The Americans with Disabilities act requires designers of handicap ramps provide a maximum rise of 1 foot for every 12 feet in length. It also limits the maximum rise of any one section of the ramp to 30 feet and requires a flat landing at the end of each section.
Useful ramps are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and assistance devices. The minimum clearance for the ramp is 36 inches. Landings should maintain this same minimum clearance and be at least 5 feet in length. Handrails should be placed between 30 and 38 inches above the surface of the ramp.
Handicap ramps provide easier access for people who use wheelchairs, walkers or other assistance devices to enter a building. In addition to the ADA requirements, builders and designers should consider local building code requirements for the ramp.
The designer must also take the building site into account. Landscaping sometimes limits the construction of the ramp. It should provide easy access to the parking area. Ramps installed in homes should lead to a door that offers a minimal number of obstructions once the user is inside the building.
For improved safety, the ramp needs to provide a nonslip surface. One option is covering the boards with rolled roofing, which provides a fine aggregate surface to prevent slips.