Our dog is getting on in age and is not handling going down our deck stairs very well so I decided to build him a ramp. I looked online but most info is about wheelchair ramps so I did the best I could figuring out the slope I needed.
The ramp is made of mostly scrap or dumpster diving wood from construction sites. I did purchase 2 - 16’ exterior 2x4s off the 70% off rack at Home Depot for about $6.00 since they were really curved. I was able to use them after putting some weight on them for a week. I also bought a 6’ 4x4 for about $6.00
I also used a 1x1” scrap to extend the ledge a little.
I already had 2” and 3” decking screws.
You also will need a circular saw to rip the plywood and or miter saw to cut the boards.
The only other expense I had was the glue for the carpet and a trowel. That was $9.00.
So I have about $21.00 in this thing.
Step 1: Cut the Decking & Boards
I used 4x8 sheet of coated sheathing/siding I got from construction site dumpster. I had several damaged spots but I was mostly useable. I ripped into 3 - 8’ x 16” wide sections. 2 of them will be the ramp floor and the other will be a side/rail.
I simply cut the 2 - 16’ 2x4s in half so I had 4 8’ boards. These would go under the decking like runners. One end of the ramp runners will need to be cut at an angle so it will better butt up against the deck. Angles are tough for me so you will need to figure yours out as best you can.
Step 2: Attach to the Deck
I was able to knock out 3 balusters on my deck near my steps and attach a scrap piece of 2x4 about 14” long to the side of the deck as kind of a ledger/cleat for the ramp surface to sit on. I also added a 1x1 16” long underneath the cleat to give the runners a little more support. I then attached the ramp with decking screws only to the cleat for easier removal since the ramp sits so close to my HVAC unit in case it needs to be serviced.
Step 3: Assemble the 2 Ramp Sections.
I screwed the sheathing into the runners using 2” decking screws. Then I joined the 2 ramp sections together using scrap 2x4s about 2’ long. I placed them on the inside of the runners so they wouldn’t be visible or in the way of my side boards. For that I used 3” decking screws.
Step 4: Build the Support
I used a 4x4 cut to the appropriate height so that 2 crossmember 2x4s would support the weight. The 2 2x4s are mounted to the posts at the matching angle of the ramp. I have trouble with angles so ypu’ll Have to figure yours out as best you can!
This ramp is strong enough to support my 260lbs so I know it will support a 50lb dog.
Step 5: Add Optional Rails & Carpet or Shingles
Since our buddy is a little blind we put rails on the sides to keep him from falling off. We simply used the sheathing we cut earlier. We had to piece the last bit together with some scrap.
I am going to add indoor/outdoor carpeting soon because his back legs want to slide. I also have some old shingles I may use depending on how the carpet works or not.
Step 6: Adding Traction
We decided to go ahead and add the indoor/outdoor carpet for traction. Turns out we had some in our barn. Not sure if it’s origin but I’m glad I found it. I bought a quart of Roberts 6700 carpet glue and a trowel for about $9.00 from HD. It was a bit cold at 50 degrees but we installed it anyway and you can see my helpers working diligently l, slaving in the cold. Seems to work fine.