Introduction: Build a Wheelchair Ramp

About: I am an engineer / designer interested in many subjects. When not making things, I enjoy mountain biking, canoeing and camping.

My Father is now confined to a wheelchair and my Mother was finding it difficult to get him in and out of their house, photo 1.

They needed a wheelchair ramp to make access in and out of the house easier.

Here, I will show you how I built them a wheelchair ramp out of plastic decking, photo 2 and 3.

The decking also allows them to access their concrete patio with the wheel chair.


Jouplast Plastic Adjustable Decking Risers

3" x 2" timber for the support frame

Grey Plastic Decking Boards

Assorted screws and tools

Step 1: Step 1: Build the Frame

I decided to bring a larger decking area out onto the lawn than was required.

This gave room to turn the wheelchair and also access to the front patio.

I placed the timber frame on Jouplast Plastic Adjustable Decking Risers, this allowed be to compensate for the uneven ground. The Risers were placed on concrete slabs on the soil to spread their load.

None of the deck or ramp is fixed to the house, so it can easily be removed in future if required.

Step 2: Step 2: Deck the Frame

Decking was screwed to the frame.

Luckily the boards I bought were the correct length and did not require cutting or joining.

I cut the frame to finish at the end of the last board.

Step 3: Step 3: Build the Ramp

Once the frame was complete I added the ramp.

The recomended maximum slope for a wheelchair ramp is 1:12, this ramp is shallower than that.

The ramp has 3 bearers running down the length of it, they are supported on joist hangers at the top and rest on the soil at the base. I also added blocks of timber beneath the ramp onto the existing path to prevent it flexing.

Again, I was fortunate that a whole plank width finished butting up to the existing concrete path with no gap to fill or lip.

The last photo shows a smaller ramp I made from some off-cuts, to allow wheel chair access off the deck onto to the existing patio.

Step 4: Step 4: Finishing Touches

I added a single plank as an edging piece all the way around the platform and ramp, this covers the timber and prevents the wheelchair rolling off.

I also added capping pieces to the front external corners.

We use tempoarary ramps insde and outside of the door frame to get the wheelchair over the door threshold.

Step 5: Conclussion

The ramp has beaten all our expectations of it.

Mum can now easily push Dad up the ramp and into the house.

Also Dad can be pushed out onto it (When the Sun shines!) and it adds another dimesion to his environment.

Many of Mums visitors have passed positive comments and want to know who built it!