How to Build a Ramp over Stairs | 10 Steps You Can Apply Now


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Ramps are an excellent addition to any residence. They may be used to avoid stairs, give a pleasant method to get from one area to another, and more. Having an outside ramp is the ideal addition if you’re just getting started or need some assistance constructing your ramp. Thus, we have made this post on How to build a ramp over stairs to aid you.

Most houses have one or more external stairs, but mobility-impaired people may find navigating them tough. A ramp that runs directly to and from the entrance is one method to make things simpler. In most cases, hiring a professional to build a wheelchair ramp is the best choice.

However, it may be a do-it-yourself effort for people with a working grasp of fundamental building principles. Follow us as we go through this in detail below.

How to Build a Ramp over Stairs

How to Build a Ramp over Stairs

The instructions below will walk you through the basics of creating a safe and secure ramp over stairs. The size and form of the porch landing will be determined by the height of the entrance landing, the width of the lot, the gradient of the yard, and local construction standards.

Choosing a DIY ramp will save money. However, the DIYer who takes on this task must be familiar with building principles. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: know your local codes.

You’ll need to keep the local regulations in mind when building a ramp. While this is not a critical consideration when constructing a semi-permanent ramp, a masonry component must be constructed per current municipal requirements. Professional ramp installers can give you complete information on the procedures for this kind of development.

After that, draw the ramp and present it to the local construction authorities. The design will be scrutinized to verify that it complies with ADA requirements (if applicable) and does not violate any rights or property-line restrictions.

Step 2: Choose a location for your ramp and the form and length of the ramp.

Creating a linear ramp from the porch outwards in houses with a low porch elevation may be feasible. Higher porches, on the other hand, need a unique ramp layout.

Ramp layouts may include departing a side entrance with the ramp extending beside the house and a direct ramp from a front porch outwards. It may also form an L-shape over the front walk or even a U-shape surrounding two sides of the home. A landing may also be placed at any entrance, with the ramp sloping down twisty.

Step 3: keep an eye on it.

Begin by laying out the porch platform, which should be flat and 60 inches by 60 inches at the least. Staking is a straightforward process. It must, however, precisely match the ramp’s dimensions and be square to the house. Wood stakes, twine, a level, a mallet, and a measuring tape are all required.

The 3/4/5 technique is a simple method for determining a square (a 90-degree arc). Place a stake in the earth at the home’s genesis point, and then survey out parallel to the house. Place a second stake on top of the first and tie a thread between them.

Gauge perpendicular to the side of the property from the first post and make an impression at 3 feet to define the square. Then, measuring along the string line from the same initial position, mark the string at 4 feet. The distance between the mark on the string and the mark on the structure will be precisely 5 feet if the string line is square. If the stake isn’t at 5 feet, move it till it is. To find the square, utilize the same triangle procedure on all four corners of the ramp.

Step 4: draw a line on the ground.

You may mark the soil for guidance and then draw up the stakes after all of the stakes are in position and the strings show the ramp’s imprint. The use of paint to mark the surface is common. It’s critical to be precise here, so spray the markings on the ground just under the strings.

To guarantee that you spray the ground precisely, use a plumb bob and keep it along the threads. You may also spray the markings using a level held vertically beside the strings as a reference.

Conversely, tie a second-string between ground-level pegs and use it as a guide. You may make straight lines on the ground by spraying the bottom strings from end to end.

Step 5: pour the footings for the ramp.

It’s time to pour the cement footings that will keep the posts in place after the ground has been designated. You may use concrete tube shapes or pour the concrete straight into the post holes for this phase.

Drill a trench 12 feet in diameter and just below the frost line for every footing. The frost line changes depending on the locale. When the local building administration approves the plan, they’ll inform you how thick the footings must be. Plan to dig holes that are at least 30 inches deep on aggregate.

Put cement tube forms in the perforations, fill them with cement, or pour concrete into the openings. Level the top of the cement while it is still wet to create a smooth surface at floor level.

Step 6: attach the anchors.

Allow 24 hours for the cement to solidify before installing the posts. Re-measure the deck’s measurements to establish where the middle of each post will lie on each concrete paver before installing the posts. To establish the precise center, use the 3/4/5 approach once again.

Make a hole using heavy-duty drilling and a cement bit, then place a post anchoring into the hole. Post anchoring comes in various shapes and sizes, with some requiring two or four holes rather than one. A single-bold anchor post is one of the easiest to set up.

Step 7: join the posts together.

The vertical posts will support the remainder of the ramp’s framework. They must also be plumb or vertically level. Put the tip of a pillar into anchoring and fasten it at the bottom using bolts.

One person may hold the post upright while the other put the bolts. This phase requires the use of a level. If required, use 2-by-4s as braces to keep each post plumb. After the rim panels have been erected, the braces may be withdrawn.

Step 7: join the joists and posts together.

The joist structure may get added once the posts have been placed. The first joists to be installed are the rim joists, which run along the outer edges of the posts. The joists on the ramp part must likewise slope since the ramp floor will be slanted.

Place the top of the rim beams lower than the planned top of the completed decking to avoid producing a lip or ledge that finds it challenging for a wheelchair to move across.

The standard thickness of decking is 1.25 inches. If you’re utilizing standard decking, you’ll need to reduce the rim joists’ tops by 1.25 inches. When the flooring is installed, it will be level with the floor of the house.

Put the center joists after the rim joists have been installed. Local building codes may differ, but space the beams no more than 16 inches away to be safe.

Step 8: put the decking on the ramp.

The decking planks are installed on top of the beams parallel to them. Attach the flooring to the joists using screws. This is one of the simplest tasks in the ramp construction process. Ensure the flooring planks are in line with one another. Allow for growth if the planks become wet by leaving a tiny gap.

Step 9: attach the railing to the ramp.

On a slope, the handrail should extend 36 inches above the flooring. If one side of the ramp touches the house, there is no need for a railing on that side. Attach the handrail on the inside of the complete version. It should also be sloped in the same direction as the decking.

A circular or curved railing with a diameter of approximately 1.25 inches will be the most secure to grab and may be needed by municipal regulations. Senior folks may find it challenging to grab larger or square railings securely.

Step 10: If necessary, construct and install a landing.

It’s best if the space at the bottom of the ramp is as flat as feasible. It may also be required by municipal regulations to have the same top resting dimensions—60 inches by 60 inches.

The ramp may be permitted to emerge into a conventional sidewalk. If necessary, construct and pour a flat concrete landing at this stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I build a ramp over the stairs?

Yes. The above tips on how to build a ramp over stairs will aid you in this.

How can I figure out the length of a ramp?

A ramp must get built with a least a 1:12 ratio. This implies that the ramp cannot descend more than one foot for every 12 feet of length. When constructing a ramp with this slope, the ramp’s height will get determined.

Can I build a wheelchair ramp out of plywood?

Plywood might get used for an interior ramp. When constructing a wheelchair ramp outside, however, pressure-treated timbers should be used.

How long should a three-step ramp be?

The altitude of each step determines this. The height from the bottom to the beginning of the third level would be 21 inches tall for stairs with a 7-inch rise. As a result, the ramp must be at least 21 feet long.


Finally, building a wheelchair-accessible ramp to your stairwell improves accessibility and safety for everyone. Even senior dogs prefer to stroll on a ramp rather than climb steps. When compared to prefabricated metal ramps, timber or hybrid ramps are a wonderful alternative because of their design versatility.

Whether installing it yourself or employing a contractor, a bespoke ramp will blend better with the existing deck construction than a premade one. At this point, the above tips on how to build a ramp over stairs will aid you immensely.

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