1) Measure the Total Rise
The first and most important step is to measure the total rise, this is the difference in elevation from where the ramp starts and ends. So if you take a tape measure and go from the landing straight down to the ground you will know your rise. See this diagram on how to measure rise.
2) Assess the Degree of Incline
You need to know the type of equipment the end user is going to be using; this will determine what degree of incline you need. Here are some guidelines that are typical: for walking and for walkers – 4.8 degrees; for manual wheelchairs – if they are being assisted you can usually do 7.2 degrees as a guide depending on the persons ability, if you have a heavy person in the wheelchair and an elderly aid well common sense would dictate that you keep the slope to a minimum for safety. If the end user is not being assisted than 4.8 degrees is recommended; for power equipment ALWAYS check the owners manual for the occupied degree of incline, typically it is 8 degrees, but always double check the manual.
3) Select the Ramp Length & Configuration
Using the incline chart, and knowing your rise you will learn how many feet of ramp you require to meet the incline degrees that you have chosen. Now comes the visualization part! Some of you will be really good at visualizing just exactly how this ramp is going to look and fit on your property, others are going to cry help, no worry, send me the photo! Take a look at the sample configurations – click here – and based on your total footage required and the layout of your property, choose a configuration that makes sense. Also, please read the ADA GUIDELINES, for best practices installation information. Keep in mind we cant go through trees, and you will need to stay off your neighbor’s yard! A note about the neighbors: talk this over with them first, no one likes a surprise, especially if it may impact the neighbors. A note about your city/town; they like surprises even less! In all of our years of installing ramps we have never run into problems with our local towns. In fact if it is a handicap accessibility project they seldom charge for a permit, and generally do not require a zoning review because handicap modifications are usually exempt. In many cases because the ramps are considered temporary, remember they do not have footings, no permit was necessary. Check with your local building department if permitting is a concern.
4) Order Your Ramp
Now that you know the total footage and the configuration you are ready to figure out your price and order your ramp. After you place your order, to insure that you get the proper materials, we will ask you to fax or email your site evaluation, we will do a review and double check that everything will work, so you get total satisfaction when the order arrives.