I've had my shed (aka The Time Machine, since for some reason when I'm in it I loose all track of time, plus I end up getting so much done my friends actually think it might have temporal powers) for some years. Well it wasn't until this year I decided to make a ramp for it. And after it was done… I'm like (Face Palm) "duh" why I hadn't I done this sooner.
Anyways, I stated before I'm a firm believer in reclaiming and reusing older materials or spare parts. Same goes for this project. When we first moved into our house the previous owners had this above ground box framed with 14' 2"x12" boards filled with dirt and gravel. Now I have no clue what its initial purpose was meant to be. But when I got the new shed, I decided it needed to be gone. I took all the boards apart and stacked them up against the privacy fence. And since when I removed all the dirt and gravel and subsequently didn't discover any bodies I felt that would be the end of it.
Now wanting to do the ramp, left me with the task of how I'd get boards wide enough and long enough to make it. I didn't really want to just use 2"x4"s. They would be less durable for any kind of longevity to it. So I turned to those old boards from the box. They were black from sitting out side in the elements all these years. But I took the skill saw to them and they must have been some really good treated wood as there was no rot to them what so ever.
I guess technically I could have entered the Reclaimed contest but I may have some other projects to enter that contest.
Step 1: Step 1: Design the Ramp.
With out much of a plan I just want a grade that would be easy to roll mowers, wheel barrow and any other wheeled item in and out of the shed. So I taking my 2x4" I laid it at the opening sill of the shed doors an measured what would look like a good length. Which ended up being about 4 feet. With my rough idea now in my head and a quick sketch on paper on to the next step. I realized that I was going to have to compensate for the doors when they closed so they wouldn't drag on the surface of the ramp and actually close. I took a rough measurement to notch down the top part for this.
Step 2: Step 2: Cutting and Assembling.
I took one of the old distressed 2x12's and cut down to a 4 foot length. With my four foot length I did another section the same length in my board. I then took each piece and drew a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner, thus ending up with 4 triangles with 90° angles stringers that will rest on the ground. I then cut another length to match the width of my shed door entrance. But decided to keep it simple I brought each side in about 6" so the my stringers boards would be 2' apart. To be frank I was amazed how good the old wood still was. Before attaching the stringers I cut a flat right angle notch off the top edge of each stringer to allow for the door closing.
I then drilled pilot holes against the facing board into the stringers. Then using exterior screws 2.5" long connected the stringers to the facing board.
Step 3: Step 3: Leveling and Positioning.
With the semi finished frame work complete, I then positioned up against the shed. Note I didn't have to anchor to the actual shed because luckily this ramp frame work was pretty heavy and I seriously doubt it'll move much, especially when finished.
With the frame in a close position I evaluated the stringers relationship to the ground and using a hand trowel I dug out grooves or ruts for them to fit into. Luckily for the most part the ground in front of the shed is pretty level with out much of a grade. I took a 1" x 4" and placed it under the front end of the stringers for stability and screwed the stringers to it. This also gave the frame a bit more durability. After leveling it the best I could. I pushed up flush against the front of the shed.
Step 4: Step 4: Top Boards and Painting.
After I was comfortable with the level and position of the ramp I added the very top board. (1" x 4" ) And then tested to make sure doors would close with out any issues. It was a little tight so I troweled out a bit more dirt (about a 1/4" ) which made it work perfect.
Then I took as many 1x4 boards I had left over from other projects and placed as many as it would take to cover the ramp from top to bottom. It might be at this point you may need to decide if you want gaps or no gaps between the boards.
Some argue your want 1/4" gaps for wood swelling. But frankly I didn't think it needs all that much. So I went with the typesetting term in graphics. "Tight but not touching"
Drilled pilot holes and mounted with 1.5" exterior screws as I went down the stringers until it was complete.
Next I had left over paint from when I first got the shed. (now this was a challenge, UGH!! Heavy) I pulled the whole ramp out away from the shed and gave the whole thing a two coats of paint. Once dry I put back into position. Afterwards I added a few bricks I had laying around to the sides to compensate for the door opening that I had shorted the width.
Step 5: Step 5: Finished
After thoughts I would recommend painting your boards before assembly, especially if you have back problems like me. But If you hate painting as much as I do. I won't hold it against you. LOL As I mentioned in the beginning, DUH why didn't I do this sooner. Its some much easier getting my mower in and out as well as other items. I highly encourage you to give it a go. Its worth the effort.
Step 6: Post Note
Ignore the lattice work around the base of the shed. (Darn squirrels and rabbits) I'll get to that later.
Plus you'll notice the paint on the ramp looked so much nicer I ended up
repainting the whole shed. @*&(!@)^)&^!!!!! I hate painting. Oh well it looks much nicer now.
Step 7: Post Post Note
Here it is all repainted and with the lattice replaced (Darn squirrels and rabbits) Also added framed lattice off the back of the shed to keep our pets from trying to get the (Darn squirrels and rabbits). I also added screen on the larger areas so they wouldn't go through at least in front so it'll stay nicer for awhile.