How To Build A Wheelchair Ramp Over Existing Stairs

A simple and basic way to build a wheelchair ramp is to use the stairs as part of its structure. This will allow you to create an 11 degree slope (the standard for most wheelchairs) down which the wheelchair can move smoothly but safely. To do this, simply add an extension on each side at an equal distance from the bottom of the new steps and lower them down until they meet with your existing staircase’s bottom step.

Building a wheelchair ramp can greatly enhance the quality of life for disabled people. You might be inclined to just throw one together, but if you want to know how to build one that’s safe and reliable, follow our guide, every step of the way:

Remove the first two or three steps.

  • Remove the first two or three steps.
  • Remove the stair stringer.
  • Remove the stair nosing.
  • Remove the stair treads and risers by cutting them with a saw or pry bar, depending on their construction type. You may also be able to simply pry them off if they are made of wood or vinyl siding material that is secured with nails or staples, respectively. Make sure you don’t damage your home during this process.

Prepare the substructure of the ramp.

  • Use 2×6 lumber for the substructure.
  • Use pressure treated lumber, if possible, and make sure you have enough to cover the entire length of your ramp. You may need to cut it with a miter saw and hammer drill (or other woodworking tools). Use a level to make sure that it’s level before nailing it into place. After you have attached all of your pieces of wood together, use a nail gun or hammer to secure them securely in place on top of your deck.

Attach a ramp to the deck.

Attach the ramp to the deck with screws, nails or bolts. Use a level to ensure that the ramp is straight. Make sure your screw gun is loaded and charged with enough power to drive fasteners into the concrete without slowing down or stopping. If you need more information on how to build strength into a wheelchair ramp.

In order for your wheelchair ramp over existing stairs to be safe, it must support your weight as well as accommodate whatever equipment you’ll be using in order for yourself or another person in a wheelchair to get up and down from their chair safely onto level ground (if there’s not already a handicap accessible entrance).

Use laminate flooring for the ramps surface.

Laminate flooring is a great choice for wheelchair ramps because it’s durable, easy to clean, and water resistant. It’s also smooth enough that wheelchairs can roll on easily without getting stuck or damaging the surface.

If you’re looking at other types of materials like hardwood or carpeting for your wheelchair ramp surface, be sure they are high quality and durable enough to support heavy traffic over time.

Add some handrails to enhance safety.

If you’re building a wheelchair ramp over existing stairs, it’s important to include handrails. Handrails help people who have difficulty with balance and stairs. People who have difficulty with stairs and balance can benefit from the handrails as well, but they may be more inclined to use the wheelchair ramp instead of walking up and down the stairs, which is why handrails are an important consideration for anyone building a wheelchair ramp over existing stairs.

Attach flashing to a ramp railing posts.

The flashing will prevent water damage to your home. It also helps to prevent water from getting under the baseboard and into your walls. You can use metal flashing, a roll of plastic flashing, or an existing piece of old metal that you have lying around.

To attach the flashing, follow these steps:

  • Cut a piece long enough to fit around both posts of your railing.
  • Use scissors or tin snips to cut along each edge as well as across the top at least 1 inch from where it meets the top rail. This will allow for expansion in different temperatures without causing any problems with your stairs later on down the line if you live in an area where there are extreme temperature variations (think summer vs winter).

Wheelchair ramps are important for disabled people

Wheelchair ramps are important for disabled people.

Wheelchair ramps are important for the elderly.

Wheelchair ramps are important for people with medical conditions.

Wheelchair ramps are important for people with disabilities.

Wheelchair ramps are important for people with mobility issues.

Final words

A wheelchair ramp is one of the most important things a disabled person can have. It allows them to move around independently and not rely on others to help them. The good news is that you don’t need any special tools or skills, just follow our step-by-step instructions and you’ll be able to build a wheelchair ramp over existing stairs in no time.

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