This post is part 3 of the Wheelchair Ramp Series. Be sure to read part 1 and part 2 , to learn more about the main components of a properly constructed wheelchair ramp and its design - Wheelchair Ramps Part 1 - Overview, Wheelchair Ramps Part 2 - Design
The structural and design considerations of your wheelchair ramp are first priority to ensure safety and longevity from your project, however there are many aesthetic considerations that must be considered when choosing those structural materials and designs. This post explores some ideas to help you address those choices wisely.
In order to preserve as much value to your home as possible don’t forget to consider the aesthetic considerations of matching the wheelchair ramp to your home's existing style, colors, and design as much as possible. Some ways to blend the wheelchair accessible ramp into the home’s exterior design are;
- -Match the balusters to an existing porch or other part of the home in color and style.
- -Adding plants or other landscaping can help to make the handicap ramp look like more of a natural part of the home and less of an after thought.
- -The scale and size of the materials used to construct the entry ramp must first meet the building codes of your areas which usually include supports made of 4X4, 2X6 decking material, and a maximum stringer size of 2X8. The space between the handrails in most residential cases can be 36 – 42inches.
- -Staying with these dimensions of materials not only stays within the building codes of your city but also keeps the ramp looking like it fits with the similar scale building materials that the home is made from. Commercial Ramps have different requirements and have to blend into different types of structures.
- -Take advantage of the new handicap ramp by using it to enlarge an existing deck or porch making it even more a part of the homes exterior and helping you and your family get the most from the cost of the project while decreasing the value of the home as little as possible.
For the structural wooden components using pressure treated wood is the best balance of long term strength and economic value. Its best to let the wood dry for several months after construction before applying any type of finish. Applying a protective finish annually to the handicap ramp is an essential component to ensuring that it remains safe and useful for many years to come. Aesthetics of the home is also important to consider when choosing materials and finishes for your wheelchair ramp.
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