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The following article was published in our article directory on November 15, 2011.
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Build a Wheelchair Ramp Yourself

Article Category: Medical Business

Author Name: Marc Willis

If your loved one has recently started to use a wheelchair, then you may like to know how to build a wheelchair ramp yourself. Your house may not be accessible at all from the outside and you may be struggling to deal with inside accessibility problems as well. Depending on your skill level and what you feel comfortable doing, you may be able to save some money on all of these adjustments and build your own ramp.

Getting Started

Wheelchair ramps can be a basic straight line from pavement to porch or more complex if they wrap or zigzag. How complicated you get will depend greatly on your skill level. But to design and build a wheelchair ramp yourself essentially depends on two factors when you're in planning stage: your loved one's needs and the building the ramp leads up to.

You know how strong or weak your loved one is right now and the ramp, especially the rise, needs to work with that, not against it. In order for him or her to use the ramp alone, it must be a gentle enough slope. Otherwise it will either be a fight to the finish or the wheelchair will simply roll backwards. If you're designing the ramp for one specific person, you can tailor all of this to that person's needs.

Your house is also an issue to factor in when designing the ramp. If the porch is raised high off the ground, this can lead to some designing issues and usually requires a ramp that zigzags. Using a straight ramp in that situation can lead to a very long gateway to the top of the porch to avoid a ramp that's too steep. Using a lower back entry might be a better option in some cases when you build a wheelchair ramp yourself.

Following Building Codes

Don't overlook the building codes required by your own area. However, when you build a wheelchair ramp yourself, even if it's for a home, you also need to follow the regulations outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act defines measurements and other specifications that result in the most safe and functional ramps. Building wheelchair ramps when you don't actually have to use one can be challenging and these standards ensure that ramps function well.

You can take these guidelines into consideration when choosing the right material to work with. Wood is an inexpensive and reliable option that's also relatively easy to work with. You can find plans to build a wheelchair ramp yourself on the ADA Web site and instructions for creating the framework and basic structure online. Keep in mind that the most important thing is that the ramp is safe and functional.

You may never have thought you'd be building a handicap ramp for any reason. But taking the time to build a wheelchair ramp yourself can help you to save money and also provide independence for your loved one and take some stress off of yourself as well. Plan ahead by considering your loved one's needs and the design of your house. Then read the guidelines from the ADA and bone up on local building codes as well. Use pre-made plans or design your own ramp, following the codes you're now aware of.

About the Author: Marc Willis is an expert when it comes to how to build a wheelchair ramp yourself. To find out everything about building a wheelchair ramp yourself, visit his website at

Keywords: build a wheelchair ramp yourself,building wheelchair ramps,building a handicap ramp,wheelchair ramps,wheelchairs,wheel chair

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