How to Build a Wheelchair Ramp

For people with mobility issues, a wheelchair ramp can be an essential addition to their home or workplace. Whether it's to access a higher floor or to enter a building, a ramp can make a huge difference in their quality of life. Building a wheelchair ramp might seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and materials, it can be a straightforward process. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to build a sturdy and safe wheelchair ramp.
Wheelchair Ramp

Materials Needed

Before you start building your ramp, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • Lumber (pressure-treated)
  • Plywood sheets
  • Galvanized screws and nails
  • Metal brackets and anchors
  • Concrete (for footing)
  • Handrail (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Design the Ramp

The first step is to design the ramp. You'll need to consider the slope, width, and length of the ramp. The slope should be no steeper than 1:12, meaning that for every inch of rise, you should have 12 inches of ramp. The width of the ramp should be at least 36 inches, and the length will depend on the height of the landing or threshold you need to reach.

2. Prepare the Site

Clean the area where you plan to build the ramp, and ensure that it’s level. Mark the area where the ramp will be installed, and use stakes and string to create a guide for the ramp.

3. Build the Footing

Dig holes for the footings at the base of the ramp using a post hole digger. Pour concrete into the holes and insert metal anchors into the concrete while it’s still wet. Allow the concrete to set for at least 24 hours before proceeding.

4. Build the Frame

Using pressure-treated lumber, build the frame of the ramp. Start by installing the ledger board to the building, and then attach the joists and beams to create the frame. Make sure that the frame is level, and use metal brackets to secure the joints.

5. Install the Decking

Install plywood sheets on top of the frame to create the deck. Use galvanized screws to secure the plywood sheets to the frame.

6. Add Handrails (Optional)

If you want to add handrails, install them on either side of the ramp. Make sure that they’re sturdy and can support the weight of a person.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Improves accessibility for people with mobility issues
  • Increases the value of your property
  • Can be customized to fit your specific needs


  • Can be expensive to install
  • Requires regular maintenance to ensure safety
  • May take up a lot of space, depending on the design


Building a wheelchair ramp can be a challenging but rewarding task. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a safe and sturdy ramp that will improve accessibility for people with mobility issues. Remember to take your time and use the right materials and tools to ensure that your ramp is built to last.


Q: Do I need a permit to build a wheelchair ramp?

A: It depends on the regulations in your area. Check with your local building department to see if you need a permit.

Q: How long does it take to build a wheelchair ramp?

A: The time it takes to build a wheelchair ramp depends on the size and complexity of the ramp. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Q: Can I build a wheelchair ramp myself?

A: Yes, you can build a wheelchair ramp yourself if you have the necessary tools and expertise. However, it’s recommended that you hire a professional if you’re not confident in your abilities.

Q: What’s the maximum slope for a wheelchair ramp?

A: The maximum slope for a wheelchair ramp is 1:12, meaning that for every inch of rise, you should have 12 inches of ramp.