how much does it cost to build a wheelchair ramp

Average Cost of Handicap Ramp Installation

In terms of cost per linear foot, an accessibility ramp will cost you about $90 to $175 per foot, based on the cost factors discussed in this article. Cost rises with length, but cost per linear foot drops a little with longer ramps.

Ramps range from 24 to 30 feet long with a rise or about 1 inch per foot based on the height of the entry door. They’re a minimum of 30 inches side, but can be as wide as 48 inches. A curb or stop is installed on both sides to prevent wheels from going over the edge.

Code requires that handrails be used on ramps with a rise of more than 6-12 total inches.

Average Do It Yourself cost

$500 – $875

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$1,250 – $3,100

Typical Cost Average

$1,500 – $2,650

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Overview of Handicap Ramps

Wheelchair ramps are vital to many homeowners that have trouble climbing stairs or need the use of a wheelchair or walker. They’re typically connected to the most-used entry door to the house, but can also be built onto a wood deck or lead to a sliding glass door.

Wheelchair ramps rise only about 1” per foot to enable the wheelchair or walker to easily reach the doorway that is above the grade of the ground.

Ramps are constructed by using wood, steel, aluminum, or concrete.  Another option is to purchase a prefabricated metal wheelchair ramp.  All you have to do is put it together using the instructions that are included and fasten it to the home. The most popular ramp and cost effective ramps are made by using pressure treated, all-weather wood, just like most decks on homes.

Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

Handicap Ramp Cost Factors

Here’s an overview of the major cost factors and how they affect the price of a wheelchair ramp. It starts with labor – the biggest cost factor for most ramps.

  • Who Builds the Wheelchair Ramp on the House – You, the homeowner, can build and connect the wheelchair ramp to the home, but it isn’t a very easy project.  More often than not, a licensed contractor that is familiar with ADA guidelines and ramp building is hired for handicap ramp construction.
  • Length of Wheelchair Ramp – Contractors usually charge by the linear foot to build a wheelchair ramp to the home.  The average price is between $90 to $175 per linear foot, and the average length for a ramp is usually around 30 feet. Since ADA guidelines state that wheelchair ramps should not exceed one inch of rise per one foot of length, height of the door determines minimum length.
  • Site Conditions – Cost rises if significant excavation needs to be done, bushes or other obstacles are removed or the ground is very hard, making it difficult to build post holes.
  • Whether a Landing Pad is Included – If the ramp ends on grass, a concrete pad should be poured at the foot of the ramp that is as wide and the ramp and extends at least three feet out from the ramp. The pad should be a minimum of 4 inches thick.
  • Number of Handrails/Handrail Location – When the ramp is built directly adjoining the home, a handrail might not be required on the house side – or it will require less material to simply attach it to the home rather than building a complete rail structure anchored in the ground and to the side of the ramp. As with deck rails, ramp handrail cost is primarily determined by the material used.
  • Number of Wheelchair Ramps – The more wheelchair ramps that are built on the house, the more expensive it will be.  Usually, homes that require a wheelchair ramp have the ramp located near the most accessible entry point to the home.  However, most homes have multiple entry points, so some homeowners require or prefer wheelchair ramps at all entrances.
  • Material Used – Wheelchair ramps can be constructed using a number of different types of materials.  Each type of ramp has different prices, popular features, and limitations.
  • Prices Where you Live – Prices for the materials to build a wheelchair ramp to the home are pretty standard.  The difference is that cost of living some, and therefore the cost to hire a contractor, is higher.  Contractors are known to charge anywhere from $50-$125 per hour with an average of about $80.

Cost of Retail Supplies

If you’re building a wheelchair ramp / walker ramp using pressure treated lumber, here are retail costs for the wood and common supplies.

  • $10-$15 Each | 5/4 Deck Boards, 8’ long
  • $6-$12 Each | 2”x6” Boards, 8’ long for Side Rails
  • $20 – $28 each| 4”x4” Treated Posts, 8’ long
  • $25-$50 per 5-pound Box | Galvanized Deck Screws or Nails
  • $2-$4 per Bundle| Shims
  • $15 – $25 per Roll | Grit Tape to Apply to Deck Boards
  • $150-$250 |Chop Saw
  • $10 – $15 | Level
  • $60 – $115 | Homeowner-quality Drill
  • $60-$100 | Circular Saw

Costs by Material

The most common types of ramps are the following:

  • Wood – The most popular type of wheelchair ramp and the cheapest, averaging around $100 per linear foot. Long-term costs for wood include the need to stain or paint it as needed at a cost similar to staining a wood deck.
  • Composite | Composite is a popular deck material, and it’s ideal for ramps too. It provides a wood-look ramp that requires less maintenance over the years than treated wood at a cost of about $155 per linear foot.
  • Concrete – A very stable ramp type, concrete ramps cost around $200 per linear foot to build.
  • Galvanized Steel – This type of ramp is very lightweight and easy to connect to the home.  It is generally built off site, trucked in and attached. A steel ramp and can cost more than $200 per linear foot.
  • Aluminum – This is a very popular type of wheelchair ramp that can connect to the home. The spacing of the planks allows dirt, rain, and snow to pass through it.  This type of ramp is usually built off site.  Aluminum ramps can cost around $150 per linear foot.
  • Prefabricated Wheelchair Ramp Kits – These ramps average about $100 per linear foot and are a good choice for homeowners comfortable with DIY assembly. Hiring a handyman to assembly the kit runs another $25-are mostly preassembled and are very cost effective compared to building a ramp, but still costly.  The average price for a 30’ ramp kit is around $2000.

Cost of Disposal for a Damaged Ramp

If you’re replacing an old ramp, expect demolition and disposal costs of $15 to $25 per foot, or roughly $360 to $750 for a ramp 24 to 30 feet long. This is a good place to save money by doing it yourself, possibly renting a small dumpster for the debris or going in on a larger roll-off container with neighbors also tackling outdoor home improvement projects or just wanting to clear a little bit of clutter/junk from their homes.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $40 – $115 | If you are receiving government assistance to cover the cost of an ADA-compliant ramp, than a permit and inspection are required. Otherwise, you probably don’t need one, but check local codes before proceeding.

Pro Tip: If your home is in a homeowners association neighborhood, check the HOA bylaws before proceeding. The HOA probably can’t legally stop you from building an access ramp, but the bylaws/rules might specific material type and other details you’ll need to comply with.

Related Costs and Installation Time

Building a wheelchair ramp is a relatively large and time-consuming project. On average, it will take two contractors about two days to complete the project at a cost of $1,500 to more than $2,000 in labor alone.

If you decide to build the wheelchair ramp on their own, then the time needed to build and install the ramp will more likely double from 2 full days to more like 4-6 days to complete the project.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

As you can see, there’s a lot of labor cost to save by DIY, estimated at $65 to $215 per linear foot by Home Advisor and a total of about $2,200 according to Fixr, both of which are pretty accurate.

While most homeowners hire a contractor to build a wheelchair ramp, this is a project that you can do as long as ADA guidelines are followed correctly and you have experience with construction. This Improvenet article details each guideline regarding the slope, landing, width, turns, runs, and handrails. Safety is obviously paramount in wheelchair ramp construction, so unless you have good experience and skills, it’s probably best to hire a professional for the work.

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