Building Bridges Yourself

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Can I build my own wheelchair ramp?

Building Bridges Yourself

You've built a cupola for the upstairs. You made a dollhouse for your daughter. You built a birdhouse. You set a boat afloat. Surely you can construct a custom wheel chair ramp so you or your loved one can ride up to the front or back entrance or both?

Building and using wheelchair ramps can't always be a piece of cake. Here are some tips before you head to Home Depot for this new weekend plan, Project Wheelchair Ramp:

• Use the same wood as the wood in your house. If it's sturdy enough for your walls, it will support a wheelchair or scooter.

• Aluminum or steel wheelchair ramps are durable. Buy sheets of metal that you can weld together if necessary.

• Remember, steeper ramps are more dangerous. If the distance is 24 inches, incline the ramp 2 inches (one unit of height to twelve units of distance).

• Check the board length and the overall ramp width (36 to 48 inches is recommended) to make sure they're up to code.

• Have your child pop a wheelie up the ramp. If it holds, it's probably solid enough for a wheelchair.



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