If you are considering getting a disability ramp installed on your property, the structure must be built in line with the DDA guidelines.
These specifications have to be followed to the tee for the structure to be as per code. The guidelines also do not make it possible to convert any existing shares into wheelchair ramps.
However, if you have steps on your property, you can incorporate them into the design of your new ramp. Not only will it help to save you money, but the feature could be built within a shorter time as well. This is not a DIY project, and you would need to get the help of skilled and experienced ramp designers and installers for the job.
They would be able to provide you detailed information about the type of structure that you can build, the plans and layout, as well as the materials that would be required to incorporate steps into your wheelchair ramp. You would need this professional consultation because only specific types of ramps can be built by combining steps into them.
Aspects to keep in view while planning a ramp with steps in the feature
The walls of the ramp would have to extend at least 2 inches beyond the edges of the existing steps on your property. You would be able to then build these out without having to make any significant modifications to the steps.
This method works only in case the steps that lead up to the door are sufficiently wide, and there is enough room for ramp construction. Narrow steps do not lend themselves well to this kind of structure. Proper planning is crucial in this stage, and professional ramp installers would be able to help you with the specifications and layout of the feature.
2. The Materials
Various materials could be used in wheelchair ramp construction such as wood, concrete, aluminium or steel. The latter two are modular features that come in sections, and you can choose the ones that you require for your specific ramp installation. These individual sections can be fitted together with the use of screws and clamps etc. that the manufacturer provides as part of the kit.
The companies that manufacture these products also provide detailed information if you are planning on installing the structure yourself. However, the recommendation is that you should hire the services of professional wheelchair ramp installers for the job. They will make sure that the feature is planned and installed correctly and that it is stable enough to support regular use.
Consider whether you would want to move this feature in the future. If you use concrete in building this ramp, it would be a permanent structure. Not only would you need stable ground to build it, but you would not be able to move the feature as well. However, if you opt for a stainless steel or aluminium ramp, you can relocate it if required as it is a semi-permanent structure.
3. Be Aware of Local Codes
As mentioned at the outset, you would have to keep the local codes in view while constructing a ramp. While this is not a crucial aspect when you are building a semi-permanent ramp, a concrete feature would have to be built in line with the existing local codes. Skilled ramp installation specialists would be able to provide you with detailed information about what is required to be followed in this kind of construction.