Creating a Disabled Access Ramp

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Many homes in the UK and the USA are not equipped with disability ramps. If you have a member of the family who is in a wheelchair, or has problems walking up stairs, then it will be problematic for them to visit relatives.

You could try planning ahead and asking your city council if they have a ramp that you could borrow for the visit. Some councils have portable ramps that are available to hire, but they only have a limited availability. If you have left it until the last minute, then you might have missed out.

Some councils will put you in touch with some charities for disabled people. They will have ramps to rent. Some of them will let you use the ramp for free, but with most charities you will have to pay or give a donation. This might be more expensive than you are willing to pay.

Build one

Sometimes, the only option you will have is to build one yourself. If you have some carpentry skills, then this will save you some money. You might have a friend who is willing to do you a favour and build one for you, but you will still have to pay them a bit of money for the supplies.

If you have no idea what you are doing, then you should hire someone to do it for you. This is because the ramp is going to have to hold the weight of the person and the wheelchair. You also have to know the dimensions for a suitable ramp.

Work off a plan

If you know how to do it and you want to build the ramp yourself, then you should work off some plans. Contact your local council and see if they have any plans available for you to work off. That way you will know the size of the wood and the dimensions you need to use. This will save a bit of time when coming to build the ramp.

If you decide to draw up the ramp yourself, you will have to take into consideration the height of the step or the stairs first. Then you will need to think about the angle the ramp needs to be to be able to make it safe enough to wheel someone up there.

You need to think about the weight of the person and their wheelchair. You need to buy the right amount of wood to hold the weight. You might have to buy some really thick wood or at least buy two pieces of wood and use that for the ramp.


If the ramp is only meant as a portable ramp and someone will push the person up the ramp, then you will not need rails. If the person needs help walking up steps, then the ramp will need to have handrails. If this is the case then you will have to buy some metal and use a plan for handrails.

Anti-slip surfaces

If you are going to be using the ramp in all weather conditions, then you should think about using anti-slip mats for the top surface of the ramp. This will make the ramp safer. The wheels on wheel chairs or the soles of shoes will be able to get more traction when they are moving up an incline.

You can buy anti-slip mats in hardware stores but they are much cheaper if you buy them online. You should make sure the mat you buy has the adhesive applied to the back of the mat and you don't have to apply it yourself. This will make it easier when you come to install the mat.

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