of run. If it were to be expressed in terms of degrees, then the slope will be a measurement of the inverse tangent of the rise divided by the run relative to the horizontal.

Calculations regarding the slope

For building wheelchair ramps at home, the ratio of the ramp can be 3:12 or 15 degrees approximately. This is usually ideal for loading unoccupied wheelchairs. The 2:12 ratio is the maximum slope recommended for residential use with assistance. In commercial and public facilities, the slope is placed at 1:12 (in inches) or 5 degrees incline. These are also suitable for walking the elderly. These standards have been provided by the ADA. One can even use a ram slope calculator to arrive at the figures.

Also please note, that for ramps that have a rise of 6 inches or more, handrails must be provided and the ramp must be 36 inches in width.

Designing a ramp for your home

The design of the ramp will determine whether your home is accessible to a disabled person or not. Since all home landings are not uniform, it is important to design appropriate ramps that are easy to access from the ground and also to provide adequate space at the landing. Make sure that you hire a qualified contractor to build a disabled-friendly wheelchair ramp for your home or office space!

As you can see, it can be quite challenging to construct your own ramp. A great way to avoid any accidents or have an incorrectly sloped ramp at home is by getting in touch with professionals who can design the ramp as per your home’s measurements, and as per your needs. However, if you’re planning to do this on your own, make sure you follow all the pointers we’ve detailed for you so that it can be done properly.

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About the Author: Piran Tarapore