How to Install a Threshold Ramp for Wheelchair Accessibility
With some doorways, wheelchairs will need a threshold ramp. If the gap between floor and threshold is more than ¾ inch, it’s vital that you install a threshold on the door to make movement from room to room, and into the house, possible.
There are two types of threshold ramps, one portable, the other fixed. This will deal with making a fixed threshold ramps.
Step 1 - Measure
The first step is to measure the height of the threshold. If it’s 1 inch, take the pieces of 2 by 4-inch lumber and measure up 1/2 inch on one of the 2-inch ends. With a straight edge, draw a line from that point to the corner off the opposite end, making a triangle. Repeat this so you have four triangles, all the same size, marked on the wood.
Step 2 - Cut
Cut the wood with your saw (a circular saw will make the job much easier) and then sand the cut edge smooth. This will help you later and prevent any debris or splinters from getting in the way.
Step 3 - Assemble
Put down one of your pieces of plywood. Set two of the pieces of lumber on the edges with the straight side, at the 90-degree corner, down, and one piece of wood on each side of the plywood. Now turn the assembled pieces over and screw the lumber in place on the plywood, making sure the screws are placed 6 inches apart.
You’ll need to put the other two pieces of lumber on the plywood. They should be equally spaced so they’ll be able to give support to the threshold ramp. Screw them in place.
Step 4 - Put it in Place
Slide the assembly in place against the threshold. For a fixed threshold ramp you’ll need to secure the plywood to the floor. On a wood surface, this can be done with glue and screws. If it’s an exterior threshold ramp you’ll need to drill into the concrete and secure it with screws. Make sure that the threshold ramp sits square against the threshold before you secure it in place. Once fixed in place, check that it won’t move.
Step 5 - Finish
You will have one piece of plywood left. Fit it in place over the assembly on the ground. It should lay flush on top of the assembly and be even with the edges on all sides.
Mark the location of the supports under the plywood and screw the ramp in place. You’ll need to be sure that the screws are 6 inches apart in order to give proper support to the ramp.
After you’ve finished, test the ramp by pushing a wheelchair over it and over the threshold. You should be able to negotiate the door without any problem.