Wheelchair ramp design tips from the pros

Before you build a ramp for your home, it’s good to think about some of the wheelchair ramp design features that can make your ramp work best for your needs.  Here are a few considerations for building a ramp that works for your needs.  If you’re hiring an accessibility contractor, make sure that they provide a layout of the ramp they are bidding and specify some of these design features.

1 – Incorporate a sufficient upper landing, and position it to allow for adequate space to avoid the door swing

Some contractors will bid and install ramps that slope all the way to the door.  This is dangerous and is not safe for entry and management from a wheelchair.  Additionally, the more space available to manage at the swing side of the doorway will assist with managing the doorway for safe entry to the home.

2 – Use aggressive edging to provide safety in the ramp

Newer wheelchairs are designed to manage curbs and obstacles, and this can be a liability when you are high on a ramp and the joystick accidentally gets caught.  Having high edging, spindles, and barriers for safety are going to keep you safer and contained whether you’re in a power wheelchair or manual wheelchair.

3 – Allow space at the bottom of the edging or rails to allow debris to escape off the ramp

The challenge with aggressive edging is that it can create a bowl effect, so incorporating a small gap at the base of the ramping will allow for debris, snow, leaves, dirt to escape and prevent the ramp from becoming a trap that makes your ramp more difficult to maintain and more slippery.

4 – Introduce traction to allow for slip resistance on the ramp

Simple grit traction strips or paint-on texture coating will provide traction that allows for slip resistance and traction at the bottom of the ramp.  For our modular ramp systems, we use aluminum grated flooring which allows for better texture and slip resistance for safety with managing stairs.

These are a few ideas and tips for wheelchair ramp design, we install various ramp options and types in the Milwaukee area & you can visit our Portfolio for photo ideas.  Given the investment and importance of your home wheelchair ramp, it is best to have a good plan in place for a ramp that will last and will be safe for your needs.  Contact BILD today for the right ramp solution for your home.  No matter the ramp material you need – or for permanent or temporary rental use – we provide individually tailored solutions.