What is a good angle for a handicap ramp and a formula for steps?

+4
Answered
We are moving into a new to us mobile home. The steps we have are too short to comfortably step in the front door. We have nothing at the back door. I need an eat on area plus steps and a ramp for access.
We are 71 and 79.
The table is 36" square with 4 chairs. I also have 2 rocking chairs I'd love for sitting out in the evenings.
The home sits on an incline so one end is just 2 feet above the ground while the other end is almost 4 feet off the ground. So we need formulas for comfortable access. The ramp will start at the end that is 2' off the ground while the steps will be at 3'. The deck will then go past the front door.

  4 answers
  • John Grimley John Grimley on Jun 17, 2018
    There is no formula for a ramp, you need to work with whatever is comfortable for you. If the ramp is starting at 2' high, even a 6' length should be comfortable but longer would be far, far easier in the long run.
    Deck steps (ready made) are often designed to be installed at a 45deg angle so the tread is level & the riser is vertical, but if you are making your own then any angle will do, just make sure the treads are horizontal & the risers, vertical. Also worth noting - try to make every riser the same height, having three risers at 6" and one at 4" is just inviting a trip hazard.

    • See 1 previous
    • John Grimley John Grimley on Jun 21, 2018
      I've done a lot of work with the disabled community over the years. I imagine 1/12 is possibly a minimum requirement but I have found that some users are quite heavy (or become very heavy over time) and the attendants often struggle to manage the lovely fancy ramps they've had installed.
      Maybe knock up a temporary ramp at 1/12 out of some wood to see how it looks in real life? (If it's on the longest side of the deck, would it look better if the ramp was the same length & so a gentle slope? Also consider what it'll be like when the ramp is soaking wet or a touch frosty)

      … Having just made a scale model out of a couple of rulers, 1/12 seems extremely tame compared to many of the ramps I have seen, looks like the disability groups in America are more clued in than they are over here. Good luck with your build.

  • Contrary to popular opinion, there are ADA requirements for ramps.


    I would suggest hiring a contractor that is familiar with ADA guidelines and also mobile home construction. Google, flip through the yellow pages, contact neighbors, contact you local chapter on the Department on Aging and any senior center that might be able to help. I am on Nextdoor.com and have received a few good referrals from my neighbors.

  • William William on Jun 17, 2018
    Naomie is correct. There are ADA requirements. You also need to check with your homeowners insurance on what and how they provide coverage.