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LanterDan 07-03-2006 11:01 PM

I am working on a deck/wheel chair ramp for my grandparents. The deck will cover an existing concrete porch. The intent is to have the entire structure be remove-able should my grandparents decide to sell the house. Deck will have composite floors, mainly for added wet traction (snow country), with PT pine framing, handrails etc. I have two questions.

First question: The house is in the shape of an “L” with porch covering the area needed to bring the house into a rectangle. The front door is in the interior corner of the “L” with concrete steps in the shape of a quarter circle (radius ~ 4’8”). My plan was to rip some 3/8” strips from some scrap PT lumber, which with 5/4” deck board will bring the deck height to be just under that of the front door entrance. I would use of the strips to “continue” the joists where they would terminate when the reached the concrete landing, and to screw the deck boards down throw the strips into the concrete w/ tapcon type screws. Is this legit? I worry about strips rotting/interfering with water drainage. Strips would be interrupted and main water drainage will be parallel joists, but I still wonder if there is a better way.

Second question: The ramp part will be straddling the sidewalk. I am unsure how to terminate the end of the ramp into the sidewalk and the only example I’ve seen, they have buried the end of the ramp into the ground. I would like to not knock out the sidewalk. Here was my thought: cut ends of joists to sit flat on sidewalk, put 2x4’s as blocking between joists w/ bolts into concrete, for the first three of four deck boards, anchor them as above, w/ tapcon screws through joists and into the concrete. The ramp slope is 1:12 so the joists get quite pointy at the end. At the very end, I plan the rip a piece at an angle (I think it will have to steeper than 1:12, but it will be better than a 1” jump) and screw directly to the sidewalk. Does this sound okay? Is a 2” penetration of the tapcon screws into the concrete reasonable? How close to the edge of the sidewalk can I safely drill? I asked an architect friend to look over some plans before I left to visit home, and she expressed some concerns about too much weight on the sidewalk, but she said she really didn’t do much of that type of work. She also said the sidewalk was likely to only be 2” thick, and when I dug the holes for the footers it looks like the sidewalk varies from 4-4.5”, although I doubt there is much steel in it. Any better idea appreciated.

manhattan42 07-04-2006 02:20 AM

Where Do You Live?
The initial main question is in what state or province do you reside and in what county and municipality therein?

How you can build depends upon your state/provincial codes and municipal variations.

So please tell us.

Then we might be able to ascertain what codes apply to your jurisdication.

LanterDan 07-04-2006 10:33 AM

Location is in Ludington MI (~1/2 way up Lake Michigan coast). My dad spoke with the insepector when he got the permit (which hardly required anything in the way of plans, I was shocked) and he seemed to indicate the only thing he really cared about was that the hand rails be able support a 200 lb side load.

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