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COMMERCIAL

PORTFOLIO

Clayton, NC

click 4 details

$121,900 (2 Lots)

$63,900 (1 Lot)






Ramp Slope? No Problem, Just Build It!


If You Don't Slope A Ramp Correctly Before You Start, You May Be In Trouble.


Articles Index

 

By Jan Morgavan


(December 3, 2006) - When it comes to building a ramp on a home, whether new construction or an existing home, don't overlook the need to give careful consideration to the slope of ramp. Don't think the philosopy of build it and they will come (i.e. the ramp will be used) is all you need. It's not!

 

Calculate the Slope


The only way to determine the slope of a ramp is to jump right into some math. So, get out your calculator and let's look as some of the numbers.

You will see this format to describe the slope of ramp.

When you see "1:12 slope", this means that 12 inches of ramp is needed for every inch the ramp rises and likewise, "1:16 slope" indicates 16 inches of ramp is needed for every inch in rise. Bottomline, a ramp with 1:12 slope is steeper than one that has a 1:16 slope.

 

Where is it feasible, a slope of 1:16 is recommended. The steeper the slope the more effort is required to wheel up the ramp or maintain ones balance while walking the ramp.

 

 

1:12 Slope

 

Calculate Length of Ramp (Inches)

 

30 inches (height of porch) x 12 inches (of ramp) = 360 inches (length of ramp in inches)

 

 

Calculate Length of Ramp (Feet)


360 inches (length of ramp) / 12 inches = 30 feet

 

In order to achieve the 1:12 slope, the ramp will require 30 feet to be built.

 

 

1:16 Slope

 

Calculate Length of Ramp (Inches)

 

30 inches (height of porch) x 16 inches (of ramp) = 480 inches (length of ramp in inches)

 

 

Calculate Length of Ramp (Feet)

 

480 inches (length of ramp) / 12 inches = 40 feet

 

In order to achieve the 1:16 slope, the ramp will require 40 feet to be built.

 

NOTE: These calculations are for straight run ramps. As you can see, even a ramp with a 1:12 slope can require a very long run.

 

 

Design Configurations


Other options to think about when building a ramp is varying the configuration from straight runs to switch back, U shaped, or L shaped designs. These variations in some instance allow you to build a ramp when you don' have the luxury of the 30 foot or 40 foot needed to build a straight run ramp.

 

Here is an example of a switch back ramp design that has been combined with a stepped entrance.

 

Click on the photo to link to a larger version of the photo.

 

Example of a switch back ramp

(Courtesy of Center for Universal Design, NC State University)

 

 

Here is an example of a straight run ramp connected to a stepped entrance in Decatur, GA.

 

Click on the photo to link to a larger version of the photo and more photos of stepless entrances.

 

Straight run ramp combined with a stepped entrance

 

As you can see, much consideration is needed when designing and building a ramp. The slope of the ramp is very important and can definitely make the difference for those using it.

 

 

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