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-   -   Extend side of deck 5 ft to make wheel chair landing (http://www.diychatroom.com/f19/extend-side-deck-5-ft-make-wheel-chair-landing-178045/)

wdpcpa 04-24-2013 10:39 PM

Extend side of deck 5 ft to make wheel chair landing
 
Hello,

My existing back deck is 30 ft wide and 9 feet deep.

I raised the whole house about 24 inches many years ago and so my patio was no longer sufficient for house entry. First step was a humdinger.

We built decks on top of the existing porch in the front and on the concrete patio in the back. We used 4 by 4 post and they just sit on the concrete.

Given that the house was raised and blocked on an existing slab (in the rear), the back deck is 28 inches from the ground.
The structure is in good shape and I see no deterioration here in North Central Texas. But....

I find that I need to add a wheel chair ramp. The only way I can get enough distance to accommodate an appropriate slope is to build out 5ft and run the ramp perpendicular to the side of the house. So the extension is basically a landing to attach the ramp.

There wouldn't be a patio under the landing. For the landing can I just use a concrete pad like used under houses? I am afraid to put the post in the ground. I have no rot issues with the existing structure and I am afraid the post would just rot out.

Same for the 3 ft wide ramp. It will be 24 feet long. Can I just use concrete pads and set the post on top.

Thanks.

GBrackins 04-24-2013 11:05 PM

depends on your building code requirements and how long you want it to last. in my area we'd install concrete sonotubes with a post base metal connector anchored into the sonotube. post would attach to the post base connector. of course in Texas you don't have to worry about frost heave like we do.

if the deck is 28" above the ground you should have 28' minimum of ramp (I'd probably go 30' of ramp, gives me (3) 10' spans), not counting any landings for making turns with your ramps. A 1:12 slope ramp still requires effort for someone in a wheel chair so I would not make the ramp steeper than 1:12 slope. Ramps should be no longer than 25' between landings.

I use ground contact rated preservative treated wood and the end of the ramp I bury the joists into the ground. the ends actual bear upon buried sonotubes. Landings are usually a 5' long landing if making turns and I prefer a 4' width, 3' is too narrow in my opinion, may skin knuckles on the railings. this link has a lot of good information in regards to accessible ramps http://www.cerebral-palsy.net/goodies/ramp/ramp.html

the thing to remember with ramps is you want them sturdy and stable with little bounce. People with mobility issues already have it tough enough.


Hope this helps. Post back with any questions. Good luck!

wdpcpa 04-25-2013 09:57 AM

Thanks for the reply. Certainly does help.

I was hoping for 28 feet but...

The house is sort of L shaped. 24 feet puts me at the end of the addition. If I go out further, It will put the ramp into the middle of the yard. I may work out something though. Perhaps I can put in a flower bed or something and then line the ramp with that. I was hoping 24 would be close enough.

I can make it 4 feet wide easy enough. Or have the contractor do it. I know this is do it yourself, but I think I am going to contract it out. I just want to make sure that the specs I give are sound.

There won't be anyone in the house going up the ramp on their own power. I or my wife will always move them in and out. This is mainly for her Mom who has trouble with steps. Once she is on the back deck I still will need to pull her over the door threshold and that is about an 8 inch step. Currently we put in a step so it is two 4 inch steps. With the wheel chair and I think I can just back her in.

I tried to call the city permit office but no one answers the phone. Small town. It looks like they use the 2009 International Building standards.

I wonder if there is an easy lift where I could just remove the deck steps and roll in the lift.

Thanks for the advice. All the comments are most helpful.

GBrackins 04-25-2013 10:48 AM

they do make lifts and sometimes you can find a used on. I have used those on projects before. normally have battery backup so they can work in an electric outage

AGWhitehouse 04-25-2013 11:00 AM

FYI...ICC/ANSI A117.1 states that if the slope is >1:12 and <1:10 the rise of the ramp cannot exceed a 6" rise without a landing. >1:8 the ramp cannot exceed a 3" rise without a landing. Keeping it <1:12 allows for a 30" rise before a landing is needed.

Oso954 04-25-2013 04:10 PM

Quote:

There won't be anyone in the house going up the ramp on their own power. I or my wife will always move them in and out. This is mainly for her Mom who has trouble with steps. Once she is on the back deck I still will need to pull her over the door threshold and that is about an 8 inch step. Currently we put in a step so it is two 4 inch steps. With the wheel chair and I think I can just back her in.
I know that won't fly in my area. I did a couple of ramps for my parents (first their house, later mine). Our AHJ insisted that the ramp be designed and built for unassisted use, even with our claim that chair use would always be assisted.

Check it out before building. If they won't answer the phone, you may have to camp out at the office. Or, try e-mail rather than phoning.

Msradell 04-25-2013 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oso954 (Post 1167181)
I know that won't fly in my area. I did a couple of ramps for my parents (first their house, later mine). Our AHJ insisted that the ramp be designed and built for unassisted use, even with our claim that chair use would always be assisted.

Check it out before building. If they won't answer the phone, you may have to camp out at the office. Or, try e-mail rather than phoning.

The biggest reason it won't fly in your area is because California has its own, ADA requirements, and actually enforces them. Most states don't have their own and don't enforce any requirements for accessibility for residential properties. In very few places are permits even required to build ramps. I do agree, however, that they should be made to the requirements (I'm personally handicapped and in a wheelchair) the problem is most AHJ just don't care!


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