If you live in an area with an aging population then adding a ramp can add great value to your home. It not only will appeal to older or disabled buyers, but also with buyers with aging families.
1. Chose which entry point you will use. i. e. front rear or the side of your home. You may need to choose the entrance which is lower to the ground or closer to where a car can do a drop off.
2. You will need available space so that the ramp is at a gentle angle, so that it is easy to push a wheel chair up, or that someone who walks in a limited way can slowly make their way easily up and down the ramp.
3. Choice of timber will be determined by your local suppliers. But generally a treated pine is easy to work with and hardwood more durable. PS use a mask when cutting treated pine as it contains nasty chemicals.
4. You will need to concrete in your metal brackets which house your posts which support the ramp. Buying bags of premix concrete is expensive unless you are only doing two or three holes, otherwise search you yellow pages and you will find mini concrete suppliers. They will provide just as much concrete as you will need.
5. You will need a robust wheel barrow in case the truck can’t get close to the holes. Remember concrete is very heavy. Only move as much as you can easily manage, don’t let the truck driver rush you, you will only end up injuring yourself.
6. Tools you will need include a power saw, a drop saw, a drill and an electric plane. Try to borrow what you don’t have. Hiring can be expensive so only borrow for as long as you need to.
7. Always use galvanised nails and bolts. These won’t rust.
8. Have a look at the subfloor on your house; this will give you a clue as to how you need to construct your ramp.
9. You may need a lower handrail in addition to the standard height. This way someone in a wheel chair can use it to pull themselves up.
10. Ensure you use a non slip decking. I prefer to use the same flooring you would use on a deck. But if the ramp is exposed you may need to fix strips of non slip rubber at regular intervals.
11. If the ramp is not for a wheel chair you may wish to fix some 2 inch by ½ strips across the ramp at 2 foot intervals, so that the person can get some leverage and prevent slipping.
12. A landing area at the top of the ramp will make it easier to enter and exit the house, and it also allows the ramp to run in any direction from the landing.