A properly constructed ramp can greatly
enhance the safety and independence of a person. In this video we're going to
demonstrate the basic construction of a ramp that can be built over a weekend.
The ramp is constructed in six stages: prepare the site, frame the platform and
the ramp structure, frame the ramp, build the decking, install the handrail and pour the concrete.
The main part of a deck are of course are the support posts we've got our joists decking and then our railing on this deck we're less than thirty inches from
the ground so we do not have to put any pickets in.
But a lot of times they'll be pickets in here uh… but this is a basic construction of a deck. One of the first thing we have to
do is to take down the railing. This railing is going to be in the way of our platform. We've got the railings out so now we
have to clean out some of these bushes so that we can put our platform in. We're gonna take this board and set the other end up on the
threshold, and that'll give us some elevations,
as far as our post out here. What we're gonna do, we want to make sure
that this board is going to be level, our platform is going to be level.
We get a reading off of the transit, and right
now he's reading two-foot-five. So we want to take this transit now over here and put it on the … on our board here and will raise it up or down until he says reading two-foot-five. All right, mark that. That tells me if I put this — top of this down to my mark then this is
level. All right, what we got here the top of this, since it's sitting on here is exactly the height that we wanted to end up. I've cut a
piece of the two-by-ten and I've got a piece of the decking. So if
I put this decking, put this just like so and mark across it all the way down and then I take my square and kind of square up right there.
So if I come and cut this mark — cut all of this out at this mark — cut it up here all the way down here that would drop this down flush with
the threshold. The next thing we have to do is
our joist layout. I measure across the top here, and see that we have roughly seventy eight, seventy nine
We want our joists every sixteen inches on center so we'll have one to begin with sixteen thirty two forty eight sixty-four and one on the end. Six joists that we've got here. We've got our joists cut, we've
got the notches cut out so that the fit nicely over the deck. So
the next thing we have to do is spot where we're going to put our posts. We're going to put one post right here and we've got these cut to length, so we
know that we're gonna have to have another post right here. Same thing over here, so we'll get those
four holes dug and then we'll be ready to start putting our platform together. Alright we're digging our post hole here.
It needs to be about eighteen inches deep. I like to put a concrete block down in
the bottom, so what I do is I get the bottom real nice and level and then I put this block down in the
hole and try to level up so that I get a
nice level place to put my post when I'm ready to set my post.
That's where our
posts will go. I want to make sure that this is square
— the same distance front and back so I've measured across here, I've got
seventy eight inches so I need to cut another piece of two-by-ten to go across the back of it exactly
seventy eight inches. Our next step is to lay out our joists. We've got a space underneath here that
uh… we really need to put a little more support. So I'm gonna cut some wedges to go
underneath each of these three joists to give it a little more support. I'm going to cut a piece of the decking
to go on the back of our platform — our landing just kinda stabilize it and keep it all
the joists lined up the way that they should be. All right, we're going to be digging two
more post holes. One right here, and one in the cross over there. And this is going to be halfway down the
ramp. We want our posts to be a maximum of eight feet apart.
The next step is to uh… establish our of runners for a
ramp. I'm gonna put this up here and just mark
my angle. Then I go down here and kind of by eyeball, I just mark this here and this will just drop
right down into into the hole and it'll come out — we want the top of
this to come out right even with the top of the driveway. Once this drops down into the hole,
we'll put another post here and we'll attach this to the post. We put it in place then you put a straight edge on it, and then just right up the side. And that
gives you your angle. And we do the same over here and that gives us the angle but it also gives us the distance.
Because we cut both sides and just
dropped it right down. We'll cut that and drop it right down in. We gotta a pretty good bump right here
for wheelchair. I'm going to put a forty five-degree bevel on it. Adding this bevel will make the
transition from the driveway to the ramp much easier. We're putting this first board on uh… in the beginning, because I want to try
and square everything up. We're gonna measure from here up to the
landing, both sides to make sure it's even and uh… that way we make sure everything's
parallel. We put two screws through the joists into the post to
secure it before we put any more decking on.
When we've got a long run like this, a
lot of times the joists in the middle go every which way. So I like to line them up — I got forty eight inches exactly
outside to outside and make my layout, and uh… secure them that way. That way as I'm
bringing my decking on up then and I know that uh… everything is
lined up and when I get to this point I'll just take it up and uh… use it in the next spot. We divided up this span here exactly in
the middle. I've taken my level and I've plumbed up my mark right there uh… and then we're going to take a
four-by-four another post and stand it upright like so. And we'll put some same lag bolts from the inside through here to hold it steady. Because we've got a long span here, I
wanted to shorten the span so I put our post up and I put a two-by-four across from this
post to that post to take some of the bounce out.
Alright we're going to start in on the
handrail now. Our ramp is at an angle so we've got to cut the top of these
posts off at an angle to match the slope of the of
the ramp. I'm going to put a piece of wood up here exactly even with the edge of this and I take another block,
it really doesn't matter how thick it is put it there. This is at the slope of the ramp.
So I mark here then I'll cut this angle off and that will give me the angle to cut my post. All right, were ready to start cutting the
post now. I want to have a finished height of thirty six inches. I have a piece of cap going on it that's
going to be one inch. So I want to measure right here at thirty five inches. That's
where I'm going to cut my post off. And I take my board that I just scribed and put it right on there on my mark and mark it, and that gives me the angle to cut. We're gonna come up here and now you're at the same thirty five
inches. This is our landing so this is going to be cut off square, so
I take my square and mark all the way around, that'll give me my line to cut it. We're going to continue with the
handrail. The first piece were going to put in
is the bottom piece. Put it right in place where it's supposed to go and then in order to get the angle of my
cut and the distance I just put it right here and mark right
beside the post.
We've got our bottom piece cut I've marked the back side of the post I've cut it the exact distance so theoretically now if we raise this up and put this right here come up to the top and make it right even with the top
corner here and we've got it flush here so the distance is the same top and
bottom and we put a nail in it. We've taken our two by four and put it
down on the bottom, marked it and cut it like we did the top one I like to raise it about an inch
and a half let some of the leaves and et cetera blow
through. But the purpose of this is really
to uh… keep a wheelchair from running off the
side. Normally, by code, handrails are supposed to be
thirty four to thirty eight inches high. Our customer, at this time, has requested
that we put the handrail at this point right here. We have our
bracket and we're gonna attach it to this point
here. This is a customer request.
We've got our post right at the juncture of the
landing and of the ramp. The horizontal piece of handrail and the
sloping piece of handrail joins halfway on this post. Now we're gonna attach the bottom rail for the landing just like we did on the
ramp. We've got our railing all-up, now were ready for the
top piece. This is a piece of five quarters, same as
the decking, put it on top and put it right in the middle there. We're ready for our top piece, so I just put it on the top here make sure it's centered and I get my mark here however far I want it to
go Make my mark, square it across and that'll be where I cut it. Now the other piece is going to come up, and just die
into there. Just like so. We have our deck built, we have our handrail done now we're going to pour the concrete
around our posts to secure them. That'll dry overnight and tomorrow
will have a finished deck. Our ramp is now completed and ready for
A properly completed ramp can open up a
world of possibilities for the homeowner. For more information on ramp
construction and independent living please visit the center's website..